Creamy Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Homemade Alfredo Sauce is rich and creamy and takes about 15 minutes to make from scratch with just a few ingredients. Serve it over your favorite pasta and you’ll never want to resort to store bought again!

a pan of rich and cream homemade alfredo sauce

I have been making homemade Alfredo Sauce for so long, I know this recipe like the back of my hand. It’s super simple, tastes like you slaved over it, and is delicious with all kinds of pastas. We especially love it with Tortellini or Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells.

Homemade Alfredo requires just a few easy to find ingredients – butter, cream and cheese. We also love to add garlic and black pepper to give it a little more depth but it’s always so homey and comforting. It’s no wonder it’s such a popular dish!

While serving it over pasta is my favorite, you can also pour it over chicken, pasta, or even pizza. It makes a great bread dip too!

What is Alfredo Sauce?

A classic alfredo sauce is a creamy, cheesy white sauce served over pasta, usually fettuccine.

There are basically two ways to make it. The traditional way is heating the ingredients on the stove and the non-traditional method involves creating a roux.

I think both methods are delicious, and the roux method is definitely a “skinnier” recipe since it uses a lot less butter and a cream. However if I had to choose, it’s going to be traditional Alfredo every time.

a large pan of fettuccine alfredo

How to Make Alfredo Sauce from Scratch

You only need 5 ingredients to make the best Alfredo Sauce from scratch: butter, cream, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and pepper. It’s creamy, delicious and is the best over fresh, hot pasta. Once you learn how to make Alfredo, you’ll never go back!

  1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat with some minced garlic, then add the heavy cream. Do not use milk or half and half for this recipe; go all out with the full fat cream. Bring it to a simmer, just barely bubbling, but do not boil.
  2. Whisk in fresh grated or shredded Parmesan cheese.
  3. Work quickly with the cheese. Once you add the cheese, you’ll want to whisk vigorously in order to incorporate it into the sauce and so it can melt. This will keep your cheese from clumping. Simmer away for a few minutes or until the sauce has thickened up.
  4. Salt usually isn’t needed because the butter and cheese have enough salt to flavor the sauce quite nicely, but you can judge for yourself. Toss with your favorite pasta and add some fresh minced parsley and cracked black pepper.

Homemade Alfredo Sauce with pasta and tongs

What does Alfredo Sauce taste like?

This Alfredo sauce is thick and creamy and so delicious. It’s got a nuttiness from the parmesan cheese and if the garlic adds a whole other level of flavor.

While it’s similar to the butter and cheese sauce on Cacio e Pepe, alfredo is slightly more complex and uses heavy cream.

Top Tips and Tricks

  • The cheese is important! You will want to buy only fresh Parmesan cheese when you make your homemade sauce. The grated stuff in the can doesn’t melt and can end up tasting grainy, and the pre-packaged shredded Parmesan won’t melt as well either because of the coating they add to it to keep it from sticking together in the bag. Buy the block of good quality Parmesan from the deli for the very best results.
  • How to thicken a thin Alfredo sauce: Sauce not thick enough for you? Add a couple ounces of softened cream cheese (from the block, not the spread) to your sauce and it will give it a creamier texture and will help it thicken up a bit. You could also add a roux to the mixture. To do this, melt a couple of teaspoons of butter in a small saucepan, and add a couple teaspoons of flour. Cook until golden, then add to your simmering sauce and stir until it’s completely incorporated.
  • Let it simmer. Be sure to turn the heat down when you add the Parmesan cheese. You don’t want to boil this sauce at all, just a simmer (a few small bubbles coming to the top) will do fine. Boiling can result in a broken sauce, and nobody likes that.
  • Salt your Pasta. The sauce won’t need any added salt, but do add salt to your pasta water. At least a tablespoon or two to 4-5 quarts of boiling water.

If you’re looking for a Skinny Alfredo Sauce without heavy cream, be sure to check out our Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti.

Storage and Reheating Tips

If you happen to have some leftover, you’ll want to store the pasta and sauce separately if possible. If it’s already mixed together, don’t freeze it, but you can keep in the fridge for a few days and reheat using the instructions below.

  • Refrigerator: If you happen to have leftover sauce, you can reheat it but proceed with caution. Add a teaspoon of two of milk to the pasta and sauce, then simmer it over low heat or heat in the microwave at 50% power, stirring often, until warmed through. Reheat slowly and stir frequently or the sauce can break and create a greasy mess.
  • Freezer: Freeze Alfredo sauce in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 6 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight, then place the sauce in a saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until heated through to avoid breaking the sauce (when the cream and butter separate and your lovely sauce becomes a greasy mess). Freeze the sauce without the pasta. Make fresh pasta when you’re ready to use the sauce

Serving Suggestions

Alfredo Sauce is usually served with Fettuccine Pasta. The long, thick Fettuccine noodles mop up the luscious sauce so you don’t miss a drop. Try that with macaroni! You could also try your hand at making some homemade pasta. Sprinkle on some fresh minced parsley or chopped basil for a little color in the presentation. Because it’s so rich, we usually serve alfredo topped pastas with just a simple green salad and some homemade Garlic Bread

You can also add some protein to your pasta like One Pot Chicken Alfredo or Shrimp Alfredo.

pasta in a bowl with a creamy sauce and twirled with a fork

Eat More Pasta!

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A close up of noodles with alfredo sauce

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Homemade Alfredo Sauce is so creamy and takes 15 minutes to make from scratch with just a few ingredients. Serve it over fettuccine or your favorite pasta.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 727kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup butter 1 stick
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream (not milk)
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese off the block
  • Fresh cracked black pepper and fresh minced parsley to taste
  • 16 ounces cooked Fettuccine (or other pasta)

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Be careful not to burn.
  • Whisk in heavy cream and allow to bubble up to a simmer, then simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Vigorously whisk in the parmesan until melted and bring to a simmer - do not boil - for about 3-4 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  • Add fresh cracked black pepper to taste and toss with fresh, hot pasta. Garnish with fresh minced parsley.

Video

Notes

  • Recipe makes about 3 cups of sauce, which is enough for a pound of fettuccine pasta.
  • Nutritional information does not include pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 727kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 19gFat: 63gSaturated Fat: 39gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 228mgSodium: 686mgPotassium: 153mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2235IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 450mgIron: 1mg
Keyword alfredo sauce

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I didn’t have any heavy cream so I made the skinny Alfredo with roux, chicken broth, and milk and it came out delicious. This will definitely be my go to Alfredo sauce. It was so easy.

  2. So good! I liked the directions they helped me not over heat and separate the sauce. Such a good Alfredo! Definitely recommend.

  3. Thank you for such a great sauce delicious. I added 1/4 cup finely chopped mushroom and tossed with shrimp i will use this sauce from now on

  4. I cut the recipe in half since there is just two of us, so easy and so delicious! I did add some additional garlic power & garlic salt because I can never have too much garlic. Will definitely make again!

  5. If I wanted to make it with chicken, when would I add the chicken? After the sauce has already thickened? Or before?

    1. You should be able to get 4-5 servings for the sauce, maybe more. It depends on the size of your servings.

    1. You can freeze it, but use caution when reheating as the sauce canvery quickly and easily separate. Reheat on the stove, not in the microwave, and stir continuously.

        1. I don’t recommend it. Alfredo sauce tends to be delicate when it comes to reheating and can break easily (separate). It’s a pretty simple sauce and doesn’t take long to make at all.

    1. You could add pesto, sure! I think it would have to be a personal taste though. Maybe start with a few tablespoons and continue adding until you’re happy with the flavor and texture.

  6. Is there a link to your skinny alfredo sauce recipe? I looked over the website and can’t find it. I love this recipe, but I’m trying to lower our sodium intake. I’d like to compare the recipes. The family loves alfredo, and more specifically this recipe. My husband recently found out he has high blood pressure. It’s a struggle to revamp the dinner menu.

    1. I usually will add the cream cheese to the white sauce, before adding the Parmesan, if I’m concerned it won’t be thick enough. You could also add it after the cheese, but soften it a bit in the microwave (10 seconds).

  7. This is amazing, delicious, and so easy! We used it on both pasta and French bread pizza and it’s delicious and perfect. The addition of cream cheese to thicken is a great idea. Thanks for the recipe!!!!

  8. Just made your recipe at first I wasn’t feeling the consistency and thought I should add another ingredient but I took it off the stove and let it settled and it began to thicken. OH MY GOSH DELICIOUS!

  9. This was a huge hit. I didn’t use fresh grated cheese, but made sure I got high quality grated parmesan from the deli. It worked fine. Yum!!!!

  10. I made this Alfredo Sauce recipe this evening and added shrimp to it and it was the best Alfredo Sauce I have ever had , beats even the finest restaurants. My husband and guest raves over it . Will definitely be making this again. I also added four ounces of cream cheese to thicken as suggested and it was the perfect consistency, thank you for sharing this outstanding recipe.

  11. You should have your own tv show. Competition for Rachael Ray if you asked me. Oh my god your recipes are to die for. Or go on her show and tell her I said that.