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
- ½ 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.
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Photos by Molly, Yes to Yolks.
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