This easy recipe for the best authentic Alfredo sauce comes together in 15 minutes! Made with real-food ingredients like fresh Parmesean, butter, cream, and seasonings, this sauce is perfect for pasta with easy Italian meatballs, pizza, and more!
It feels like every family has one night a week where there is ZERO time for dinner.
For us, that’s Wednesday. My daughter has cheer practice after school and my son and I have youth group that night, so I declared Wednesday to be pasta night. It was the one thing I knew my kids would eat fast AND that would cook fast!
I’ve made spaghetti with hearty tomato sauce, ravioli with carrot top pesto sauce and fettuccine with vodka sauce…. I made linguine with garlic butter sauce too, but it wasn’t the same as that creamy, cheesy alfredo sauce that tasted so good!
One day I did something brave and unthinkable: I tried making alfredo sauce from scratch.
And I was in shock…making your own alfredo sauce is SO easy!
All it takes is 6 basic ingredients and 15 minutes and you have a DELICIOUS homemade alfredo sauce recipe that your family will LOVE!
15 Minute Easy Alfredo Sauce
Here’s how I know your family will love this alfredo sauce:
- It’s great as leftovers. When it’s on the dinner table, my kids ask if they can have it for lunch the next day.
- Super delicious. When there’s just a little bit left, the kids argue over who gets a second helping.
- Quick. I love this recipe because it only takes 15 minutes!
- Simple. All you need are 6 ingredients.
Oh, and if you REALLY want to earn brownie points, serve it with these easy Italian meatballs. SO GOOD!
Ingredients for Homemade Alfredo Sauce
Let’s talk about what goes into the best alfredo sauce recipe ever, shall we?
- Butter and Cream. If you want thick and creamy alfredo sauce, you have to use heavy cream. I normally don’t have heavy cream in my pantry (unless I’m making homemade vanilla coffee creamer), but this alfredo sauce recipe is worth making sure it’s on your shopping list.
- Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese. PLEASE use fresh Parmesan cheese. Do NOT use that powdery stuff in the green container because that is not 100% Parmesan cheese. (Don’t believe me? Read the label. And did you know that this cheese legally cannot be sold as “Parmesan” in Europe?)
- Garlic. Choose fresh garlic whenever possible. Garlic powder is fine in a pinch, but fresh minced garlic really makes the world of a difference.
- Salt and Pepper. Freshly ground black pepper packs a flavor bomb, so try to use that if you can. If you don’t have a pepper mill, ground black pepper works too. Save the salt for last since the cheese (and possibly the butter) has salt already.
How is the Best Alfredo Sauce Made
Making homemade alfredo sauce is easy:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, Add the garlic, heavy cream and pepper.
- Bring the sauce to a boil; then reduce to a simmer. Add the cheese, stirring until the cheese has fully melted.
- Turn the heat to low. Taste and season with salt as desired.
Can Alfredo Sauce be Frozen
Yes! I would suggest freezing not long after it has cooked, or you’ll risk getting a different consistency in the sauce. You can freeze in cubes or freeze cups of sauce in an airtight container.
Can you make alfredo sauce without cream cheese?
Did you notice what this recipe does NOT have? Cream cheese.
Cream cheese is SO GOOD in stove-top mac and cheese, but no authentic alfredo sauce has cream cheese. Don’t add it to this recipe friends. Save it for your bagels.
Is Alfredo Sauce Keto-friendly?
Yes. However, when on the keto diet you’ll need to monitor your carb intake and may need to limit the amount of sauce you use.
Alfredo sauce can be used for more than just pasta. You can use it as a base to your pizza on cauliflower pizza crust, you can top grilled chicken with it, or even serve it with zucchini noodles.
A Note About Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan isn’t the cheapest cheese out there, so three tips to get the best bank for your buck:
- Buy a whole wedge. As in, don’t buy the containers of pre-shredded Parmesan.
- Buy it in bulk. It lasts several weeks in the fridge, or you can freeze it to make it last even longer.
- Consider buying Parmesan-Reggiano. This is what authentic Parmesan is labeled in Europe, but for some reason, that label costs less in the States. In either case, it’s Parmesan.
Parmesan has a rind – a thick, tough outer layer. I love using the rind whenever possible since A) it is still food, and B) I hate throwing it away because it’s not cheap.
The rind is SO GOOD in minestrone soup, spinach pesto and even in easy Italian meatballs, but I don’t recommend using the rind in this alfredo sauce recipe. It doesn’t melt as well as the cheese itself and I think it contributes to the sauce “breaking.”
Bonus Recipe Tips:
- Use a large stockpot to cook your pasta and add more water than you think.
- Save the wrapper from your stick of butter to grease pans (one simple way to avoid waste and save money!)
- Shred your own cheese with a grater like this one. It’s cheaper to buy cheese in a block and tends to be free of unnecessary ingredients.
What to Serve with Alfredo Sauce
Here are a few ideas for what to make with alfredo sauce:
- Chicken Alfredo over Fettucini Pasta
- Chicken Alfredo Pizza
- Pasta with Alfredo Sauce and Meatballs
- Over Gluten-free Pasta
Other Super Fast Dinner Ideas:
- Weeknight Stir Fry
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Pasta Primavera
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
15 Minute Alfredo Sauce
This easy recipe for the best authentic Alfredo sauce comes together in 15 minutes! Made with real-food ingredients like fresh Parmesean, butter, and cream.
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: About 2 cups 1x
- Category: Sauces/Condiments
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tsp)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 4 oz)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, heavy cream and pepper.
- Bring the sauce to a boil; then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the cheese, stirring constantly until the cheese has fully melted.
- Turn the heat to low. Taste and season with salt as desired. Sauce will thicken upon standing