Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo in a bowl

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
626 Calories
51g Fat
29g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 626
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 51g 66%
Saturated Fat 32g 159%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 531mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 282mg 22%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 206mg 4%
*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.)

This classic fettuccine Alfredo is made with cream, butter, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. It's a pasta comfort food at its finest, an Italian dish made with just a few basic ingredients that most home cooks are likely to have on hand.

As with any recipe that has few ingredients, it is important that each one is fresh and of the best quality you can get. Make sure you use freshly grated Parmesan cheese—the kind you buy in a block and grate yourself, not the kind from a can.

You also want to use fresh parsley and not dried, if possible. For a special treat, buy fresh fettuccine instead of using dried pasta from a box—or make your own homemade pasta. Fettuccine is a fresh pasta that's not hard to make.


Click Play to See This Classic Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe Come Together


  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 1 pound dried fettuccine

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus more for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for fettuccine Alfredo
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  2. Fill a large stockpot with cold water and add a handful or so of kosher salt. Stir and taste; it should taste like seawater. Cover pot and heat water until it boils.

    Boil water
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  3. Drop fettuccine into boiling salted water and cook according to package instructions, about 6 to 9 minutes, or until al dente, tender, but still firm to the bite.

    Cook fettuccine in boiled water
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  4. While fettuccine cooks, heat butter and cream in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat until it starts to bubble.

    Butter and cream melting in a sauté pan
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  5. Lower heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until sauce has reduced somewhat. Remove from heat.

    Lower the heat on the cream and butter and simmer gently
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  6. Add cheese and toss until fully mixed. Adjust consistency with additional cream if necessary.

    Add the cheese and toss
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  7. Stir in chopped parsley. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Stir in the chopped parsley
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  8. Drain fettuccine and toss with Alfredo sauce.

    Drain the pasta in a colander
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  9. If desired, sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and garnish with additional chopped parsley.

    Fettuccine alfredo sprinkled with cheese and chopped parsley
    The Spruce

Recipe Variations

  • You can make fettuccine Alfredo even more special by adding protein or vegetables. Some grilled chicken, sliced into strips, is great, and so is cooked shrimp.
  • For a vegetarian Alfredo, toss in some sautéed mushrooms or steamed asparagus. Peas, broccoli, and/or sliced green onion tops are also a nice addition to any version of fettuccine Alfredo.
  • If you are eating vegan, there are a few ways to alter this recipe to accommodate your needs, whether you use a dairy-free roux in place of the cheese or tofu and vegan cream cheese.
  • Sauté 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced, in half of the butter for about 2 minutes. Add to the cream along with the remaining butter pieces and continue with the recipe.
  • Make it a spicy chicken Alfredo. Slice 4 chicken tenderloins into small pieces. Brown the chicken in a small amount of vegetable oil or butter in a skillet. Sprinkle with seasoned salt or Cajun or Creole seasoning. Toss the cooked chicken with the fettuccine and sauce.


When making cream-based sauces, you might be tempted to substitute milk or half-and-half for the heavy cream, but these ingredients do not behave the same way in the pan. Milk and half-and-half will curdle when simmered, but heavy cream is more stable, which is why it's the choice for cream sauces.

How to Store and Freeze Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo will keep covered in the refrigerator for three to five days. If you would like to freeze this dish, it's advisable to undercook the pasta slightly. This way, when you freeze and reheat it, the pasta will be tender and not mushy.