There’s nothing worse than wasting your money on bland food, and sauces can be the worst offenders.
It’s rare for the sauces you find at stores in cans or jars to fit your taste perfectly. Too rich, too watery, too much garlic, not enough flavor at all? It’s no wonder more people than ever are reaching into their own bag of cooking tricks to find out how to make Alfredo sauce at home.
Alfredo sauce is an all-time favorite. The rich, creamy flavor isn’t just for pasta anymore, but can instead be used in casseroles, on pizzas, or as a base for any cheesy dish you can think of!
So, if you’re not finding the right kind of sauce in the pasta aisle, here’s a quick and easy alfredo sauce recipe to make it taste just right, using simple ingredients found in your own kitchen.
Gathering Your Alfredo Sauce Ingredients
As with any dish, there are plenty of different ways to make Alfredo sauce.
Here we detail the base layer, as well as a few customizable variants you can add to make a delicious final result.
No Alfredo sauce can do without:
- 8 tablespoons (or one cube) of butter.
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream.
- 1 1/2 cups of grated parmesan cheese.
- ½ teaspoon each of salt and ground pepper.
The whipping cream can be replaced, or mixed along with, either softened cream cheese for a thicker alfredo sauce or milk for those fond of a thinner kind.
Chicken stock is also a good alternative for a thinner, milder-flavored sauce, and small amounts of plain flour will help thicken a sauce that’s gone too thin.
Additionally, many recipes call for freshly grated parmesan cheese as opposed to the near-powdered version found in grocery stores.
The reason is simple: freshly grated cheese melts into the creamy texture of any homemade alfredo sauce more easily than its powdered counterpart. But don’t let that discourage you from using your favorite kind of parmesan, powdered or otherwise!
Alfredo Sauce Additions
While the above ingredients can be found in even the sparsest kitchens, these alone make for a very simple sauce.
Here are some additions to truly spice up your alfredo sauce recipe:
- Minced garlic (or garlic powder).
- Minced onions (or onion powder).
- Italian seasoning.
- Chopped chives.
- Bacon bits.
- Crushed red pepper.
In reality, you could add almost anything to your homemade Alfredo sauce, so feel free to experiment!
Making the Alfredo Sauce
Now it’s time to cook!
- Heat the butter and whipping cream (or your choice of substitute) in a pan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, ensuring it never reaches a full boil; there’s nothing worse than scalding, and therefore browning, the butter!
- Next, stir in the garlic, onions, or powdered equivalents. Continue to stir over medium heat until the sauce is smooth and any garlic or onions are cooked down.
- Additional seasonings, along with the essential salt and pepper, should be mixed in at this point.
- Finally, lower the heat and slowly stir in the grated parmesan cheese. Mix well and allow the cheese to melt fully. It’s crucial at this point that the sauce not overheat—boiling the alfredo sauce while mixing in the cheese could cause the sauce to break and split apart.
- Once the cheese is fully mixed in, stir again until smooth. Add any final ingredients to taste, and serve hot.
Serving Your Alfredo Sauce
While mixing directly with pasta noodles is the traditional way to serve alfredo sauce, there are numerous recipes that can take this simple dish to the new level.
Here are just a few creative meals to experiment with!
If you’re looking for something more than sauce and noodles, add some meat or veggies to the mix!
Bake two boneless chicken breasts and dice into bite-sized pieces. Steam ¾ pound of peeled, de-veined shrimp, or include two cups of chopped broccoli and carrots.
Add one, or each of these, directly to your sauce and serve as a hearty, yet simple, pasta dish.
Baked Macaroni and Alfredo
Ever tried mac and cheese with parmesan? This new spin on an old classic could be just the meal you’re seeking!
The macaroni noodles can be cooked ahead of time or baked directly in the alfredo sauce with an additional cup of chicken broth. Add vegetables and additional cheese to taste.
Not in the mood for pasta? Use your homemade alfredo sauce in lieu of regular pizza sauce for a delicious, cheesy alternative.
Then, add your favorite toppings and additional cheese to create an ideal slice.
Alfredo Dipping Sauce
Thicker alfredo sauce can even be used as a gravy or dipping sauce.
Bake into chicken pot pies; pour over veggie or rice dishes; or thicken with an additional 8 ounces of cream cheese and add a chopped chili pepper to create your own unique alfredo sauce queso!
Here’s a video showing an example of chicken alfredo.
Do you have any tips for making Alfredo sauce?