This recipe for Quick and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo makes a simple yet spectacular Alfredo Sauce that’s a perfect one for midweek dinners.
For most of my life, Fettuccine Alfredo was always one of those meals I only ate in restaurants. It was something I just assumed would be difficult to make.
Then one night I went to a friend’s for dinner and I was shocked at how easy it was for her to throw together. That night changed how I viewed Fettuccine Alfredo.
To make this sauce, I simply use cream, butter, Parmesan cheese and one whole clove of garlic for a hint of extra flavor.
It’s a beautiful sight to see as the cheese melts into the cream and forms this smooth, luxurious coating on the fettuccine. It truly is heaven on a plate!
Why this recipe works:
- To add some extra flavor, I add a whole, fresh garlic clove to the cream as it cooks. It adds a mild flavor that I think really makes the dish.
- Since this dish is made in 20 minutes, it’s perfect for busy weeknights.
- This is a versatile dish that’s easy to adapt. Just add Chicken, shrimp or broccoli, and you have a whole new dish!
Homemade Alfredo Sauce vs. Ready Made
I know you can easily buy jars or even those tempting refrigerated containers of ready-made Alfredo sauce in the grocery store. They certainly seem to work when you’re busy.
However, store bought products often use food starches as thickeners as well as unnatural ingredients, which take away from the flavor Alfredo sauce is known for – butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese.
When you make homemade Alfredo sauce, it tastes fresher and the flavors of those hallmark ingredients get a chance to shine. Not only that, but homemade Alfredo sauce takes just minutes to prepare.
Making the Perfect Pasta
It’s important to remember that although the sauce for this dish is the star of the show, it’s nothing without well-cooked pasta so here are just a few tips to get the most out of this recipe.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot with enough water to ensure pasta doesn’t stick together. A good rule is to use at least four quarts of water for every pound of pasta.
- Salt like you mean it. Your water should taste like sea water. This is the only chance you get to add flavor to your pasta the best sauce in the world won’t make up for bland pasta.
- Taste Test: Use the cooking instructions on the package as a guide but set the timer one or two minutes early. Taste pasta and go from there to be sure the texture is right. Pasta that’s finished in the sauce should be underdone as it will cook in the sauce.
This recipe is delicious, so serve up this creamy, quick pasta dish for a last-minute dinner party and impress your friends!
Here’s how to make it:
In a large pot, cook the Fettuccine according to the package instructions until just underdone.
While the pasta is cooking, in a deep saute pan, heat the heavy cream and garlic (if using) over low-medium heat.
Add butter and whisk gently until melted. Remove and discard the garlic.
Mix in the nutmeg and cheese. Season with freshly grated black pepper.
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan.
Gently toss the pasta to coat in the Alfredo sauce.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped parsley.
Other Pasta Dishes You’ll Love
- It is important not to cook the pasta completely as it will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Some Parmesan cheese is quite salty, so be sure to taste as you season.
- To make Shrimp Alfredo, the best way to make it is to saute the shrimp in some butter with a bit of salt and pepper and add them before serving.
- Making Chicken Alfredo – Have leftover chicken you need to use? Cut it into bite-sized pieces and add it to the sauce with the pasta.
- For Broccoli Alfredo, steam the broccoli separately, season, and add just before serving.
Can you freeze Fettuccine Alfredo? Yes, the best way to freeze Fettuccine Alfredo is to freeze the sauce (in a freezer safe, airtight container) and then defrost before using. Heat the sauce through, make the pasta separately and add it to the sauce before serving.
Can you make Fettuccine Alfredo ahead? Yes, the best way to make it ahead is to make the sauce, chill in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Re-heat, cook the pasta, and add it to the sauce before serving.
Never Miss A Single Recipe!
Join the free Erren's Kitchen mailing list & get the latest tasty goodness straight to your inbox!
★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
Classic Fettuccine Alfredo
Craving a comforting bowl of pasta in a creamy sauce? This luxurious Italian dish takes just 20 minutes to make so perfect for busy weeknights.
- 1 pound Fettuccine
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 clove garlic peeled and left whole (optional)
- 1 stick salted butter softened
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
In a large pot, cook the Fettuccine according to the package instructions until just undercooked. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
While the pasta is cooking, in a deep saute pan, heat the heavy cream and garlic (if using) over low-medium heat. Add butter and whisk gently until melted. Remove and discard the garlic. Mix in the nutmeg and cheese. Season with freshly grated black pepper.
Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Add it to the pan, gently toss the pasta to coat in the Alfredo sauce (adding some of the pasta water if needed to loosen). Top with more grated cheese and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Some Parmesan cheese is quite salty so be sure to taste as you season the sauce.
It is important not to cook the pasta completely as it will finish cooking in the sauce.
Cook the pasta in a large pot with enough water to ensure pasta doesn’t stick together. A good rule is to use at least four quarts of water for every pound of pasta.
Salt like you mean it when cooking pasta. Your water should taste like sea water. This is the only chance you get to add flavor to your pasta the best sauce in the world won't make up for bland pasta.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in May of 2014, but was republished with an updated recipe, new photos, step by step instructions, tips, and FAQs in September of 2018.