Fettuccine Alfredo – you only need four ingredients to make this creamy, buttery, and cheesy pasta dish. Fettuccine Alfredo is a classic everyone (including kids) loves, and it takes less than 30 minutes to make!
We love pasta and I usually make my favorite Easy Marinara Sauce or Spinach Basil Pesto to go with noodles, but when I am feeling indulgent, I make Fettuccine Alfredo. It’s cheesy, creamy, and comforting. I wouldn’t recommend making it every night, but when you’re craving something rich? There’s nothing better!
Fettuccine Alfredo is a classic, creamy Italian pasta dish. It’s a favorite among kids since it’s so cheesy! It’s different from white pasta sauce, which starts with a flour and butter base. Alfredo sauce is made with Parmesan, heavy cream, and butter.
Only 4 Ingredients
Did you know you only need four ingredients for Fettuccine Alfredo? It’s true! I told you it was easy!
- Pasta – I always use classic fettuccine pasta, but you can use whatever shape you like best to go with this sauce. Spaghetti or penne pasta are good options.
- Parmesan – Since so much of the flavor comes from the cheese, I recommend the highest quality Parmesan cheese you can find! Don’t buy the Parmesan cheese in the can, visit the cheese counter at the grocery store and get the good stuff!
- Butter – I use unsalted butter but salted will work too. You can adjust the salt in the recipe, based on the butter you use and your preference.
- Heavy cream – Use heavy cream and not whipping cream. Heavy cream has more fat and makes a richer, more luxurious sauce.
- Garnish– A squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley are both optional additions, but I like to finish this dish off with them for a little extra flavor and brightness! I also like to top the finished pasta with extra freshly grated Parmesan. YUM!
- Add-ins– If you want to add a protein to this dish, you can add grilled chicken or shrimp.
For a dairy-free Fettuccine Alfredo, check your grocery store for vegan butter and soy or coconut heavy cream alternatives. I personally haven’t tried them, but there are options out there.
How to Make Fettuccine Alfredo
Here are some tips to help you make the best Fettuccine Alfredo!
- To keep your fettuccine from clumping together, wait until the water is boiling before adding the noodles in. Make sure you generously salt the water.
- Keep an eye on it! Give the pasta a few stirs while it is boiling to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
- Don’t add oil to the water or noodles. Oil prevents the Alfredo sauce from sticking to the pasta, which we want for this dish!
- Reserve some pasta water. The pasta water has great starchy flavor and can be added to the sauce to thin it out if your sauce gets too thick.
- Let the butter melt completely before you stir in the heavy cream.
- Cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese and let it melt.
- Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce, I like to use tongs. If the sauce is too thick, add a little of the pasta water to thin it out.
Leftovers and Freezing
You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
To best reheat your Fettuccine Alfredo, put leftovers in a microwave-safe dish and sprinkle it with a little water. Cover it with plastic wrap, cut a few small slits for steam to escape, and microwave for 90 seconds.
I recommend freezing Alfredo sauce before mixing it in with pasta! You can store Alfredo sauce in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Let’s talk sides! I love serving something fresh and green next to a big bowl of Fettuccine Alfredo. Any classic Italian sides are delicious here, too!
More Pasta Recipes
- Pasta Primavera
- Pasta Pomodoro
- Baked Ziti
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Pasta Fagioli
- Rigatoni with Sausage
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound fettuccine pasta
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, optional
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Garnish: chopped fresh parsley and additional Parmesan cheese, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook pasta until al dente according. package instructions, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until it melts, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the heavy cream and bring to a boil.
- Cook until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese until it melts. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, if using. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce, I like to use tongs to make sure all of the noodles are coated. Add a little pasta water if the sauce needs to be thinned out. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste, If necessary.
- Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl or individual bowls and garnish with parsley and additional Parmesan cheese, if using. Serve immediately.
Have you tried this recipe?
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Photos by Molly, Yes to Yolks.
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It wasn’t that long ago that I thought Fettucciana Alfredo was healthy for you! Ok, guess not. But I love it still and every once in a while, it’s worth the splurge. I really like the optional lemon juice and parsley and will try both!
My favorite decadent pasta treat. I have never made it homemade…my mom makes a version of a roasted red pepper cream sauce, that is like fettuccine alfredo but it’s pink…SO yummy!
Yum! I never realized it was so easy! My grandma used to chop up broccoli really fine and mix it in with the sauce for the color (and add chicken). Thanks, Maria!
So nice and quick, easy and tasty!
Fettuccine alfredo used to be my favorite pasta dish growing up. And ready in 30 minutes appeals to my adult side. So this is a winner through and through!
Yum – thanks Maria. Have a great weekend.
This is one of my favorite meals! As a matter of fact, I’m enjoying a bowl of farfalle alfredo right now.
Happy Friday 🙂
I used to make fettuccine Alfredo all the time, but I usually make healthier dinners too so I’ve stopped, unless it’s with cauliflower. I should throw caution to the wind and make this 🙂
This looks so creamy and delicious!!!
Delish pasta recipe!!!
Not healthy but definately delicious!
I know I’m going to enjoy this pasta alfredo soon for dinner! Thanks for sharing!
Just made this for my family for lunch and it received great reviews from kids and adults alike! Very tasty, fresh Parmesan is the key.
This sounds lovely. Going to give this recipe a go. thanks for sharing this.
When I make Alfredo pasta, I cook half an onion with 2 cups of cauliflower in a bit of vegetable broth until very tender and I puree it in the blender. Then, I make the traditional Alfredo sauce, but I cut cream and butter by half and I add this cauliflower puree wit a lot of small broccoli florets instead of the extra cream and butter. It makes the recipe just as delicious (even tastier I would say), but much healthier. Give it a try! No one will see the difference, except your arteries and your wasteline… 🙂
Both of my daughters have made this (& feel like accomplished chefs in the process!). It’s SO easy & SO yummy! They’ve even said this is better than at fancy Italian restaurants. We do add a finely chopped shallot to the butter which adds flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.
Glad it was a hit!