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The Best Alfredo Sauce doesn’t come from a jar – it comes from your own kitchen! Homemade Alfredo Sauce is rich and creamy and takes about 15 minutes to make from scratch with just a few ingredients.

It’s easy to make, tastes like you slaved over it, and perfect over your favorite pasta. You’ll never want to resort to store-bought again!

Try this homemade Alfredo sauce with Broccoli Tortellini Alfredo or Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells. Or for a unique spin on a classic, try my creamy Pumpkin Alfredo.

Glass jar filled with alfredo sauce, a spoon dripping sauce above the jar.
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Ingredients for Homemade Alfredo Sauce

All you need are a few easy-to-find ingredients and homemade, restaurant-quality taste is at your fingertips.

  • Butter – Real butter, not margarine.
  • Heavy Cream – Do not use milk or even half & half. You need full-fat heavy cream for this recipe.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated off the block. Do not use pre-shredded.
  • Optional Garnishes – Fresh cracked black pepper, fresh minced parsley.

Homemade Alfredo is always so homey and comforting. It’s no wonder it’s such a popular dish! I love to add fresh garlic and black pepper to give it a little more depth. While it’s not customary, you can also add Italian seasoning or dried basil.

While serving it over pasta is my favorite, you can also pour it over chicken, use it as a pizza sauce or as a bread dip!

How To Make the Best Alfredo Sauce From Scratch

This Homemade Alfredo Sauce recipe is a creamy sauce that’s super delicious and is the best over fresh, hot pasta. Once you learn how to make Fettuccine Alfredo from scratch, you’ll never go back!

  1. Simmer the butter and cream. Melt the butter over medium-low heat with some minced garlic, then add the heavy cream. Bring it to a simmer, just barely bubbling, but do not boil.
  2. Work quickly with the cheese. Whisk in fresh grated or shredded Parmesan cheese. Add the cheese in small handfuls, whisking vigorously with each addition in order to incorporate it into the sauce so it can melt. This will keep your cheese from clumping. Simmer away for a few minutes or until the sauce has thickened up.
  3. Season, garnish, and serve. 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.
Cream being poured into a skillet with melted butter.
Butter and cream whisked together in a skillet.
Alfredo sauce in a skillet, a wooden spoon with alfredo sauce on the back, with a scrape through the sauce to show how thick it is.
Fettuccine Alfredo being tossed with metal tongs in a saute pan.

How To Thicken a Thin Sauce

Sauce not thick enough for you? Add a few ounces of softened cream cheese (from the block, not the spread) to your sauce. It will give the sauce 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 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan, and add a tablespoon of flour. Cook until golden, then add to your simmering sauce and stir until it’s completely incorporated.

Recipe FAQs

What is Alfredo sauce?

A classic alfredo is a creamy, cheesy white sauce served over pasta, usually fettuccine. You can make it the traditional way by heating the ingredients on the stove or the non-traditional method which involves creating a roux. Hands down, I prefer the traditional method.

If you’re looking for a “Skinny” without heavy cream? Be sure to check out our Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti.

What does the sauce taste like?

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

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

What can I use instead of heavy cream?

If you don’t have any heavy cream, you can use whole milk but it will not thicken the same and will be a much thinner sauce. Alternatively, you can make a roux by adding a few tablespoons of flour to the melted butter and garlic and then add milk. The texture will be a little different and it won’t be as rich, but it will still taste good.

Serving Suggestions

  • Over Pasta – Alfredo is most commonly served with Fettuccine Pasta. The long, thick Fettuccine noodles mop up the luscious sauce so you don’t miss a drop. Any type of pasta will work: spaghetti, linguine, or even small-cuts like penne and rotini. You could also try your hand at making some homemade pasta.
  • Garnishes – Sprinkle on some fresh minced parsley or chopped basil for a little color in the presentation.
  • Sides: Because it’s so rich, I usually serve alfredo topped pastas with just a salad like my copycat Olive Garden Salad and some homemade Garlic Bread. It doesn’t need much to jazz it up.
  • Mix-Ins: You can also top with your favorites, like grilled chicken (Chicken Alfredo – YUM), Pan Seared Shrimp, or Garlic Butter Steak Bites.

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • Storage: 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 keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Refrigerator: If you happen to have leftover sauce, you can reheat it but proceed with caution. Add a teaspoon or two of milk/cream 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 the sauce by itself (no pasta) 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 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). Make fresh pasta when you’re ready to use the sauce.
Fettuccine noodles with alfredo sauce in a small bowl with pasta twirled onto a fork.

Expert Tips

  • Buy good quality ingredients – The quality of your ingredients can make or break this dish, so make sure to buy the best quality cheese, butter, and cream that you can.
  • The cheese is important! Manufacturers coat pre-shredded and pre-grated cheeses with starches to prevent them from sticking together. However, this coating can hinder the cheese from melting smoothly. Make sure to buy a good quality block of cheese and grate it yourself for the best possible texture.
  • 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 cause the butter and cream to separate or “break” the sauce.
  • 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.
  • Toss, don’t pour. You want to add the pasta to the sauce, not the other way around. Use tongs to transfer the noodles directly from the water to the sauce and swirl around to coat completely. The sauce will thicken more as you combine because of the starches in the pasta.

More Pasta Sauces to Try

Recipe

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

4.62 from 13 votes
The Best Alfredo Sauce is made from scratch! Homemade Alfredo Sauce is so rich and creamy and takes 15 minutes with just a few ingredients.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings

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)
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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.
Keyword alfredo sauce

Nutrition

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

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

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. Tomika says:

    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.

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Tomika for the awesome feedback.

  2. Sam says:

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

    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks for stopping by Sam!

  3. Laurie From Illinois says:

    We love this recipe! Thank you! ??

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thank you Laurie for stopping by.

  4. Gregory Brown says:

    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

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Gregory, Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Tina says:

    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!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Tina for sharing your positive experience.

  6. Michelle says:

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

    1. Kristin says:

      Cook the chicken separately and add when plating or stir into the finished pasta and sauce.

  7. ras taman says:

    this recipw is simple, quick and yummy

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Ras for sharing your Positive experience!

  8. Wendy says:

    How many servings do you get out of this recipe? I need to serve 20.

    1. Kristin says:

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

  9. Melissa says:

    Can I make this ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate? How long do you think it will last?

    1. Kristin says:

      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. Rita Aparicio says:

        Can you prepare the day before and then reheat the next day?

        1. Kristin says:

          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.

  10. Kerry says:

    Could you add pesto to this recipe? If so how much would you suggest?

    1. Kristin says:

      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.

  11. Sandra says:

    Thank you for your recipes! I’m loving your ingredients for the sauce.

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Sandra! So glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Heather says:

    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.

  13. Sofia says:

    Hi,i wonder if i can use this sause for carbonara?

  14. Morgan Hawkins says:

    If you want to add cream cheese, how much and at what point during the cooking process?

    1. Kristin says:

      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).

  15. Pam says:

    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!!!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Pam! and thanks for sharing your experience!

  16. Sandra says:

    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!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Sandra,thanks for sharing your experience!

  17. Kendra says:

    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!!!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Kendra!

  18. SUNITA M REID says:

    Love this recipe I can’t go back to store bought after this.

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you SUNITA!

  19. Karen says:

    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.

  20. jeffrey vander muss says:

    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.