A rich, creamy Low Sodium Alfredo Sauce? Yes, it is still possible to enjoy the nearly decadent cheesy pasta sauce. With just a few changes it will be substantially reduced the sodium and greatly cut the fat content compared to jarred and other recipe sauces. The best part can generally be made while your pasta cooks in just a few minutes.
The flavor is different than what you may be used to out of a jar. As you will be using more natural ingredients along with real cheese and chucking all those processed ingredients. It will also taste somewhat different because you are not using Parmasen as a base cheese. But it tastes very close and still makes and excellent sauce.
|Typical sodium amount per serving||390 mg|
|Sodium per serving for this recipe||73 mg|
|Calories per serving||206|
Alfredo sauce out the jar has 390 mg of sodium per 1/4 cup serving and many recipes are almost double that. Since my per meal budget is 250 mg of sodium once again this is way out of my range. With my low sodium Alfredo sauce I am once again enjoying this creamy sauce with only 73 mg of sodium per ¼ cup.
But here is where it gets slightly tricky. I listed 1/4 cup servings so it can compare side by side with the jarred sauce. I think 1/4 cup of sauce is pretty light serving with a plate of noodles and chicken or broccoli. But even if I use two servings it is only 146 mg of sodium to sauce the meal. Still well below my sodium budget.
CHANGES I MADE TO MAKE LOW SODIUM LOWER FAT ALFREDO SAUCE
One is obviously to leave out any added salt, but then we have to go further.
Many recipes use salted butter to melt and mix and I was going to use unsalted. But, I also wanted to reduce the fat content so I opted for using extra virgin olive oil. I figured it is used in pasta dishes all the time, so it can’t hurt. Plus, it reduces the saturated fat content and has a healthier fat content then butter.
Second for reducing the sodium I used Trader Joe’s Swiss + Gruyere shredded cheese having only 55 mg of sodium per ¼ cup. Swiss + Gruyere shredded cheese is the lowest sodium shredded cheese that I have found and the Trader Joe’s brand the lowest of brands that I have seen. Most brands should be close though so check your package.
Parmesan is generally regarded as a low sodium cheese, but when used in bulk for a recipe like this, the sodium really adds up. You will notice a change in flavor because the Parmesan isn’t the main component anymore, but the Gruyere does a pretty good imitation. The Swiss + Gruyere is also a nice meltable cheese.
I did add 2 ounces (about 4Tbsp) Mascarpone cheese to help give it an even creamier texture and it helped wonderfully. At only 5 mg sodium per tablespoon it hardly adds any sodium to your serving. Read my review of cream cheese alternative Mascarpone.
To further reduce the fat content I use Half & Half cream instead of the usual heavy whipping cream called for. The total and saturated fat savings appear to be considerable. The sodium in half and half is a bit higher, but since I cut so much sodium out already I thought it best to cut a huge portion of the saturated fat.
MY TIPS FOR MAKING ALFREDO SAUCE
Using a whisk is better than a spatula to help avoid the Alfredo sauce from separating. Be sure to constantly whisk when adding cheeses. You may have a bit of olive oil that does not fully incorporate into the mix that’s OK. It’s a pasta dish!
I like to add Mascarpone cheese to my Alfredo for an extra creamy flavor and texture.
The two cheeses are the key ingredients for making this Alfredo Sauce thick and creamy. But you can also adjust the thickness by adding small amounts of cream for somewhat thinner or a cream and cornstarch slurry (a tablespoon of each) for a thicker consistency.
Do not boil or overheat. Boiling will cause the sauce to separate and also possibly curdling the cream and ruin the Alfredo sauce. A low side of medium heat should be fine. Add cheeses in small, spread out batches and let it melt down.
When serving Alfredo sauce with a pasta use a noodle that is thicker and larger such as a fettuccine or shells that can soak up and hold the rich, thick and creamy sauce. Regular spaghetti noodles do not hold sauce well.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT ALFREDO SAUCE
It is always best to serve the low sodium Alfredo sauce immediately and to use it all but:
Store Alfredo Sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator and it should last in the fridge for about 5 days. It will thicken in the chill of the fridge but should reheat nicely.
Alfredo Sauce does not freeze well. Because of the oil, cream and cheeses in it, it will separate when freezing.
When reheating in a pan a slow, low temperatures and stirring often is best. If it starts to separate, continue to slowly stir or whisk it back together over low heat.
While it is best not to microwave this sauce. I have done it when poured over left overs. Although it does tend becomes more oily and separates more easily, I just stir the whole dish together and it’s not really noticeable.
As always, please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! I get motivated when I hear from you and am interested to learn about how you liked and served your Low Sodium Alfredo Sauce. Also, please leave a comment or rating and share any tips you might have. Enjoy!
Low Sodium Alfredo Sauce
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp pre-minced garlic
- 1 cup cream half and half
- 2 ounces Mascarpone cream cheese 4 Tablespoons
- 1 cup Swiss + Gruyere shredded cheese
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning salt free
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- In a medium to small saucepan over medium heat add olive oil till hot. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to just below medium.
- Add cream, when warmed slowly add cream cheese and Swiss + Gruyere shredded cheese. Cook over medium low heat and whisk until melted.
- Add Italian seasoning and pepper. Continue to whisk until smooth.
- Simmer and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes or until it starts to thicken.
- Serve immediately and toss it with your pasta!
Nutrition Information – The information shown is provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be substituted for a doctors or nutritionist’s advice.