This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This Homemade 3-ingredient Alfredo Sauce recipe is a delicious and quick way to whip up an Italian dinner. You only need three ingredients and 10 minutes to make the best Alfredo Sauce from scratch! Or if you’re looking for my healthier version, see here -> Healthy Alfredo Sauce.
Better Than Store-Bought!
Is there anything better than Homemade Alfredo Sauce? I’ve bought the jarred kind for years because it’s shelf-stable and ready when you are, but this homemade creamy Alfredo sauce recipe is SO significantly better than store-bought, only made with three ingredients, and is so easy to make!
It is a decadent dinner that I only make once or twice a year because it is so dangerously good. My kids love these “white sauce noodles,” and I know it may become your favorite pasta dish as well!
White Sauce vs. Alfredo Sauce
Alfredo Sauce is an Italian sauce traditionally made with heavy cream, butter, parmesan cheese, and occasionally fresh garlic cloves. It’s a decadent sauce that is a huge crowd-pleaser.
White Sauce is a French sauce otherwise known as Béchamel sauce. It is made up of roux (flour and butter) and cream. It’s more shelf stable than Alfredo sauce but is used in a variety of dishes, whereas the Alfredo pasta sauce is mainly used in fettuccine Alfredo!
A Note About Parmesan Cheese
Quality matters with parmesan. Use good-quality parmesan and freshly grate it yourself just before you use it. If you can find the real stuff (Parmigiano Reggiano), use that to achieve the best taste. After testing this recipe over and over, I know that the store-bought pre-shredded cheese does not work as well as the real kind – only freshly grated parmesan cheese will allow you to make your dish absolutely delicious!
How to Make 3-Ingredient Alfredo Sauce at Home
Pasta with Alfredo sauce is super easy and quick to make, so just follow these steps and you’ll have a dish for your dinner tonight in no time! And if you are looking for a video tutorial, scroll down to the recipe card for a super helpful how-to.
Melt your butter in a large skillet. I like using salted butter, but unsalted works just fine. Once the butter is completely melted reduce heat to medium-low.
If you want to go one step further and brown the melted butter for another layer of flavor you HAVE to check out my Browned Butter Alfredo Pasta.
Whisk in some heavy cream and heat gently with the butter. Pan may sizzle, but as you stir it will subside.
Slowly melt in the freshly grated parmesan until a thicker, creamy sauce forms. Add pepper to the cream cheese and taste it before adding in salt.
How to Thicken Alfredo Sauce
As the simmering sauce sits, it tends to thicken up. If that’s what you’d like, simply wait it out. If you need to thin it out, add in a splash of pasta water to keep things loose.
Serve with Pasta
Toss with desired pasta and serve. I used fettuccine because that’s such a classic choice, but any pasta is fine.
Uses for 3-Ingredient Alfredo Sauce
Alfredo can not only be used for pasta, but it is also great on pizza, as a dipping sauce for breadsticks, or even over chicken parmesan. This delicious recipe is thick and creamy, which makes it perfect for all your carb-loading needs.
Or if you want/need some cooked vegetables in your life, try enjoying Alfredo sauce with zoodles (zucchini noodles).
Can I Freeze Alfredo Sauce?
No. I would not recommend freezing this Alfredo sauce. I know so many of you readers love making foods in advance or making double the recipe and freezing half in an airtight container for a quick weeknight meal later. Alfredo sauce made the traditional way with just butter, cream and cheese isn’t very stable and has a tendency to separate once it starts to cool.
Anyone who has ordered a Fettuccine Alfredo from Olive Garden and brought home the leftovers will know that you have a buttery, sloppy mess the next day when you try to microwave it for lunch the next day. I would recommend making this sauce fresh, from scratch, every time to achieve the desired consistency.
If you make an Alfredo sauce with a roux (butter and flour), that will make your overall sauce more ‘stable’, and it will become more freezer-friendly. But this recipe as-is will not freeze well. Sorry!
Is Alfredo Sauce Gluten-Free?
Keep in mind that using a roux in your recipe will make Alfredo sauce unsuitable for people who are intolerant to gluten. It is because it contains flour derived from wheat.
However, following this easy recipe allows you to avoid gluten, as I didn’t include roux in it! Another option would be to use a special gluten-free flour instead of a traditional one keeping similar proportions.
Side Dishes for Fettuccine Alfredo
There are many side dishes that go well with Fettuccine Alfredo! If you want to make your dinner even more delicious, I recommend adding some homemade garlic bread, for example. French bread with salted butter, minced garlic, garlic powder, and fresh parsley can do miracles! You can add cheese as well, preferably a mix of fresh-grated cheddar and parmesan.
Another side dish I like to eat along with fettuccine Alfredo, is the popular Caprese salad. It can be based on any baby greens of your choice, and the main ingredient here is Bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls). Fresh herbs always do a great job of enhancing a salad’s taste, and here I recommend using chopped large basil leaves. To make the dressing, you should add garlic, dijon mustard, and other ingredients I mention in my recipe.
People from Rexburg, Idaho, may be familiar with a pizza place called Craigo – their breadsticks were the best in the world, in my opinion! I’ve decided to recreate them at home and discovered that they go really well with fettuccine Alfredo. Some of the ingredients you need for making them include yeast, sugar, butter, garlic salt, and as many as three types of cheese – cheddar, parmesan, and mozzarella. Trust me, you won’t regret these additional calories!
Here you have a list of all the recipes for side dishes I recommend to accompany your fettuccine Alfredo. Don’t hesitate to check them all out, one by one!
More Alfredo Recipes!
I like this delicious homemade sauce so much that I’ve decided not to limit myself to just one dish but came up with some more recipes with it. For example, I’ve created a macro-friendly chicken Alfredo sauce recipe with chopped red pepper and fresh basil.
Another meat variation of this dish I recommend is the chicken spaghetti squash Alfredo. Apart from grilled chicken, I added a few slices of cooked and crumbled bacon. Also, there is not only parmesan in this recipe – I recommend adding mozzarella as well to achieve an amazing taste!
Check out all of my ideas for the Alfredo sauce dishes:
- Chicken Alfredo Red Pepper Pasta (Macro Friendly)
- Healthy Alfredo Sauce
- Alfredo Stuffed Shells
- Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells
- Chicken Pesto Alfredo Pasta
- Chicken Spaghetti Squash Alfredo
- Brown Butter Ravioli Alfredo
So, if you’re in the mood for pasta tonight, be sure to try this simple and delicious Alfredo Sauce recipe. Grab the printable recipe below to save because it’s a special one you won’t want to lose. And don’t forget to check out the video for how to make this great recipe!
If you decide to make this recipe, I would so appreciate if you would give it a star rating and let me know in the comments what you think! Have a great day, friends!
Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese (use the real stuff if you can)
- salt & ground black pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed deep skillet over medium heat. Once butter is completely melted, reduce heat to medium-low.
- Immediately pour in the cream. Pan may sizzle, but as you stir it will subside.
- Whisk in the freshly grated cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste and add salt and lots of pepper, as desired.
- Use sauce immediately by tossing it with hot pasta and serving right away. If it sits, the sauce tends to thicken up, so add in a splash of pasta water to keep things loose.