Try this lighter version of your favorite fettuccine Alfredo pasta, using a super creamy and delicious cauliflower alfredo sauce for fewer calories and more sneaky veggies!
Craving a big bowl of pasta? Make this healthy Chicken and Broccoli Fettuccine with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce!
Sometimes, I just get a craving for a big fat pasta dish. Not with spiralized vegetable pasta, nor with an avocado pesto sauce.
Just a big fat bowl of gluten-full pasta with loads of cream, and lots of cheese too. I'm only human, you know.
Once in a while, a girl just needs her dose of delicious crap (pardon my French!). Pretty sure you can relate, am I right?!
However, when my true love-eating-healthy-and-feeling-great self comes back and still wants to eat a big fat bowl of comforting pasta, I make her this cauliflower alfredo pasta sauce. I mean, I make myself this.
Wait...what? Now, this is getting confusing.
Anyways! These skinny broccoli chicken fettuccine with cauliflower Alfredo sauce are the perfect compromise between nutritious + feel-good! Absolutely decadent with zero nutrients.
Instead of using a classic Italian Alfredo sauce – which, may I remind you, is made with butter, cream (lots of it) and parmesan – we're swapping it with...cauliflower Alfredo sauce!
Have you heard of Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce before?
It's this magical lil' sauce made with cooked cauliflower, garlic, and parmesan. Sooo smooth and creamy, and pinky promise, it doesn't taste like cauliflower at all.
This is coming from someone who doesn't like the taste of cauliflower to begin with, so you can trust me (you do, right?).
Cauliflower Alfredo aka. cauliflower cheese sauce is basically a healthy creamy pasta sauce that you can use for anything you'd use a white sauce for.
This Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce is a healthy twist on the Italian pasta classic!
In this healthy pasta dish, we're making the recipe as we would traditionally, but instead of adding Alfredo sauce, we add our favorite cauliflower cheese sauce.
Thanks to that, you have a dinner that's not only about a gazillion calories lighter (don't quote me on that number though) but also has the added nutrition bonus of veggies you won't taste.
Awesome benefits include dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese. And that's without even considering the broccoli.
Now, can I get a big YAY and a promise you'll make this Chicken and Broccoli Pasta with Cauliflower Alfredo soon? Enjoy! 🙂
If you tried this Chicken and Broccoli Fettuccine with Cauliflower Alfredo, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!
Skinny Broccoli Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
A lighter version of your favorite fettuccine Alfredo pasta, using a super creamy and delicious cauliflower sauce for fewer calories and more sneaky veggies!
- 1 lb fettuccine pasta 450 g, I used rice pasta to keep it gluten free
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 heads broccoli chopped, about 3-4 cups
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts about 6 oz / 170 grams each, cut into 1″ - 2.5 cm cubes
- chopped parsley to serve
- 1 tbsp butter see notes to make dairy free
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 3 cups cauliflower florets about one small cauliflower or half a medium one
- 3 cups chicken stock + 3 cups water
- ¾ cup grated parmesan plus more for serving – see notes to make dairy free
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
Prepare Alfredo sauce. Add butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat and cook minced garlic until fragrant but not browned (or it will be bitter). Turn off the heat and set aside. Add cauliflower florets to a large pot, cover with chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil then cook for 10 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender.
Transfer cauliflower to the bowl of your food processor using a slotted spoon. Start by adding ¾ cup of cooking liquid and process until very smooth (add more or less cooking liquid, up to 1 cup total, depending on how smooth the sauce is - you don’t want it to be too thin). You can also use a blender, but if you do, you might need to process the cauliflower in two batches.
Add parmesan, nutmeg and freshly cracked black pepper. Season with salt to taste. Process again until smooth. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While the water is boiling, prepare the broccoli. Heat half a tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add broccoli and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until broccoli is bright green. Add ¼ cup water and cook until water has evaporated and broccoli is crispy tender. Set aside in a bowl.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
In the same skillet as the broccoli, heat another half tablespoon of olive oil. Cook chicken cubes in an even layer, for about 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is golden and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat (or lower it to very low to just keep it warm if the pasta isn’t ready yet).
When pasta is cooked, drain it, and reserve 1 cup of cooking water (don’t forget to do it!). Add cooked pasta and broccoli to the skillet with the chicken.
Add 2 cups of cauliflower alfredo sauce and toss to coat. Add ½ cup to 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid to thin the sauce as needed (the quantity will depend on how thick your sauce is, to begin with). Serve immediately with additional grated parmesan and chopped parsley.
Sauce recipe makes more than what you’ll need for this recipe. You can freeze the leftovers or store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
MAKE IT DAIRY FREE:
- use one tablespoon of olive oil instead of the butter - use one cup nutritional yeast instead of parmesan
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE:
- use gluten free pasta instead of wheat pasta. I like to use rice pasta, but corn, garbanzo or quinoa pasta works well too.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS:
- I like to prepare the cauliflower sauce ahead. It keeps up to three days in the fridge and freezes well. If the cauliflower sauce is ready ahead of time, the whole meal takes less than 20 minutes to prepare.
- The sauce will dry out quickly. To reheat, add a dash of milk and it’ll be as good as new!
Recipe inspired by Tastes Lovely