Recipe: Healthy Shrimp Alfredo

Dinner Recipes, Seafood Recipes

By: Deborah Murphy, MS, RD, LDN

If you’re trying to eat healthier, heavy pasta dishes like traditional shrimp alfredo are likely on your no-no list. However, this healthy shrimp alfredo made with our delicious low calorie alfredo sauce means you can enjoy alfredo and still reach your health goals!

We all love a big bowl of pasta, but hate that heavy lethargic feeling afterward. This low-calorie shrimp alfredo recipe is a low-fat version of classic alfredo sauce served over a bed of zucchini noodles topped with a hearty serving of tender shrimp. This simple swap may change the way you think of pasta!

A healthy and easy dinner meal that takes under 30 minutes to make that the whole family will love.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Fresh Shrimp: use fresh or frozen shrimp for your shrimp alfredo. For quick and easy prep, buy shrimp that has already been peeled, deveined, and tails removed. If using frozen, make sure to allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge first. 
  • Zucchini: make this a lower calorie dish by using zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta. For quicker prep, buy pre-spiralized zucchini noodles. 
  • Low Fat Milk and Cream Cheese: swap heavy cream with a low fat milk and a bit of cream cheese in this skinny alfredo sauce to make it lower in fat without sacrificing flavor. 
  • Parmesan Cheese: since we lean on the parmesan to pack in a lot of flavor in this light alfredo sauce – buy a wedge of parmesan cheese and grate it yourself for the freshest flavor. Also, pre-grated parmesan doesn’t melt as well in the sauce. 
  • Garlic: for lots of garlic flavor, we prefer to use fresh garlic, but you can use garlic powder in a pinch. We recommend using 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder. 
  • Fettuccine Pasta: reduce the total carbs and calories in the dish by using a combination of traditional and zucchini noodles. By using both, it’s the best of both worlds – you still get to enjoy some pasta, but your plate is still nice and full with the addition of the zucchini noodles.


  • Low Carb: make this low carb by using only zucchini noodles rather than a combination of both.
  • Swap the Protein: don’t like shrimp? You can easily substitute cooked chicken instead for a healthier chicken alfredo. 
  • Add more Veggies: add more fiber and make this a one pot meal by adding some steamed broccoli, cauliflower, peas, bell pepper, or green beans to this easy shrimp alfredo recipe when serving.

How to Make Healthy Shrimp Alfredo

side by side view of preparing alfredo sauce and cooking raw shrimp in skillet for healthy shrimp alfredo

If you are using any traditional pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook fettuccine according to the package directions. (Otherwise, you can skip this step.)

Meanwhile, melt butter and garlic together in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes to remove any lumps and that floury taste. Gradually whisk in the milk until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, cream cheese,  parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, parsley, salt, pepper, and whisk until the cheese is melted.

side by side view of cooking healthy shrimp alfredo in skillet, and then shown prepared in serving bowl

Cook the raw shrimp 2-3 minutes and add the zucchini noodles in the last minute of cooking to soften. Add the creamy alfredo sauce (and cooked pasta if using) to the cooked shrimp and zucchini and toss everything together. Cook another minute or two to warm everything up. Garnish with additional parsley, parmesan, black pepper, and/or lemon zest.

Tools for this Recipe

  • Say goodbye to stale pre-grated parmesan cheese when you buy this cheese grater for fresh parmesan. We swear, the flavor of fresh grated parmesan is so much better!
  • This garlic press makes quick work of grating your garlic for recipes like this low calorie alfredo.
  • Investing in a skillet with tall sides makes it so much easier to whip up more healthy pasta recipes with shrimp or other proteins.
  • Kitchen tongs for tossing the pasta and shrimp together so that the sauce coats every morsel of this delicious shrimp fettuccine alfredo.

Leftovers and Storage

  • Refrigerator: store leftover skinny shrimp alfredo in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 3-4 days. For best results, reheat slowly over low heat on the stovetop. However, you can reheat it in the microwave if you are short on time.
  • Freezer: we don’t recommend freezing this dish as the sauce does not reheat well after freezing and the zucchini noodles release a lot of moisture, thinning out the alfredo sauce.

Is Low Calorie Shrimp Alfredo Healthy?

Yes, this low calorie shrimp alfredo can be a healthy option for a weeknight dinner meal. (Plus, it can be made in just about 20 minutes!) Our skinny alfredo with shrimp is less than 400 calories and provides 36 grams of protein to help fill you up.

serving of healthy shrimp alfredo prepared in white bowl with lemon slices

How Many Calories in Healthy Alfredo Sauce?

Alfredo sauce is an indulgent and rich pasta sauce that is traditionally made with plenty of heavy cream, butter, and parmesan cheese. A serving of most alfredo sauce recipes like this one from All Recipes can have as many as 439 calories for just the sauce – not the pasta and shrimp.

Our version uses less butter and lower fat dairy for a low calorie alfredo sauce that is still delicious. This healthy option has only 386 calories per serving of the whole dish (alfredo, zucchini pasta, and shrimp)!

Other Healthy Dinner Recipes to Explore

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 serving(s)


  • 2 servings dried fettuccine pasta (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups low fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (table salt is fine if you don't have kosher salt)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb medium sized shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 4 medium zucchinis, peeled & julienned or spiralized into noodles
  • To serve: additional parmesan cheese, grated parmesan, black pepper, lemon zest


  1. Make the Pasta: If using traditional pasta, bring water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Cook the fettuccine noodles according to package directions until al dente.
  2. Make the Alfredo Sauce: In a saucepan, heat butter on low until melted, add garlic, and cook for 2 minutes so garlic flavors the butter.
  3. Add the flour to the pan and whisk into the garlic and oil to form a paste. Gradually add in the milk over low heat; keep stirring until the sauce starts to thicken.
  4. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, parsley, salt, pepper, and whisk until everything the cheese is melted.
  5. Make the Shrimp: Spray a medium sized pan with cooking spray and add the shrimp, cook for 2 minutes. Add in zucchini noodles, and cook 3-5 more minutes until the zucchini is hot and shrimp are cooked.
  6. Combine: Add low-fat alfredo sauce to zucchini noodles and shrimp and let cook together for 2 minutes. Plate evenly into 4 servings and garnish with additional parmesan cheese and parsley!

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 386

Protein: 36 gram(s)

Fat: 18 gram(s)

Carbohydrates: 20 gram(s)

Fiber: 3 gram(s)

Sugar: 12 gram(s)

From the kitchen of:

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1 Comment

on Reply

I love this recipe, the spiralized veggies taste amazing! You really feel like you're an indulgent pasta dish.

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