This is a homemade Alfredo sauce recipe that's super simple, quick to make and tastes so much better than any store-bought version! Get the recipe for this creamy, decadent pasta sauce here.
My son Donnie calls this “creamy pasta” and will eat up every bit of it from his plate without putting up a fight!
You know what?
The adults in the house don't put up much of a fight when served pasta with alfredo sauce either! lol
We eat a lot of pasta here and it's one of our go-to meal options when we're super busy. Sometimes though, as much as we love our pasta in this house, we like to have something a little different.
Alfredo sauce is an absolutely delicious alternative to the traditional tomato-based pasta sauces.
It's creamy, rich and makes plain old pasta into something extra special.
Making homemade alfredo sauce is actually very simple and it can cost a lot less to make than you might think!
Heavy cream is what gives the sauce it's delightful velvety texture. If cream happens to be on sale, pick some up and make a bunch of alfredo sauce!
You'll be glad you did!
After making this homemade sauce, you'll see why there's no point in spending money at the store for premade jarred alfredo sauce.
You can make this easy alfredo sauce at home yourself in a little under 15 minutes, plus it's fresher AND you have more control over the exact ingredients you're using.
Want more parmesan cheese or more garlic? Go ahead and try it out! 🙂
Alfredo pasta is one of those amazingly delicious dishes that even though it's a little sinful, you won't mind digging into it. It's rich and creamy with just the right amount of fresh garlic and freshly grated parmesan cheese. OMG – soooo perfect!!
What does Alfredo sauce taste like?
Alfredo sauce has a smooth and creamy texture. When you add garlic and cheese, the natural subtle flavorings of cream become enriched and infused with the saltier taste of parmesan cheese and the warmth of the garlic flavor. Garlicy, salty and creamy are the main flavors and they all balance very nicely.
What is Alfredo Sauce made of?
Traditionally alfredo sauce is made with heavy cream as the primary ingredient. The heavy cream is combined with unsalted or salted butter and whisked together.
Adding fresh grated parmesan cheese and minced garlic to the cream provides the majority of the flavor. Pepper gives additional seasoning and dried parsley adds a bit of freshness.
What can I add to my Alfredo sauce to make it taste better?
- Salt and pepper, peppercorns, black pepper or white pepper can all be added as a first step if you feel your alfredo sauce is tasting bland or if you can't taste much other than the cream.
- Adding nutmeg will bring the cream flavor to the forefront.
- You can play around with the core ingredients for extra flavor, including adding more than usual amounts of garlic, Parmesan cheese, or heavy cream.
- Add a little bit of white wine for sweetness and acidity.
- A squeeze of lemon zest or lemon juice can strongly intensify your alfredo sauce's effect on your taste buds!
- Adding oregano or basil can bring a richer depth of fresh and savory flavor to the already salty and creamy sauce.
What can I use instead of cream in Alfredo sauce?
The traditional alfredo sauce recipe calls for heavy cream to create the famously rich and creamy texture, but there are a few substitutes that can also work.
If you're looking to make a lighter, less decadent version of alfredo sauce, you can use milk instead of cream. Personally, I always use cream in alfredo sauce since it turns out so spectacular, but milk will work too. Be aware though that if you choose to use milk instead of heavy cream, the finished sauce will not be as thick and you'll have to use extra thickener.
Some people have also had success using half-and-half or even yogurt in place of cream in alfredo sauce. Just be sure to check the thickness of the sauce after you've made it, and if it seems a bit too thin, you can always add a bit more parmesan cheese to thicken it up.
As for what not to use, I would stay away from using water or broth in place of cream. These liquids will make the sauce much thinner and won't give it that same rich, creamy flavor that we all love.
What kind of cheese is best for Alfredo sauce?
Authentic Italian alfredo sauce uses fresh parmesan cheese. Without the parmesan, it's not classic alfredo sauce. That doesn't mean that using a different kind of cheese would make your sauce taste bad, it's just that replacing parmesan with a different kind of cheese makes the alfredo sauce become simply a cheese sauce.
To keep it an alfredo sauce you can add other cheeses to it, but the main cheese needs to be parmesan. Other cheeses that can be added are asiago, mozzarella, Romano cheese, or for a more robust flavor, a sharp cheddar cheese can be used. Just be sure to shred or chop the cheese into small pieces since shredded cheese ensures that the cheese will melt.
How do you thicken Alfredo sauce from scratch?
I find that the alfredo recipe presented on this page does not need any additional thickening agents as it is thick enough to my taste, but if you want a still thicker sauce, the most common way to thicken alfredo sauce is by using a roux. A roux is a mixture of all-purpose flour and butter that is cooked until it becomes a thick paste.
To make a roux, first melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Then whisk the flour into the melted butter until it's combined. Cook butter and flour for 1-2 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden brown. Slowly add the Alfredo sauce to the roux while whisking constantly. Whisk until smooth. Pour this back into the pot with the rest of the sauce and cook until thickened.
Adding additional grated parmesan (more so than this recipe calls for) to your sauce is another way to make the alfredo sauce thick.
Ways to use Alfredo Sauce
So many delicious recipes can be made by incorporating alfredo sauce as a base ingredient! Here are some of our favorite examples of alfredo sauce cuisine:
- You can serve the alfredo sauce with any kind of pasta you like but you definitely can't go wrong with the classic fettuccine alfredo. Fettucine are wide and thick noodles that soak up the alfredo sauce beautifully.
- Penne pasta, which are cylindrical tubes of pasta with their ends cut at an angle, also work especially well as a home for alfredo sauce.
- Both shrimp and grilled chicken pair extremely well with alfredo sauce. It's always a good fit to mix some shrimp or grilled chicken breasts into your alfredo sauce drenched pasta.
- You can use alfredo sauce as a base for pizza, just substitute the traditional tomato sauce with alfredo sauce. Grilled chicken breasts, bacon crumble, roasted garlic and freshly grated parmesan are all pizza toppings that, when combined, work super well together with an alfredo sauce base.
- For a hearty dish, make a chicken alfredo lasagna. Make the sure to substitute the typical tomato sauce of lasagna for the alfredo sauce. The alfredo will add a delicious richness and creaminess in between the layers of pasta.
Can I make Alfredo Sauce ahead of time?
You can absolutely make it ahead of time if you'd like. Just be sure to store alfredo sauce in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
How long is Alfredo Sauce good for? in the fridge, freezer, etc.
How to Store and Reheat Alfredo Sauce.
Be sure that your Alfredo sauce is stored in an airtight container and it will keep for up to four days in the fridge. If you're looking to extend its shelf life, you can freeze alfredo sauce in small freezer-safe containers. It should be good for 3-4 months in the freezer.
When you're ready to enjoy your delicious Alfredo sauce, remove from fridge and simply reheat it over low heat on the stove until it's warmed through. You may need to add a splash of milk or cream to thin alfredo sauce out as it reheats.
If removing alfredo sauce from the freezer, let it thaw overnight or if you don't have time to thaw it out you can put it on a pot on the stovetop and gently warm it up over low heat.
Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- Yield: About 2 cups of Alfredo sauce 1x
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- pinch of dried parsley, for garnish
- In a medium saucepan melt butter with cream and whisk together.
- Add the minced garlic and stir. Cook on medium heat for about 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.
- Bring the contents of the saucepan to a light boil.
- Season with white pepper and use a whisk to combine.
- Allow the sauce to simmer at a lower heat. The sauce should begin to thicken after about 10 minutes.
- Add the parmesan cheese to the sauce and allow it to melt. Use a whisk to combine.
- Serve on cooked pasta of your choice. I highly recommend using the sauce with fettuccini noodles or penne.