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March 20, 2024

Fettuccine Alfredo

Creamy, cheesy, but not too heavy, this Fettuccine Alfredo recipe can be mixed and served tableside for date night or thrown together in a pinch for a weeknight dinner for the family.


Homemade fettuccine alfredo in a skillet sprinkled with fresh parsley with a serving spoons in it
Photography by Gayle McLeod

An Easy Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

If you’re still looking for that perfect fettuccine alfredo recipe, look no further. Our recipe, with less than 10 ingredients, is decedent without being too rich. It’s not too fancy but has a complex flavor: we use two types of garlic, freshly cracked black pepper and nutmeg, to cut the heaviness. Kids and adults alike will be satisfied with this cheesy, comforting dish. And it’s the perfect accompaniment for almost any protein. You’ll never use jarred fettuccine alfredo sauce again after you make this quick alfredo sauce. We’ll also share our favorite tips and tricks so you can make it in a pinch every time. If you’re a real pasta lover,s tart with our Creamy Cavatappi and then check out all of our favorite pasta recipes.

fettuccine alfredo ingredients in prep bowls: fettuccine noodles, butter, 
Garlic, spices, Heavy cream & Parmesan

What is authentic Alfredo made of?

But first, is fettuccine Alfredo actually Italian? Yes! It was created in Italy, Rome, in 1914 where chef Alfredo Di Lelio simply mixed Parmesan Reggiano with a little butter and salt to create an elegant but delicious meal. Since then, Americans have adjusted it to their tastebuds to include cream and other ingredients. Authentic fettuccine alfredo would simply contain fresh fettuccine noodles, butter, fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano, and fresh cracked pepper, served tableside. Other varieties include Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo and Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo.

In our homemade fettuccine alfredo recipe, we use:

  • Fettuccine

  • Unsalted butter

  • Garlic cloves

  • Garlic powder

  • Ground nutmeg

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

  • Heavy whipping cream

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Flat leaf parsley

Is heavy cream or milk better for Alfredo?
We like to use heavy cream to create a thick, decedent sauce that mimics how they make it in restaurants. Pro Tip: since the ingredients are simple, if you want to splurge, we suggest using the Parmesan Reggiano which comes in a wedge, and remember you always want to grate it yourself. No pre-shredded Parmesan please!

Heavy cream being poured into butter in a skillet to make Alfredo sauce.
Parmesan being added to a skillet with heavy cream to make Alfredo sauce.

How to Make Fettuccine Alfredo

Follow these simple step-by-step instructions below to make the best fettuccine alfredo – we even included some of our favorite tips and tricks:

  1. Prepare the fettuccine noodles! Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the noodles to al dente, according to the package. Pro Tip: Once the noodles are cooked, save a cup of pasta water to use to thin the sauce and coat the noodles.

  2. Make the homemade alfredo sauce! Melt the butter and add the aromatics – both garlic, nutmeg, salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Slowly add in the parmesan and stir until fully combined. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

  3. Assemble the fettuccine alfredo! Toss the al dente noodles into the sauce and mix to coat each noodle thoroughly. If needed, use some of the reserved pasta water to help combine and thin out the sauce. Pro Tip: using tongs, twirl, and place onto individual plates. Sprinkle with parsley, freshly cracked pepper, and grated parm. Enjoy immediately.

Alfredo sauce in a skillet made with butter, garlic, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt, pepper, heavy cream, Parmesan & parsley
Homemade alfredo sauce in a skillet with cooked fettuccine noodles being stirred in

What to Serve with Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta

Whether we’re serving this to a crowd or for a quick weeknight meal, we like to balance it with a hearty side of protein or veggies. Our favorite, budget-friendly protein – chicken – turns into Lemon Chicken, Chicken Paillard, Instant Pot Chicken, or the ever so simple Chicken Quarters with Shallot and Olive Salad which really cuts through the richness of the meal. Looking to keep it plant-based? Try this Cauliflower with Walnut Kale Pesto to delight your guests. You can never go wrong with serving it alongside a big salad – keeping in theme – Antipasto Salad, Simple Italian Salad, or The Best Tomato Salad. Or stick to a classic: Kale Caesar Salad. When we don’t have any greens in the fridge but are looking to lighten the meal up, we stick to roasting whatever we have, but our go-to’s are Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Brussels and the simple, yet elevated, Green Bean Almondine. Round out the meal with flavor-packed Garlic Bread.

Homemade fettuccine alfredo in a skillet sprinkled with fresh parsley
A bowl of homemade fettuccine Alfredo with noodles sprinkled with fresh parsley with a fork in it

Tools You’ll Need for Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo

Our Favorite Vegetarian Pasta Recipes

A budget-friendly meal that satisfies everyone is sometimes hard to come by. Luckily, we keep a variety of vegetarian-friendly pasta recipes in our back pocket. Some of our favorite, no-fail recipes include:

A bowl of homemade fettuccine Alfredo sprinkled with fresh parsley with a fork in it

Impastable Not To Love!

Pasta and cheese are an irresistible combo! Did you make the Fettuccine Alfredo for your family or friends? How did it turn out? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Fettuccine Alfredo

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 669


  • 12 ounces fettuccine
  • 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


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Slowly stir in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Add the Parmesan and simmer, stirring, until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove the pot from heat. Add the fettuccine and toss to coat. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories669
  • Protein17 g
  • Carbohydrates44 g
  • Total Fat49 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol149 mg
  • sodium764 mg
  • Total Sugars0 g

Fettuccine Alfredo

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Blakelee

    Is this a good recipe for kids. can you make this gluten free?

    It depends on the kids but we know a lot of kids that like alfredo. You will need to use gluten free pasta to make it gluten free.

  • serafine

    is the Fettuccine Alfredo gluten free?

    No, fettuccine noodles contain gluten.

  • Sara

    My family loves this recipe!

    YAY! Thanks Sara, so happy you all love this!

  • Jenn

    Such a hit with the family! Felt better about it than the jarred stuff plus it was WAY better!

    Thanks Jenn, glad your family enjoyed it!