Light & Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto

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Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto on a plate with fork scooping pasta.  It's a creamy but lighter recipe without the heavy cream or butter, but still delicious!

This is the dinner that dreams are made of.  Creamy and cheesy Fettuccine Alfredo with a hint of nuttiness and a delicious garlic backdrop.  Then it’s topped with salty Prosciutto ribbons that blend perfectly with the pasta.  The cool Prosciutto and the hot pasta is a perfect combination.  BUT, my friends, this is a HEALTHIER and LIGHTER version!  My Light and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto is beyond belief!  It’s a quick dinner that the whole family will love. 

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto on a plate with fork scooping pasta. It's a creamy but lighter recipe without the heavy cream or butter, but still delicious!

LIGHTER CAN BE AMAZING TASTING!

One of my favorite tricks with many recipes to get a creamy texture without the flour, butter, or heavy cream, is to use a cornstarch slurry.  Cornstarch is used in many Asian recipes to thicken sauces without changing the color the way a flour roux does.  Once it dissolves and cooks into the sauce, it is completely flavorless, leaving only the flavors from the sauce.

In this recipe, using cornstarch and 1% milk to replace the heavy cream, flour, and butter that is typically in Fettuccine Alfredo saves you 95 calories and 13.4g Fat (8.3g Saturated Fat)!   It also saves you 45mg cholesterol and gives you more calcium, vitamin d, and potassium by using milk vs. cream.

How to use cornstarch

It’s super easy to use because you don’t need to cook it prior to mixing it in the sauce.  Instead, you mix the cornstarch into a cold liquid to dissolve it and then add it to the sauce.  So if you want a clear sauce, mix it into water.  If you want a creamy sauce, mix it into milk (skim, 1-2%, or whole).  You can also mix it into heavy cream, coconut milk, cooled broth, or really any cold liquid.  Then whisk it into the hot sauce and continue to stir as it thickened.  It’s that simple!  And it gives the same creamy texture!  Here are some other recipes where I’ve used this technique!

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto on a plate with fork scooping pasta. It's a creamy but lighter recipe without the heavy cream or butter, but still delicious!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You need a large pot to cook the pasta in and then you can either use the same pot for the sauce or use a separate large skillet/frying pan for making Alfredo sauce and mixing in the pasta. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

Oh, and mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR EASY FETTUCCINE ALFREDO

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

The truth is, this recipe is so incredibly easy, there really isn’t even much to prep ahead!  If you are really pressed for time; however, you could mince the garlic and slice the prosciutto into ribbons, as well as chop the parsley. 

Can I replace Prosciutto?

Prosciutto is sliced so thin, which makes it such a delicate addition to this where a little goes a long way.  If you either don’t like prosciutto or cannot find it, you could replace it with a thin-sliced roasted or smoked deli ham.  You could use bacon, but it will really change the flavor profile of this dish to more of a bacon flavor, which is great, just very different.  You also need to cook the bacon in the pan before making the sauce or cook it separately and then crumbling it over top.  

COOK YOUR EASY FETTUCCINE ALFREDO

In a large pot, boil the pasta until al dente. Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer until the sauce is ready.

While the pasta is cooking, make the cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch into the cold milk.

Cornstarch and Milk slurry in cup for Light and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto

Using the same pot that you used for the pasta, add the tsp of olive oil and the minced garlic. Stir and cook for just 1-2 minutes. Careful not to let it brown.  Add the reserved 1 cup of pasta water plus 1 bouillon cube or chicken/vegetable base. Heat to simmer and dissolve the bouillon. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue to whisk while it heats through and starts to thicken (about 2-3 minutes).

Pouring milk into pan with whisk Light and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto

Whisking sauce in pan for Light and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto
Add salt and pepper and the pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and then mix in the parmesan cheese and Parsley. Finally, right before serving, add the Prosciutto slices on top.Adding cooked pasta to sauce in pan for Light and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto

Adding prosciutto to pasta alfredo in pan for Light and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto

Garnish with Parmesan and Parsley. Serve and enjoy!

What Veggie Side should go with this?

I would go with simple Roasted Carrots, Roasted Tomatoes, or a Mesclun Salad.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Light and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto

My Light and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto is so creamy with a hint of nuttiness from the parmesan and a delicious garlic backdrop.  Topped with salty Prosciutto ribbons that blend perfectly with the pasta.  The cool Prosciutto and the hot pasta is a perfect combination.  BUT, my friends, this is a LIGHTER version without the heavy cream or butter!  It's a quick dinner that the whole family will love. #pastarecipes #familydinner #easydinners #lightdinners #familydinnerideas #fettuccinealfredo

Course Main Course, pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword alfredo, cream sauce, fettuccine, pasta, pasta sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 364 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 10 oz Fettuccine pasta
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup water (reserved from pasta water after it cooks!)
  • 1 cup 1% milk (you can also use skim, 2%, or whole)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Chicken bouillon cube or 1 tsp chicken base
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Parsley
  • 4-6 oz Prosciutto
  • Optional Garnish: extra Parmesan and extra parsley

Instructions

  1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a splash of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir so that it all is immersed in the water and doesn't stick it itself. Boil the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water to use in the sauce and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer until the sauce is ready.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, slice the prosciutto, mince the garlic and chop the parsley. Also make the cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch into the cold milk.
  3. Using the same pot that you used for the pasta, add the tsp of olive oil and the minced garlic. Stir and cook for just 1-2 minutes. Careful not to let it brown.
  4. Add the reserved 1 cup of pasta water plus 1 bouillon cube or chicken/vegetable base. Heat to simmer and dissolve the bouillon. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue to whisk while it heats through and starts to thicken (about 2-3 minutes).
    Pouring milk into pan with whisk Light and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto
  5. Add salt and pepper plus the pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and then mix in the parmesan cheese and Parsley. Finally, right before serving, add the Prosciutto slices on top. Garnish with Parmesan and Parsley. Serve and enjoy!

One Pan Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken

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Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken with feta and cilantro on top in a pan.

Does your family thank you for making dinner?  Making dinner is often a thankless job.  But everyone will scream THANK YOU for this one!  This Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner is easy to make and scrumptious to eat.  The creamy corn is rich, creamy, savory, slightly sweet, and slightly smokey.  The blackened chicken is coated with warm spices like chili powder, paprika, and cumin that bring huge flavor, but not a lot of heat.  It finishes with a delicious salty bite from cotija cheese.  Best part is that it all cooks in one large pan – truly a perfect dinner!

Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken with feta and cilantro on top on a plate with fork holding a bite of chicken..

CORN SEASON!

You can of course find flash frozen fresh corn throughout the year.  But if you are mad for fresh corn on the cob like me, than July through September are your months!  If you are in warmer or coastal locations, then you will start to see beautiful and tender Sweet Corn in the stores in early July.  For all other areas, you will see it in abundance during August through September. 

When you see it on sale and in season, GO BUY IT UP!  You can follow my instructions for removing the fresh kernels from the cob and then flash freeze it yourself.  Lay the fresh corn on a sheet pan and place in the freezer.  When it’s frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag and label it with the date.  It will last for up to 6 months. YAY!!

A couple other favorite recipes using corn are:

Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken with feta and cilantro on top in a pan with spatula scooping.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You need a large skillet/frying pan for making the veggies and curry sauce. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

Mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR CREAMY CORN & BLACKENED CHICKEN

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

Make Spice mixture and separate 1 tsp for the sauce later.

Five spices sectioned in a bowl for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

Spice mixture for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

Cut chicken breasts into 4-6 pieces each and rub the spice mix all over.

Raw chicken pieces coated in spice mixture for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

Removing Corn from the Cob

First, remove the husks and any remaining corn silk. Then rinse the corn and gently cut off the kernels using a sharp knife. After the kernels have been removed, use the back of the knife to press and scrape down the ear to remove any of the remaining kernel and the ‘cream’ that is left behind.

Knife cutting corn off cob for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

Corn cut off cob for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner Back of knife scraping the corn cob for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

Corn kernels cut off cob for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

Fresh corn kernels in measuring cup for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

Can I use frozen corn?

Yes, you can use frozen corn.  You will probably need to get about 30-40 ounces.  You could also use canned corn, but I prefer fresh or frozen.  If you use canned, be sure to drain and rinse it.  If you use frozen, add it to the pan frozen since it thaws very quickly.  You may need to cook any excess water from the frozen package off in the pan.

Using Jalapeno

I love the flavor and the heat that the jalapeno peppers brings to the creamy corn.  However, if you are not a fan of spice, then you can either leave it out altogether or go very light with it.  First, cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise.  Then using a spoon, carefully scrape out the seeds and discard them.  The seeds have most of the heat.  Then thinly slice the pepper and finally thinly dice.  You can start by adding a teaspoon and working your way up.  If you love the spice, add the entire diced pepper!

COOK YOUR CREAMY CORN & BLACKENED CHICKEN 

Preheat a large frying pan or skillet on high heat. Add the olive oil and then the seasoned chicken and cook for 5 minutes on the first side to get it really blackened. Then flip the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes until cooked through. Then transfer the chicken and it’s juices to a plate/bowl.

Blackened chicken in pan for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

To the same pan, add another tsp of olive oil, along with the garlic, red pepper, and jalapeno. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the peppers start to glisten and then add the corn. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add the broth and the remaining seasoning mix, then let it come up to a simmer.

Diced red pepper, jalapeno, and garlic in pan for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

Corn and red peppers in pan for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

Seasoning on top of cream corn in pan for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

While that is cooking, make the slurry be whisking the cornstarch into the cold milk. Whisk the slurry into the corn and continue to stir as it starts to thicken.

Cream Corn cooking in pan for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner

Add the chicken back and sprinkle the crumbled cheese on top. 

Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken with feta and cilantro on top in a pan.

What is Cotija Cheese?  Can I use something else?

Cotija is a cow’s milk hard cheese that’s deliciously salty.  It originated in Mexico, in the town of Cotija, Michoacán.  Ideally, you want to crumble it up on top so if you can find it in a block form or already crumbled, that is best.  Sometimes it may be grated, which is okay, but I prefer chunks of salty bites.  If you cannot find Cotija, you can substitute with Feta cheese, which has a similar texture and salty bite.

Can I make this ahead and freeze or reheat?

Yes and no.  Corn freezes well fresh, but can be mushy if frozen in this cream sauce.  I recommend freezing the corn separate from the sauce; however, for best results.  You can make the sauce with the peppers and freeze it.  Then thaw the sauce, cook the corn directly from the freezer, and add the sauce.  The chicken can coated with the spices and frozen raw or cooked and then frozen.  If raw, thaw it in the fridge 24 hours in advance and then sear it in the pan as per the instructions.  If frozen cooked, thaw in the fridge overnight or in the oven 350F degrees for 20 minutes or until center is warmed through.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken with feta and cilantro on top on a plate with fork.

One Pan Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken

This Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner is easy to make and scrumptious to eat.  The creamy corn is rich, creamy, savory, slightly sweet, and slightly smokey.  The blackened chicken is coated with warm spices like chili powder, paprika, and cumin that bring huge flavor, but not a lot of heat.  It finishes with a delicious salty bite from the cotija cheese.  It's truly a perfect dinner! #creamedcorn #skilletchicken #blackenedchicken #chickenandcorn #chickendinner #creamycorn

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, corn, one pan meal
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 382 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 lb chicken breast skinless, boneless
  • 2 tsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp salt

Other Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 Bell Red Pepper
  • 1/2-1 Jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese (or feta)
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Make Spice mixture in a small bowl with the chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and salt. You will be saving 1 tsp for the sauce and the rest for the chicken.

    Five spices sectioned in a bowl for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner
  2. Cut chicken breasts into 4-6 pieces each and rub the spice mix all over, saving 1 tsp for the sauce later.

    Raw chicken pieces coated in spice mixture for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner
  3. Clean the corn. Remove the husks and any remaining corn silk. Then rinse the corn and gently cut off the kernels using a sharp knife. After the kernels have been removed, use the back of the knife to press and scrape down the ear to remove any of the remaining kernel and the 'cream' that is left behind.

    Back of knife scraping the corn cob for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner
  4. Dice the jalapeno and the red pepper

Cook

  1. Preheat a large frying pan or skillet on high heat. Add the olive oil and then the seasoned chicken and cook for 5 minutes on the first side to get it really blackened. Then flip the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes until cooked through. Then transfer the chicken and it's juices to a plate/bowl.

    Blackened chicken in pan for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner
  2. To the same pan, add another tsp of olive oil, along with the garlic, red pepper, and jalapeno. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the peppers start to glisten and then add the corn. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add the broth and the remaining tsp of seasoning mix. Bring to a simmer.

    Seasoning on top of cream corn in pan for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner
  3. While that is cooking, make the slurry be whisking the cornstarch into the cold milk. Whisk the slurry into the corn and continue to stir as it starts to thicken.

    Cream Corn cooking in pan for Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner
  4. Add the chicken back and sprinkle the crumbled cheese on top. Garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy!

    Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken with feta and cilantro on top in a pan.