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This classic homemade Alfredo Sauce will do the trick when you want to dress up pasta in something special! Only 6 simple ingredients come together to make a creamy, cheesy pasta sauce that goes so well on fettuccine or any gluten-free pasta shape you choose.
Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce
I love a good marinara sauce on pasta but nothing beats the comforting cheesy goodness of homemade alfredo sauce. Sometimes you just really need something rich, you know? My version of this familiar white sauce recipe combines the simplest ingredients into something almost magical. And the best part? It’s ready in just 15 minutes. Plus it is naturally gluten free!
You can enjoy a big bowl of pasta slathered with this alfredo sauce recipe for a quick weeknight dinner or save it for a more special occasion when you want to make something more decadent. I also like to plan ahead for another meal and make a double batch of this recipe – you can easily freeze half of it for another time. It will be like a little gift to yourself when you need a dinner time treat.
Is Alfredo Sauce Normally Gluten Free?
Homemade alfredo sauce is naturally gluten-free – which takes away any of the guesswork when preparing it. No flour, all-purpose or otherwise, is needed in the traditional preparation of this dish. Instead, heavy cream and butter form a smooth, creamy base for the sauce. It’s a perfect gluten-free accompaniment to gluten-free pasta!
Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to make homemade alfredo sauce. Make sure to check out the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts and instructions.
- Butter: We’ll use unsalted butter in this recipe because the Parmesan cheese is salty enough on its own.
- Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is so important in this recipe to create richness! However, if you don’t have heavy cream you could substitute half-and-half to achieve a similar effect.
- Salt: Use fine sea salt or table salt rather than Kosher salt.
- Black Pepper
- Nutmeg: Use ground nutmeg.
- Parmesan Cheese: I recommend buying a block of parmesan cheese and grating it fresh for this sauce, but you could also buy a container of freshly grated Parmesan to use.
- Parsley: This is optional but very nice as a finishing touch!
How to Make Gluten Free Alfredo Sauce
One reason I love this recipe is that it’s a one-pot sauce, and you just need a few minutes of effort on the stovetop to put it together. Here’s my easy method for homemade alfredo sauce:
- Melt the butter. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Then stir in the heavy cream.
- Add the seasonings. Stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the cheese. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer. Return the saucepan to low heat and bring it back just to a simmer, stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. You can adjust the thickness of the sauce with reserved pasta water or additional cream if needed.
- Add to pasta. Serve the sauce over cooked pasta and garnish with additional parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, if desired.
Tips for the Best Alfredo Sauce
It’s easy to make homemade alfredo sauce, and I love that it takes just minutes to prepare. Here are a few tips to help make it turn out perfectly:
- Make it a little lighter. If you want to make a lighter sauce, you can replace the heavy cream with 2⁄3 cup milk plus 3⁄4 cup plain Greek yogurt. Add the milk to the melted butter in the skillet along with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. After adding the parmesan cheese and warming the sauce until it is smooth, remove from the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt. You’ll want to serve it immediately – don’t let the sauce come back to a simmer or the yogurt will curdle.
- Add a vegetable. I love to add some chopped, cooked spinach into my alfredo sauce to make it a spinach alfredo. If you don’t mind pieces of spinach, you can simply stir the spinach into the cooked sauce, and serve it that way. Or, you can place the sauce and cooked spinach in a blender or use an immersion blender to whiz it all together to make a smooth, green sauce.
- Top with fresh basil. Basil and pasta just seem to go together. Top servings of homemade alfredo sauce with a shower of chopped fresh basil leaves for extra flavor.
Ways to Use Your Alfredo Sauce
There are a few ways to use this easy alfredo sauce. Here are some of my favorite things to do with it:
- With pasta. Of course, this is the classic, familiar way to use any alfredo sauce recipe! It’s so good swirled with gluten-free fettuccine to make classic fettuccine alfredo but you can also mix it in with any pasta shape you like (although macaroni pasta might be a bit too small to really hold up to the sauce). I like mixing it with marinara sauce to make a creamier, cheesier red sauce.
- For low carb meals. Yes, it’s also wonderful on zoodles or spaghetti squash!
- On pizza. Swap the red sauce on pizza with homemade alfredo! Try using this sauce on my simple Gluten-Free Pizza recipe, or in my Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese (omit the goat cheese) Pizza recipe for an intense cheesy, creamy flavor.
- As a sauce for chicken. You could prepare a simple grilled chicken breast or even Prosciutto-Wrapped Pesto Chicken and spoon warm alfredo sauce over the top. Or try this sauce in my Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan recipe in place of the marina sauce.
- For dipping. Try dunking everything from Gluten Free Pizza Rolls to Chicken Tenders into this creamy sauce.
How to Store
Store leftover homemade alfredo sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To serve it, gently reheat it on the stove over low heat until heated through.
Can I Freeze Alfredo Sauce?
Yes! You can and should freeze homemade alfredo sauce soon after its made. Place the cooled sauce in an airtight, freezer-safe container and place it in the fridge for up to 3 months. Defrost the sauce in the fridge before using it.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- fresh parsley, optional
- In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the heavy cream, and the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Return the saucepan to low heat and bring it back just to a simmer, stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. You can adjust the thickness of the sauce with reserved pasta water or additional cream if needed.
- Serve the sauce over cooked pasta and garnish with additional parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, if desired.