Skip to Content

Alfredo Sauce

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


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

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

💌 Let's Stay Together

There are so many great ways to receive all of our latest recipes, meal tips, and inspiration.

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. It’s the perfect sauce for Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo and Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo. 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

More Easy Pasta Sauce Recipes to Try

Tools You’ll Need:

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

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


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Minced flat leaf parsley, for serving, optional
  • Cooked Pasta, for serving, optional


  1. In a large saucepan, set over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

  2. Slowly stir in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Add the parmesan and stir until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Toss with cooked pasta and garnish with parsley if desired.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories545
  • Protein17 g
  • Carbohydrates44 g
  • Total Fat33 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol102 mg
  • sodium1737 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Alfredo Sauce

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Margo

    Can I make sauce the night before?

    It's best if it's served right after making.

  • Jimmie

    I’m making chicken Alfredo for 40 people for a club dinner. Can I keep it warm in a crockpot til served?

    Yes, it should be ok on the warm setting. Hope you enjoy Jimmie!

  • Katie

    Hi! I made this yesterday for dinner, doubled the recipe and tossed it with Fettuccini, chicken breast and broccoli. It was delicious. We had a lot leftover and when I warmed it up today the sauce completely fell apart. Everything ended up sitting in pools of butter. Would making a roux with the butter help hold it together so that it is more suitable to refrigerate and reheat? Or is there another step you would recommend?

    I like to keep recipes like this one gluten free, because you can easily swap for gluten free pasta. I also just prefer my cheese sauces to not have flour in them. The way I reheat this sauce is very gently normally even in a double broiler situation. It may still separate a little, but heating it up in a microwave or over high heat will totally melt the butter and it will separate.

  • Susan

    I’m of the same thinking as Carol regarding the Parmesan. 8 oz = 1 cup The recipe calls for 2 cups and 8 oz x 2 =16 oz. I really think that was a typo when you listed 2 cups as 6 ozs.but then you doubled down on it in your answer to Carols question. How does 2 cups of finely grated Parmesan cheese equal “ roughly 5 oz.?” as you answered. It’s obviously either 2 cups or 5 ozs since they are 2 different amounts. If you actually meant ozs. please say whether it’s 5 or 6ozs because now you’ve actually said both.thanks,

    For the recipe you will need 2 cups. It's confusing, yes, with weight vs. volume! Because and 8 oz chunk (if you put it on a scale) of parmesan is like 2.5 cups when grated. I think I will just take out the 6 oz part and have the recipe call for 2 cups grated parmesan. : )

  • Carol

    You list 2 cups of Parmesan cheese and then follow with 6 oounces. Do you mean 16 ounces?

    2 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese is roughly 6 oz!

  • Andi

    Delicious! I made a 1/2 recipe and my husband loved it.

    Thanks Andi, so glad you both loved it!

  • Leisha


    Thank you Alfredo!

  • Georgia

    This is indeed the best Alfredo pasta recipe! I serve it with blanched broccoli and shredded rotisserie chicken, it's always a hit and so easy.

    Thanks Georgia, we are so glad that you love it!

  • OGC

    Made an excellent Alfredo sauce. Thank you for a superb recipe.

    We are so happy you enjoyed it, thank you!

  • Brent

    Insane Alfredo sauce! I was literally gulping it down with a ladle.

    Haha! Awesome Brent! Happy to hear you THOROUGHLY enjoyed it!