A go-to sauce for so many dishes, this easy homemade alfredo sauce is perfect for pasta, pizza and much more. Forget the store-bought stuff, this homemade alfredo sauce recipe is made with just a few simple ingredients and comes together in only minutes.
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Once I realized how easy it was to make a fresh, homemade alfredo sauce recipe, I never bought a jar of the store-bought stuff again.
Not only does homemade alfredo taste WAY better, it’s also simple to make taking just a few minutes, with just few simple ingredients. Jarred, store-bought alfredo sauce has numerous mystery ingredients and additives and doesn’t taste that great.
In this post I’ll show you how to quickly make your own alfredo in less time it takes to cook your pasta.
What do I need to make my own alfredo sauce?
Here’s a quick-reference check list of the ingredients you’ll need to make your own alfredo sauce at home:
- Butter – feel free to use salted sweet cream butter or unsalted butter. I normally keep salted butter at home and the taste and flavor of the sauce is always perfect.
- Flour – I know flour is somewhat controversial in alfredo sauce, but it is a very helpful thickening agent. For this recipe you’ll make a roux, which is cooked butter and flour.
- Half and Half – half and half is quite common in the US, however I understand that most other countries do not have half and half. Half and Half is half milk, half cream. If you do not have half and half available, you can substitute half milk and half heavy cream, or to keep this sauce on the lighter side, substitute all whole milk.
- Shredded Parmesan cheese – to save time I typically purchase pre-shredded Parmesan cheese. It melts well into the sauce. You can certainly shred your own Parmesan or Parmesan-Romano cheese for this sauce.
- Garlic salt – I’ve discovered that garlic salt adds a nice depth of flavor to this sauce.
- Ground pepper – I like to use fresh ground pepper for this recipe.
- Ground nutmeg – you won’t need much of freshly ground nutmeg to make a difference in the flavor. Nutmeg is a fantastic ingredient in alfredo sauce that takes it from good to amazing!
How do I make homemade alfredo sauce?
Step 1: Over medium heat, melt the butter and add flour in a non-stick skillet. You’ll add the flour as soon as the butter is completely melted.
Use a whisk to combine the butter and flour. Let this cook for a couple minutes over medium heat, while whisking continually. The mixture will become slightly thick and bubbly. This is how you make a roux, which is a common thickening agent in sauces.
Step 2: Add half and half and cheese. Once the butter and flour have cooked, you can then add the half and half.
Start with 1 cup of half and half, and then add the remaining 1/2 cup at the end. Whisk the half and half with the butter mixture until it thickens – about 2 minutes or so. Once it has thickened, you can then add the grated Parmesan cheese.
Step 3: Melt the cheese, add spices and remaining half and half. While continually whisking, stir the sauce until the cheese is nearly melted. Add the pepper, garlic salt and nutmeg.
Lastly, add the last of the half and half and whisk about one minute longer until smooth. For a thinner sauce add more half and half. For a thicker, cheesier sauce, add less.
Love cooking with Parmesan cheese? Check out some of our other popular recipes using Parmesan cheese:
- Baked Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole
- Parmesan Mozzarella Meatball Sliders
- Italian Tortellini Salad
- Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix Recipe
FAQ’s about making homemade alfredo sauce:
Traditionally, homemade alfredo sauce is made of butter, flour, half and half (or heavy cream), shredded Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.
You can substitute half and half for heavy cream when making alfredo sauce. Half and half is a mixture of milk and cream. To make the sauce even lighter, use whole milk as a substitute for heavy cream.
For a great tasting Alfredo sauce, don’t skip the seasoning. Traditionally, Alfredo sauce is seasoned with garlic salt and fresh ground pepper. For added depth of flavor, add in some fresh ground nutmeg, or garlic powder.
To create a silky smooth, delicious alfredo sauce you can do a few things. First, use butter and not oil. (Oil will quickly separate in the sauce and make it lumpy.) Second, for an extra smooth, rich sauce use half and half or heavy cream, and NOT low fat milk. Lastly, add in the cheese slowly and continually stir until melted into the sauce. Promptly remove from heat, or add your pasta. Don’t simmer the sauce as this will cause it to seize up and separate.
Yes, Alfredo sauce can be made in advance. For best results, store sauce in its own container. When ready to reheat, return to a skillet or sauce pan, and heat on low. Whisk in some extra cream or whole milk as it slowly comes to temperature.
What can I use Alfredo sauce in?
Alfredo sauce can be used in numerous pasta dishes. It can also be used as a pizza sauce or even a topping for grilled sandwiches and wraps.
Here are some of our favorite recipes using this easy homemade Alfredo sauce:
- Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
- Shrimp & Bacon Alfredo Pizza
- White Pizza with Bacon and Tomatoes
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Love making your own sauces and dressings? Here are some of our favorite sauce recipes:
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), salted or unsalted
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 c. half and half
- 1 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan Romano cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter. Using a whisk, add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes whisking continually. The mixture will bubble and create a roux, which will help thicken the sauce.
- Pour in about 1 cup of the half and half, continually whisking until the sauce begins to thicken. (About 2 minutes.) Once the sauce thickens, add the shredded cheese, and continue to whisk until the cheese melts.
- Add the garlic salt, pepper, nutmeg and the remaining half and half. Once cheese has completely melted and smooth, the sauce is done.
Ingredient substitutions: you can also use whole milk as a lighter option to half and half. Also, for more garlic flavor you can also sauté 1 tablespoon minced garlic when melting the butter.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 522mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g