Creamy White Bean and Chicken Alfredo

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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves: 6


  • 1 whole chicken, about 3 lb / 1.4 kg
  • 1 lemon, zested and sliced
  • 1 pkg (450 g pkg) Italpasta Artisan Fusilli
  • 1/4 bunch parsley, stems and leaves separated
  • 5 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, divided
  • 1/2 pkg (350g pkg) bacon, chopped
  • 1 can (540g can) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped


  • Debone chicken, separating meat from the bones; reserve bones for making broth for soup. Reserve 1 tbsp lemon zest; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • In saucepan, combine 8 cups (2 L) water, lemon slices, parsley stems, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tsp (5 mL) each salt and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; add chicken to saucepan. Cook at very low simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Strain chicken; reserving 2 cups (500 mL) cooking liquid. Let cool slightly; shred chicken with 2 forks.
  • Meanwhile, cook bacon in large high-sided skillet set over medium-low heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towel; reserve skillet with bacon fat. Reserve 2 tbsp (30 mL) bacon fat for soup; set aside.
  • In blender, purée beans, 1 cup (250 mL) reserved cooking liquid, remaining garlic clove, lemon zest, chili flakes, and remaining salt and pepper until smooth.
  • Heat reserved skillet with bacon fat over medium heat. Stir in puréed bean mixture; bring to simmer. Stir in chicken; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is heated through. Add pasta, remaining cooking liquid, bacon and 1/3 cup (75 mL) Parmesan cheese. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until pasta is well coated. Garnish with remaining Parmesan and parsley leaves.


Alternatively, for a lighter sauce, substitute olive oil for some of the bacon fat.
With twists on some all-time favourite recipes, this budget-friendly menu is loaded with comfort food that’s trendy and fun to serve with little to no wasted ingredients!
Tips for Zero Food Waste

Chicken skin: Cook chicken skin in 325°F oven to render fat, then crisp up in moderate oven until golden and crispy. Add to salad, pastas, or to the Caesar salad.

Fusilli: Toss fusilli with butter, cooking liquid and Parmesan fora quick Alfredo sauce or add pepper for cacio e pepe.

Parmesan cheese: Make Parmesan crackers: Grate Parmesan and mound tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for about 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Let cool completely. Serve as a snack or wrap up to give as food gifts.

Parsley: Purée leftover parsley leaves with lots of olive oil. Scrape into ice cube tray (2 tsp per section), cover and freeze for up to 3 weeks. Whenever a recipe calls for fresh parsley, add a frozen cube. Or make a gremolata:  a fresh herb condiment that can be used to brighten up stews, pastas, salads, vegetables or even grilled meats.

Nutritional Analysis

Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 760mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g