This lighter fettuccine still delivers the cheesy, creamy goodness we crave – The Denver Post

Some recipes designated as “skinny” will swap more-caloric ingredients for ones that are less dear, and from my testing trials, I can say it’s an approach that does not always deserve a starred rating. Now, omnivores who are intent on health-conscious eating can make peace with trade-offs in lip-smacking satisfaction, but I have yet to master the art.

Better for me to follow the path set by registered dietitian, nutritionist and author Ellie Krieger. She often blends those caloric components in judicious amounts, emphasizing other ingredients that heighten flavor.

That’s precisely what this pantry-friendly recipe is about. It calls for butter, umami-blessed cheese and creamy dairy, but not so much of each. A tumble of fresh, finely chopped herbs gives the dish its essence even as it lightens the overall effect. Sauteed garlic and the starchy cohort of pasta cooking water complete just enough of a sauce to coat a slightly thicker noodle like fettuccine.

All the good stuff, for under 500 calories per serving.

Creamy Fettuccine with Garlic and Herbs

20 minutes

2 servings

Sometimes, you just want to tuck into a simple bowl of pasta. This one clocks in at under 500 calories per portion. I’m partial to an herb combo of chives, dill and parsley here.

Serve with a side of sliced ripe tomatoes, or grilled mushrooms and peppers.

NOTE: If garlic is not your friend, you can use 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot instead.


  • Kosher salt
  • 6 ounces fettuccine (may substitute spinach fettuccine)
  • One (1-ounce) block Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Leaves from 6 stems parsley (flat-leaf or curly)
  • About 12 basil leaves (may substitute 12 short stems chives)
  • Leaves from 2 stems thyme (may substitute fronds from 2 large stems dill)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional; may substitute small pinch freshly grated nutmeg)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add a few generous pinches of salt, then the pasta; cook according to the package directions (about 8 minutes), until al dente.