Quick & Easy Alfredo Sauce Recipe (6 Ingredients!)

Make this easy alfredo sauce recipe from scratch in only 15 minutes! Using only 6 simple real-food ingredients, this recipe is budget-friendly and perfect for pairing with your favorite pasta for a quick dinner on your busiest night of the week.

Plate of fettuccine alfredo and a fork twirling the noodles. Text overlay reads "15 Minute Easy Alfredo Sauce"

It feels like every family has one night a week where there is ZERO time for dinner.

For us, that’s Wednesday. So, I declared every Wednesday 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 and ravioli with Carrot Top Pesto 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!

We needed a bit more variety in our weekly pasta nights, so I decided to try making alfredo sauce from scratch.

And I was in shock…making your own alfredo sauce is SO easy. I should have done this sooner!

All it takes is 6 basic ingredients and 15 minutes, and you have a DELICIOUS comfort food recipe that your family will LOVE!

WHY I LOVE THIS HOMEMADE ALFREDO SAUCE RECIPE

This homemade alfredo sauce recipe is a great meal to add to your meal plan.

  • 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.
  • Healthier. It totally beats pasta sauce from a jar!

Oh, and if you REALLY want to earn brownie points, serve it with these Easy Italian Meatballs. SO GOOD!

Image containing recipe ingredients butter, garlic, heavy cream, pepper, parmesan, and salt.

FETTUCCINE ALFREDO RECIPE INGREDIENTS

This sauce for fettuccine alfredo only has 6 ingredients, and if you’re anything like me, you regularly have most of these on hand anyway!

  • Unsalted Butter and Cream. If you want thick and creamy alfredo sauce, you have to use heavy whipping 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.
  • 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.
  • Parmesan Cheese. More on this below!

Psst! Want to kick this up a notch? Try finishing this recipe with a pinch of finishing salt! I love Ava Jane’s Kitchen because it doesn’t have microplastics (gross, right?) and it’s SO GOOD! Plus, you can get an 8 oz bag for free!! Get your bag of salt on this page. (Just pay shipping.)

The best homemade alfredo sauce recipe is served warm over fettuccini pasta and finished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

PARMESAN CHEESE IN ALFREDO SAUCE RECIPE

PLEASE use fresh Parmesan cheese in this homemade alfredo sauce recipe. 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?)

Parmesan isn’t the cheapest cheese out there, so three tips to help you get the most for your money:

  • 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.”

Plate of fettuccine alfredo

HOW TO MAKE ALFREDO SAUCE FROM SCRATCH

Step 1: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.

Sauce pan with cubes of butter melting

Step 2: Add the garlic, heavy cream and pepper.

Garlic, heavy cream, butter, and pepper in a sauce pan with a spoon stirring

Step 3: Bring the sauce to a boil; then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Parmesan cheese on top of the alfredo sauce mixture in a saucepan

Step 4: Add the cheese and whisk constantly until the cheese has fully melted.

Fettuccine with homemade alfredo sauce on a plate

Step 5: Turn the heat to low. Taste and season with salt as desired. The sauce will thicken upon standing.

EASY ALFREDO RECIPE TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Use a large stockpot to cook your pasta and add more water than you think. Save the pasta water for watering plants!
  • 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.

HOW TO SERVE ALFREDO SAUCE

Here are a few ideas for how to serve this easy alfredo sauce:

  • Chicken Alfredo over fettuccine noodles (or toss in some shrimp!)
  • Chicken Alfredo Pizza (here’s how to make easy pizza dough)
  • Pasta with Alfredo Sauce and Meatballs
  • Serve over gluten-free pasta
  • Add some finely chopped mushrooms or broccoli to the sauce in the last five minutes of cooking for a yummy veggie alfredo sauce
Plate of fettuccine with homemade alfredo sauce

REHEATING LEFTOVER ALFREDO SAUCE RECIPE

Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It may thicken as it sits, so when you reheat, cook over low heat and add a small amount of milk to thin the sauce.

Serve over any other leftover ingredients or make new dishes and recipes!

ALFREDO SAUCE RECIPE FAQS

Can alfredo sauce be frozen?

Yes! I would suggest freezing not long after it has cooked, or you’ll risk getting a different texture and consistency in the sauce as it separates. 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 sauce for your pizza on cauliflower pizza crust, you can top grilled chicken with it, or even serve it with zucchini noodles.

Is alfredo sauce gluten-free?

Some store-bought alfredo sauces use flour as a thickener, but this alfredo sauce recipe is gluten-free as is. Serve over your favorite gluten-free pasta for an easy meal!

How to make an alfredo sauce thicker without flour or cornstarch?

Great news! This recipe doesn’t require additional thickeners like flour or cornstarch. The creamy thickness here comes from using heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and letting the sauce stand for a few minutes after cooking.

MORE QUICK DINNER IDEAS

WATCH HOW TO MAKE THE BEST 15 MINUTE ALFREDO SAUCE RECIPE

Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe

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. :: DontWastetheCrumbs.com

Make this easy alfredo sauce recipe from scratch in only 15 minutes! Using only 6 simple real-food ingredients, this recipe is budget-friendly and perfect for pairing with your favorite pasta for a quick dinner on your busiest night of the week.

  • Author: Tiffany
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: About 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauces/Condiments
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, heavy cream and pepper.
  3. Bring the sauce to a boil; then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cheese, stirring constantly until the cheese has fully melted.
  5. Turn the heat to low. Taste and season with salt as desired. Sauce will thicken upon standing.

Notes

  • Use a large stockpot to cook your pasta and add more water than you think. Save the pasta water for watering plants!
  • Save the wrapper from your stick of butter to grease pans (one simple way to avoid waste and save money!)
  • Shred your cheese with a grater like this one. It’s cheaper to buy cheese in a block and tends to be free of unnecessary ingredients.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 537

Keywords: alfredo sauce recipe

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