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Alfredo Sauce

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a bowl of fettuccine with homemade Alfredo sauce topped with parmesan and parsley

Creamy and rich, with plenty of Parmesan cheese and garlic, our homemade alfredo sauce recipe is easy, classic comfort at its finest.

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You Did It! You Found the Best Alfredo Sauce Recipe Ever.

Making alfredo sauce from scratch—particularly if it’s the best alfredo sauce ever, which this one absolutely is—is sure to make even total kitchen newbies feel like domestic queens (or kings)! Serving up a big bowlful of creamy, cheesy, garlicky fettuccine—each and every twirly noodle coated gloriously in rich, silky alfredo sauce—to the people you love is an act of pure devotion. And sitting down together, side-by-side, hungry and ready, quietly digging into those brimming, steamy, parsley-dusted bowls of homemade fettuccine alfredo? What could be more convivial, more body-and-soul soothing than that? Not a gosh darn thing.

Alfredo sauce ingredients in bowls on the counter butter, cream, garlic, parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper and fettuccine

Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Alfredo Sauce (but Were Too Busy Eating To Ask)

Friends, you have a lot of questions about alfredo sauce. And that’s fair enough! Most of us have eaten our share of alfredo sauce—usually in restaurants, or maybe (if you’re lucky) you grew up eating alfredo sauce at home. But, you may not know much about the origins of fettuccine alfredo. What is alfredo called in Italy, you ask yourself? And relatedly, what’s in an authentic alfredo sauce recipe? Alfredo vs carbonara: they’re both creamy, heady, delicious pasta recipes. What’s the difference between them? Lucky for you, our passion for alfredo sauce runs true and deep—in other words, you’ve got alfredo sauce questions and we’ve got alfredo sauce answers! So, the true ‘authentic’ Italian alfredo sauce—yes, it originated in Italy—is composed of just Parmesan cheese and butter, and is made creamy by the addition of starchy pasta cooking water. Authenticity is all well and good, but most of us in America grew up eating fettuccine alfredo made with heavy cream and at least a little garlic, and you know what? Not only does using heavy cream in your alfredo sauce guarantee a nice and creamy sauce, it’s also easier to make—the Italian version has a shorter ingredients list, but is hard to perfect. And as for the alfredo vs. carbonara question? Well, they’re both deliciously creamy, devilishly rich pasta sauces, but they’re quite different! Carbonara has guanciale (or pancetta or bacon), egg and lots of Parmesan cheese, whereas alfredo sauce is more simple—just a creamy, sometimes garlicky, Parmesan-y sauce.

melted butter, garlic, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a sauce pan for homemade Alfredo sauce
melted butter, garlic, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt, pepper and heavy cream in a sauce pan for homemade Alfredo sauce
homemade Alfredo sauce in a sauce pan
fettuccine and homemade Alfredo sauce in a sauce pan

Cream, Cream and More Cream (Plus Cheese): Homemade Alfredo Sauce Ingredients 101

Now that you’re basically an expert in all things alfredo, you’ll know by simply skimming our alfredo sauce ingredients list that our alfredo recipe is more American-style than authentically Italian. And yet, it yields the hands-down best bowl of fettuccine alfredo you can find on either side of the Atlantic! Authentic or no, it’s exactly what we crave when we’re hankering for alfredo and we know you’re going to love it, too. Pick your favorite pasta—fettuccine noodles are the classic choice—and get cooking! Here’s everything you’ll need to make the best alfredo sauce recipe ever:

  • Butter

  • Heavy cream

  • Fresh garlic

  • Garlic powder

  • Nutmeg

  • Parmesan cheese (use the real stuff—Parmigiano-Reggiano. It’ll melt into the alfredo sauce in just the right way. The stuff in the green can will make for a grainy sauce.)

fettuccine and homemade Alfredo sauce in a sauce pan

How to Make Alfredo Sauce

While you might think of this as a restaurant dish, it’s actually really easy to make alfredo sauce from scratch at home! There’s nothing healthy or light about it, but alfredo is quick and easy and it’s always such a treat. You can use any long pasta you love (or happen to have on hand) but fettuccine is the classic choice, and our favorite. If you can, grab fresh fettuccine to really make this alfredo sauce sing. Here’s how to make homemade Alfredo sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a big saucepan.

  2. When the butter begins to simmer, add garlic, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

  3. After a minute, pour in the cream. Bring it to a gentle simmer (not a boil!).

  4. Stir in the Parmesan.

  5. Simmer the alfredo sauce on low heat for about five minutes, until it’s thick and creamy.

  6. You did it! You made alfredo sauce from scratch! Toss in your favorite (cooked) pasta—you can cook the pasta while you’re making the sauce—and serve.

fettuccine with homemade Alfredo sauce in a bowl topped with grated parmesan and parsley

Can I Freeze It? How Long Do Leftovers Last?

We have never heard of leftover fettuccine alfredo, but if that’s a possibility in your home you can definitely store any leftover pasta in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days. Reheat it slowly over low heat for the best results. Honestly, though, homemade alfredo sauce is best enjoyed immediately, and (sadly) it doesn’t freeze well.

fettuccine with homemade Alfredo sauce in a bowl topped with grated parmesan and parsley
fettuccine with Alfredo sauce in a bowl with a spoon, sprinkled with parmesan and parsley next to a bowl of extra parmesan
fettuccine with homemade Alfredo sauce in a bowl with a spoon, sprinkled with parmesan and parsley

The Best Alfredo Sauce Your Family Has Ever Tasted.

Whip up this creamy, dreamy alfredo sauce recipe and let us know how much your family loved it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Alfredo Sauce

Originally published: October 14, 2021

  • Serves:6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Calories:545


  • 3/4 lb fettuccine noodles (12 oz)*
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Flat leaf parsley, for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of water (4 quarts) and 3 teaspoons of the kosher salt to a boil over high heat. Add the fettuccine noodles and cook according to the package directions.
  2. Meanwhile in a large saucepan, set over medium high heat, melt the butter. When the butter begins to simmer, add the garlic, garlic powder, nutmeg, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Stir for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Slowly add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Add the parmesan and stir until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the noodles and add them to the sauce. Top with fresh parsley.

    *Purchase gluten-free pasta noodles if needed. There is no gluten in the sauce.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories545
  • Protein17 g
  • Carbohydrates44 g
  • Total Fat33 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol102 mg
  • Sodium1737 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Questions & Reviews

Avg: 5