Rich and creamy Homemade Alfredo Sauce is a 15-minute recipe that’ll beat any store-bought jar. Put it on everything from pasta, pizza, and even casseroles!
When it comes to alfredo sauce I’m obsessed. Fettuccine Alfredo is my pasta craving… all the time. My husband mentions dinner and my brain says, “Alfredo?!” No joke. Each restaurant makes its Alfredo sauce recipe a little differently and it can be hard to nail a good one down. That’s how this homemade Alfredo sauce recipe came into play.
I wanted a sauce I could rely on that gave me all the garlic, Parmesan, creamy goodness I crave on my pasta. Heck, I’d take the Pepsi challenge against Olive Garden alfredo sauce. That’s how much I love this recipe.
This homemade alfredo sauce recipe is crazy easy to make and you’re going to want to put it on damn near everything!
Pasta, pizza, crostini, casseroles, zoodles (hello keto)! I’m dreaming of all the possibilities.
So this week, skip going out and waiting in line at your favorite Italian place.
Instead, make the best alfredo sauce around and let it make love to your pasta. Then have a little side salad to balance it all out. It’s the perfect “fancy” meal made easy at home.
What is alfredo sauce?
Alfredo sauce is a butter and cheese-based sauce that comes from Italy. It is named after Alfredo di Lelio who featured the sauce at his Roman restaurant in the early to mid 20th century using a tableside sauce preparation.
Alfredo sauce grew in popularity and eventually made it’s way to the US. The recipe has evolved to include heavy cream and other ingredients. Fettuccine Alfredo is a very rich version of the dish. The more traditional Fettuccine al Burro (butter and cheese) is considered home cooking in Italy.
Alfredo Sauce Ingredients
- Unsalted butter
- Garlic cloves
- Cream cheese
- Whipped cream
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper
- Ground nutmeg
Now, I know you saw the cream cheese on that list. It helps thicken the sauce and gives it a little tang. I think it works fabulously. If you’re not into cream cheese (I have some readers that just aren’t), swap in 3/4 cup to 1 cup of Parmesan cheese instead. The Parmesan will help thicken it up and you get more nutty Parmesan flavor vs cream cheese tang.
I like to make this alfredo sauce with cream. This is not a low-fat recipe and it’s not supposed to be. You could make your alfredo sauce with milk or even half-and-half if you can’t get whipping cream. Just be sure you use whole milk!
How to Make Alfredo Sauce
- Start by placing a medium saucepan over medium heat on your stovetop.
- Once the skillet is hot, add the butter and let it melt completely. Then toss in the crushed garlic and cook it for 2 minutes. You want to stir the garlic constantly so it doesn’t burn.
- After that, add in your softened cream cheese. You can keep it in one block or cut it into smaller pieces to help it break down faster. Stir the cream cheese into the garlic butter and cook it for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Now you’re ready to add in the whipped cream and Parmesan cheese. Then whisk everything together. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and whisk until the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese melt into the sauce. This should take about 3 minutes after the sauce is bubbling.
- Once the cheeses are melted, you’ll reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the sauce to thicken up. Stir the sauce occasionally to check the consistency. It should take another 10 to 12 minutes to reach the right consistency.
- When the sauce is done cooking, add in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk it all together and then check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to your taste. Serve this sauce warm.
You can store any leftover alfredo sauce in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about a week.
How to thicken alfredo sauce?
There are a few ways to thicken up your sauce. This recipe has a couple of options built in to keep the sauce sticking to your pasta.
If you need to thicken your sauce more once it’s done cooking, here are some tips.
- Parmesan cheese – add more cheese, about 1/4 cup at a time. Whisk in the Parmesan and cook until it’s melted into the sauce. Continue to add more cheese until your desired consistency is reached.
- Cornstarch – mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water and pour it into the sauce. Whisk everything together and let the sauce simmer until it thickens up.
- Egg Yolks – Place two egg yolks in a small bowl. Pour about 1/4 cup of warm sauce in with the yolks and beat them together. (This will keep the eggs from scrambling in your sauce!) Pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan, whisking constantly, and cook until the sauce thickens.
In contrast, if your sauce is too thick – add some milk or more cream or even chicken or vegetable broth to thin it out.
Can you freeze alfredo sauce?
Definitely. I usually have leftover sauce when making this recipe. It just happens. When refrigerating this sauce it will keep it for about a week, but freezing will make it last for up to 3 months!
Since alfredo has so much cream, butter, and cheese, you want to freeze any leftovers ASAP. I like to pour it into ice cube trays so I can pop out as much as I need, but you could also put it in one of those deli soup containers. They can go in the freezer, fridge, and microwave. I love ’em!
This easy alfredo sauce was everything I wanted it to be. Rich, garlicky, a little salty, and nutty from the cheese. I couldn’t have been happier!
While the sauce simmered and bubbled I couldn’t keep my spoon out of it. I told myself that it was quality control. Need to check the viscosity, make sure the seasoning is right, all that jazz. But in reality, I just wanted to lick the spoon.
These are my favorite recipes using alfredo sauce and I know you’ll love them too!
- Bacon Alfredo Pizza
- Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo
- 15-Minute Shrimp Alfredo
- Spinach & Chicken Alfredo Ravioli Bake
- More sauces and dressings
Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe
- Heat a medium saucepan (or skillet) over medium to medium-high heat.
- Add the butter and cook until melted. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- Add the cream cheese and stir to combine. Cook until the cheese has become very soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the cream and Parmesan cheese; whisk to combine until the cream cheese is dissolved into the sauce.
- Cook, whisking occasionally until the sauce begins to bubble and the Parmesan is melted, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened a bit. This takes about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat and whisk in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Check seasonings and adjust to your taste. Serve warm.