Chicken Alfredo is a dish that I had not eaten in years! Even before I started eating gluten free, dairy and cheese used to sit heavily on my stomach so I always used to order pasta with red sauce. And now in my Paleo and AIP world, tomato sauce is a big ‘no’. This change caused me to go back to Alfredo sauce as I knew I could try to create a paleo version of it reasonably easily.
And I have been creating different versions of Chicken Alfredo pasta – using spaghetti squash noodles or zucchini noodles as the pasta. But now that grain free pasta and grain free spaghetti noodles are available (thanks to Jovial foods!), I have started making Chicken Alfredo using those and the best part is that it’s a quick and easy dinner for the whole family!
Some Tips for making this dish:
- To make the sauce creamier, I like to blend soaked cashew nuts with the coconut milk. This not only makes the sauce richer but it also gives it an extra creaminess and deliciousness! If you are on AIP and not yet reintroduced nuts, then you can omit them.
- Another tip is to cook the noodles or the pasta only after the chicken and the sauce are ready. this is because if you cook the pasta in advance, its texture can change if kept in strainer for too long (it can get sticky and clumpy).
- As I mentioned before, you can replace the grain free noodles with other keto options like zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
I also recorded a video of this recipe for a step by step tutorial:
- Chicken Thighs (boneless) or Chicken breasts, about 1.5 lbs, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 2 strips of uncured bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 2 cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 10 cashew nuts, soaked in hot water for atleast 30 mins (omit for AIP)
- ¼ cup hot water
- 2 cans (13.5 fl oz each) Native Forest Simple Coconut Milk, thawed - about 3 cups
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 pack grain free spaghetti noodles (Jovial)
- or 1.5 lb spaghetti squash or 4 large zucchini, spiralized
- In a small bowl, add the salt, italian seasoning, garlic powder and black pepper (if adding(. Mix lightly using a spoon. Sprinkle a little bit of this mixture on top of the chicken pieces. Keep aside.
- Heat a large deep stainless steel pan and when hot add the oil. When the oil gets hot, add the chicken pieces to it. Try to keep the pieces separate so that they all get toasted on the bottom. Cook uncovered for 4-5 mins until they are golden brown on the bottom. Flip each piece using a fork and then cook for 2 more mins. Then using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken pieces form the pan and keep them in a plate.
- To the same pan, add the bacon and let cook for about 4 mins on medium and then add the onions and the garlic. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until the onions soften up a bit. Then add all the remaining spice blend and stir. Next add the mushrooms and stir fry for 2 more mins. Then add the broccoli and the chicken back to the pan and cover and cook on medium for about 5 minutes. Turn heat off.
- After making the sauce (described below), pour this sauce into the pan and bring slowly to a simmer. Add the freshly cooked pasta (described below) to the pan and gently toss to coat pasta with sauce. Turn heat off and serve while hot.
- Add the soaked cashew nuts to a blender or a food processor along with the hot water (omit this step for AIP) and blend for a couple minutes until you get a creamy paste. To this add the coconut milk (you may need to do this in portions depending upon the size of your blender) and the nutritional yeast until you get a creamy sauce consistency.
- If using Jovial pasta, cook according to package directions but cook only for 10 mins. Drain quickly using a strainer but reserve some of the liquid to add to the sauce.
- If using spaghetti squash, cook the spaghetti squash in an Instant Pot (pressure cook for 6 mins followed by a manual pressure release) or bake it in the oven at 400 F for 45 mins. Separate the noodles using a fork.
- If using zucchini, use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles