Alfredo Sauce Recipe


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (avoid pre-grated for best results)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (adds a touch of warmth)


  • Melt the butter: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Add garlic: Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant but not browned.
  • Whisk in cream: Gradually whisk in the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  • Reduce heat and add cheese: Reduce heat to low and gradually add the Parmesan cheese a handful at a time, whisking constantly until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Season: Add black pepper, salt, and nutmeg (if using). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Keep warm and serve: Keep the sauce warm over very low heat. Toss with cooked pasta, top with additional Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.


  • Fresh Parmesan: Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It melts better and adds superior flavor compared to pre-grated.
  • Low heat: It’s important to maintain low heat to prevent the sauce from separating or curdling.
  • Don’t overcook: The sauce should thicken slightly as it rests. Don’t simmer too long, or it might become too thick.
  • Save pasta water: Reserve some starchy pasta water to thin out the sauce if needed or to help it bind to the pasta.
  • Variations: Add a touch of cream cheese for extra richness, or try substituting a portion of the Parmesan with other flavorful cheeses like Romano or Asiago.


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