Macaroni With Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo macaroni
John E. Kelly / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
345 Calories
26g Fat
20g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 345
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 396mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 140mg 11%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 90mg 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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)


This variation on the traditional fettuccine Alfredo uses tri-color macaroni pasta that pleases both adults and kids alike with its creamy taste. It's not a tough dish to pull off, either. Rather, this Alfredo elbow macaroni is an all-purpose pasta dish that's quick, easy, and surprisingly light; most of the time, Alfredo sauce is thought to be very heavy, but in this particular recipe, it's not.

I like using the tri-color macaroni for color, but you can use plain macaroni, shells, penne pasta, cavatappi, or any short, stubby pasta instead.


Steps to Make It

  1. Fill a large soup pot with cold water and a handful of kosher salt. Stir and taste; it should taste like sea water. Cover the pot and heat the water until it boils.​

  2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the butter and about half of the cream over medium-low heat until it starts to bubble. Lower heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has somewhat reduced. Remove from heat and cover.​

  3. Drop the macaroni into the boiling salted water and cook according to package instructions, about 10 to 12 minutes or until al dente, or tender but still firm to the bite. Drain fully and return to the pot.​

  4. Pour the hot cream and butter mixture over the macaroni and return the pot to a very low heat. Toss the pasta in the sauce until it is completely coated.​

  5. Add the rest of the cream as well as the cheese and toss until fully mixed. Adjust consistency with additional cream, if necessary.​

  6. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve right away.


You can make this dish with any other kind of short, stubby pasta, including plant-based (chickpea) or gluten-free pasta.

If you don't have or don't want to use heavy cream, you can use half-and-half instead.

To jazz up this dish, feel free to add some thawed frozen peas (about 1/2 cup), chopped broccoli florets, to the finished dish, and/or a couple of slices of chopped cooked bacon.

How to Store and Freeze Macaroni with Alfredo Sauce

Store any leftovers of this dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium-low heat, adding a little water or some jarred Alfredo sauce, if desired, if the sauce has thickened in the refrigerator.

You can freeze this pasta with Alfredo sauce, but the pasta's consistency may suffer when you defrost and reheat it. You may be better off freezing any leftover sauce on its own, thawing in the refrigerator, and then reheating it in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk to combine the ingredients if they separate when you defrost and reheat the sauce.