My favorite recipe for homemade Alfredo sauce. It’s easy to make in just 15 minutes, full of the best creamy and garlicky flavors, and always ultra comforting and delicious.
After sharing my favorite marinara sauce recipe with you yesterday, today I’m sharing my go-to recipe for its creamy, cheesy, ultra-comforting counterpart…
…my favorite homemade Alfredo sauce. ♡
Now I will be the first to note that this Alfredo sauce recipe is “American-style,” a la the Olive Garden version that zillions of us grew up loving. By contrast to its Italian-style origins, in which the sauce was created in Rome with just butter and cheese (more similar to my cacio e pepe recipe), American-style Alfredo sauce is famously a bit more indulgent and complex. Heavy cream and/or milk are typically added to make the sauce creamier, differing levels of flour are added to create a roux and make the sauce thicker, and a number of different seasonings are often added (especially a hint of white pepper and nutmeg) to give it an extra flavor boost. So while this may come as a surprise to some, the American-style version of this sauce would definitely not be considered authentic in Italy. But hey, I think we can all agree that the creamy version of this sauce has become an iconic favorite of its own. ♡
That said, though, all American-style Alfredo sauce recipes are definitely not created alike! I don’t know about you guys, but I have been served far too many Alfredos over the years that were gloppy and greasy and devoid of good flavor, which simply will not do. (Especially when indulging in a cream sauce…I want it to be amazing!) So today, I’m sharing my favorite homemade Alfredo recipe that I have tweaked over the years to perfection.
My version is made with a base of half milk and half cream, so that it’s still rich and creamy but not overly heavy. It’s seasoned with plenty of garlic plus a hint of white pepper and nutmeg, all of which serve to balance out those creamy flavors nicely. It’s just slightly thickened with a tablespoon of flour, which you are also welcome to leave out entirely if you prefer. And best of all, it’s made with lots and lots of freshly-grated Parmesan, which is really the main flavor we all want and love in a good Alfredo.
Oh and bonus? The entire recipe is incredibly easy to make and comes together in just 15 minutes. And, of course, it tastes a million times better than anything that you can buy in a jar. Perfect for tossing with pasta, topping grilled chicken, spreading as a white pizza sauce, mixing into lasagna and baked ziti, or whatever else sounds good.
I’m telling you, this Alfredo sauce is always a winner. So let’s make some!
Alfredo Sauce Recipe | 1-Minute Video
Homemade Alfredo Sauce Ingredients:
To make this American-style Alfredo sauce recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
Butter: Or you could also substitute olive oil, if you prefer.
Garlic: Finely-minced or pressed.
All-purpose flour: To help form a roux and thicken the sauce. If you are making gluten-free Alfredo sauce, however, you are welcome to omit the flour and have a slightly thinner sauce. Or you can use a cornstarch slurry to thicken it (see details below).
Heavy cream and milk: We will use this blend as the base for our sauce.
Parmesan cheese: I recommend freshly-grating your Parmesan cheese so that it will melt more smoothly into the sauce. Also, grated Parmesan cheese can be tricky to measure correctly simply with a measuring cup, so I recommend using a kitchen scale if you own one.
Sea salt and white pepper: I like to use fine sea salt and white pepper to season this sauce. If you are new to cooking with white pepper, please note that it has a slightly different flavor and is significantly more potent than black pepper, so you do not need to use as much. That said, if you only have black pepper in the house, that will work too.
Ground nutmeg: A pinch of nutmeg is typically used in American-style Alfredo, but you can omit this if you prefer.
How To Make Alfredo Sauce:
Alright, let’s talk about how to make Alfredo sauce! Simply…
Sauté garlic. Briefly sauté the garlic in butter until it is lightly golden (be sure not to overcook it). Then stir in some flour to form a roux.
Add the milk and cream. And whisk until evenly combined.
Simmer. Continue cooking the sauce until it reaches a simmer, then reduce heat to maintain the simmer, add in the Parmesan, salt, white pepper and nutmeg, and whisk until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
Season. Don’t forget to taste and season with extra salt and/or white pepper, if needed.
Serve. And…enjoy! So simple, right?!
Possible Recipe Variations:
There are all sorts of ways that you can customize this basic Alfredo sauce recipe, so feel free to experiment and get creative! Here are a few of my favorite variations…
Make it gluten-free: To make gluten-free Alfredo sauce, just omit the flour (and have a slightly thinner sauce). Or, you can omit the flour and use a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cold water and cornstarch, added to the sauce as it is simmering) to thicken the sauce.
Make it lighter: To make a lighter Alfredo sauce, use milk in place of heavy cream (so 2 cups of milk total, no cream).
Make it extra-garlicky: If you want to make your sauce extra-garlicky, feel free to double the amount of garlic cloves.
Use roasted garlic: If you want even more complex garlic flavors in the sauce, skip the minced garlic and instead roast an entire head of garlic and stir the cloves into the sauce to make a delicious roasted garlic Alfredo sauce.
Add Cajun seasoning: To make Cajun Alfredo sauce, stir your desired amount of Cajun seasoning (I recommend 2 to 4 teaspoons, to taste) into the sauce.
Add pesto: If you happen to have some basil pesto on hand, try stirring in a few tablespoons to make a delicious pesto Alfredo sauce.
Ways To Use Alfredo Sauce:
There are endless ways that you can put this Alfredo sauce recipe to delicious use! For example, feel free to make…
Alfredo Pasta: Fettuccine Alfredo is obviously the most famous option here, but any shape of pasta will do. To make traditional fettuccine Alfredo, cook 1 pound of fettuccine until al dente, drain, then toss with the Alfredo sauce until combined. Feel free to add in cooked proteins of your choice (for example, to make chicken Alfredo pasta, shrimp Alfredo, or meatballs Alfredo). And of course, veggies such as broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus and more are delicious additions too!
Homemade Pasta Option: Or, if you really want to kick your Alfredo pasta up a notch, try making it with homemade pasta! One batch of this sauce will pair perfectly with one batch of my favorite homemade pasta recipe.
Alfredo Pizza: Use this sauce in place of marinara pizza sauce.
Alfredo Dip: Use this sauce as a dip for breadsticks, veggie sticks, pretzels and more.
Alfredo Casserole: I also love using this recipe as a sauce in casseroles, baked ziti and white lasagna.
More Italian Sauce Recipes:
Looking to try some other classic Italian sauces? Here are a few of my faves:
This homemade Alfredo sauce recipe is easy to make in just 15 minutes, it’s rich and creamy and full of the best garlicky flavors, and always ultra comforting and delicious. See notes above for possible variations too.
1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely-minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
1 cup (1 1/2 ounces) freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
Sauté garlic. Melt butter in a large saucepan or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in the flour and sauté for 1 minute more, stirring frequently.
Add the milk and cream. Add in the heavy cream and milk and whisk until evenly combined.
Simmer. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, until thickened. Add in the Parmesan, salt, white pepper and nutmeg, and whisk until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
Season. Taste and season with extra salt and/or white pepper, if needed.
Batch Amount: This recipe yields enough sauce to toss with a 1-pound (or 500g) package of uncooked pasta, which should be cooked until al dente, drained and then immediately tossed with the sauce.
Storage Instructions: To store this Alfredo sauce, let it cool until it reaches room temperature. Then transfer to a mason jar or food storage container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this sauce.
I haven’t made this yet, but it looks great to try!!! Could’ve used this last week but will be making the same dish again – alfredo + squash (or pumpkin or sweet potato).
Also, was just perusing old recipes for ideas of ways to use my pantry items and saw that you used to do Mailbox Mondays where you answered questions from readers. Can this come back please?!
Why not use half and half instead of cream and milk?
That works too! Half and half can be difficult to find in some countries, so I just went with half cream and half milk. :)
Can we use half and half, in lieu of the heavy cream? Unfortunately, organic (which is my choice) heavy cream, contains nasty fillers or stabilizers. The organic half & half, does not. Thanks! And that looks delicious.
Sure thing, that should work well. Enjoy! :)
Ali, I made Alfredo sauce a couple of weeks ago – similar recipe that I altered quite a bit. It was loved by my husband and adult grandson, my taste team and best critics. I didn’t have cream so used only 1/2&1/2 but will be trying your version this week. Our nice April weather turned dreary suddenly with rain and even light snow this morning, so it’ll be a perfect dinner tonight. I depend on your recipes to keep my meals varied and different.
We loved this sauce!!!
Ali, I have loved every recipe of yours I’ve made, but this Alfredo recipe stands alone atop the podium (very, very close to your pork carnitas, which was first til now!). I used your sauce as a base for a tossed chicken and spinach penne, and I wanted to dive into a pool of the sauce. So delicious! Thank you for sharing your culinary creativity and talent.
I just made this for dinner tonight. I added shrimp and peas. It was delicious and so easy!
This was delicious! I used 2% milk and half &half because that’s what I had. So quick, the sauce was done before the pasta! Will be making this a lot in the future.
This is the first time I’ve ever made homemade Alfredo sauce. My 11 year old daughter loves to eat straight shredded real Parmesan, and with the plague, we’ve tried a lot of new recipes! This one is great. No need to try other recipes for me, this one is perfect. I don’t like super thick Alfredo, so I eyeballed a little extra milk and it was just right. Thanks for the recipe!
Just made this and it tastes great! Next time we make it, we will double it for a pound of pasta; it just barely coated the noodles.
Delious! One word needed -and so easy! No more jars for me and better than Olive Garden by far. I added shrimp ? to ours and a salad and we were so happy!
Dee from Kettering Ohio
May 2, 2020
Awesome and EASY recipe! Halved the recipe for just hubby and me. Used half and half, added 2 TBSPs of Ricotta for added creaminess, and tossed in some fresh basil and leftover shredded chicken to serve over linguini. Had a delicious decadent dinner on the table in 20 minutes flat. Unbelievable!! Will never buy jarred again. This is going in the rotation for sure. Thanks SO much! 5 stars and then some!!
Amazing how easy this recipe was!! And so good!! I was craving Olive Garden and can’t risk going out. I actually had a big Costco jar of shredded Parmesan and heavy cream on hand. Excellent! Not salty like jarred sauce! Put it over a box spaghetti. Love it! Thank you for the great recipe! Will make it again!
Would it be ok to use almond milk?
This recipe came out deliciously. I have followed it to the tee, and we all liked it but this time I didn’t have the cream so I used just milk but added more cheese. Once again it was great, I like more pepper so I add it on my plate. Thank you for sharing these recipes.
Alfredo sauce does not have garlic! Check the original recipe
Yes maybe that’s true…idk I haven’t looked but this is HER version of it.
Very, very easy and tasty! This will be my go to Alfredo Sauce from now on.
Thank you for this delicious recipe! I’m allergic to gluten and dairy milk so made the following substitutions: oat milk instead of milk and cream, and gf 1:1 flour (along with jovial brand gf tagliatelle). I also used the stick blender before adding the cheese to purée the garlic as I had not minced it finely enough during prep. It was some of the best Alfredo I’ve had in years and no after dinner ‘trots’. We topped with some Prosciutto and a garnish of fresh basil. Definitely making this again soon!
Thank you for the recipe! I used this sauce for leftover salmon in a fettuccine alfredo with green beans. Recipe was simple and tasty!
Just made this and it is incredible. I have a low calorie and fat substitute for heavy cream that I always use when cooking and it worked in this too. Combine 1 cup 2% milk with 2 Tbs cornstarch to equal 1 cup heavy cream.
Excellent and easy! I’m never buying the jarred stuff again! Thank you!!!
I’m 73 but have never made alfredo sauce before I thought it took too long to make and usually just ordered an alfredo dish when we ate at pasta restaruants I decided to try this because it said 15 min to cook and directions were easy to follow. The outcome was fabulous. Am sharing your recipe with my sister.
I followed instructions precisely but the sauce did not thicken after simmering for 10 minutes. I tossed the parmesan cheese with a heaping tablespoon of flour before adding it to the cream mixture, and simmered it for five additional minutes to cook the flour. Excellent flavor!
My kids asked for fettuccine alfredo for dinner, so I went to the store to buy a couple of jars of alfredo sauce. My local store was completely out of alfredo sauce. I guess everyone had the same idea. In the middle of the aisle, I whipped out my phone to find a recipe. I can’t disappoint my kids, right? This one had good reviews and looked easy. I bought the fresh parmesan and heavy cream. I figured I’d use black pepper, and had everything else. I also grabbed some broccoli, because vegetables. I whipped this up doubling the recipe because I know my people like extra sauce. Oh my goodness. I will never ever buy jarred sauce again. This is awesome. And easy. And fast. We are gonna get so fat eating fettuccine alfredo. I thank you for this recipe. My kids thank you. Future generations thank you.
Delicious!!! My family thanks you!!!
My 8 yo wanted to try to make homemade alfredo sauce. Never made one before so blindly picked this. We definitely used a bit more salt and pepper and finished w fresh chopped basil. 10/10 whole family loved and 8 yo is proud. Thanks.
This is awesome. You nailed the taste I was looking for. Though next time I’ll roast the garlic so its creamier. I have a garlic press but it still had little tiny chuncks. Still perfect if you dont have time for that step. Thank you so very much!!!
This sauce is absolutely delicious and dead easy.
Excellent. Thank you for the great recipes. Cant wait to try another one.
This recipe is delicious and simple to make!! I doubled it and added fresh spinach directly to the sauce, as well as sautéed mushrooms and chicken breast.
I LOVE Alfredo sauce. But I’m always perturbed to see people using flour to thicken it. The BEST thing to use to thicken this sauce is egg yolks. It gives the sauce a wonderfully creamy texture, without it getting tacky.
Totally! This is a great bechamel but not an alfredo.
The best Alfredo sauce ever and so easy to make.
I have been having a hankering for some really good fettuccine alfredo. You’d be surprised by how many restaurants do not offer this on their menu! I just made this and I am in absolute heaven. It was just perfect. So creamy and flavorful. The garlic gives it a wonderful kick. This will be a go to recipe from now on!
I’m not seeing amounts of ingredients??
We use your “Skinny Alfredo” recipe regularly and love it. What is the taste or other differences?
Yummm! I used some Parm and some white Cheddar (I’m in Vermont, it’s required lol). Threw in some frozen peas and sundried toms, and stirred in a pound of cooked cavatappi. I meant to put it all in a dish, top it with breadcrumbs, and bake it…..but we ate half of it right up too quick!
I just made this tonight. It was very good! My family loved it. Thank you.
Made this for the first time, super easy and delicious! Needs NO adjustments??
This was sooo good. I made it exactly how the recipe recommended, but added peas and blackened chicken at the end. My only change is that it needed more salt. Thanks for sharing!
This filled all my garlic Alfredo pasta fantasies! I’ve never been able to find a recipe that mimics the garlicky flavor of Olive Garden’s Alfredo sauce, but this one did the trick! I served it mixed in with linguine, shrimp, and wilted spinach. It was sooo good.
Oh, and I used half and half instead of heavy cream and milk. It turned out perfectly.
Very disappointed this sauce did not thicken, 2 cups liquid to 1 tbsp of flour is not enough. Hard to add flour after, taste like pasty flour because it’s not browned. This recipe needs to be adjusted
My sauce thickened ok, after like 10 min simmering on medium heat. But, it was WAY too salty, even though I just added the 1/2 tsp of salt in the recipe. I’m really surprised that no other reviewers have mentioned this. Tried adding some sugar to balance it out, but the damage was done. All I can think of my brand of parmesan was already salty?? Very strange and I will think twice about making this recipe again.
I made this for a bridal shower–the bride’s favorite food is chicken fettuccini Alfredo. It was a huge hit and I directed everyone to your site for the recipe. Thank you!
This is my family’s favorite Alfredo. Jar sauce doesn’t compare AT ALL! We make it with penne or ziti noodles and toss some chicken in with it. Serve with garlic bread and a salad or broccoli for an easy weeknight dinner.
Looks super tasty, definitely making this for dinner.
This is my favorite go to recipe for Alfredo sauce!! It’s great, plus you can make it your on by adding your own touch to it. Love this recipe,& so does my family!😋
I made this today and it was just perfect. I did add a little cayenne to give it some heat. (Just a little). I added some cooked chicken breast that I just had made and served it with broccoli. My husband loved it and said that it had great flavor. Thank you, so much for this lovely recipe. I will be using this again.