Grilled Chicken Breasts with Light Alfredo Sauce

20140507_194948Who doesn’t love the creamy deliciousness of Alfredo sauce??!! Yeah, that’s what I thought…everyone does, right! So, you have had Fettucine Alfredo many a time! But how about a grilled chicken breast topped with a lightened Alfredo sauce with notes of garlic and citrus??? We are talking pure indulgence without wreaking havoc with your diet! So, if you are like me and have been on the quest to find a lighter version of this goodness, look no more. I think once you try this recipe, you will agree it’s a keeper.

So, anyway, as you guys already know, typical Alfredo sauce though is loaded with fat (anyone watching their calories out there?). So, Alfredo, like other rich, calorific sauces are usually reserved for extra special occasions, but what if I could enjoy it without any guilt more often than couple of times a year!!

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I do try to make quick white sauces with 1% milk thickened with a roux. Although they impart a slight creaminess, it is definitely not the same as the richer version. This recipe however might change that though once and for all. Little bit of lemon zest, a dollop of reduced fat cream cheese, generous helping of grated parmesan and lots (did I say lots?) of garlic in this sauce provide the satisfying creamy richness without your arteries swelling up with plaque.

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Drizzle it over grilled chicken just before serving and serve with a side of your favorite vegetable or salad. Trust me, you won’t even miss the bread or other carbs! It is satisfying and will leave you longing to make it again!

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Grilled Chicken Breasts with Light Alfredo Sauce

  • Servings: 4
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4 chicken breasts, cut to about 4-6 oz each
salt and pepper to taste
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 1/2 tablespoon butter
3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced finely
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups 1% milk
2 tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 cup grated pecorino cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
optional – sautéed mushrooms

1. Begin by preparing the chicken. Marinate the chicken in a marinade of lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper for about 15-20 minutes.
2. Preheat the grill or a sauté pan at medium high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 12-14 minutes till juices run clear and meat is cooked through. Remove to a platter, loosely covered with a foil and set aside till you prepare the sauce.
3. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and sauté the lemon zest and garlic for about 30 seconds. Add the flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly for a minute or so.
4. Stir in the creamed cheese, followed by milk. Stir continuously to break up any lumps. Cook for about 5 minutes till the sauce starts to simmer and thicken up a little.
5. Slowly stir in the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for just about a minute or so till the sauce becomes evenly creamy and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped parsley.
6. Sauce will thicken further as it cools. Therefore, it is best to serve immediately. Spoon desired amount of sauce over the grilled chicken breasts alongside a serving of steamed or sautéed veggies.

NOTE: You will likely have leftover sauce. If so, store in the refrigerator for a day or so. You could thin the sauce by adding bit of milk or cooked pasta water. I mixed my leftover sauce with a tablespoon of homemade light pesto sauce and tossed with cooked pasta for a delicious and quick lunch. My family absolutely loved the leftover as much as their dinner.