All you need for this homemade Alfredo pasta is noodles, butter, cream, Parmesan, and garlic. Prepare to kick back with a big bowl of YUM in less than 20 minutes!
What Is Alfredo Pasta?
Alfredo pasta is a simple pasta dish consisting of your choice of long pasta combined with cheesy Alfredo sauce. The Alfredo sauce is a rich, white cheese sauce. Despite having a complex flavor, this creamy alfredo pasta recipe requires only a few ingredients, most of which are likely already in your kitchen. Plus, there are a number of ways to change up the flavor of the dish by adding in different proteins or vegetables.
Alfredo was first made in 1914 by a man named Alfredo Di Lelio when, after giving birth, his wife had no appetite for any food. Alfredo tried everything to get her to eat — eventually succeeding with a cheesy-buttery pasta dish. Our version of Alfredo pasta may be very different compared to the original, authentic Italian version, however, it is tasty nonetheless!
How To Make Alfredo Pasta
- Cook the pasta: Cook your choice of pasta according to package instructions.
- Prepare the Alfredo sauce: Prepare the Alfredo sauce, or if it has been refrigerated, warm it up by preheating it over low heat in a deep skillet.
- Combine the pasta and sauce: Add the cooked pasta to a deep, large skillet and toss with the sauce to combine. Remove from heat.
- Serve: Serve the pasta immediately while the Alfredo is still warm. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley, then enjoy!
Hot tip: If you expect leftovers, reserve ¼ cup of pasta water to rehydrate the pasta when reheating later on.
Additions to Your Alfredo Pasta
Imagine Alfredo pasta as your blank canvas — and your paint is a variety of different proteins, veggies, and types of pasta. Here are our personal favorites to add into this delicious pasta.
Protein is quite possibly the most popular ingredient addition. Shrimp Alfredo pasta is one version where the shrimp are gently cooked and mixed with the cheesy sauce. Here’s a tip — when making the shrimp, be careful not to overcook them or they will taste rubbery!
A second popular option is chicken, such as in this chicken Alfredo pasta. Feel free to use leftover chicken, chicken breast, or even chicken thighs. It’s all up to you!
Are you looking for more veggies to pair with the pasta? Use up those mushrooms in your refrigerator and make chicken mushroom fettuccine Alfredo or add broccoli and you’ll have broccoli mushroom Alfredo. Feel free to add even more of your favorite veggies including asparagus, carrots, and bell peppers.
One of the wonderful perks of this dish is that you are welcome to use any type of long pasta or noodle that you like! Spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine pasta are all great choices. Keep in mind that the wider the pasta, the better it holds the sauce!
Tips for the Best Alfredo Pasta
Don’t be stuck with a mediocre Alfredo pasta when you can have a top-notch dish. Follow these tips to ensure your dish reaches 5-star ratings from everyone at your table.
- Pre-measure the ingredients: When making the Alfredo sauce, pre-measure the ingredients so you can focus on cooking and the milk and cheese do not burn or curdle.
- Cook to al dente: When cooking the pasta, be sure not to overcook it. Cook until it is al dente, or “firm to the tooth.”
- Make homemade pasta: For even more homemade flavor, make your own pasta from scratch! Use this recipe for easy homemade pasta.
- Choose a high-quality cheese: The cheese aisle can be intimidating, but choosing a high-quality Parmesan cheese makes this a knockout dish. Skip the shredded, bagged Parmesan and go for an aged Parmesan. Grate it fresh to unlock oils and flavors that are often lost in pre-shredded bagged cheese.
- Season to taste: Depending on the type of Parmesan used, as well as your taste preferences, add salt and black pepper to taste.
Serving the Pasta
Serve this scrumptious dish straight from the stove while it’s still warm. It’s a great lunch or dinner dish — and especially great for hosting since it’s easy to double the recipe. For a full meal, add a meat and vegetable side (if not already in the pasta). Serve mild-flavored baked chicken legs or air fryer chicken Parmesan. Alternatively, pair with crisp parmesan crusted chicken. Or if you’re a beef lover, make this tasty oven ribeye steak. For a salad option, go with a simple salad like this tomato mozzarella salad or level it up with bacon brussels sprouts salad. Another classic pairing would be a refreshing Caesar salad.
Storing & Reheating Tips
Alfredo pasta tastes best when served immediately — however, in case of leftovers, the dish also stores and reheats well.
- Refrigerator: To store for 3-5 days, place the pasta into an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Freezer: To store for up to three months, place the cooled pasta into an airtight container and freeze. Thaw the pasta in the fridge overnight.
- Reheating: To reheat, heat the pasta in a pan over medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of reserved pasta water or regular water to rehydrate the sauce. Since the sauce thickens as it cools, a bit of moisture helps the sauce return to a creamy texture.
How do you thicken Alfredo without flour or cornstarch?
The best way to thicken Alfredo is by adding more Parmesan cheese. Or, whisk in a bit of heavy whipping cream into a 1/2 cup of the sauce and simmer over medium heat until thickened.
Is Alfredo sauce authentic Italian?
Alfredo sauce has primarily Italian roots, but the popularized Alfredo sauce today is largely different from its original form.
What pasta is best to use for Alfredo pasta?
Any long pasta works well in Alfredo dishes; however, the wider the noodle, the better it holds the pasta. For this reason, fettuccine noodles are the most popular choice.
What can I add to Alfredo pasta for flavor?
For more flavor in your pasta, add in meat or vegetable ingredients such as chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, broccoli, and more. Or, add in a dash of spices such as black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
More Alfredo Recipes
- Alfredo Broccoli & Bacon — Savory and creamy sauce filled with bacon and veggies
- Zucchini Alfredo Bake — Made with crispy zucchini, mushrooms, Alfredo sauce, and fresh mozzarella
- Perfect Homemade Pizza — Make an Alfredo pizza with this pizza recipe
- Air Fryer Calzones — Alfredo sauce makes the perfect dip for these calzones
- 1 lb pasta (spaghetti, linguini or fettuccine)
- 2 cups alfredo sauce
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. On low heat, preheat your Alfredo sauce in a deep skillet. Add the cooked pasta to the Alfredo Sauce.
- Stir to combine the Alfredo sauce with the pasta. Remove from heat.
- Serve pasta right away while the alfredo is still really warm. Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!