Is Alfredo sauce healthier than marinara? (5 alternatives)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is Alfredo sauce healthier than marinara? We will give you a healthier option for the Alfredo sauce, and hopefully inspire you to create your own healthy and nutritious pasta sauce.

Is Alfredo sauce healthier than marinara?

Alfredo sauce is undoubtedly not healthier than marinara sauce. 100 g of Alfredo sauce has 500 calories; it is one of the most fattening sauces. It is made of cream, cheese, and butter. Half a cup has almost 500 kcal and 50 grams of fat, more than half the fat for a 2000 kcal diet.

On the other hand, a 1/2-cup serving of a raw marinara that contains a small amount of olive oil, herbs, and salt has 80 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, and 420 milligrams of sodium.

Marinara sauce is made of:

  • 500 gr tomatoes in the broth
  • 250 ml of red wine
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • One tablespoon dried rosemary
  • salt, pepper to taste.

Healthier? Yes!

Alfredo sauce: a better choice

If you have a craving for Alfredo sauce, we suggest changing it for the “light” Bechamel Sauce. Its main ingredients are skim milk, flour, and less butter; half a cup has 160 kcal and 10 grams of fat.


  • 2 1⁄2 tablespoons Low-fat sour cream (0.5 cups)
  • 1⁄4 tablespoon Butter (Margarine)
  • 15 grams Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 30 grams Chopped low-fat ham
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1⁄8 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan.
  2. Add the chopped ham.
  3. Stir gradually adding the cream, yogurt, and Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Serve!

Other FAQs about Sauces which you may be interested in.

What can I use if I don’t have pasta sauce?

Is bechamel sauce the same as lasagne white sauce?

What can be substituted for tomato sauce?

Alfredo sauce alternatives: Healthy sauces for your pasta

These five sauces will help us rediscover pasta and enjoy its many possibilities, with the certainty that we are eating healthy and well. Whether for the work container or a family dinner, a spring picnic, or a meeting with friends, you just have to let your imagination fly and combine pasta and dressings to your liking. 

Lemon Walnut Sauce

Healthy and balanced, as it combines the pasta’s carbohydrates with the vitamins of the citrus fruits and the nuts’ iron and proteins. We will prepare it in five minutes, and it will be the perfect alternative for fast food or a sandwich on days when we have little time. 

Brown onion in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and when it has softened, add the walnuts. Cook for a few minutes, add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and if we like, some species (a touch of coriander will give it an exotic touch). Add the pasta already cooked, for example, some macaroni striped al dente.

Garlic and oil

The classic Italian recipe “all’aglio e olio” is always a sure bet, requiring just a pinch of fresh oregano and a good Parmesan to be a dish of the gods. It will be enough to brown some garlic in the pan with extra virgin olive oil (you can add the crushed or chopped garlic since you can strain them later), always over very low heat. When they are ready, add some spaghetti and finish the dish with an excellent grated Parmesan.

Tomato and basil

It is a classic, but only if we make it with tasty natural tomatoes and fresh basil. To make it perfect, we must fry the tomatoes, previously blanched, peeled and without seeds, in extra virgin olive oil, with garlic and onions, and add some fresh basil leaves at the end, without mincing. It is a perfect sauce for many pasta types, although we stayed with the gnocchi as battle companions of this simple and light sauce.

Pistachio pesto

We are used to traditional pesto or even its red version with beets, but we probably had not heard of pistachio pesto. It is enough to replace the pine nuts with pistachios and prepare the pesto in the same way as the traditional one: we whisk all the ingredients, with their jet of extra virgin olive oil, and the basil, until obtaining a homogeneous mass. 

To facilitate the task, we can pass the pistachios through the chopper before making the pesto. It is an extremely versatile sauce, which works well with any type of pasta.

A sauce with breadcrumbs

It is an ideal recipe, always available in our homes, allowing us to reuse stale bread. We crush the remains of stale bread that we have at home and fry them in the pan with extra virgin olive oil and garlic. We can add a touch of sweet paprika, oregano, basil, or the spice that we like the most.

These are just a few ideas; how about creating your sauce?!


Any sauce consumed in large quantities is unhealthy. However, if we compare Alfredo sauce with marinara sauce, the first is one of the least healthy pasta sauces out there. If you have a craving for Alfredo sauce, we suggest changing it for the “light” version of Bechamel Sauce we mentioned above.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!