Rich and creamy Fettuccine Alfredo is a 15-minute recipe that’ll beat any restaurant. I could put this sauce on just about everything!
Why We Love Fettuccine Alfredo
- I’ve been obsessed with Fettuccine Alfredo since I was a little girl and this recipe is everything my pastsa dreams are made of. It’s an alfredo sauce you can rely on with all the garlic, Parmesan, creamy goodness you crave.
- It only takes 15 minutes to make the sauce. Yep! By then the pasta is done cooking and dinner is served. Way faster than waiting in line at a resturant.
- You won’t need all of the sauce for the pasta… unless you like your fettuccine really sauced up. Which is good because you’re going to want to put it on damn near everything! Pasta, pizza, crostini, casseroles, zoodles (hello keto)! My mouth is watering over all the possibilities.
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 its way to the US. The recipe has evolved to include heavy cream and other ingredients. Most Fettuccine Alfredo recipes are a very rich version of the original dish. The more traditional Fettuccine al Burro (butter and cheese) is considered home cooking in Italy.
Ingreients You’ll Need to Make Fettuccine Alfredo
PASTA: Fettuccine is in the name of the dish, but you can use any pasta you have on hand to pair with the sauce. No judgment here friends.
DAIRY: You’ll need unsalted butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, and shredded Parmesan cheese. Cream cheese isn’t a classic fettuccine alfredo sauce recipe ingredient, but it adds a slight tang, thickens up the sauce beautifully, and makes it sinfully delicious.
SEASONINGS: To really get some amazing flavor in this sauce we’re using garlic, salt & pepper, and a little ground nutmeg for that little something extra.
How to Make Alfredo SauceJump to Recipe
STEP 1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions. While the water heats up, place a medium saucepan over medium heat with some butter in it. Once the butter melts, add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
STEP 2 Add the cream cheese to the saucepan. Stir it into the garlic butter until it’s nice and melty, about 3-5 minutes.
STEP 3 Pour the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese into the pot. Whisk everything together and bring the sauce to a simmer. After about 3 minutes the sauce should be bubbling. Turn the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cheese has melted.
STEP 4 Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg. Give everything a stir. Drain the cooked pasta and then put it back into the pot. Add 1/2 to 2/3 of the sauce to the pasta and then toss to coat. (You can add as much sauce as you like.) Plate it up with a little more parmesan and some parsley and top and you’re set!
Tips & Tricks
- If you’re not into cream cheese for this sauce, you swap in 3/4 cup to 1 cup of Parmesan cheese instead. The Parmesan will help thicken things up and you get more of that 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 whole milk or even half-and-half if you can’t get whipping cream or want to save a few calories.
- Store the extra Alfredo sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Fettuccine Alfredo FAQ
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!
What goes well in Fettuccine Alfredo?
You can serve this pasta dish as is, but if you want to add some protein cooked chicken, shrimp, bacon, or meatballs are all great options. If you want some veggies in there, broccoli, asparagus, and even bell peppers are all delicious. Then add a salad and some yummy bread and you’re all set!
My Favorite Alfredo Recipes
- Bacon Alfredo Pizza
- Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo
- 15-Minute Shrimp Alfredo
- Spinach & Chicken Alfredo Ravioli Bake
- Copycat Penne Sam Remo
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic crushed (or grated on a Microplane)
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese shredded (plus more for garnish)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and return to the pot off the heat.
- While the water comes to a boil, place a medium saucepan (or skillet) over medium 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 in the cream and Parmesan cheese. Whisk to combine until the cream cheese is dissolved into the sauce.
- Continue cooking the sauce until it 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.
- Add 1/2 to 2/3 of the sauce to the fettuccine and toss to coat. Garnish with shaved parmesan and chopped parsley if desired.
- This recipe makes 3 cups of alfredo sauce. I don’t usually use it all for the pasta. Save the extra for turning a red sauce into a rosa sauce, dipping bread into, or use it for casseroles and pizza sauce.
- You can also add cooked chicken, shrimp, meatballs, or bacon for some protein. Broccoli, asparagus, and bell peppers are all great veggie add-ins too.