I was grain-free for a long time (and generally still am) while healing my Hashimoto’s, but my husband is Italian so I had to find a way to still have pasta. This creamy homemade alfredo sauce recipe makes any type of pasta delicious, including zoodles (zucchini noodles).
Even though alfredo sauce is typically thought of as unhealthy (all that butter and cheese), this version gets it creaminess not from heavy cream but from a secret ingredient… cottage cheese!
Can Alfredo Sauce Be Healthy?
I decded to try making this alfredo sauce recipe after cottage cheese came back into my life thanks to this brand of grass-fed, organic cottage cheese that is now in my grocery store. (If you’re not intolerant, dairy can be healthy when done right… here’s what I mean by that).
Cottage cheese works as a low-carb, high-protein ingredient in other recipes too, like in this Smoked Salmon Dip or these Cottage Cheese Crepes.
Even though it isn’t your classic way to make alfredo sauce, it gets a thumbs up from my live-in Italian food critic! (And yes, I do know that alfredo sauce isn’t truly from Italy but is an American-Italian creation.)
Healthy Alfredo Sauce From Scratch (Not a Jar)
Why make alfredo sauce from scratch? Here’s a quick rundown of some of the ingredients in an average jar of alfredo sauce (popular top-selling brand undisclosed):
- Water (first ingredient)
- Soybean oil (here’s the problem with that)
- Modified cornstarch
- Yeast extract
- Natural flavors (hmm…)
Not only does this homemade version skip the cheap fillers and harmful additives, it’s ten times more delicious!
How to Make Alfredo Sauce
This recipe isn’t like most alfredo recipes out there. To keep things easy, I make this sauce right in the blender.
Instead of a roux made with butter and flour to thicken the sauce, I take cottage cheese and blend it with almond milk and a little fresh Parmesan cheese. Add basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper for flavor, and blend until smooth and creamy.
Heat, pour over pasta of choice, and that’s it!
Grain-Free Spaghetti Pasta
If you’d like a grain-free or gluten-free pasta option, I love this sauce over zucchini noodles. All you need is a simple spiralizer (or if you prefer power tools in the kitchen, a spiralizing attachment for your standmixer).
Put the zucchini in the spiralizer, turn, and you have noodles in less time than it takes to boil water. Full instructions here.
This is a great way to get more veggies in your diet especially when zucchini is in season. You can use a quality gluten-free rice pasta if you tolerate grains well. We use this one because they test their rice for arsenic levels.
15-Minute Cottage Cheese Alfredo Sauce (Low-Carb, High-Protein) Recipe
- 2 cups almond milk (or other milk of choice)
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan and slowly heat on the stove until it simmers.
- Cook and stir until warm and slightly thickened.
- Add cooked pasta, chicken, or veggies and fold into sauce just before serving.
- Top with additional parmesan if desired, and enjoy!
Other Healthier Italian Recipes
Brace yourself, there’s a lot of them…
- Calamari “Pasta“
- Shrimp Carbonara with Sweet Potato “Pasta”
- Homemade Italian Seasoning Recipe
- Zesty Italian Dressing and Marinade Recipe
- Caprese Omelet Recipe
- Caprese Salad Recipe
- Sicilian Crab Cake Arancini Recipe
- One-Pan Spaghetti
- Pesto Chicken with Spaghetti Squash
- Basil Pesto Recipe
- Dairy-Free Panna Cotta Recipe
Have you ever made a “healthier” alfredo sauce? What do you use? Please share!
Discussion (16 Comments)
Loved this recipe! I substituted nutritional yeast for parmesan which worked beautifully. Thank you!
I’m making this sauce now and it’s not thickening doesn’t matter how long I keep it on the stove it is very runny, why????? how can I make it thicker!!!!!!
I love this recipe! I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve made it, but was wondering if I could add some raw kale or spinach to it to up the nutrition? Do you think it would change the flavor too much? Thanks for all your hard work on all these wonderful recipes!
Green Valley makes ORGANIC, LACTOSE FREE sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese and kefir. Unfortunately, no cottage cheese. However, Lactaid makes lactose free cottage cheese but it isn’t organic. They both remove the lactose by adding lactase.
What kind of parmesan cheese do you use, or recommend? Most of the prepared ones have cellulose-type fillers (think sawdust), for anti-caking…yuck.
Katie - Wellness Mama
I try to find an organic one locally whenever possible…
Can’t wait to make! In paragraphs leading up to recipe it says to add basil. I don’t see basil listed in recipe. How much is called for? Fresh or dry? Also, wiuld fat-free cottage cheese work? Just use less milk?
I’m going to try this, but let it blend in my Vitamix for a couple minutes. See if the friction will heat it up enough without having to dirty another pan.
Wow! Definitely trying this. Our kids love pasta but aren’t’ too keen on Mama always making red sauce (not tomato fans). I can see chicken Alfredo over spaghetti squash now. I already make homemade ranch dressing from cottage cheese. My very picky husband loves it!
This was delicious and I will make it again. I made zoodles and poured the sauce over the raw zoodles. The texture was perfect and the sauce was tasty! I made the mistake of heating the sauce to long. It should only be heated until warm as recipe says but I got distracted. Sauce separated but still tasted yummy.
I love this blog! The recipes are good and this is my go to spot for feeding a large family.
I hated this recipe. I followed it exactly except I did the dry powdered Parmesan cheese. This sauce is gross! I’m not just saying that.
dry powdered parm is gross. instead of insulting her recipe, why not make it properly as written
That sounds like a great alternative to the super fattening Alfredo sauce. I get it out once in awhile as a special treat. The only change I would make is Romano cheese- a nice chunk of it. I’m also Italian.
Curious, does this sauce freeze or store well? I have a large family and would like to make a batch to store. Has anyone tried this?