Recipe: Lighter Cajun Alfredo Pasta

Publix had lots of good deals on sausage last weekend for the Super Bowl, so we stocked up on a few kinds. My husband was thinking a Cajun Alfredo pasta would be great with the sausage, but of course, we are trying to be avoid such heavy meals. I set to work getting ideas and came up with this healthier version, which I was happy enough with. I still watched my portion and served with a very light salad. This recipe could have been lower calorie if I’d had skim milk on hand and chose a leaner meat, but overall, I think it was still a success, and definitely an improvement over using 1+ cups of whipping cream, tons of pasta, and hardly any veggies. It’s nice to sometimes have meals that don’t feel like diet food.

cajunpasta

Note: This meal is much creamier than the photo looks. The sauce settled to the bottom of the pan, and I didn’t stir enough when scooping my serving. If I’d waited a few minutes, it would have been even thicker/creamier.  It was a little hard to serve with fettuccine noodles. If you go that route, I’d recommend keeping the pasta separate and serving the veggies/sauce on top.

Lighter Cajun Alfredo Pasta

Makes 3 large servings

Ingredients:
6 ounce pasta (fettuccine or your preference)
3 hot Italian sausage links (can use chicken sausage or chicken for lighter meal), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 large summer squash, chopped
1.5 large bell peppers, chopped (any mix of colors)
1/2 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
3 green onions, green parts only diced
1 batch Cajun Alfredo sauce (recipe follows)

Directions:

  • Bring salted water to a boil in a large pan and cook pasta according to directions on package.
  • Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium-high.
  • Add onions and cook a few minutes. Add bell peppers and continue cooking 3 minutes.
  • Add sausage and cook until sausage is cooked through.
  • Add squash, zucchini, garlic, and tomato, and saute another 5-10 minutes until all veggies are softened but not soggy.
  • Add Cajun Alfredo sauce (you can cook it right in the skillet or in a separate pan), and green onions.
  • When sauce is thickened and everything is cooked and coated, let cool a few minutes to continue thickening, and then add the pasta right before you’re ready to eat. If you add pasta too soon, it can suck up all the sauce and be dry.

Cajun Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:
1 cup milk (this time I used 2%, but would use skim if I had it)
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
2 packets laughing cow lite cheese (any flavor)
1 tbsp lite cream cheese
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp parmesan garlic cheese

Directions:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smoothly incorporated.
  • In a small sauce pan, bring just to a boil, stirring frequently, until thickened.
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