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fettuccine pasta smothered in homemade Alfredo cream sauce.
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5 from 235 votes

Alfredo Sauce Recipe

Alfredo sauce is a rich and creamy white sauce made with garlic, butter, heavy cream, and parmesan. This savory cheesy sauce infuses garlic into the butter and can be used with all kinds of pasta or even on top of vegetables. This recipe is different, I dare say better, than an alfredo sauce recipe with cream cheese.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12 servings


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream divided
  • 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese finely grated


  • Add butter and garlic to a saute pan and heat over low heat. Allow to cook until the butter is infused with the garlic, about 5 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of heavy cream, stir, and allow to come to a simmer. Increase heat to medium, if needed. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and immediately add in parmesan cheese and remaining heavy cream.  (Note: the parmesan will easily melt if it was finely grated from a block. If you used pre-grated cheese that is thicker, you may have to continue heating over low heat to get it to melt.) Stir to combine. It will take several minutes for the cheese to melt. It will look goopy at first (especially if you used pre-grated cheese) and then the sauce will be creamy and smooth. If sauce needs to be thinned, add additional heavy cream.
  • To serve, toss with tossed pasta or use to cover vegetables.



Makes about 3 cups.
Cooking tips:
  • Quality ingredients. The higher quality ingredients you use, the better your sauce will be. Make sure the garlic is fresh and, if possible, grown locally. Kerrygold is my butter of choice, but there are so many great ones available. Be sure to buy real authentic parmesan cheese imported from Italy.
  • Press the garlic. When garlic is minced through a garlic press instead of chopped, you expose the maximum amount of surface area. That means you'll extract the most flavor from it.
  • Grate the parmesan yourself using a microplane. You can certainly use shredded parmesan, but it will not melt properly due to the large size of the pieces and anything that has been added to the cheese to prevent sticking. I highly recommend grating from a block of cheese using a microplane grater. It will make the parmesan melt instantly.
  • Reheating. This alfredo sauce will thicken as it cools. If it cools too much, it will get too thick. If it gets too hot, it will separate. The trick is to keep it just warm enough. This sauce must be reheated gently either on the stove over low heat, in the microwave on 50% or lower power, or by adding super hot, freshly drained pasta to your sauce.
  • Substitutions. Many readers ask if whole milk (3-4%) or half and half (10-12% fat) can be used in place of heavy cream (38-40% fat). The answer is YES, although I don't recommend it because you will have a thinner sauce. If you need to make a substitution and feel that the final sauce is too thin, you can always stir in a bit of mascarpone or cream cheese at the end to thicken it.


Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 245mg | Potassium: 37mg | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 0.1mg