11 May, 2018
It’s All About The “Garlic” Alfredo Sauce – Try It, You’ll Like It
Alfredo sauce has intimidated cooks for years. In the Southern regions of Italy where my family originates, it is not used much because they tend to use the tomato based sauces. The white sauces are typically used more in the Northern regions of Italy. So Alfredo sauce was not something that was cooked in our house.
Now you may have your favorite store-bought version, but truly, it can’t compare to homemade. And have you noticed the calories attached to some of those jarred Alfredo sauces like Classico, Barilla, or Newman’s Own? OMG! Of course, most jarred sauces say they are made with real cream and real cheese, so there is some of the cause of high calories, not to mention whatever fillers are added to preserve the sauce that sits on the shelf for months.
There are many recipes for homemade Alfredo sauce with cream. When you are adding a couple of cups of cream to the sauce, the calories can really add up. Don’t get me wrong, they taste great, but I didn’t experience a dramatic difference in flavor with the garlic Alfredo sauce in this recipe which uses chicken stock and milk instead of cream. It’s worth a try, believe me!!
So the real basis of the featured recipes here is in the sauce – its flavor and creaminess. The garlic really adds richness to the sauce and kicks it up a notch. The other ingredients you serve with this sauce are intensified exponentially, whether it’s just fettuccine or the baked chicken with broccoli and spinach (or both).
The sauce goes together quickly and can easily be doubled if using it for a couple of recipes. Because of the high dairy content, it probably would not freeze well, so only make what you will use. One variation I made was to add cubes of cooked chicken and fresh homemade ricotta to the sauce.
Chicken Alfredo sauce poured over cooked fettuccine. That was a hit with hubby since he’s not a fan of cooked greens of any kind. I don’t understand that since he will eat any vegetable raw. I could blame his upstate New York roots for his disliking cooked vegetables, but I’ll try not to.
Chopped broccoli with seasonings, ready to be placed in the casserole dish and cooked.Mixed chicken cubes, chopped spinach, Alfredo sauce, cheese, and seasonings together with broccoli.Broccoli spinach chicken baked to perfection. Quite tasty served solo or with a side of fettuccine (or rice if you prefer).
Chicken broccoli spinach bake with a side of fettuccine Alfredo.
- CHICKEN BROCCOLI SPINACH BAKE
- • 1 large broccoli crown shaved off the stalk (closely cut)
- • 1/4 cup olive oil
- • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or fresh if you prefer)
- • 1/4 teaspoon salt
- • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- • 1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands garlic herb seasoning
- • 2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach
- • 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
- • 1 recipe Alfred sauce (or a 14 1/2 ounce jar light Alfredo sauce from the store)
- • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- • 12 ounces fettuccini
- ALFREDO SAUCE
- • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
- • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- • 1 cup chicken stock (or more as needed to thin mixture)
- • 1 cup whole milk
- • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- • 1/2 teaspoon salt
- • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- • Chopped fresh parsley & extra Parmesan for garnish (Optional)
- ...ALFREDO SAUCE (make double batch if doing both recipes - one for Broccoli Spinach Bake, one for Fettuccine pasta)
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute stirring constantly so the garlic doesn't burn.
- Sprinkle flour in pan and stir to combine. Sauté for a minute to cook the flour, stirring constantly.
- Slowly incorporate chicken broth, whisking to combine until smooth.
- Carefully add milk (whisk to keep mixture smooth) and bring to a simmer. It will thicken as it simmers.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until cheese is melted.
- Remove one-half of double batch of Alfredo sauce to use with Broccoli Spinach Bake and leave the other half in the pan to use with the fettuccine.
- ...CHICKEN BROCCOLI SPINACH BAKE
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut broccoli off stem, slicing thinly and chopping until crumbly and resembles rice. (Can use food processor to accomplish this consistency if you don't want to chop it off manually.)
- Place broccoli in a 3-qt. casserole. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. of the oil and sprinkle with basil, garlic-herb seasoning, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Bake 15 minutes.
- Stir together spinach, chicken, cheese, and Alfredo sauce. Mix into broccoli in casserole dish.
- Combine Italian bread crumbs and remaining oil; sprinkle over casserole mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until top is brown.
- Cook pasta according to package directions in generously salted water.
- When pasta is al dente, drain and add to second batch of Alfredo sauce. Stir well to incorporate the sauce with the pasta.
- ...SEE NOTES for alternatives
- 1. Make one batch of Alfredo sauce and cook fettuccine for a traditional fettuccine and Alfredo sauce recipe.
- 2. Make one batch of Alfredo sauce, adding 2 cups of chopped or shredded chicken (optional -
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ricotta cheese) and cooked fettuccine for Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.
- 3. Make two batches of Alfredo sauce, one batch of Broccoli Spinach Bake and fettuccine for a complete meal of Broccoli Spinach Bake, chicken and fettuccine Alfredo.
- For a lower calorie count - try low-fat milk in place of whole milk.