Simple, Decadent Alfredo Sauce: Cream, Butter, and Cheese

Fettuccine Alfredo recipe

The Spruce

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
635 Calories
66g Fat
4g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 635
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 66g 84%
Saturated Fat 41g 205%
Cholesterol 189mg 63%
Sodium 470mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 10g
Calcium 296mg 23%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Like so many classic Italian pasta sauces, the alfredo sauce is based upon the premise that anyone should be able to make at any time, using staple ingredients that most people would have on hand at all times.

Go ahead, scan the ingredients list. It won't take long.

See? This is not a stretch, right? After all, those who read cooking sites are cooks at heart. Therefore, there is a 50 percent certainty that readers have all five ingredients in their kitchen right now. And to get five, that's counting salt and pepper as one ingredient, which is being extremely generous since almost everyone has those.

So really, it's four, and if one is missing it's probably going to be the parsley, only because it's green, so it's more perishable. But guess what? The parsley is only in there for folks who can't stand seeing a plain, white sauce. It's a sop, in other words. You can leave it out.

Which means at its core, it's down to three essential ingredients: the heavy cream, the butter, and the parmesan cheese.

When looking at it this way, the recipe seems so decadent. It's basically serving pasta with cream, butter, and cheese.

And no adding bacon or anything like that. For those looking to eat pasta with bacon, try a carbonara. Alfredo sauce is for those who want a creamy, soul-enriching sauce that's simple and easy to make. Picture coming home from a hard day at work, and within half an hour, a glass of wine has already been downed, and now, it's time to move on to a gorgeous plate of pasta with a cream, butter, cheese sauce.

However, this article is not trying to discredit seasonings. Certainly, the salt is crucial as always. But particularly the pepper. Let it be ground freshly and in great abundance. If ever there were a time to be a pepper-monkey, it's with this sauce. To be clear, though, our preference would be to season the sauce with salt, then toss your cooked pasta in the sauce, and finally, grind your pepper over the finished dish right before serving.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large sautée pan, heat the butter and cream over medium-low heat until it starts to bubble.

  3. Lower heat, and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced somewhat.

  4. Then, remove the pan from heat, and cover.

  5. Add the cheese, and toss until it's fully mixed. Adjust consistency with additional cream if necessary.

  6. Stir in the chopped parsley.

  7. Season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  8. Toss with the hot cooked pasta of your choice and serve right away.