Dips and Sauces

Easy Alfredo Sauce

20 minutes is all it takes to make this easy Alfredo sauce. With only 3 ingredients, it's easy to enjoy a rich, creamy Alfredo pasta dinner at home.

It’s taken me two Alfredo recipes on the blog before I’ve decided to just get it over with and finally post a recipe for a basic Alfredo sauce. This is the heavy, creamy, super rich kind. A lightened up version will be coming to the blog soon.

I didn’t know how to make Alfredo sauce though until recently. It’s one of those things I preferred to leave to restaurant cooks while digging into a comfy plate of fettuccine Alfredo, fork deep in rich sauce and blissfully ignorant.

20 minutes is all it takes to make this easy Alfredo sauce. With only 3 ingredients, it's easy to enjoy a rich, creamy Alfredo pasta dinner at home.

But hey, if I’m gonna post Alfredo recipes, I need to know the basics, right? Turns out it wasn’t that hard. In fact all it takes are three basic ingredients: butter, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.

20 minutes is all it takes to make this easy Alfredo sauce. With only 3 ingredients, it's easy to enjoy a rich, creamy Alfredo pasta dinner at home.

But while the ingredient list is simple there are a few key techniques that should be mentioned for the execution of a good Alfredo sauce. It can make all difference between restaurant quality Alfredo sauce and a lumpy, chewy mess.

First you need to simmer it over medium low heat, it should never reach a boil or the sauce will separate. If you’ve ever heated up Alfredo leftovers in the microwave and notice a pool of melted butter separated from the sauce, it’s pretty much like that. Doesn’t look all that great and it’s tougher to reason with yourself why you deserved it, looking all obviously bad for you like that.

20 minutes is all it takes to make this easy Alfredo sauce. With only 3 ingredients, it's easy to enjoy a rich, creamy Alfredo pasta dinner at home.

Second, and this is the most important thing of all, you must have freshly shredded Parmesan cheese. I don’t like shredding cheese at all so I tried a shortcut with store bought pre-shredded Parmesan and that stuff just does not melt. Remember the lumpy mess I mentioned earlier? Yeah that’s the culprit.

I read that it’s all the preservatives that interfere with the melty magic. I guess the same things that prevent them from clumping together in the bag stops them from melting well. And trust me, I’ve ruined two batches of Alfredo sauce this way. The first time round and the third time round after I forgot the freshly shredded rule.

20 minutes is all it takes to make this easy Alfredo sauce. With only 3 ingredients, it's easy to enjoy a rich, creamy Alfredo pasta dinner at home.

So shred that cheese yourself. It’s worth it! After resigning myself to this fact, I bought the proper tool to shred stuff and it wasn’t such an ordeal. And that’s all you need to know. Melt the butter, stir in the heavy cream and add freshly shredded Parmesan cheese in portions. Stir, melt, repeat until it’s all in. Once you remove it from the heat and let it sit, it’ll thicken up some more.

Toss it with some pasta and add whatever protein you like: grilled chicken or shrimp and you’re set! This amount of sauce works out well with about half a pound of pasta.

20 minutes is all it takes to make this easy Alfredo sauce. With only 3 ingredients, it's easy to enjoy a rich, creamy Alfredo pasta dinner at home.

A few tips for heating it up: if you have some leftovers, heat it up over the stove on low heat and add some milk or heavy cream to make it creamy again. Heating up cream-based pastas in the microwave is never a good idea. You’ll get that evil butter pool again.

If you’re interested in the two Alfredo recipes I mentioned earlier, here’s the chicken Alfredo pasta bake and Alfredo pasta shells.

Enjoy!

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20 minutes is all it takes to make this easy Alfredo sauce. With only 3 ingredients, it's easy to enjoy a rich, creamy Alfredo pasta dinner at home.

Easy Alfredo Sauce


  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, melt the butter and pour in the heavy cream. Stir to combine
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  3. Add the Parmesan cheese in portions and stir to mix until smooth
  4. Mix with pasta and protein of your choice
  5. Dish and serve hot

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Julie@ Cooks with Cocktails
    January 20, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    Yum! I love real Alfredo sauce! I never make it because of all the fat but I will just eat with my eyes on your site and drool 🙂

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      January 20, 2015 at 4:49 PM

      I have it about once or twice a year whenever we go to an Italian restaurant. Lasagna always wins out the other times 🙂

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    January 23, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    What an easy (and delicious) alfredo sauce. I love how creamy and cheesy it is!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      January 23, 2015 at 6:25 PM

      Thanks, Thalia. Who needs to go to Olive Garden anymore for Alfredo?!

  • Reply
    sylvie amésée
    February 8, 2015 at 1:24 PM

    Your photos are real works of art and the pasta plate makes my mouth watering !

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      February 9, 2015 at 4:00 PM

      Thanks for your lovely compliment Sylvie! It’s a work in progress and sometimes I have good days and bad days. This was one of my good days! 🙂

  • Reply
    Doug
    March 27, 2015 at 3:21 PM

    Thanks for the tips on the low simmer and freshly shredded parmesan. I’ll give it a try!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 28, 2015 at 1:51 PM

      Sure thing, Doug! Lots of trial and error involved on my end but it was worth it. Freshly grated Parmesan all the way!

  • Reply
    JoAnn
    April 25, 2017 at 5:32 PM

    Love your blog. Nice, bold colored photos. I need to up my blog game. Gonna try your Alfredo Sauce recipe tomorrow night.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      April 25, 2017 at 7:06 PM

      Thank you, JoAnn. Hey I hope it works out for you tomorrow!

  • Reply
    Beth Wilson
    November 9, 2018 at 2:56 PM

    Thank you for sharing this! I love the simpleness of it! Can’t wait to try it. I know it will be good.

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