I love meals that are easy to make and don’t require a lot of prep work. Sometimes I don’t have a lot of time to make intricate dinners, and sometimes I just don’t feel like spending a long time in a hot kitchen. One meal that typically doesn’t require a ton of time to make is pasta. I usually go for spaghetti and red pasta sauce. However, I have recently developed a love for pasta and white sauce. There is a problem with this though. White sauce, or Alfredo sauce, is high in calories. I developed a yummy one pot pasta with garlic and white sauce that is lower in calories to solve all my problems!
I love garlic cream sauces. In my opinion, it is hard to go wrong with garlic and cheese in one dish. I struggle with truly enjoying Alfredo sauces because of the calories. Pasta has a lot of calories on its own, so I didn’t want to add a calorie-heavy sauce on top of the noodles. This one pot dish is wonderful. It requires very few dishes, and tastes like it belongs in a restaurant. Also, Samuel immediately asked for this dish to be added into our regular rotation. So I know it’s dang good when he requests the rotation. I love this because it’s easy to make, requires few ingredients, is lower calorie, and tastes phenomenal.
The first step to this recipe is to heat some zero calorie spray butter in a large skillet. I used the spray butter because it is zero calories. You could use oil, butter, or margarine for this. Once the butter was heated over medium high heat, I added in minced garlic. You will cook this until it is fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. You don’t want the garlic to burn, so stir this frequently. Next, add in the vegetable broth, milk, butter, and fettuccine. Season with some salt and pepper.
If your pot is not large enough for the fettuccine to fit in, don’t worry. My pot was not wide enough, so the fettuccine stuck out a little. Just keep stirring the noodles and gently press them down with a spoon. Eventually the noodles in the liquid will soften and you will be able to fit all the noodles in the pan. Once the fettuccine fits into the skillet, bring it to a boil. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and simmer. You will need to stir this occasionally to prevent the noodles from clumping together. Simmer until the pasta is cooked all the way through, which is about 18 to 20 minutes.
When the noodles have finished cooking, stir in the shredded extra sharp white cheddar cheese until it is melted completely into the pasta. As I have said repeatedly, I grate my cheese from a block. I don’t like to use pre-shredded cheese in recipes that require melting because pre-shredded cheese does not melt nearly as well as block cheese. I recommend shredding your own cheese for this. You could also use Parmesan in place of the white cheddar. I like the taste of the extra sharp white cheddar in this dish though. If the pasta is too thick when you add the cheese, you can add more milk. I prefer my pasta sauce to stick to the noodles and not be runny. If you do add more milk, make sure you bring it back up to a warm temperature in the pan before serving. The milk will cool down the pasta when you add it in. Once you have a consistency you like, serve warm!
I can’t sing the praises of this one pot pasta enough. I was so surprised it tasted so wonderful. It seemed too easy to be that good. I was wrong. This pasta is just as good, if not better, than restaurant pasta with garlic cream sauce. I don’t feel bad at all for enjoying this pasta so much. It is much lower in calorie compared to similar dishes (Olive Garden fettuccine Alfredo is 700+ calories). The flavors, low calorie, and ease of this recipe make this one pot pasta go straight to the top of my recipe rotation.
One Pot Garlic and White Cheddar Pasta
Total calories: 1,260
- 1 tbsp zero calorie spray butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup 1% milk, or more as needed
- 8 oz uncooked fettuccine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup shredded extra sharp white cheddar
- Heat zero calorie spray butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir frequently so it does not burn.
- Stir in vegetable broth, milk, butter, and fettuccine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Stir occasionally so the pasta does not clump together. Simmer until the pasta is cooked all the way through, about 18 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in extra sharp white cheddar until it is melted into the pasta. If the pasta is too thick, add more milk until you reach your desired sauce consistency. Serve immediately.
If your fettuccine is too long to fit into your skillet, keep stirring and pressing down on the ends that do fit into the hot liquid. Eventually your pasta will be able to bend and soften, so it will all fit into the skillet. Just keep working with it so the pasta is all submerged in the liquid.
I prefer my pasta sauces thicker and not runny, so I really love that you can make your own sauce consistency. If you add more milk, make sure you bring it back up to temperature in the pan so the cold milk doesn’t cool down the sauce in the pan.
1 tbsp olive oil for 1 tbsp zero calorie spray butter (you could also substitute 1tbsp margarine or butter)
2 cups chicken broth for 2 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese for ¼ cup extra sharp white cheddar
2 tbsp margarine for 2 tbsp unsalted butter