|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 51g||65%|
|Saturated Fat 32g||159%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Alfredo sauce is a classic Italian sauce made with just three main ingredients: cream, butter, and cheese. How could that be bad? It's quick to make and will be just as quick to disappear—no one can resist the decadent, creamy sauce.
Alfredo sauce is named after its inventor, Alfredo di Leilo, who served the dish at his restaurant in Rome in the early to mid-1900s. It was prepared tableside, and some restaurants still carry on this practice today. Taste for the dish was fast to outside of Italy, and it continues to be especially popular in America.
A simple combination of heavy cream and butter is heated and reduced before a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese is added off the heat. For the best results, serve it fresh. Put a pot of water on to boil before you begin so that you have freshly cooked, hot pasta ready to toss and serve. Pair it with fettuccine for a classic dish or try it with other pasta shapes, or use it in lasagna or as a dipping sauce, and more.
"This recipe is very easy to make yet very satisfying. It's creamy and rich. You can definitely taste the Parmesan cheese, but it's not overpowering. Freshly ground black pepper gives this sauce the punch that it needs. I recommend tasting the sauce before adding salt because the Parmesan can be pretty salty." —Tara Omidvar
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, optional
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a large sauté pan, heat cream and butter over medium-low heat until it starts to simmer.
Lower heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until sauce has reduced somewhat.
Remove pan from heat and cover.
Add cheese gradually, stirring the whole time, until it's melted and well combined. Adjust consistency with additional cream if necessary.
Stir in chopped parsley, if using.
Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Toss with the hot cooked pasta of your choice and serve right away.
- For this amount of sauce, cook 10 to 12 ounces of dried pasta.
- Don't overheat the sauce. Just bring the butter and cream to a light simmer and reduce over low heat.
- Add the cheese gradually, stirring the whole time. Freshly grated Parmesan is recommended for a creamier sauce, and finely grated is ideal since it melts easily.
- The sauce will thicken as it cools a bit.
- Cream works best for Alfredo sauce, but half-and-half will work in a pinch. Note that it will make a thinner, less decadent sauce.
- Make a garlic Alfredo sauce by adding two finely minced or grated garlic cloves to the butter and cream.
- Parmesan is a classic choice, but you can swap part or all of it for grated Pecorino Romano or aged Asiago cheese.
How to Store and Freeze
- Alfredo sauce is best made and served fresh. However, leftovers will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.
- While not ideal, Alfredo sauce can also be frozen. Let cool slightly, then add to a zip-top freezer bag and squeeze out the air. Freeze for up to three months. Let defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- To reheat leftover Alfredo sauce, first use a whisk to mix, especially if the sauce looks separated. Place in a small skillet or saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring constantly.
How do you thicken Alfredo sauce?
To make a thicker Alfredo sauce, cook the cream and butter down for longer. Note that it will thicken greatly after you add the cheese and once it cools a bit. You can add more cheese to thicken it even more.