Creamy, rich, comforting alfredo sauce is insanely easy with only 6 ingredients and served in 10 minutes!
My very first lesson in culinary school was about alfredo sauce.
While our ‘processing’ was happening and the staff were gathering our knife wallets and textbooks, Chef Paris (he was from Paris) was whipping up fresh fettuccine and alfredo sauce for us to eat out of little paper bowls. We watched in a kitchen full of Kitchen-Aid stand mixers fitted with pasta dyes and flour as he quickly whipped up the sauce and quickly cooked the freshly made pasta.
And good Lord, it was one of the best eating experiences I had til then.
Silky, creamy, rich, decadent, flavorful, comforting…it’s honestly my favorite pasta sauce. Period.
I mean, I love bolognese.
I love a good tomato sauce. I looove carbonara.
But nothing wins my heart more than alfredo sauce. Nothing. Especially since it’s so easy!
Heavy cream, butter, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper….and if you’re like me, you might squeeze a little lemon juice for some brightness to cut through the richness. It’s seriously fantastic, and I can’t ever see myself buying another $3-$4 jar of pasta sauce again.
I just realized…this Alfredo sauce is keto! Heyyyy diet people!
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Yes, you need heavy cream for alfredo sauce. Don’t try to skip it. Don’t run from it.
Heavy cream actually thickens well as it cooks and with the cheese added. Not to mention a little lemon juice actually reacts with the cream’s chemistry to thicken it. Milk will not work the same, it doesn’t react the same, and often needs other ingredients and longer cooking times to create an alfredo sauce, like creating a roux or adding cream cheese. Still delicious, but not the classic stuff.
You can add whatever spices and seasosnings you like in your alfredo. Italian seasoning, black or white pepper, basil, red pepper flakes…jazz it up how you like.
Oh, and please use fresh, real parmesan cheese. Please, please, please.
Buy a little wedge of it; they got it at ALDI, they got it at Publix, at Wegmans, they got it at Whole Foods, just find a wedge of parmesan and go grab a box grater, because that powdery stuff in the shaker won’t cut it. Trust me, when you smell and feel and see and taste the difference of real parmesan in your dishes, you will never go back to the powdered stuff. It’s covered in cellulose so it doesn’t clump in the can, but that makes it difficult to melt and gives it a different taste.
And do you know how fancy it looks to grate a wedge of parm over someone’s plate with a microplane? Very. It’s very fancy.
This sauce is ready in less than fifteen minutes. Grab some leftover chicken and boil some pasta, you have dinner in under 20 minutes (hello, chicken alfredo).
Oh, and add some broccoli or spinach so you feel like you’re doing something healthy. Alfredo sauce also goes great on a white pizza, is great to dip breadsticks in, it’s just good period.
And seriously, if it’s too rich for you, squeeze in a bit of lemon juice. You will thank me!
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- 4 tbsp 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Lemon juice, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium saucepan or large saute pan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add garlic, and stir to ensure the garlic doesn't burn. Saute for one minute, then stir in cream.
- Let cream come to a simmer, not a boil, and simmer for about five minutes.
- Add in the parmesan cheese and stir well. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes, whisking occasionally to ensure the sauce is smooth and thickening.
- Season with salt and pepper, taste, add a little lemon juice for a bit of brightness if needed, about 1/2 tsp at a time, until the sauce is no longer too rich.
- Serve immediately.
This sauce doesn't reheat well, as it tends to separate. Still tasty, just not as pretty.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.