This easy homemade Alfredo sauce is a rich and creamy white sauce made with butter, Parmesan, heavy cream, and simple seasonings and is ready in 25 minutes! It’s a perfect easy recipe to serve over your favorite pasta, chicken, or veggies for a comforting weeknight meal!
Love classic Italian dinner recipes? This meatless baked ziti is a wonderful family favorite, this easy traditional lasagna recipe is always a crowd pleaser and who doesn’t love classic stuffed shells.
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Creamy Alfredo Sauce from Scratch
Knowing how to make Alfredo sauce from scratch is one way to elevate a simple dinner idea!
It is an easy to make sauce that taste so much better than a store-bought jar of alfredo sauce. Because it’s made with simple ingredients, it can be made in a pinch with things you probably already have!
When you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner, pouring creamy rich alfredo sauce over fettuccine noodles as a side to crunchy baked chicken tenders or mayo parmesan chicken or over simple grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken for an easy Chicken Alfredo. It’s a great recipe to get everyone running to the dinner table.
- Unsalted Butter: Melted butter is what we use to start off the sauce. It gives it a rich buttery foundation that gets infused with the garlic as it cooks and is just mouthwatering.
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is best but feel free to use jarred if you’d like. If you want more of a garlic alfredo sauce, feel free to add more
- Heavy Cream: Ok, so the jig is up. This isn’t exactly authentic (like, not at all) as classic alfredo sauce doesn’t use any cream. However, I like it, so I use it! It adds a creamy richness that makes it extra saucy. Feel free to leave it out if you’d like.
- Fresh Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated from a block, if you can. There are so few ingredients in this recipe that it’s nice to be able to use quality ingredients wherever possible. Freshly grated melts better and won’t leave your sauce gritty, however you can use pre-shredded from a shaker if you want.
- Black Pepper: Did you know that black pepper is just one of the 3 original ingredients in traditional Alfredo sauce? The other two are butter and cheese. So, let’s not skip this one!
- Nutmeg: Adds a delightful warm earthy spice that pairs well with heavy cream. Love it or leave it, it’s up to you.
- Salt: To taste and to bring out the flavors of the rest of the sauce. Make sure to salt the water you use to boil pasta if you’re making it at the same time.
1. 1. Add ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes for a kick.
2. Use a combination of cheese for added cheesiness. Pecorino, Fontina, Gruyere or even a little cream cheese are all nice changes from the traditional parmesan flavor.
3. For a little extra seasoning, sprinkle in a bit of Italian seasoning.
4. If you don’t have butter you can use olive oil. I suggest using a really good extra virgin olive oil if you have it.
5. Add some protein to the sauce! Cooked chicken, shrimp, and even salmon go great with Alfredo sauce.
6. Toss in some leafy greens like baby spinach at the end. It will melt easily in the heat and won’t take any extra time to cook.
7. Garnish of fresh parsley if you’d like
How to Make this Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe
This delicious homemade sauce will come together in so few steps you’ll wonder why you haven’t always made it from scratch!
Step 1: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the garlic until fragrant. This should only be about a minute so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
Step 2: Pour in the heavy whipping cream and bring it to a slow boil. You don’t want it to burn and scorch the bottom of the pan.
Step 3: Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the grated Parmesan cheese as you whisk continuously until creamy and smooth. Remove from the heat and sprinkle in the black pepper, nutmeg, and salt. Stir to combine.
This creamy sauce is best served right away over many kinds of pasta, chicken or use it to smother your veggies or as a dipping sauce too!
- When serving Alfredo sauce with your pasta, reserve ¼ cup of your pasta water, and once the pasta is mixed with the sauce, add 1 Tablespoon at a time, as needed, to the sauce to thin it out.
- Freshly cracked pepper makes a difference! I bet once you try it, you’ll never go back to the ground black pepper again 😉
- Avoid using any lower-fat milk or cream. It won’t thicken the sauce as well or give it that rich consistency.
- Adjust the level of garlic. If you’re not a fan, you can completely omit it. If you love the garlicky flavor, add more!
Once completely cooled, store leftover alfredo sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Add the sauce to a saucepan and reheat on the stove over low heat. The microwave works in a pinch but you’ll notice the high heat may give it an oily consistency.
It is! This sauce isn’t thickened with a flour-based roux, it’s thickened with heavy cream.
Technically yes, if you’re looking for a lighter thinner sauce, you can use whole milk or even half and half. I do love the thick richness and creamy texture the heavy cream gives it.
Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a large saucepan, add the butter and melt over medium heat.2 tablespoons butter
- Add the minced garlic to the butter and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Be sure not to burn the garlic.2 cloves garlic
- Then pour the heavy cream in and and bring to a slow boil.¾ cup heavy cream
- Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the grated Parmesan cheese, whisking continuously until it is creamy and smooth.1 cup parmesan cheese
- Remove from the heat and stir in the pepper, nutmeg, and salt.½ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Serve over pasta, chicken, or vegetables.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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