Everyone loves this rich and creamy Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe. Made with five simple ingredients and ready in less than fifteen minutes, it’s easy to make and perfect with your favorite pasta or vegetables. Hands down the best alfredo sauce you’ll ever make!
Fettuccine alfredo has always been my number one favorite pasta recipe. After all, what could possibly be more satisfying than slurping up delicious noodles covered in cream, cheese, and butter? Not much.
Fortunately, homemade alfredo sauce is one of the easiest and fastest recipes you will ever make – just fifteen minutes! So junk the store-bought jarred stuff (or lovingly donate it to a friend) because homemade alfredo is so much better and a fraction of what you’ll pay at your favorite Italian restaurant.
What is Alfredo Sauce?
Alfredo sauce is a rich and creamy Italian pasta dish traditionally made with fresh fettuccine noodles tossed with butter and parmesan cheese (known as fettuccine al burro in Italy). As the dish spread to the United States, ingredients like garlic and heavy cream were added, changing the recipe into the one we’re more familiar with today.
How to Make Alfredo Sauce
1. Set a large skillet or saucepan over medium, medium-low heat. Melt the butter and add 1-3 cloves of fresh garlic or one teaspoon of garlic powder. Note: If you prefer your alfredo sauce without garlic, simply omit the garlic. Mix well and cook for about one minute, or until the garlic is fragrant.
2. Add the flour and whisk continuously until fully combined with the butter. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes (still whisking) until the roux is light and golden in color. Reduce the heat if necessary to prevent the roux from burning.
3. Slowly whisk the heavy cream into the flour and butter mixture. Allow it to cook over medium to medium-low heat for about 4-5 minutes, whisking the entire time. Add the parmesan cheese and mix well to combine.
4. Remove the alfredo sauce from the heat and continue to whisk until desired thickness is reached. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste. Note: It will continue to thicken as it cools and it will continue to thicken after it is mixed with cooked pasta noodles.
5. Serve garnished with fresh parsley, crushed red pepper, and additional black pepper.
How to Thicken Alfredo Sauce
There are several ways to thicken alfredo sauce.
- Make a roux: We’re already making a roux at the beginning of this recipe by whisking together one tablespoon of flour with melted butter in a skillet until thickened. If you want your sauce even thicker, you can make a roux by whisking together equal parts butter and flour in a separate skillet set over medium heat. Once the sauce has finished cooking, add small amounts of the set-aside roux until desired consistency is reached.
- Make a slurry: Combine a little cornstarch with cold water until completely combined. Slowly add the slurry to the sauce until the desired consistency is reached.
- Add reserved pasta cooking water: Reserve a cup of the water that was used for cooking your pasta noodles. The water is super starchy, working as a natural thickener. Just be sure to add a little at a time.
How to Make Alfredo Sauce with Milk
Alfredo sauce is best when it’s made with heavy cream. If you prefer to make it with milk, remember that it will not be as creamy or flavorful. For best results, don’t use anything lower in fat than whole milk. Also, add an additional tablespoon or two of flour – this will help thicken your sauce.
Can You Freeze Creamy Alfredo Sauce
Yes. As far as I’ve read (because I haven’t actually tried it myself) alfredo sauce is ok to freeze as long as it is frozen right after it’s been made. Let it cool first, but then get the sauce in the freezer asap. It’s also recommended that the alfredo sauce be stored in freezer-friendly ziplock bags, removing with as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 6 months.
- Don’t overheat the sauce. Keep the heat setting right around medium-low. At no point should alfredo sauce boil.
- Use a whisk, and use it often. For a smooth sauce, whisking is more effective than stirring.
- Shred your own parm. Pre-shredded parmesan cheese in a bag or grated parm in a can will not melt into the sauce smoothly.
- Omit the flour to make this alfredo sauce recipe gluten-free.
Storing and Reheating
Storing: Store leftover alfredo sauce in an airtight container or jar with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Reheating: Your best bet is to reheat leftover alfredo sauce over low heat on the stovetop stirring frequently. Reheating in the microwave is not recommended as it will change the consistency of the sauce.
This easy alfredo sauce is perfect with your favorite cooked pasta – fettuccine may be the classic, but whatever you have sitting in your pantry will taste just as yummy! Even tossed with spaghetti squash is fantastic (and one of my favorite ways to get my son to eat more vegetables.) A side of grilled chicken, baked chicken breasts, or juicy shrimp are all delicious smothered in a creamy sauce, as are veggies like zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
More Homemade Pasta Sauces
- Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
- Easy Basil Pesto Recipe
- Marinara Sauce
- Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce Recipe
- Grandma’s Spaghetti Sauce with Meat
- Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
If you try making this Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Best Alfredo Sauce Recipe
- Melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium to medium-low heat. Once melted, add the minced garlic and cook for approximately 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the flour, salt, and black pepper, whisking continuously until a thick, golden-colored paste forms (called a "roux"), about 2 minutes. (see notes)
- Slowly add the heavy cream, whisking continuously to prevent any clumps from forming. Continue to cook for approximately 4-5 minutes, whisking the entire time. Reduce heat if necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese then remove from heat.
- Continue to whisk off-heat for an additional minute or until thickened. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste.
- Serve with cooked fettuccine, penne, or other favorite pasta and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
- Adding flour is optional. A little flour, however, will help thicken the alfredo sauce a little. If you prefer an even thicker sauce, add an additional tablespoon of flour for a total of two tablespoons.
- If the sauce is too thick, stir in 1/4 cup of heavy cream at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Note: Your sauce will continue to thicken after it is tossed with cooked pasta noodles. This is because cooked pasta is super starchy and acts as a natural thickener.
- For best results, keep leftover alfredo sauce stored in an airtight jar or container separate from the pasta noodles. Use within 4 days.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)