Photo: Colin Clark; Food Styling: Kellie Gerber Kelley; Prop Styling: Lindsey Lower
Hands-on Time
23 Mins
Total Time
23 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: about 2 cups)

The splash of vodka works as a flavor enhancer, adding a little jolt to the creamy sauce.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander over a bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.

Step 2

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add asparagus, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sauté 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Add rind and juice; toss. Keep warm.

Step 3

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add vodka and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add cream cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in milk, Parmesan cheese, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in reserved pasta water, pasta, and asparagus; toss to coat noodles. Sprinkle with chives.

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Ratings & Reviews

Whygal's Review

October 25, 2014
This was a great and easy weeknight meal. I did make a few changes to suit our tastes: I grilled the aspargus using a garlic flavored olive oil, fresh fettuccini, added the lemon juice with the pasta and aspargus, and used fresh parsley rather than chives as the garnish. The grilled aspargus added flavor to the sauce and fresh pasta made a world of difference to the finished dish. I usually don't like to make so many changes to a recipe for the first time, but felt that the above changes would improve the overall flavor. I will be making this again and would serve to guests. I made a simple green salad to accompany the pasta.

4 Stars? You're Kidding! It's a 5 Star Recipe!

June 27, 2016
You won't believe how good this is, even if you don't read the recipe, but one you see that it uses reduced fat cream cheese and fat free milk, you'll be even more amazed. It's easy to make, too. 

A keeper

April 05, 2016
Said my husband. Easy, and good flavor. Did the sauce in the same skillet as asparagus - both to capture the goodies, and because I didn't want another pan to wash. Since it's not a true Alfredo, I wasn't worried that the browned bits might give the sauce a slightly darker color.Paired it with strips of chicken we grilled in vinaigrette and fresh rosemary, and then a simple salad on the side. Perfect for springtime dining al fresco on the deck. We'll make this again.

3 1/2 stars

December 31, 2015
I liked this a lot more than my family did.  It wasn't anything super special, but I thought it was easy to prepare and very flavorful for a lower fat alfredo recipe.  But unless my teenager gushes over the leftovers, I probably won't make this one again.

JStanzak's Review

September 02, 2014
Liked this better than typical, rich tasting alfredo. This was flavorful and light.

TheMomChef's Review

September 01, 2014
Much as I usually love Cooking Light's recipes, I have to agree with most about this one; it underwhelmed us. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good enough for me to say I'd make again. You can read my full review at Taking On Magazines:

promogal's Review

August 25, 2014
It was all right. Nothing fantastic. Easy. Family thought it was okay--nothing great. Probably won't make it again.

LaurenE2bRD's Review

August 23, 2014
Yummy and easy to put together. The texture of the sauce was creamy and no lumps like many of CLs roux based alfredo sauces. The cream cheese does a wonderful job giving this light version a luxurious body and the vodka keeps it fluid to coat the noodles.

KelleyCon's Review

August 23, 2014

TXLisa's Review

August 22, 2014