Rich and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

LAST UPDATED: Mar 22, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Mar 09, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

This incredibly rich and creamy Fettuccine Alfredo recipe is one of the easiest ways to enjoy a filling pasta dinner. This traditional, decadent Alfredo Sauce recipe is made with just five ingredients, and your family will beg you to make this time and time again!  

White surface with a metal pan full of homemade fettuccine alfredo.

What’s your family’s favorite comfort food? Is it an old-fashioned family recipe of some kind? A dessert or dinner that you turn to whenever you need those cozy dinner vibes?

Well for my family, it’s always pasta. We can’t get enough! Give us any combination of delicate homemade noodles, rich sauces and cheese, and you’ll have the happiest kind of Blanner family dinner.

If you love pasta as much as we do, don’t miss my most popular pasta dinners! Learn how to make this delicious easy lasagna, my famous white wine sauce for pasta, pasta con broccoli, and this perfectly spiced creamy cajun chicken pasta.

White surface with a metal pan full of homemade fettuccine alfredo, single plate of pasta to the side.

Rich and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo

You probably already know a little about this ubiquitous dish from a variety of Italian restaurants across the country.

In fact, you might even think it’s a little boring or too traditional for your tastes, if you frequent Italian restaurants! However, I believe it’s a classic for a reason! It’s the ultimate blend of cheese, butter and garlic for a sauce that cannot be compared to anything else.

It’s truly timeless and I’m excited to show you how simple it is to make this delicious Alfredo sauce recipe today! Are you ready? I know I am!

I like to give a lot of detail in my recipe posts to guide readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, feel free to click “jump to recipe” right under the title of this post and you’ll head straight there!

A pink linen napkin in the background of a white plate full of pasta in an alfredo sauce.

What you Need to Make Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce

The ingredients are incredibly simple, which is why you’ll need to choose high quality items to help this sauce really shine!

  • Fettuccine Noodles – fresh or store bought, any type of pasta will do. Of course, you can always go the extra mile and make my homemade pasta – you’ll never regret this extra step for pure decadence!
  • Egg Yolk – While many modern alfredo sauce recipes will skip this ingredient, it’s a traditional ingredient that helps bind your sauce to every piece of pasta. What could be bad about that? 
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – don’t try to sub out milk or anything. Fettuccine alfredo is all about rich, creamy, homemade flavor – and heavy whip is a requirement! 
  • Salted Butter – a little extra salt and fat from the butter is necessary for binding and flavor.
  • Minced Garlic – I will admit it, I sometimes skip and use my jar of minced garlic from the produce section at the store. Of course, freshly minced is always best
  • Fresh Grated Parmesan – finely shredded or grated, fresh! This one has no flexibility in my eyes! Use a high quality, fresh block of parmesan. Not the canned stuff and not any kind of pre-shredded. Trust me, this extra step is worth it!  
  • Black Pepper – I like to use freshly ground black pepper but any kind will do.

Ingredients for a homemade fettuccine alfredo sauce recipe on a white surface.

QUICK TIP: A little diced Italian parsley is a nice pop of color to top your homemade Alfredo sauce recipe, but not necessary for flavor- only garnish! 

How to Make Homemade Alfredo

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. Prepare noodles al dente.A silver pot full of water on the stove, hand reaching in with salt.Fettuccine noodles in a pan full of boiling water.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk yolk and cream. Set aside.A white bowl full of whipping cream and an egg yolk.
  3. In a saucepan over medium low heat, melt butter. Add garlic and sauté until about 2 minutes, careful not to burn. Remove from heat.Silver pan on a stove, with a pat of butter.  Silver pan on the stove full of butter and minced garlic.
  4. Whisk cream mixture into butter and return to low heat.Pan of homemade alfredo sauce on the stove with a whisk to the side.  Pan of homemade alfredo sauce on the stove with a whisk to the side.
  5. Strain noodles, reserving 1 cup of pasta water should you choose to thin the sauce.Strainer full of fettuccine noodles
  6. Toss noodles with cream sauce and Parmesan.A pan of fettuccine noodles on the stove, cooking in a homemade fettuccine alfredo sauce.  A pan of fettuccine noodles on the stove, cooking in a homemade fettuccine alfredo sauce.
  7. Garnish with fresh cracked black pepper and optional parsley.

Enjoy!

Close up of fettuccine noodles covered in an alfredo sauce recipe

Tips for Making Alfredo Sauce

  • This recipe is incredibly quick so prep first.
  • Slowly add in your heavy whipping cream over low heat. This not only creates the creamy sauce you’re after, it prevents separating and overcooking.
  • FRESH Parmesan cheese is key here. I know I said it above, but it bears repeating: please don’t use a can of “parmesan” cheese… and don’t even use the bagged/containers of pre-shredded cheese. Grating your own fresh parmesan is the only way! 
  • Don’t overheat this sauce. Lower heat is always better to avoid separation and scalding!
  • Hold back one cup of your pasta water. This can be so helpful to add a touch of starchy water to your sauce in case you’d like to think it out a little!

White surface with a metal pan full of homemade fettuccine alfredo.

A pink linen napkin in the background of a white plate full of pasta in an alfredo sauce.

What is Alfredo Sauce?

Alfredo sauce is generally made of butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. It’s a rich, creamy sauce that is traditionally used alongside fettuccine pasta – although we’ve found that it works with a variety of pastas!

As the cheese melts, it liquefies to create a silky smooth, incomparably rich sauce to coat the pasta.

Close up of fettuccine noodles covered in an alfredo sauce recipe

Why is it Called Alfredo?

You all know I love a little food history! It turns out, fettuccine alfredo received the name from the inventor of this beloved dish.

Fettuccine Alfredo is named after Alfredo di Lelio, who served it at his restaurant in Rome in the early- to mid-20th century. Preparing this classic traditional pasta dish tableside was part of the fun, and it sounds like it was almost as important as the flavorful food itself!

White surface with a metal pan full of homemade fettuccine alfredo.

More Easy Pasta Dinners

White surface with a metal pan full of homemade fettuccine alfredo.

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White plate full of fettuccine alfredo.

Rich and Creamy Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

A rich and creamy fettuccine alfredo recipe is an easy way to enjoy a filling pasta dinner. This decadent alfredo sauce recipe has just five ingredients!  
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings (hover to scale): 8
Calories: 327kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fettuccine noodles
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cup cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 1 cup parmesan freshly grated, fine
  • black pepper fresh ground

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. Prepare noodles al dente.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk yolk and cream. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan over medium low heat, melt butter. Add garlic and sauté until about 2 minutes, careful not to burn. Remove from heat.
  • Whisk cream mixture into butter and return to low heat.
  • Strain noodles, reserving 1 cup of pasta water should you choose to thin the sauce.
  • Toss noodles with cream sauce and parmesan.
  • Garnish with fresh cracked black pepper and optional parsley.

Notes

Tips for Making Alfredo Sauce

  • Slowly add in your heavy whipping cream over low heat. This not only creates the creamy sauce you're after, it prevents separating and overcooking.
  • FRESH Parmesan cheese is key here. I know I said it above, but it bears repeating: please don't use a can of "parmesan" cheese... and don't even use the bagged/containers of pre-shredded cheese. Grating your own fresh parmesan is the only way! 
  • Don't overheat this sauce. Lower heat is always better to avoid separation and scalding! 
  • Hold back one cup of your pasta water. This can be so helpful to add a touch of starchy water to your sauce in case you'd like to think it out a little! 

Nutrition

Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 929IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 1mg
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