|Chicken Alfredo Bake with Broccoli|
An Atkins Induction Recipe
Since I'm gluten free now, I don't do Dreamsfield pasta anymore, so traditional Chicken Alfredo with semolina pasta has been off the menu since I discovered I have celiac disease.
I don't care much for gluten-free low-carb pastas, so I'm always experimenting with new ways to use Alfredo sauce without having to eat a lot of carbs.
We really, really like Alfredo sauce.
How about you?
I can still remember how much I enjoyed it when one of my sons made Chicken Alfredo using a package of McCormick Alfredo Sauce mix. But you know what? That rich and creamy sauce spiked with freshly grated Parmesan, is what I really remember from that first experience. I have no idea what type of noodles my son used. It was the Alfredo sauce that made the dish memorable.
So, with that in mind:
I set to work creating this ultra-simple Induction-friendly Chicken Alfredo Bake that's good enough to serve to company, yet is so quick and easy, that you'll want to make it a work-day staple.
Low-Carb Alfredo Sauce is Quite Versatile
I never realized just how versatile low-carb Alfredo sauce could be until I tried using it in this casserole. In fact, the ingredients are nothing more than a short list of common low-carb foods, so there's no reason not to use it as the base for all sorts of sauces, gravies, and dishes.
If you leave out the Parmesan cheese, this recipe can become the base for all sorts of creamy soups or sauces, including:
- cream of mushroom soup
- cream of chicken soup
- cream of celery soup
- a simple white sauce
- sausage or bacon gravy
- chicken or country-type gravy
- basic cheese sauce
Once I started to make a list of all the things I could do with this recipe, I was amazed at how many things I came up with in only 5 minutes. This basic Alfredo sauce is definitely going to pop up in my cooking a lot more often, now that I've realized just how versatile this low-carb sauce actually is.
If you happen to like low-carb gluten-free pastas, or if you are not sensitive to wheat protein and can do the Dreamsfield variety, you'll definitely want to make this sauce using sharp cheddar cheese for the best mac-and-cheese sauce you've ever tasted!
Low-Carb Alfredo Sauce RecipeI decided to separate the Alfredo sauce recipe from the low-carb casserole, so I can link back to it as needed. This is double the amount of the old recipe because I'm no longer doing low fat.
This makes a little more than 1 cup of low-carb Alfredo sauce. It's plenty for the chicken and broccoli, but if you want enough to use over low-carb pasta or spiralized zucchini or turnips, you'll want to double the recipe.
The addition of cream cheese is not traditional. In general, a true Alfredo is made with lots of rich butter and heavy cream, so a chef would cringe at what I did here, but that cream cheese really perks up the flavor of the sauce and adds to the overall thickness and volume. I used an off-brand cream cheese that we get at Costco, but you can use Philly if you prefer.
If you think the sauce is too thick, simply add a little more heavy cream or water. It will thicken the longer you simmer it. For the casserole below, however, you definitely want a very thick sauce because the moisture from the broccoli, or whatever vegetable you choose, will thin out the sauce quite a bit while it bakes.
Freshly grated Parmesan (you can actually buy this pre-grated at your local grocery store or in a huge container at Costco) makes a silky smooth sauce, but the dried canned stuff will also work. The finished sauce will just be a bit on the gritty side since canned Parmesan is dried and powdered.
Alfredo Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a heavy saucepan or skillet, melt the butter.
- Once melted, add the cream cheese cubes and stir for a couple of minutes, squashing them a bit as the cheese melts. The cream cheese won't melt completely, it will still be lumpy, but the sauce will smooth out once you add the cream.
- Add the heavy whipping cream to the bubbly mixture in the pan and stir until the sauce is nice and smooth.
- Sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is as thick as you like.
Both the cream and cheese will cause the sauce to thicken as it cooks, and it will continue to thicken even more as it cools, so keep that in mind when deciding whether you need to thin it down a bit. If you get it too thin, just cook it a little longer and it will thicken back up.
Chicken Alfredo Bake
- 2 to 3 cups of frozen broccoli, or California veggie mix
- 2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or legs and thighs
- 1 recipe of Alfredo Sauce (above)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the frozen vegetables in the bottom of a greased baking dish. You want the vegetables in one single layer.
- Top the frozen vegetables with your uncooked chicken pieces.
- Pour the Alfredo sauce over the top of the chicken and vegetables.
- Cover tightly with foil.
- Bake chicken breast for 40 minutes; legs or thighs will take an hour.
Hubby doesn't like vegetables very much, although he'll eat them. However, he loved the way the Alfredo sauce mixed with the broccoli tasted. This is similar to pouring cheese sauce over steamed broccoli, but better, because you get chicken juices mixing into the sauce as it bakes and the vegetables and sauce all bake up together.
He went back for a second helping of just the vegetables, which he never does. However, he really loves vegetables topped with cheese sauce, so that might have contributed to his response.
I normally don't put anything else with this Chicken Alfredo Bake, but if you are eating at a higher carb level than Atkins Induction, you can include a nice crisp lettuce salad or bowl of fresh strawberries with a spoonful of real whipped cream.
I honestly think this casserole would work with any vegetable you like. Green beans, mushrooms, spinach, or even cauliflower would turn out well. I haven't tried doing this with pork chops or chopped ham, but I don't see why that wouldn't work, too.
One of the benefits of low carb is its versatility. Just sub out the chicken and broccoli for whatever meat and frozen vegetables you have on hand.
Additional Recipes You May Like to Try:How to Make the Perfect Low-Carb Salad (Includes a variety of homemade salad dressings)
Easy Induction-Friendly Taco Salad (Includes recipe for homemade sugar-free taco seasoning mix and homemade salsa)
Pork Chops with Creamy Low-Carb Mushroom Gravy
Easy Oven-Fried Fish Fillets
Indoor-Grilled Lemon-Herb Marinated Chicken Breasts