Creamy Classic Alfredo Sauce

8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Creamy Classic Alfredo Sauce is the perfect quick buttery cheesy sauce for an easy dinner. It’s made with just 5 ingredients in 10 minutes!

Alfredo sauce is the perfect Sauce for when you want a decadent meal without a lot of work. It’s a quick white sauce that takes just a few minutes and a handful of basic ingredients. One thing to note is that this Alfredo sauce recipe is a thinner cream and butter sauce, great for pasta dishes like Chicken Alfredo and Shrimp Alfredo. For a thicker sauce, try my Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce Recipe.

Sabrina’s Classic Alfredo Sauce Recipe

My classic Homemade Alfredo Sauce recipe is made with simple ingredients like Parmesan, heavy whipping cream, and garlic in about 10 minutes. This creamy, delicious sauce has a rich cheese flavor that goes perfectly with all kinds of Italian dishes. Served over Fettuccine pasta and with some extra grated Parmesan cheese and you have a favorite Pasta Recipe. But you can use this authentic Alfredo sauce for so much more! The creamy sauce is great for dipping bread, topping steak and chicken, or as the base for a decadent pizza!


  • Butter: You’ll use ½ cup butter, or a full stick of butter, because this is the good stuff and we want lots of delicious rich buttery flavor. Be sure to use unsalted butter because the cheese is naturally salty and that way you can salt to taste as it needs it.
  • Heavy Cream: One of the main ingredients in this cheesy cream sauce is of course heavy cream. You’ll need 2 cups of heavy cream for the best flavor and creamy texture. However, if you want to lighten the sauce just a bit, you can swap up to 1 cup with whole milk.
  • Cheese: The other key to Alfredo sauce is cheese, and lots of it! You will need 3 cups of shredded Parmesan cheese. Use freshly grated shredded cheese because it will melt better for a smooth sauce and have the best nutty Parmesan flavor.
  • Garlic: What Italian sauce is complete without some garlic? I used 2 cloves of minced garlic for a pungent, aromatic flavor without taking away too much from the cheese and cream flavors. 
  • Spices: The only other seasoning this delicious sauce needs is ½ teaspoon black pepper. I suggest fresh cracked black pepper for nice big peppery flakes that will break up the richness just a bit.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Medium Sauce Pan: You’ll need a large enough pan to easily hold 2 cups of liquid plus 3 cups of cheese, and the tall sides let you stir the sauce without spilling.
  • Whisk: A whisk is great for making smooth sauces because it’s easier to break up any clumps that naturally form with the melted cheese.

How to Make

Time needed: 15 minutes.

  1. Cook the Garlic

    Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and garlic and cook for 30 seconds until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant.Classic Alfredo Sauce two sticks of butter and raw minced garlic in cooking pan before heating.

  2. Add the Cream

    Begin whisking the cream into the butter mixture. Bring the sauce to a low simmer and cook for 3 minutes, whisking frequently so the sauce doesn’t boil. You don’t want the cream to boil or it will scald.Classic Alfredo Sauce melted butter and cream in pan with wooden spoon.

  3. Add the Cheese

    Once the cream mixture is hot and simmering, whisk in the cheese. For the best results, add 1 cup of cheese, whisk until melted and smooth, then repeat with the remaining cheese 1 cup at a time.Classic Alfredo Sauce adding cheese and pepper to hot cream butter mixture in pan with wooden spoon. Chopped broccoli in of frame.

  4. Season and Thicken

    Stir in the pepper once the cheese is all melted and smooth. Bring the sauce to a simmer again and whisk occasionally until it’s as thick as you like it.Classic Alfredo Sauce cooked sauce in pan with wooden spoon.

Can this be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can absolutely make this sauce ahead of time then reheat it when you want to serve it. The sauce will slightly separate but because there is so much fat in there, it shouldn’t separate too much. Either way, just reheat it over low heat, stirring often, until the sauce is simmering. Allow it to simmer for a couple minutes, again stirring occasionally so it doesn’t boil or scald, then serve as usual.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Classic Alfredo Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 452 Calories from Fat 387
% Daily Value*
Fat 43g66%
Saturated Fat 27g169%
Trans Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 123mg41%
Sodium 619mg27%
Potassium 99mg3%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 0.05g0%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 1523IU30%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 489mg49%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Why is my Alfredo not creamy?

There are a couple things that can make your Alfredo sauce not as creamy:

  • First is not letting the cream heat up properly. It needs to simmer for a couple minutes so that it’s hot but not boiling. If the cream is too hot, the cheese seizes up and doesn’t melt as smoothly.
  • Second, using pre-shredded cheese can impact your sauce. Shredded cheese has a natural starch added so it doesn’t cake, which also means it doesn’t melt as well. Also, the fine shreds of freshly grated cheese just melts super easy and smoothly.
  • Lastly, your cream has scalded. If the cream gets too hot, the moisture and fat will start separating which makes it hard to keep the sauce smooth and bind the cheese to the cream and butter.

Ideas for Alfredo Sauce

  • Pasta: This is the perfect cheesy, creamy sauce that you can serve over any of your favorite Italian pasta. The most obvious and simple dish you can make is just cooking up some Fettuccine pasta and pouring the sauce over the top of the noodles. It also tastes great in lasagna or Ricotta Stuffed Shells instead of red sauce.
  • Meat: Make an easy dinner with leftover cooked chicken, like Rotisserie Chicken and cooked pasta. It also tastes over steak, grilled shrimp or pork chops as a finishing sauce. Serve it with the sides below for a non-pasta Alfredo dish.
  • Sides: Add some creamy, cheesy goodness to your favorite side dishes besides pasta. Alfredo sauce goes great over oven-roasted sides like Roasted Broccoli, Italian Roasted Veggies, and Roasted Red Potatoes. It also works as a dipping sauce for Garlic Bread.
  • Pizza: Instead marinara sauce, make a creamy white pizza instead! Spread about ½ cup Alfredo sauce over a 12-inch round Pizza Dough. Top with cheese and thinly sliced veggies like bell peppers and mushrooms and cooked meat like Italian sausage or chicken. Bake for 13-15 minutes at 425 degrees.

How to Store

Store: Once the sauce has cooled, pour it into an airtight container to store in the fridge. It will keep well for up to 1 week. You can keep this creamy sauce at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it should be stored.

Reheat: It’s best to reheat this sauce slowly on the stovetop, stirring often, until it’s simmering. This lets it get hot without separating so it stays smooth and creamy.

Freeze: You can also freeze the Alfredo Sauce for up to 6 months. Let it thaw in the fridge before reheating the sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave. Cook pasta to pour it over and enjoy the sauce as good as if it was fresh.

Frequent Questions

What’s the difference between white sauce and Alfredo sauce?

While Alfredo sauce is a type of white sauce, but there is a specific “white sauce” too. A classic White Sauce is usually made with butter and milk, thickened with flour, while Alfredo is cream and cheese sauce.

How to keep Alfredo sauce creamy?

Adding your cheese in slowly, about a cup at a time and stirring until it’s melted before adding more, will give you the creamiest sauce that doesn’t separate easily.

Can I use mozzarella instead of Parmesan in Alfredo?

While you can use mozzarella cheese instead of Parmesan, it will have a different flavor. I would recommend using an Italian cheese blend with Asiago and still using at least 1 ½ cups of Parmesan so you get the right texture and flavor.

Recipe Card

Creamy Classic Alfredo Sauce

Creamy Classic Alfredo Sauce is the perfect quick buttery cheesy sauce recipe for an easy dinner. Made with just 5 ingredients in 15 minutes!
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 3 cups Parmesan cheese , shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • Add butter and garlic to a medium saucepan on medium heat.
  • Whisk in heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add in Parmesan cheese and black pepper, stirring until cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve with pasta.


Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 619mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 0.05g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1523IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 489mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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  • Seasonings: For some extra seasonings mix in basil, oregano, rosemary, cilantro, thyme, and sage. If you are using fresh herbs, add them at the end, if you are using dried herbs, add them with the cream.
  • Spicy Alfredo Sauce: For a spicy twist on the Alfredo, try mixing in minced jalapeno peppers. You can also add cayenne pepper or hot sauce. Adjust the amount of the spicy ingredients depending on how much heat you want in the dish.
  • Cheese: To add a little different flavor, you can replace a cup of the Parmesan cheese with another strongly flavored cheese. You want to use a strong cheese so it isn’t drowned out with the Parmesan flavor. Sharp cheddar, Swiss cheese, and smoked Gouda would all taste great!

More Classic Italian Sauce Recipes

Classic Alfredo Sauce pouring finished sauce over pan of cooked pasta and broccoli. recipe name across bottom

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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