How to Make Alfredo Sauce

I realized I’ve mentioned my Garlic Alfredo Sauce multiple times throughout this blog, yet I haven’t devoted a post to this scrumptious sauce.

Garlic Alfredo Sauce images and recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Until now, that is.  This Alfredo is rich, creamy, cheesy and with just the right amount of garlic.  We’ve used it on Fettuccine Alfredo, Broccoli and Mozzarella Stuffed Baked Potatoes and my Chicken Alfredo Pizza with Spinach and Red Onions, to name a few.

Garlic Alfredo Sauce images and recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

It’s really a shame more people I meet don’t know how to make Alfredo Sauce, since it is one of the easiest, most flavorful sauces I make.

I haven’t always made my own, however.  Gasp!  I used to buy the canned stuff in the glass jar.  Yep, it’s true.  Then, for the longest time, I used an Alfredo recipe that, when reheated, would randomly turn into a garlic butter sauce, as opposed to the rich and creamy Alfredo it was when first prepared.  Somehow, all the white creamy goodness that makes an Alfredo an Alfredo would just up and disappear.

Garlic Alfredo Sauce images and recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Garlic Alfredo Sauce images and recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Garlic Alfredo Sauce images and recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Not cool.  This got to be so annoying that I decided to rework my recipe.

After doing so, I found the secret to making, not only a creamy Alfredo, but to having it withstand the test of reheating.  Cream cheese!  I know, makes you love cream cheese just a little bit more (if that’s even possible), doesn’t it.

Garlic Alfredo Sauce images and recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

To those of you who don’t think it’s that big of a deal to just use the canned stuff or the powdered sauce mixes for your Alfredo, try this recipe and tell me it doesn’t change your mind.  I dare you.

Garlic Alfredo Sauce images and recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Once you learn how to make Alfredo Sauce, you’ll never want to go back.  Trust me.

How to Make Alfredo Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
It's really a shame more people I meet don't know how to make Alfredo Sauce, since it is one of the easiest, most flavorful sauces I make.
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 4
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ package (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 oz. parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • kosher salt, to taste
  1. Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add cream cheese, stirring with whisk until smooth.
  4. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking until smooth.
  5. Stir in parmesan and pepper.
  6. Season with kosher salt, if needed. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken quickly.

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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

81 comments… add one

  1. polwig January 24, 2011, 11:43 am

    This is great. I have never made my own Alfredo Sauce. I make Marinara all the time and refuse to buy it anymore, therefore I totally understand about never going back. Does this sauce freeze well?

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 24, 2011, 1:39 pm

      Ooh, very good question! You know…I’m not sure I have ever tried freezing this sauce. I’m sorry I can’t answer that for you. If you do try freezing it, I’d love to know how it turns out so I can let other know as well. Good luck!

      1. wannabe1987 September 20, 2011, 1:26 pm

        it freezes well, and thaws well and you can’t even tell it was frozen! So happy to find that tidbit out…I bought more cream cheese just in case it didn’t freeze/thaw well, but it did!

        THANK YOU so much for this recipe!!!!

  2. Stefanie January 24, 2011, 1:34 pm

    Fantastic! I have been looking for a recipe that would change my boys’ opinions about Alfredo sauce and I think this is it! Easy too! Now, would you mind telling me about your adorable skillet? :) Is it Le Creuset?

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 24, 2011, 1:45 pm

      Well Stephanie, I hope to help change your boys’ opinions. Thank you for noticing my new addition to my kitchen. Yes, it is a Le Creuset. :) It was an awesome gift from my mother-in-law. Perfect for making sauces and even braising, searing and baking. Heehee!

  3. Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen January 24, 2011, 8:34 pm

    This is awesome! I have never made my own Alfredo sauce, this looks so super easy I think I have no excuse not too anymore! ;) Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 24, 2011, 9:11 pm

      Hi Christina! You’re welcome. You’re right…it is so super easy to make and comes out great every time. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Vivian February 18, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Does it spoil easily? How long do you think the sauce will last? xD

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef February 18, 2011, 10:06 pm

      Hi Vivian! The beauty of this sauce is it won’t turn to a buttery-garlic sauce once your refrigerate it. Instead, it stays thick and creamy even when reheated. I wouldn’t recommend waiting longer than 5 days to a week for any sauce after refrigerating, so I guess that’s my best answer for you. Hope that helps!

  5. Kimberly May 18, 2011, 10:20 am

    I have been looking for the perfect alfredo recipie for a very long time.. I am ridiculously picky about alfredo sauce.. but yours just blew me away. I made it about 20 minutes ago with some garden penne pasta.. oh my, out of this world!!! Thank you so much!!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef May 18, 2011, 9:25 pm

      Wow, what a compliment! That makes me so happy that you liked the alfredo sauce, Kimberly. Thank you for sharing. You are SO very welcome :)

  6. Thalia August 1, 2011, 12:39 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! A friend and I tried it the other night with chicken and noodles and it was amazing. Going to surprise my parents with dinner tonight and I’m sure they will love it too. I will definitely be making my own sauce from now on and not going back to the bottled stuff!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 1, 2011, 10:01 pm

      Yay, Thalia! Another bottled alfredo convert! So glad you enjoyed the alfredo recipe :) How nice of you to cook for your parents!

  7. Amanda August 1, 2011, 4:16 pm

    How much alfredo sauce does this recipe make?

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 1, 2011, 10:09 pm

      Amanda, depending on how much you let it cook down to reach the thickness you prefer, it’ll make about 1 to 1 1/2 cups sauce.

  8. Kat August 8, 2011, 10:15 am

    Do you think coconut milk would do good in this? I don’t cook/drink cow milk! Thanks!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 9, 2011, 1:10 pm

      Hi Kat! I would try using a plain soymilk or almond milk rather than coconut milk, as I think the coconut flavor in the coconut milk, though mild, wouldn’t go well with the sauce. I’d love to know how it goes!

  9. adam August 12, 2011, 3:56 pm

    I was wondering how you manage to have from staying gritty, I keep having it taste grit, is it cause of the fact I don use fresh parmesan??? thank you

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 12, 2011, 4:04 pm

      Hi Adam. I’m sorry the sauce is turning out gritty.

      Hmmm…When you add the cream cheese and parmesan, do you continue to stir until they completely dissolve? Sometimes, it can feel like it takes too long too long to dissolve, but it will — I promise! Also, do you slowly add the milk after the cream cheese is fully melted? Not doing so I’d bet would leave the texture un-smooth.

      I’ve never tried making it without fresh parmesan, so that may also be the culprit (though I doubt it)…what kind of parmesan are you using?

      1. adam August 12, 2011, 7:48 pm

        its the bulk Parmesan cheese similar to the stuff in the jar, for I cant afford the good stuff. maybe I’m adding too much too soon? hmm I guess I still don’t have a good eye for slowly adding ingredients together!

        1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 15, 2011, 1:31 pm

          Then, yes, the parmesan you’re using may be the culprit. If you try it again with a different method or parmesan, let me know how it turns out!

          1. Craig August 23, 2011, 8:26 pm

            The jarred stuff doesn’t dissolve and will make it gritty.

            Adam, a fresh block of parmesan seems to be more expensive, but it’s really not. It has a much more concentrated flavor, so you actually use a lot less. Think about how many shakes of the Kraft stuff you put on pasta and still never feel it’s enough…. a sprinkle of fresh grated really hits the spot.

            I’d really suggest you give it a try. Also, a trick when adding cheese is to do it off the heat. No idea why but it works wonders…

            Also, Romano is similar to parmesan but has a slightly more intense flavor. I substitute it for parm all the time, and really can use less normally because it packs so much flavor. Just my 2 cents

  10. Jrojas August 16, 2011, 10:51 pm

    Hi Lacey!! Your sauce is amazing!! I can’t cook anything more than eggs, but your recipe was so easy to follow!!! Thank you!! I will now be serving My boyfriend ( who is a cook) a nice little meal of fettuchini alfredo with shrimp, instead of it being him cooking for me!! thank you again, I will deft be back!!!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 17, 2011, 1:25 pm

      I’m so happy you were able to make the alfredo sauce and that it all turned out well! See? It’s not so hard! ;)

      Thanks so much for sharing — I just love hearing that! :)

  11. Carla August 24, 2011, 6:03 pm

    WOW!! My daughter encouraged me to make some alfredo sauce from scratch,and what drew me to your recipe is the ingredients, sounds nice and rich!! I doubled the recipe and added a cup of heavy cream because I had only low fat milk and I wanted it to be rich and creamy…and it is!! I will never buy alfredo sauce again. Thank you so much for your recipe. Blessings.

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 24, 2011, 10:51 pm

      You are SO very welcome, Carla. Thanks for sharing :) (And….yay for never going back to the store-bought stuff!!)

  12. erin August 24, 2011, 9:32 pm

    well I can’t say I’ve ever bought the jar stuff. but I wanted a white sauce for pizza tonight so I googled it and sounds JUST PERFECT!!! I just hope it turns out alright. I live on an island so our milk is ultra pasteurized and I use jarred garlic cause the fresh is not slways good. hope that doesn’t sacrifice flavor!

  13. mel dunn-mathes August 29, 2011, 12:06 pm

    another jar family converted :) i honostly got sick of paying $4-$8 for some tiny bottle. so i pulled up yours. absolutly fantastic!! very very yummy, plus it is much cheaper. and you can make more if you happen to need more. last night i just make a simple seafood alfredo with crab meat (imitation works too), shrimp(i find sam’s extra large bags work great), some scalloups and added some fresh mushrooms. i picked egg noodles (our toddler has less problems eating with egg noodles LOL)and the whole family loves it (even our very picky 6yo)no left overs (wish i did i wanted to see how it froze)… next time i will be “reinveting” my chicken alfredo pizza :)

  14. Linda September 5, 2011, 3:09 pm

    This recipe is fantastic! I was never really a fan of canned alfredo sauce, but I never knew how to make my own. I decided to make this with whole grain pasta and chicken, and it came out superb. I actually made it with skim milk and fat free cream cheese, and it was way better than any can, but with way fewer calories. Thanks!

  15. Dana September 6, 2011, 4:35 pm

    My daughter has a dairy and soy allergy, do you have a recipe for this sauce without the dairy?

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef September 7, 2011, 4:39 pm

      Dana, unfortunately, I don’t have a specific recipe for you. I would suggest using a tofu-based cream cheese substitute, plain almond milk to substitute for the milk, vegan margarine for the butter and a vegan parmesan substitute like Parma or nutritional yeast. If you do try it, I’d love to know how it turns out for you and your daughter. Good luck!

  16. esther September 8, 2011, 2:45 pm

    the best!

  17. Kyla September 24, 2011, 5:16 pm

    hi there! since i was planning to make this and mix it with pasta for convenience instead of saving it and keeping for later to pour on top, i was wondering, about how much pasta, say penne, would this recipe need?

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef September 24, 2011, 10:52 pm

      Depending on how much sauce you like with/on your pasta, I’d say about 1 whole package (16 oz) of noodles. I think ;)

  18. Mavissa September 27, 2011, 9:57 pm

    Hello! I haven’t made the sauce yet, but from the looks of these posts I’m pretty excited too! However I’m not a big fan of garlic so I was wondering if you even taste the Garlic once it’s made and if I didn’t add that ingredient if it would taste any different? I hope that question is worded correctly.

  19. Tonya October 22, 2011, 9:02 pm

    I was using a recipe to make talipia and the recipe called for a jar of alfredo. I am delighted I found your site and had all the ingredients I needed. I followed your recipe exactly and it is amazing. Along with the talipia and your alfredo, steamed fresh brocolli and fingering potatoes. Simply delicious. Many thanks for sharing.

  20. THERESA October 27, 2011, 3:11 pm

    I made the sauce with stuffed seashells with ricotta and bay shrimp with a few pine nuts for texture. I’m happy to say after many years of buying jars… I NEVER WILL AGAIN. It was a hit and my (your sauce) was even compared to Olive Garden’s as being better. Thank for creating such a wonderful recipe.

  21. Melanie October 30, 2011, 8:42 pm

    This sauce is absolutely amazing. I’ve made it no less than 10 times in the last month. Life changing! I am sharing on my blog tomorrow with a link back to you, if you don’t mind. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 31, 2011, 10:28 am

      Yay! So happy to hear you have enjoyed (and enjoyed and enjoyed!) the sauce, Melanie :)

      I don’t mind at all!

  22. medinalakegirl November 8, 2011, 10:46 pm

    SOLD! Just made this for dinner and loved it. I was a bit worried when the cream cheese was melting because the sauce looked odd. I added more milk (I used 1%) and kept on stirring and it turned out fine. I used Romano cheese instead of parm because that’s what I had. I added frozen spinach (straight from the bag), some leftover sliced turkey bratwurst and cooked pappardelle pasta. My oh my…I can’t wait for leftovers at lunch tomorrow. Thanks, Lacey!

  23. crystal November 20, 2011, 10:05 pm

    1/2 package cream cheese, how many ounces is that? there are so many packaging options at the store.

  24. Caroline December 7, 2011, 5:22 pm

    This is delicious! Thank you so much for sharing. My extremely picky eater (2 and 1/2) loved it and ate every last bit! I can’t wait to try out the alfredo chicken pizza. I’m sure it will become a favorite too.

  25. geri December 18, 2011, 7:30 pm

    You’re heaven-sent! It’s like I’ve been worrying for years where to buy that instant Alfredo sauce. I’m planning to make Seafood Alfredo for Christmas, but the sauce is not available in any of the local stores here. Just one more problem, though. Fresh parmesan is also not available. Can you recommend other cheeses? I look forward to your reply. Thanks so much!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef December 20, 2011, 2:53 pm

      I’d recommend another hard cheese like pecorino or asiago. But, if those aren’t available either, I’d try jack cheese. Good luck!

  26. Jay January 1, 2012, 1:05 pm

    The sauce was great! This is the first time I made Alfredo Sauce from scratch and I think I will continue to make it. Added a dash of red pepper flakes for a kick of spice and a few other spices and it turned out absolutely amazing! Thanks!

  27. earl January 26, 2012, 10:09 am

    when i was young my father would make a homemade sauce with peas and carrots it was a white sweet tasting it was all mixed together does anyone know what and how to make this

  28. Jessica March 6, 2012, 8:10 pm

    Loved this sauce! I made it tonight and the family thought it was great! Your blog is always my go-to for recipes!

  29. Angi April 16, 2012, 3:47 pm

    I want to make a chicken/ pasta alfredo for an open house. I am exepecting 150 people. Would you recommend me trying this recipe for the sauce?

  30. Kirsten May 6, 2012, 2:19 pm

    When you say “half a package” of cream cheese, how big is a package? They come in numerous sizes

    1. Heather August 12, 2012, 4:55 pm

      Get an 8oz block of Philadephia cream cheese, so half of that is 4oz.

  31. Aracelis May 13, 2012, 11:50 am

    this was an amazing recipe, and its so easy… No more prego for me

  32. Michelle July 9, 2012, 5:59 pm

    This sauce was so yummy and very easy to make. Took no time at all and for a mommy of a 20 month old that is exactly what I need :) if you are ever looking for a delicious cupcake recipe check out my blog @

  33. Selina September 13, 2012, 8:41 pm

    My daughter loves alfredo sauce, so I’ll be making this soon……….(yes, I’ve been using the jarred stuff)………….. she loves her alfedo served over fettucini with chicken breast tenders and fresh (or frozen) broccoli

  34. Cathy September 23, 2012, 12:25 pm

    My son is getting married in 3 weeks, and I’m doing the cooking for 150 people two days ahead. This sounds great! I will try it this week, but how much would you multiply this to feed around 150 people….yikes!!! They both LOVE Fettuicni Alfredo.

  35. Charlene September 23, 2012, 12:28 pm

    Do you really need cream cheese for this or can there be a substitute? :o

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef September 23, 2012, 7:27 pm

      Charlene, I’ve found cream cheese makes for the creamiest sauce and it will also keep in the fridge without separating. There are other recipes elsewhere though that don’t include cream cheese.

      I hope that helps!

  36. Sheila October 2, 2012, 10:04 am

    I love this recipe. However, I have another recipe for a sauce that requires 8 cups of heavy cream. I tastes wonderful but is no good the next day because it separates. Do you have a ratio of heavy cream to cream cheese that might be helpful in this recipe? I would love to try the cream cheese in my other recipe and be able to enjoy the leftovers.

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 2, 2012, 11:28 am

      Hi Sheila, well my recipe calls for 1 cup milk to 4 ounces of cream cheese so you could try following that ratio with your heavy cream and see how it goes…? Good luck!

  37. Carol November 29, 2012, 12:05 pm

    I love Alfredo sauce in restaurants, but have always bought the jarred sauce for use at home. It’s ridiculously expensive and not that good. Your recipe looks so easy and wonderful. I can’t wait to make it. Thank you!

  38. Amanda January 2, 2013, 5:04 pm

    I made this the other day and was very pleased with the results. Most times when I find a recipe claiming it to be very good or ‘you won’t want to buy store bought ever again’ I am disappointed. Not with your recipe, very flavourful! I’m going to make some more tonight! :).

  39. Alli January 12, 2013, 9:52 pm

    Amazing recipe!! I added apprx 1 oz of pepper jack as well as apprx 1 oz of asiago and it truly was a hit at the dinner table! Thank you!

  40. Karina March 10, 2013, 12:50 pm


  41. Debra April 29, 2013, 7:49 pm

    Hi there,
    Thanks for the great recipe… I used herb and garlic cream cheese and almond milk. I followed the rest of the ingredients… Served with shrimp ravioli… Yummy

  42. Sylvia Dewy September 16, 2014, 5:38 am

    Hi, I have many times tried to make alfredo sauce at home but could not succeed. I came across your blog the images showing the making of alfredo sauce are quite clear. I will try your recipe and hope this time it will rock!

    1. Lacey Baier September 16, 2014, 2:58 pm

      Good luck, Sylvia! I hope you enjoy it :)


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