The Easiest (And Most Satisfying Homemade) Fettuccine Alfredo Ever

The Easiest (And Most Satisfying Homemade) Fettuccine Alfredo Ever

What’s creamy, rich and sure to be your family’s favorite pasta night creation? Fettuccine Alfredo!

Creamy pasta recipes, like this classic Fettuccine Alfredo, are the ultimate comfort food. Buttery, rich and irresistibly smooth, Alfredo sauce is decadent yet simple, made with just a few ingredients: heavy cream, butter, sour cream and seasonings. This iconic cream sauce is popularly paired up with the flat ribbon-like pasta, Fettuccine, because it’s got a large surface area perfect for capturing the creamy Alfredo.

Fettuccine Alfredo is a pasta recipe for many occasions. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a rich and decadent pasta for a holiday meal, Fettuccine Alfredo is an excellent choice. Plus, it’s a great foundation for a myriad of add-ins and entrée combinations like shrimp, grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, lemon zest and more.

Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo

What Is Alfredo Sauce?

Alfredo sauce is a traditional Italian pasta sauce made with butter, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. There are many variations that may include herbs like garlic, chopped parsley, or even sour cream or mascarpone cheese. Unlike the well-known red sauces made with a tomato base, Alfredo sauce is a cream sauce, or white sauce, with a rich, buttery, nutty flavor from its base: cream, buttery and Parmesan cheese. A popular Italian pasta dish in America, Alfredo sauce is most commonly served with Fettuccine pasta on its own or alongside additions like shrimp, grilled chicken, broccoli and more.

A forkful of fettuccine alfredo

What Is Fettuccine Alfredo?

Fettuccine Alfredo is a popular Italian pasta recipe of flat ribbon Fettuccine noodles and a rich and buttery cream sauce, or white sauce.

Why You’ll Love This Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

There’s a reason why Fettuccine Alfredo is one of the most popular pasta dishes out there. Actually there’s way more than one reason. For starters, Fettuccine Alfredo is a super simple dish to prepare made with only a few ingredients: pasta, butter, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and seasonings. For as fancy as it looks, Fettuccine Alfredo is actually easy enough to cook up for any weeknight meal—perfect as a Meatless Monday meal idea, for example. Most importantly, though, Fettuccine Alfredo is delicious. It’s buttery and rich with an irresistibly creamy texture. Everyone loves this white sauce! And if you need one more reason, Fettuccine Alfredo, and Alfredo sauce in particular, are an excellent foundation for so many variations. You can add meat, poultry, veggies, seafood, fresh herbs, citrus… the list goes on.

The Ingredients You Will Need To Make Fettuccine Alfredo

Pasta: Fettuccine is the perfect pasta for such a rich and creamy sauce. It’s a long, flat ribbon-like pasta with a large surface area for capturing the sauce.

Butter: We recommend unsalted butter. You can add in the salt to taste when creating the sauce or when serving. If you use salted butter, be sure limit the salt you add to the recipe. Taste and check!

Heavy Cream: While some choose whipping cream, we use heavy cream, as it has the ideal fat content for creating a smooth, creamy sauce.

Garlic: Add more or less garlic according to your preference.

Cheese: So much of the flavor of the Alfredo Sauce comes from the cheese. That’s why we picked a careful combination for this recipe: Asiago and Parmesan cheeses.

Sour Cream: The addition of sour cream adds to the velvety, smooth texture of the final sauce without adding as much to the richness. Some recipes call for mascarpone or cream cheese, which would add texture and a more rich flavor.

Ingredients for Fettuccine Alfredo

How To Make Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo

1. Cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to the package instructions. Before draining the cooked pasta, reserve one cup of the starchy hot pasta cooking water to finish your sauce.

Fettuccine pasta being added to boiling water

2. Start the sauce.

Add the butter and garlic to a large skillet or saucepan over low heat.

Butter added to pan
Minced garlic added to melted butter

3. Add in the seasonings.

Add in the cream, salt and pepper. Whisk together.

Cream, salt and pepper added to butter mixture

4. Add in the cheeses and sour cream.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Whisk in the cheeses and sour cream.

Cheeses added to sauce to melt
Sour cream added to sauce

5. Stir in the pasta.

Use tongs to combine the cooked pasta with the sauce, use some reserved pasta water if your sauce is too thick to coat the pasta evenly.

Cooked fettuccine added to alfredo sauce
Fettuccine Alfredo completed

Top Tips

Fettuccine Alfredo is a simple recipe of few ingredients, but we have a few tips to help you to create the best Fettuccine Alfredo for your family.

Don’t use pre-grated cheeses. These cheeses often have fillers or coatings, which ultimately can create a grainy sauce. Use freshly grated cheeses when possible.

Reserve the pasta water. When draining your hot al dente pasta, be sure to save a cup of the pasta cooking water to finish your sauce. The starchy water helps to thin the sauce, if needed, and also, it helps the sauce to coat the pasta.

Slowly heat at low temperatures. Slowly cooking the sauce on a low heat setting helps to prevent the dairy from curdling or separating. This will pay off with a smooth, creamy texture.

To store leftovers, place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.

Reheat leftovers gently at low heat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Remember that low temperatures are vital to preserving the texture as much as you can. Cream sauces tend to separate upon reheating.

We do not recommend freezing cream sauces such as these. Freezing and ultimately reheating the cream sauce affects the texture of the dish. Fortunately, though, this dish comes together in under 30 minutes.

Substitutions And Additions

Fettuccine Alfredo is a quick and easy recipe all on its own, but if you’re looking for a way to change it up or make it a heartier dish, we have some ideas:

  • Fresh herbs. Sprinkle in some herbs (at the end of cook time), like rosemary or thyme, to introduce some fresh flavor to the rich and creamy sauce.
  • Lemon. Cut the richness of the cream sauce with a hint of lemon zest or lemon juice.
  • Sauce add-ins. Stir in a spoonful or two of herbaceous basil pesto or your favorite bruschetta topping for a burst of flavor.
  • Vegetables. Grilled or roasted veggies can add a smoky, earthy sweetness to your Fettuccine Alfredo recipe. We love asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts—to name a few.
  • Poultry or seafood. Make your creamy pasta a heartier meal with the addition of shrimp or chicken.

What To Serve With Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo can be served alone as a rich and fulfilling pasta dish, but it can also be served alongside entrées like grilled chicken, shrimp, sautéed greens, roasted vegetables (like broccoli or asparagus). Fettuccine Alfredo is great with a fresh salad and crusty Italian bread, too.

Fettuccine Alfredo: FAQ

How Do I Thicken Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce?

There are a few ways to thicken your Alfredo sauce. You can add more grated Parmesan cheese, cream cheese or sour cream. You can create a slurry of cornstarch and heavy cream. The addition of hot starchy pasta cooking water can also help to thicken sauce.

Is Fettuccine Alfredo Italian?

Sort of. Fettuccine Alfredo, as it is served in the U.S., is an Italian-American pasta dish that came from the original Italian dish called Pasta Bianca. The traditional Italian Fettuccine Alfredo recipe is less decadent and creamy—more of a butter sauce with a splash of cream and a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Can I Make This Fettuccine Alfredo Gluten-Free?

To make this Fettuccine Alfredo recipe gluten-free, substitute the pasta for a gluten-free pasta. Also be sure to check for cheeses and sour cream that contain no gluten.

How Do I Ensure Smooth Alfredo Sauce?

We all love Alfredo sauce, especially when it’s super creamy and smooth. To avoid that grainy texture that cheese sauces sometimes get, there are a few things that you can do. For one, avoid pre-shredded or pre-grated cheeses. These contain fillers that do not melt well. You can also try adding in cream cheese or sour cream. The thick texture of these add-ins are sure to create that superbly creamy consistency that you seek. Always remember to use a low heat when melting the butter and combining with cheeses.

Can I Use Whipping Cream Instead Of Heavy Cream?

We recommend making this Fettuccine Alfredo recipe with heavy cream. Heavy cream is a bit higher in fat than whipping cream. This fat content helps to give the cream sauce its rich flavor and silky texture.

Can I Make This Dish Ahead Of Time?

Fettuccine Alfredo can be made from start to finish in under 30 minutes. That said, we recommend cooking it when it can be enjoyed. Reheating cream sauces can cause separation and create an unpleasant grainy texture. For a dish like this that is prized for its smooth, creamy texture, we do not recommend making it ahead of time.

How Long Does Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo Last In The Refrigerator?

Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo can last 3-4 days in the refrigerator when stored in an air-tight container.

Fettuccine Alfredo in shallow pan

The Easiest (And Most Satisfying Homemade) Fettuccine Alfredo Ever



  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, add butter and cream to a large skillet. Simmer over low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the garlic, salt and pepper and cook for one minute.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in cheeses and sour cream until the sauce thickens.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss with sauce to coat the noodles. If the sauce is too thick, use some reserved pasta water to thin it out. Serve immediately.
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