Looking for a creamy chicken alfredo just as delicious as the original… but without the dairy and carbs? Read on!
For many, a bowl of pasta topped with a silky-rich cream sauce is the ultimate comfort food. Unfortunately, traditional preparations of this Italian classic contain ingredients and a nutrition profile that doesn’t support your quest for optimal health and a lean body.
For example, a typical serving of Chicken Alfredo over Fettuccine contains over 800 calories, 50 grams of blood-sugar spiking carbohydrate and over 40 grams of fat. We’re certainly not fat-phobic here at Healing Gourmet, especially when it comes to healthy fats. But the fats you’ll find in a typical cream sauce come from conventionally produced milk… and the dairy itself can be a problem for many people.
Not to mention the inflammatory gluten you’ll find in most noodles. Research shows that gluten causes health issues – even if you are not gluten sensitive – and these harmful effects can linger for up to 6 months! And most gluten-free pasta is not much better. Pasta made from brown rice flour is known to be a significant source of arsenic. And the other starches you’ll often find in these products are often higher on the glycemic index than the wheat flour pasta they are replacing!
The bottom line is that even if you reserve Chicken Alfredo with Fettuccine as a “cheat” meal, there are still consequences to your health.
But that’s enough bad news… the good news is that you can still enjoy this traditional Italian dish without harming your health!
A Better Chicken Alfredo
To recreate this creamy Italian favorite – without the dairy, gluten and calories – we turned to three star ingredients: zucchini, coconut milk and pastured chicken.
For a light “noodle” and to increase our daily intake of phytonutrient-rich veggies, we use the humble (and ever versatile) zucchini. Inexpensive, low in calories and perfect for swirling with sauce, we “spiraled” this summer squash into a thin “zoodles” that are the perfect base for a creamy Alfredo sauce. By the way, if you don’t already have one, a Spiralizer is a must-have in every healthy kitchen.
For a thick and creamy Alfredo that rivals dairy, coconut milk is a great choice. Combined with pastured tallow or coconut oil plus a little arrowroot to emulsify and thicken the sauce, and our dairy-free Alfredo was born. We punch up the cheesy flavor with high-quality, nutrient-rich nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and mineral-rich sea salt.
For the moist and tender chicken, we use meat pulled from our ever-popular Pressure Cooker Chicken. We love this recipe for its ease and simplicity. In fact, we use this recipe as a base for as many as a dozen meals each month. This technique allows you to transform one meal into several with a variety of tastes and textures. (We call this method Meals Cubed™ and you can enjoy this time-saving meal planning tool with our Meal Genius personalized meal planning program (STAY TUNED!).
With nearly four servings of veggies, just 16 grams of carbs and 41 g of healthy, metabolism-stoking fat from coconut, you can bring this flavorful, nutrient-dense Chicken Alfredo to the dinner table in just 15 minutes… and without a moment’s guilt.
So, lets’s get to the step-by-step (scroll all the way down for the printable version)…
Paleo Chicken Alfredo: The Simple Step By Step
First, make your zoodles…
Next, add the coconut oil to a small saucepan over low heat. When melted, add the garlic and diced sun-dried tomato. Cook five minutes until the garlic is golden and fragrant.
Next, pour in the coconut milk…
Simmer over low heat, while adding the nutritional yeast, lemon, sea salt and arrowroot.
While your sauce is simmering and beginning to thicken, give your zoodles a quick saute…
Top with your tender pre-cooked chicken…
And pour your dairy-free alfredo sauce over everything, and stir to combine.
Now you’re ready to bring your one-pot dinner to the table. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
- 2 medium zucchini
- 8 oz. cooked chicken (use my Pressure Cooker Chicken Recipe)
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or tallow
- 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
- 1 tsp. arrowroot
- 1 Tbsp. lemon Juice
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
- Spiralize zucchini noodles and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, add the coconut oil, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Sauté over low heat for 5 minutes, just until garlic turns golden.
- Pour in the coconut milk, sea salt and lemon juice, whisk to combine, and bring to a simmer.
- Sprinkle in the nutritional yeast, if using. Whisk in the arrowroot, a little at a time. You may wish to use only ½ Tbsp. arrowroot, depending on how thick you like your sauce. Remove from heat, and set aside, sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Saute zucchini noodles over medium-high heat to al dente, about 3 minutes. Add cooked chicken and pour sauce over. Stir to combine over low heat.
Excellent Source of: Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Protein, Selenium, VitaminB6, VitaminC, Folate, Copper, Niacin, Riboflavin, Phosphorous, Manganese
Good Source of: Fiber, Zinc, VitaminK, Thiamin
Macronutrient Ratio: 69% Fat | 21% Protein | 10% Carb