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!

Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

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Chili Mac and Cheese on a plate with fork.  This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

This Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is a no-apologies meal that layers indulgence on top of indulgence and then garnishes with a bit more indulgence.  It has a super creamy and cheesy curly pasta on the bottom that lays a perfect foundation.  Then it’s topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili filled with tomatoes, onions, and carrots for layers of sweet and savory flavors.  Both the mac and cheese and the chili are super easy to make.  They can be made ahead and then reheated, making them great for weeknight dinners. 

This recipe is also a great one to make directly from your freezer and pantry!  The chili can be cooked ahead and frozen to pull out, warm, and add to mac and cheese any time you want!  Click here to get lots more Freezer Hacks to make easy dinners!

Scooping Chili out of pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Substitutes – Because you don’t have time to worry!

With our crazy schedules and limited time, you sometimes have to make do with whatever you have in the house, so here are your swaps and substitutes!

Chili Subs

  • Ground Beef – you can easily sub with ground turkey or chicken here!  I use 90% lean beef, but you can use any fat content.  You can also ADD chorizo or ground pork.
  • Seasonings – Feel free to use a Chili Spice mix you like, just taste for salt and pepper.  Paprika and Cayenne are optional, but I find they really boost the smokiness and give a bit of heat.  You can also add more of both of these!
  • Veggies – I use mirepoix for this recipe – onion, carrot, and celery – which bring the right amount of sugar and flavor.  You could eliminate the carrot and celery, but the onion is a must as it brings so much flavor!  You can also add in green or red pepper!

Mac and Cheese Subs

  • Pasta – I suggest using a short-cut curly pasta, such as Rotini, Fusilli,  or Riccioli.  These will hold the cheese and chili in every nook and cranny.  You can also use tube-cut pastas, such as Penne, Rigatti, or even elbows.  Frankly, any pasta will taste great, if you don’t have any of these!
  • Cheese – I prefer to shred my own aged cheddar for homemade mac and cheese.  I find that a little goes a long way for deep cheesy flavor and it melts perfectly smooth and creamy!  Any cheddar you have on hand can be used for shredding.  You could also use Fontina, Monterey Jack.  You can also use a pre-shredded cheese.

Here are a couple other comforting family dinners to try:  Shell Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage and Kale  or Easy Cottage Pie with Beef & Chorizo!

Chili Mac and Cheese on a plate with fork. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

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 2 pots for this recipe, unless you make the Chili a day or more ahead. For the Chili, you need a large (5-6 quart) pot with lid that can go from the stove to the oven. My prized possession dutch oven was perfect for this! Or any good quality enameled cast iron 5-6 quart dutch oven with lid is great. For the pasta, any large pot to boil the water and cook the pasta will work!

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR CHILI MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE

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… (Full recipe below!) 

For this recipe, you can either just prep the veggies and seasonings or make the Chili entirely ahead, as it reheats perfectly!  In fact, you can make it months ahead and freeze too!

For the veggies…Dice the onion, carrots, and celery. Remove the skin and mince the garlic cloves. 

Diced onion, celery, and carrots Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Measure out your seasonings and spices, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, and Paprika.

Spices for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

If your cheese is not shredded, you can also shred that ahead of time.

At this point, you can either make the chili in advance and store it in the fridge/freezer or you can stop for today and pick up cooking in the next couple days! 

COOK YOUR CHILI! 

Preheat your dutch oven or large pot (with lid) on high. Drizzle in a tsp of Olive Oil and then add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it apart so that it can all cook evenly. Let it brown without touching it for 4-5 minutes. Once you see the pink starting to disappear, you can stir the meat so that it browns and cooks on all sides.

Beef cooking in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

When the meat is fully browned, add the garlic, carrots, onions, and celery. Stir to combine and start to cook the veggies. Cook for 5 minutes.

Veggies and beef in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Next add the Seasonings, broth, diced tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Stir again and then cover and simmer for 20-60 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes. (The longer you cook this, the more the ingredients will meld together and become one amazing chili!)

Diced tomatoes and beef in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Adding tomato paste to chili pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

COOK YOUR MAC AND CHEESE 

For the pasta, I recommend a short curly variety, such as Rotini, Fusilli, or this fun Riccioli.

Boil the pasta until al dente (about 5-10 minutes depending on the pasta). Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer or transfer to a large mixing bowl until the sauce is ready.

In a small pot or in the microwave, warm up the milk (do not boil).

Make your roux by adding 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour to a preheated pan (heated to medium, not high heat). Whisk the butter and flour together as the butter melts.

Butter and flour in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Once they are fully combined, slowly pour in the milk, whisking the entire time to incorporate it into the roux and prevent lumps from forming.  Bring the sauce up to a simmer so that it starts to thicken.  You can test the sauce by coating the back of a spoon and running your finger through it.  If it leaves a trail, you’re set.

Adding slurry to roux for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

sauce with whisk and spoon for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

When the sauce is thickened, stir in the cheese until you have a smooth cheese sauce.

Adding cheese to sauce for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Whisking cheese sauce for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Either add the pasta to the sauce or pour the sauce over the pasta in a bowl and fold it in to coat each pasta.

Pouring Cheese sauce over pasta for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Mixed Mac and Cheese for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

To serve, simply add a heaping scoop of mac and cheese to each plate, then top with an equally heaping scoop of chili! Sprinkle cheese on top and dig in!

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Ladling Chili over Mac and Cheese on a plate. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Beef Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

This Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is a no-apologies meal that layers indulgence on top of indulgence and then garnishes with a bit more indulgence.  It has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili.  Both the mac and cheese and the chili are super easy to make.  They can be made ahead and then reheated, making them great for weeknight dinners.  #macandcheese #chilirecipes #familydinnerideas #easydinners #comfortfood

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chili, easy dinner, ground beef, Mac and cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Chili

  • 1 lb ground lean beef, 90% lean raised without antibiotics
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 28 oz Diced Tomatoes (whole peeled tomatoes in sauce or crushed tomatoes are fine too.)
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth (vegetable stock is fine too)

Mac and Cheese

  • 10 oz Dry Curly Pasta
  • 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Salted Butter
  • 1.5 cups Milk warmed
  • 4-6 oz Shredded Cheddar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Dice the onion, carrots, and celery. Remove the skin and mince the garlic cloves.

    Diced onion, celery, and carrots Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  2. Measure out your seasonings and spices, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, and Paprika.

    Spices for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  3. If your cheese is not shredded, you can also shred that ahead of time.

  4. At this point, you can either make the chili in advance and store it in the fridge/freezer or you can stop for today and pick up cooking in the next couple days!

Cook your Chili

  1. Preheat your dutch oven or large pot (with lid) on high. Drizzle in a tsp of Olive Oil and then add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it apart so that it can all cook evenly. Let it brown without touching it for 4-5 minutes. Once you see the pink starting to disappear, you can stir the meat so that it browns and cooks on all sides.

    Beef cooking in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  2. When the meat is fully browned, add the garlic, carrots, onions, and celery. Stir to combine and start to cook the veggies. Cook for 5 minutes.

    Veggies and beef in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  3. Next add the Seasonings, broth, diced tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Stir again and then cover and simmer for 20-60 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes. (The longer you cook this, the more the ingredients will meld together and become one amazing chili!)

    Adding tomato paste to chili pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Cook your Mac and Cheese

  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's all immersed in the water and doesn't stick it itself. Boil the pasta until al dente (about 5-10 minutes depending on the pasta). Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer or transfer to a large mixing bowl until the sauce is ready.

  2. In a small pot or in the microwave, warm up the milk (do not boil).

  3. Make your roux by adding 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour to a preheated pan (heated to medium, not high heat). Whisk the butter and flour together as the butter melts. Once they are fully combined, slowly pour in the milk, whisking the entire time to incorporate it into the roux and prevent lumps from forming.

    Adding slurry to roux for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  4. Bring the sauce up to a simmer so that it starts to thicken.  You can test the sauce by coating the back of a spoon and running your finger through it.  If it leaves a trail, you're set.

    sauce with whisk and spoon for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  5. When the sauce is thickened, stir in the cheese until you have a smooth cheese sauce.

    Adding cheese to sauce for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  6. Either add the pasta to the sauce or pour the sauce over the pasta in a bowl and fold it in to coat each pasta

    Pouring Cheese sauce over pasta for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Serve!

  1. Simply add a heaping scoop of mac and cheese to each plate, then top with an equally heaping scoop of chili! Sprinkle cheese on top and dig in!

    Ladling Chili over Mac and Cheese on a plate. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes