Healthy Chicken Penne Alfredo #betterforyou

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Barilla, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #betterforyou”

About five years ago my husband and I decided to started eating a little healthier.  While we did not want to diet all the time we wanted to start making healthier choices about food.  One decision we made was to switch to using whole grain bread and wheat pasta.  We both grew up with white pasta and bread and weren’t sure about the switch to whole grain, but knew that it was the healthier choice.   We have been using whole grain bread and pasta ever since and find it is tastes just as good and allows us to eat healthier meals.
Since making the switch to healthier pastas, we always use Barilla Pasta.  You can find the Barilla Better for You Pastas at Ahold Grocery Stores, which include Giant Food Stores, Stop & Shop, Martin Food Stores, and Peapod.  We do our regular food shopping at Giant Food Stores and always get our Barilla pasta there.  I love that the Barilla Better for You Pastas have four different varieties: Whole Grain, Veggie, Plus-Yellow Box, and White Fiber.  Our favorites are the Veggie and Whole Grain pastas, but we use the Whole Grain pasta the most.
 With the Barilla Better for You Whole Grain pasta, we are able to make our meals healthier.  Plus the Barilla Whole Grain pasta tastes fantastic and I don’t really notice a difference between whole grain and white.  My favorite thing is that the Whole Grain pasts is so much better for you and we are able to give our son healthier food to get him started on the right track.
I decided to make a healthier pasta recipe using Barilla Whole Grain penne pasta.  I really like alfredo sauce but it is not very healthy for you.  I decided to make a healthier alfredo sauce using cauliflower.  That’s right! You can make alfredo sauce using cauliflowers. We all thought that the sauce tasted really good.  It had a different consistency that alfredo sauce but it tasted delicious and tasted great with the whole wheat pasta.  I really loved the fact that the sauce was made out of vegetables and my son had no idea, this is a great way to get your kids to eat tasty vegetables.
We added chicken and asparagus to the pasta, which gave it a great taste.  We cooked up chicken, but you can also cook chicken ahead of time or use leftover chicken to make this an easy meal.  Also if you don’t want to use asparagus, add the vegetable of your choice.  This pasta is a great and healthy dish and I really like the healthy alfredo sauce made from cauliflowers.  The healthier alfredo sauce goes perfect with the Barilla Whole Grain pasta.  The Healthy Chicken Penne Alfredo meal tasted fantastic! I hope you try this delicious meal!


Healthy Chicken Penne Alfredo


  • 1 box (13.25 ounces) Barilla Whole Wheat Penne
  • 1 pound chicken (about 3 boneless skinless breasts), cooked and cubed
  • 1 pound asparagus, cooked, and quartered
  • Healthy Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter (I used a healthier butter spread with olive oil)
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 3 cups chicken broth, low salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • Parsley (optional garnish)


  1. Boil water for the pasta and cook the Barilla Whole Grain pasta according to the directions on the box.
  2. Cook the chicken and the asparagus.
  3. Meanwhile clean the cauliflower head from the green leaves, and chop it into pieces. In a medium sized saucepan, boil the broth and cook the cauliflower pieces for 7-8 minutes or until soft.
  4. Saute the garlic in the butter on low until it is soft.
  5. In a blender, add the cauliflower, one cup of broth, the garlic, soy milk, and pepper. Puree and blend until smooth.
  6. Mix together the pasta, chicken, and asparagus. Serve with the alfredo sauce. Add additional pepper and parsley on top, if desired.
Cauliflower sauce recipe adapted from Going Cavewoman

You can buy Barilla Better for You Pasta at your nearby Ahold Brand Store.  Make sure to check out Barilla on Facebook.


  1. This looks so good! I love Alfredo too! But I am definitely going to try your cauliflower alfredo sauce, yum!

  2. I love new ways to use my favorite vegetables – asparagus being one of them. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love finding easy and healthy recipes online! This one is a keeper.
    I’m stopping by from Tatertots and Jello Link Party Palooza (#547 Awesome Guacamole) Have a great weekend!

  4. Alyssa,
    I love this recipe. I never thought to make a creamy sauce using cauliflower. What a great idea. I definitely have to try that sometime. Pinning and sharing on FB, Twitter and G+. Thanks so much for sharing at Marvelous Mondays!

  5. Your pasta looks delicious, what a fabulous dinner along with some salad! I love the Barilla whole wheat pasta and often use it too!

  6. Love pasta! Totally pinned

  7. I love a healthy pasta recipe!! Us food bloggers need a break from the heavy food every once in a while! Thank for linking up to Wake Up Wednesdays. I pinned this post to our Linky Pin Board.

  8. LOVE LOVE pasta and Barilla is our go-to

  9. Yum! That looks delicious, and I can eat it 🙂

  10. This would be such a hit at our dinner table! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  11. This looks great – I’m always looking for healthier recipes – pinned!

  12. This sounds great but I’m not a fan of cauliflower. How strong is the flavor, or is it masked really well?

    • I didn’t think the cauliflower flavor was too strong. It definitely tasted different than alfredo sauce. I think it depends, if you really don’t like the taste of cauliflower you may not like it. If it is other things about the cauliflower, it may be worth a try.


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