Creamy & delicious Shrimp Alfredo without all the calories? How is this possible?
When testing out a few recipes, I really wanted to create one that was lower calorie, used fresh ingredients, and still tasted indulgent! To say I was shocked at how good this is, is an understatement. I think I actually jumped up and down. Seriously. I might have tried a back flip, but thankfully my better judgement kicked in and a trip to the hospital was avoided!
What I love most about this recipe is that you can use the "cream" base in so many different ways! This is like 25 recipes in one and I can't wait to hear what you do with our secret sauce!
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Don't forget to tag me @thesaltedpepper when you make this recipe or any variation of it. In fact, tag me just to say Hi! I love hearing from you and enjoy seeing your creations!
How to make Alfredo Sauce
Alfredo sauce is pretty simple to make and if you wanted to switch my guilt-free version to a more traditional alfredo sauce, you absolutely can.
There a few ways you can make an Alfredo sauce, but a true alfredo is made with butter and Parmesan cheese. Yep, you read that right... no cream. You don't even have to melt the butter, just cut it into small slices. The heat from the pasta melts the butter and the cheese and, with a little of the pasta water added, you end up with a delicious true Alfredo sauce.
This version reminds me of my Chicken Carbonara recipe except I use egg yolks and cheese instead of butter and cheese. It's another simple and delicious recipe, so check that one out too!
The more Americanized version, and the one you are probably more familiar with, is a cream-based sauce made with heavy cream, butter, and Parmesan. Sometimes garlic and nutmeg are added. This is super easy to make, too. Gently heat your butter and cream over a low heat and add in the cheese. Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is thick and creamy. That's it. Easy Peasy... but not exactly guilt-free.
Some alfredo sauces even start with a blonde roux. Meaning that equal parts of butter and flour are cooked over a medium heat for several minutes until all the flour has absorbed the butter and the flour has had a few minutes to cook. Raw flour tastes horrible, so it has to be cooked for a few minutes or your sauce will taste like flour. Not good.
Once the roux is made, you slowly add your cream until you have a thick and creamy sauce. Add in the cheese, stir to melt, and done. You can lighten this one up by using 2 parts chicken stock and 1 part cream instead of all cream. I have done that many times.
Other additions are garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg. I think roasted garlic is always a welcome addition to cream sauces and I'll tell you how to do that next!
How to Roast Garlic in the Ninja Foodi
I roast garlic all the time! I love it and it adds so much flavor to so many dishes. I think it is one of the reasons my spaghetti recipe gets rave reviews and tons of shares. It is really good!
You can roast as many garlic bulbs as you want at the same time and here is how you do it:
Cut the top off of the garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil. Place all the bulbs in a foil packet. Put them on the rack in the low position in the Ninja Foodi.
Set the Bake/Roast to 325 ° F for 35 minutes. Done!
You can store the garlic for at least a week in the fridge, just let it cool and place it in a sealed container. You can also make a garlic paste out of it and freeze it.
Guilt-Free Alfredo Sauce
You can watch me make this dish in my step-by-step video: Guilt-Free Shrimp Alfredo in the Ninja Foodi
The secret to my guilt-free shrimp alfredo is the alfredo sauce itself and it all starts with this super star ingredient... cauliflower. I've always liked cauliflower, but never knew just how magical it can be.
It seems that cauliflower is being used to make all kinds of things, like pizza crusts, "rice", mashed "potatoes," and I even use it in this delicious Roasted Cauliflower "Potato" Salad. It really takes on all the flavors in the salad and you feel like you are eating a loaded baked potato salad.
Now that you know the secret to this incredible Guilt-Free Shrimp Alfredo, let's get to making it!
How do you make Alfredo Sauce with cauliflower?
If you have the Ninja Foodi or any type of pressure cooker it is so easy! Remove the florets from the head of cauliflower and put into the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi. Add in 1 cup of water, roasted garlic, ½ tsp of salt and ½ Tbsp of Minors Vegetable Base. If you haven't tried Minors brand bases, I really recommend them! A little goes a long way and they pack in the flavor for sure.
You can also use chicken stock in place of the water and the vegetable base.
Put the pressure lid on and set the valve to seal. Set the pressure to high for 10 minutes. Immediately release the pressure. Remove the lid and either use an immersion blender or you can transfer the contents of the inner pot to a blender.
I absolutely love my immersion blender and it's design. I had one before that was less expensive and it did the job just fine, but it was hard to clean and water got trapped in places causing it to rust. It had a plastic covering around the blades, which was nice for use in non-stick pots, but, since it rusted, I was no longer comfortable using it.
During Amazon Prime Day, I saw one on sale and grabbed. So far, it has been great. I love the all metal design and the detachable end that is all one piece for easy cleaning. You can find the one I have right here → Utalent Immersion Hand Blender
Blend the cauliflower and liquid until it becomes smooth. This just takes a minute or so. When using a blender, you may want to let the sauce cool down some before opening the lid to avoid any accidental spray. I use my immersion blender right in the inner pot, but I am careful.
If you are not comfortable with blending in the inner pot, just transfer the contents into another deep container and use the immersion blender in that container.
This is the base for our shrimp alfredo sauce, I call it cauliflower cream. This "cream" can be used in so many ways and I'll share some suggestions with you in just a bit.
How to make Shrimp Alfredo in the Ninja Foodi
Now that the "cream" is made, the rest of the dish comes together quickly and easily! I usually do all my prep work while the cauliflower is cooking.
Thaw and remove the shells from your large shrimp. I like to keep them in ice water or in the fridge until just before I add them in. Keep the shells and freeze them. When you have shells from a few pounds of shrimp, make shrimp stock, and then make this wonderful Shrimp Scampi Recipe!
Make the zucchini noodles. You can do this in various ways. If you have a spiralizer, you can use that. You can even hand cut them, although that takes time. My favorite way to make zucchini noodles is using my Veggie Strip Maker from Pampered Chef. I love this thing! It's lightweight, easy to clean, stores in a drawer, and makes the perfect size zoodles for this Shrimp Alfredo!
I also use it for shredding cabbage, making carrot strips for salads, shredding lettuce, and so many other things. You can even use it to shred eggs for egg salad. The blades are plastic and don't cut you either! Can you tell I'm a fan of it?
The price is right too! It's only $15.00!!! If you are interested in getting one, you might also want to check out the other Pampered Chef tools I love and use with the Ninja Foodi all the time. Here is the article I wrote: 11 Best Accessories for the Ninja Foodi
Pull it all together. Heat your cauliflower "cream" up, using the sear/sauté on medium, if it has cooled down. Add the Asiago cheese and the cream. Stir until incorporated. You can use Parmesan cheese if you prefer, but the Asiago cheese really adds great flavor, I think just a touch better than Parmesan.
Put the raw shrimp in and stir. Try to get the hot sauce covering the shrimp. We are going to cook the shrimp with the residual heat from the sauce.
Place the zucchini noodles in a oven safe container that will fit on the rack. I like to use cake pans from Fat Daddio. The one I used in the video is a 6" Fat Daddio pan, but if you are making 4 servings of zoodles you will need to use something bigger, like the 8" Fat Daddio Pan.
Season them with salt and pepper and spritz with olive oil. I had almost given up on oil sprayers until someone recommended the EVO oil sprayer and I LOVE it! I use one for olive oil and one for vegetable oil. Give them a toss and place the pan on the rack in the low position over the cream sauce.
Put the TenderCrisp lid down and turn on the Broil function. Broil for a few minutes and toss the zoodles again so they cook evenly. Continue Broiling until they are the desired texture. I like mine al dente, and this took about 6 minutes.
Plate and top with freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese. You can even add some fresh cracked black pepper or a few red pepper flakes if you want to spice it up!
What can I make with the Cauliflower "Cream?"
The possibilities are endless! Here are a few suggestions that I think would be fantastic!
Use the cauliflower "cream" in place of the milk or cream as the base for macaroni and cheese.
Add pesto to the cauliflower "cream" and use it to make Pesto Chicken
Instead of mixing in Asiago cheese, use Swiss instead and a little milk or cream to make the best sauce for chicken cordon bleu.
Use the cauliflower "cream" as the base for any cream sauces and create your own spectacular dish!
I can't wait to see what you come up with. Make sure to post pictures on social media and use the hashtag #TheFoodiConnection, so I can see what you have created!
I hope you enjoy this recipe for Guilt-Free Shrimp Alfredo as much as I do!
All My Best,
Guilt-Free Shrimp Alfredo
- Pressure Cooker with Mealthy lid
- 1 head cauliflower about 1 ½ lbs or 4 cups
- ½ Tbsp minors vegetable base
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 bulb roasted garlic recipe below
- 2 zucchini
- 1 lb shrimp Large
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup Asiago Cheese
- 1 Bulb Garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Cut the cauliflower florets off of the stem and put in the inner pot. Add the vegetable base, the cloves from one bulb of roasted garlic ½ tsp sea salt. Add in 1 cup of water and put the pressure cooker lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure on high for 10 minutes. Immediately release the pressure when the time is up.
- Thaw and peel 1 pound of large shrimp. Make the zucchini noodles by using a spiralizer or veggie strip maker or cut by hand.
- When the pressure is released, remove the lid. Use an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the cooked cauliflower until it is smooth
- Add in ½ cup of grated Asiago cheese and ½ cup of heavy cream. Stir to combine and add shrimp. Mix the shrimp in. If your sauce has cooled too much, use the sear/ saute on medium low to heat it for a few minutes.
- Place the zucchini noodles into a cake pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and spritz with oil. Place the rack in the low position in the Ninja Foodi over the cream sauce and place the pan on the rack. Close the TenderCrisp lid and set the Broil for 10 minutes. Check after 3-5 minutes and toss the zucchini noodles around and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until the zoodles are cooked to your desired tenderness.
- Remove the rack with the pan. Give the shrimp alfredo a stir and the shrimp should be cooked and pink. If they need to cook longer, just close the lid or use the sear/ saute on low for a few minutes. Top with grated Parmesan or Asiago. Serve & Enjoy
- Cut the top off of 1 bulb of Garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in foil and place on the rack in low or in the basket. Bake/Roast on 325 for 35 minutes. Remove and allow to cool
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Ninja Foodi Fresh & Healthy Meals
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
Louise, what can I substitute for the Minors Veg Base? I don't have any and don't wish to purchase any. TIA
You can use any kind of concentrated vegetable stock or prepared vegetable stock. You might need to adjust the seasonings though because the Minors is very flavorful.
First, you are a genius. This sauce is so good and healthy! I just tasted it to see if my husband would like it. He's wary of cauliflower. He liked it too! I have an instant pot so don't have broil. Can I cook the zoodles in the Ninja grill?
I would use the sear/saute on the IP after removing the sauce to do the zoodles. You could use the Ninja Grill, but use a lower heat and less time. Keep an eye on them! I'm so glad you enjoyed the sauce!
Can I make the "cream" sauce in my Ninja HC Blender? I dont have an immersion blender. Thank you
This recipe looks great. How many cups of chicken stock or water would you put in if you are not using the vegetable base?
Also you mention in the video adding more chicken stock or water if the cream isn't used, how much extra liquid should I be adding?
I used a total of 1 1/2 cups of liquid (1 cup water with the vegetable base) and 1/2 cup heavy cream. If you are using all chicken stock (no cream), start with 1 cup and then add a tablespoon at a time until the sauce is the consistency you like. If you are only using water and no base of any kind, you may need to increase the seasonings because it will be a little bland I think. I hope you enjoy it!