Paleo Plan

Paleo Chicken Alfredo

If you cannot find kelp noodles, bake a halved spaghetti squash face down in 1″ of water on 400F for 40 minutes as an alternative. There will be much less sauce with spaghetti squash, however.

Makes dinner for two, with leftovers for lunch.

Approximate cooking time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (12oz) package kelp noodles
  • 2 tsp tarragon
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp paprika

Instructions

  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When pan is hot, saute garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add chicken to the skillet and cook until all sides are brown.
  2. Rinse and chop kelp noodles, and add to the skillet along with tarragon. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  3. After cooking, pour the liquid from the skillet carefully into a small container for use in the sauce.
  4. Add cashews, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, sea salt (optional), black pepper, and paprika to a blender. Cover and blend into a powder. Add the reserved pan juices slowly, blending into a thick sauce (use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender periodically). Add the juices until the mixture reaches the desired consistency.
  5. Add the sauce to the skillet, then mix well. Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes longer, until the kelp noodles have become tender.

This recipe inspired in part or in whole from here.


49 Comments

  1. Greg Livermore

    What are kelp noodles and where would I find them?

  2. JeremyOlmstead

    I just went and found them in the Soy section at Whole Foods. They look like clear seaweed in a bag. I think it was like $3 for a 12oz bag. Making it tonight!

  3. Christy

    Hey is there a substitute for the kelp noodles? Maybe spaghetti squash? I have checked every store within 25 miles and no one carries Kelp noodles. If I can use something else can you give me help on using them?

    • Jason G.

      Yeah, spaghetti squash is definitely an alternative. It’ll have a slightly different taste, but the texture is fantastic, and just seeing something stringy makes you feel like it’s real spaghetti.

  4. Paleofamily

    how do you prepare spaghettie squash?

  5. If you use the “powder” part of the recipe (all of the ingredients that go into the blender) and “bread” chicken with it, it is really amazing!

  6. Spectatrix

    This “alfredo” sauce is AMAZING! I used spaghetti squash and blended in about 1 1/2 cups of water with the cashew mix to make the sauce.

  7. crdvorscak

    Sun dried tomatoes would be an excellent addition to this recipe. Also, my husband added a little bit of red pepper flakes to give it just a little extra spice. We made ours with spaghetti squash simply because we had one on hand. Will have to try the kelp noodles.

  8. bd1star

    This recipe is very good. I just made it except I had to use spaghetti squash instead…it taste great.

    I had a question. Instead of using cashew nuts, could you instead use cashew butter? It would be a lot creamier consistency. What do you think?

  9. molliedragicevic

    I made this tonight. . . .really good! I LOVE the kelp noodles and can’t wait to use them for other recipes!

  10. Valerie

    This recipe is great! I’ve made this a couple of times without any type of noodles; when you do this, it would be helpful to have some organic chicken broth on hand to add to the chicken since the chicken alone won’t produce enough liquids to make the sauce.

    Also, I decided to make this one night but didn’t have any cashews. Turns out pine nuts are a great substitute!

  11. Jennifer

    Where do the “juices” from the skillet come from? I’m simmering the kelp noodles and chicken and there is definitely no juice. I’m going to try adding coconut milk to the cashew powder for the sauce.

  12. Nandaloro

    I have to admit my skepticism about this recipe, it just seemed so far from the creamy, rich, Alfredo sauce (which I haven’t been able to eat for years). But this was delicious and my family was fighting over the last bites! I used spaghetti squash instead of the kelp noodles and my family ate it with pasta. Thank you!

  13. Jennifer

    can this be prepared in a crock pot?

    • Jennifer – I think most savory dishes can be made in a crock pot, unless they contain coconut milk (because it curdles if it’s left on heat for too long). Try it out and let us know!

  14. I made this for my family tonight and was a little wary, as I’m new the Paleo. This recipe is amazing! I’m a self-proclaimed Alfredo snob and this is fantastic replacement. I can’t speak highly enough for how great this sauce is.

    I did not use kelp noodles (I have issues with kelp), but instead served this over paleo sweet potato gnocchi. AMAZING. Thank you so much for sharing this exceptional recipe!

  15. I really want to try this tonight and am almost headed to the store to get spaghetti squash. I have not made that yet, as I’m fairly new to paleo. Cashews, as other nuts in general, seem to be quite expensive around here. Has anyone tried this with almonds yet?

  16. I thought this was really good! I would probably add a little more liquid or coconut milk to make the sauce a little creamier but even my super picky, eats bad food all the time mom said this was good. The kelp noodles were surprisingly good! I wouldn’t have realized they weren’t real pasta once they were cooked. Good easy recipe!

  17. ehart1104

    I’m going to try zucchini ribbons instead of kelp noodles. Wish me luck. Making it tonight.

  18. ryanparkerp

    Thought weekly meals were not supposed to take forever to prepare?

  19. heatherthemom

    I had a hard time finding kelp noodles but you can order them online from iherb.com and they are cheaper than most health food stores.

  20. cartertx

    This is an amazing dish, and even our picky eater gobbled it up. I used chicken tenders, so there wasn’t any ‘liquid’ to speak of, so I added chicken broth at the end of cooking the chicken. The sauce was creamy, smooth, and tasted even better than real alfredo sauce. I think next time, I’m going to try it over greens. What is the nutritional info on this dish?

  21. dandhal

    I made it with spaghetti squash. I added a cup of water to the sauce mixture and crushed red pepper flakes (about a 1/4 teaspoon) to the chicken. It was AMAZING. It was ample for 2 people and I have a little left over. :)
    Tip: don’t over blend your cashew mixture or you will get cashew paste/butter. I did that on accident and it’s in the fridge to spread onto celery for a snack tomorrow :)

  22. Kaientakie

    I cooked this tonight and it was amazing I used the spaghetti squash could not find kelp noodles. This will be an addition to my favourite meals and family loved it too.

  23. Jessica

    A good substitute for kelp noodles or spaghetti squash is zucchini (green and yellow both work). Shred strips of the zucchini with a vegetable peeler, starting with strips of skin, but you can make strips of the flesh down to the seed part. I like to slice the strips down the middle to make them thinner (more of an authentic noodle size) but this is time consuming and not necessary. Sautee them some or ghee until they are just done and I swear, you will satisfy the pickiest, pasta-loving person out there. The texture is just like a good, al dente noodle. This recipe is also good with a little bacon crumbled on top :] Also, the leftover middle part of the zucchini can be saved for a later recipe or diced up and browned, and served on top of your “noodles”.

  24. This was tasty, but when we made it per the recipe, it was a little dry. The next time, we blended the cashew mixture thoroughly and when we added the juices from the pan, we also added some coconut milk before mixing it with the kelp noodles and chicken. It added a much more creamy texture and a lot more moisture. Would definitely recommend that.

  25. Made this last week and my boyfriend loves the regular chicken Alfredo. We really liked this dish. Kelp noodles stuck together more than I’d like (anyone know how to fix that?) but the sauce had that same richness from the cashews although boyfriend said it was more Asian tasting than Alfredo. Either way it was a score all around!

  26. Holy *&@% this was FANTASTIC. Even despite the reviews, I was skeptical, but I’m having to cut myself off so that I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow! One thing that I’m tasting that added a lot of flavor was that instead of oil, I used the same pan that I cooked bacon (nitrate-free, of course) in this morning. There was a bit of grease in the pan and then just added a tad of olive oil. Like others said, I too added about a half a cup of chicken broth so that there would be some liquid to pour into the spice mixture. WOW. I cannot rave about this dish enough!

  27. We made this last night, and it was pretty good but I wouldn’t even remotely call it alfredo. If anything, it’s more like chicken satay. Also making the sauce in the blender was frustrating as the powdered cashews would stick to the bottom. I would recommend using a food processor instead. I put some Sriracha on it afterwards, which paired really nicely with the cashew mix.

  28. actalbot

    This. Is. So. Good!

    I had to 2.5x the recipe because I have a large family, but it worked great. I followed the other commenters’ advice about the chicken broth. I added quite a bit to the chicken/noodle pan so as to cover the noodles while simmering. Everything else worked like a charm, and it tasted delish. My whole family, even my skeptical husband and picky eater son cleaned their plates. I will definitely be making this again.

    I made mine in a blender, and I had no trouble blending the nuts and spices together to form a powder. Just keep pulsing the blender and scraping with a rubber spatula to make sure it’s uniformly blended. I even added more nuts and liquid after the sauce was finished to expand the amount a little. No problems there at all, the taste remained great.

  29. davynavy

    NW folks will like it if you substitute salmon for chicken.
    Salmon fettucine, fantasico! I also found sweet potato noodles at Asian grocery although ingredients say 2nd ingredient ‘starch’ so not as paleo as sticking to your squash noodles- tried both and my son like the sweet potato noodle version.

  30. davynavy

    oops, almost forgot but I also used some ground almond flour and flax seed to thicken mine!

  31. Anna- Lisa

    I want to try this but I am I missing something or where is the liquid that you pour off coming from?

    • Neely Quinn

      Anna-Lisa – It won’t be a whole lot of liquid, but juices naturally come out of chicken and everything else that’s being cooked in the pan.

  32. Andrew

    This was suprisingly good. I think next time, though, I will soak the cashews for a few hours prior to try to make the alfredo a bit more creamy.
    Also, I ended up just using brown rice noodles. So as far as the liquid to add to the ‘alfredo’ powder, I added about 1/4 cup chicken broth. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  33. Anna-Lisa

    Thanks Neely! I made this and love it! To make a little more sauce I used some of the water that I had cooked the spaghetti squash in! Will definitely make it again!

  34. elizabethwstroud@gmail.com

    I made this two years ago before I found this website. the sauce is terrible with tarragon. I did a research on spices and nowhere does it say that tarragon is Italian. I eliminated it and just used recommended spices for the recommended dish and it was great. I don’t know who came up with adding tarragon, but it is AWFUL!

  35. I have a question. Sweet Potato Vermicelli….I know it is a processed food…only sweet potato starch and water. BUT….I just can’t get spaghetti squash down. So if I put more nutritional items on top of them, would that be Paleo acceptable? Just curious. I guess its cause I miss pasta SO much. ;)

  36. I think you should do a full length video of this recipe because I would LOVE to see where this magical liquid comes from. We used coconut milk, olive oil, and water to even get it moist AT ALL. The consistency was spot on, but the flavor was probably a little off from the milk.

  37. I was skeptical, but we just finished it. Delicious!! There was NO liquid, so I used chicken stock to make the sauce and I used it a bit for the final 10 minutes of cooking. Super easy and really good. I’m thrilled.

  38. I made this today for a client (I’m a Personal Chef) who is on the Paleo diet, so she didn’t want the kelp noodles. I made rice noodles instead. I did not have enough liquid from the chicken so I used a little water and still ended up adding some beef stock (what was in fridge) to make it saucy. I see from the posts above, that even if I used the kelp noodles, I wouldn’t have had enough liquid to make the sauce. But even with the changes I had to make, the sauce was outstanding!

    • Neely Quinn

      Daphne – Sounds great. But just so you know, rice noodles aren’t Paleo either. Kelp noodles may have been – not sure what the ingredients are. But no grains at all on Paleo. Sorry!

  39. you can buy kelp noodles on Amazon

  40. This is our third week on the paleo plan and hands down our favorite meal so far. Everything has been really good but this was fantastic. We were very skeptical how we could make alfredo without dairy…but this works!

  41. I made the recipe for the alfredo sauce and it was DEE-lish! I had some spaghetti squash and meatballs that had been already baked so it was very quick to make the sauce. In addition, I sauteed some green onions, garlice, sliced portobellas in a dab of bacon grease. When those items were sizzled, I threw in about 3 big handfuls of chopped kale and cooked until wilted. I assembled in a bowl as followed: heated spaghetti squash, a drizzle of sause, then topped with the kale/veggies and meatballs and drizzled another bit of sauce of the top of that. Garnished with some dried chervil (or parsley) and a drift of sweet Hungarian paprika for color and a hint of smokiness. It was a hit with my husband and me and I’ll definitely be making it again. Aside from the 15 minutes I had to wait for the cashews to soak, the whole process took about 15-20 minutes, total. Yum!!!!

  42. I have to say, and I think I speak for many with nut allergies, that meals like this are a bit difficult to follow. Without the cashews, there is NO sauce. Many have already noted that there really aren’t that many juices in the pan already. We couldn’t think of a good way to substitute something for the cashews and get anywhere close. So, as usual, we had to just leave them out and hope it was ok. It wasn’t. It was kelp noodles and chicken chunks covered in garlic. Don’t get me wrong, I love garlic, but what else could I do? Recipes that solely revolve around nuts may be good and paleo, but for a plan that we pay to follow and that even gives us a grocery list, this is a bit disappointing.

  43. tonight I made the paleo chicken alfreo, OMG, absolutely deliscious, there really wasn’t any pan juices so I had to add about a cup of water, I used a vegie twiter and did zuccinii and sweet potatoe as the pasta, worked well, enjoyed this very much

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