This easy homemade Alfredo sauce tastes just like the Alfredo from Olive Garden. The best part? No heavy whipping cream! Just use regular milk (whole milk, skim milk, or 2%–it doesn’t matter) for this creamy white sauce that goes perfectly with bow tie or fettuccine noodles. Add some chicken and broccoli for a quick and easy dinner! Don’t forget the breadsticks!
Alfredo sauce is one of those things that can seem intimidating, but it’s actually really easy to make! My classic recipe cuts way down on the fat content by using milk instead of heavy whipping cream like in a traditional Alfredo sauce. But you still get a silky smooth creamy consistency. And, it’s something the whole family will love. (I never get complaints when I make this for dinner!)
(Just for comparison’s sake, making this with milk results in 10 grams of fat per serving vs. 37 grams of fat when using heavy whipping cream!)
Let’s get started! I’m going to show you step-by-step how to make this easy Alfredo sauce.
Ingredients for Alfredo Sauce without Heavy Cream
You only need a few simple ingredients for this easy Alfredo sauce recipe, and you probably have them on hand at all times!
- Garlic (fresh garlic, not garlic powder, unless you’re in a pinch and that’s all you have)
- Milk (whole, 2%, or skim)
- Parmesan cheese (I always just use the kind from the can, but if you have it, go ahead and use fresh!)
How to Make Alfredo Sauce without Heavy Cream
Grab a medium-sized saucepan or frying pan and put it on the stove over medium heat.
Add 3 Tablespoons of butter, and 1 teaspoon freshly-pressed garlic. (You can press a clove of garlic with a garlic press, or use pre-chopped garlic from a jar. Feel free to add extra garlic if you really like garlic!)
Heat until the butter melts and the garlic is sizzling. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and three tablespoons of flour and whisk together with the melted butter and garlic.
After whisking, everything will look clumpy and like paste. That’s ok! We’re about to fix that.
Add about 1/2 cup of milk and carefully whisk together until all the lumps are gone. Your sauce will probably thicken pretty quickly.
Keep adding more milk and whisking, waiting for the sauce to thicken between each addition. In total, you’ll add two cups of milk.
When all your milk has been added and your sauce is smooth and slightly thick, it’s time to add the Parmesan cheese. I add about 1/2 cup from the can. If you’re using freshly-grated cheese, you can add about a cup.
Whisk the cheese in and remove the sauce from the heat.
Now it’s time to pour this perfect, light Alfredo sauce over your favorite pasta!
What to Serve with Alfredo Sauce
Alfredo sauce can be used with any type of pasta, although it’s traditionally used with fettuccine. Then you can add on all kinds of meat and vegetables.
- Italian sausage
- Sun-dried tomatoes
Alfredo sauce can also be used as a topping for pizza, and as a dipping sauce for bread. (Speaking of which, have you made my Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread yet? It’s one of my most popular recipes ever!)
You can make Alfredo sauce from start to finish in less than 15 minutes. It’s one of the quickest things to make for dinner, and everybody loves it! Make sure to pin and bookmark this recipe, because you’ll want to come back to it over and over again!
If you’ve got questions about Alfredo Sauce, I’ve answered them all below the recipe, so keep scrolling!
- 3 Tablespoons butter (salted)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese)
- In a medium-sized saucepan or frying pan on medium heat, melt the three tablespoons of butter. Add the garlic and stir with the melted butter until fragrant.
- Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and three tablespoons of flour and whisk together with the melted butter and garlic to make a roux or paste.
- Add 1/2 cup of milk and carefully whisk until the lumps are gone. When the mixture thickens, add another 1/2 cup of milk. Keep whisking until the sauce becomes thick, and then add another half cup of milk. Continue whisking and adding milk until all two cups have been used. Continue whisking until the sauce becomes slightly thick.
- Remove from the heat and add the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Whisk until full incorporated in the sauce. Serve with cooked noodles.
Sauce will thicken as it cools. If a film forms on top, just stir the sauce and it will disappear.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 142Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 415mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g
Is Alfredo sauce gluten-free?
Alfredo sauce made with heavy cream is probably gluten-free. However, this recipe, which uses flour, is not gluten-free.
Can Alfredo sauce be frozen?
It can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Upon thawing, the sauce will separate. However, you can fix this separation by adding the sauce to a blender, or by reheating it on the stove while whisking it.
Can Alfredo sauce be reheated?
Yes! Any leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator. The sauce will firm up when chilled, but you can reheat it in the microwave or over medium heat on the stove and it will loosen up again.
What do I do if my Alfredo sauce separates?
This is more of a problem with sauce made with heavy whipping cream. The flour in this recipe acts as a binding agent and helps hold the sauce together. However, after being stored for a few days in the refrigerator, it will start to separate. You can reincorporate everything by reheating and whisking the sauce.
Why is my Alfredo sauce lumpy?
Alfredo sauce can be lumpy for several reasons. One is if you don’t fully whisk the sauce while adding the milk in small increments. Another is if you add the milk all at once to the roux/paste. If you just can’t seem to get the lumps out, add your sauce to a blender and blend for 5-10 seconds. (Be careful adding hot Alfredo sauce to a blender and blending it for too long, as that can damage your blender).
Why is my Alfredo sauce so thick?
If you find that your Alfredo sauce is thicker than you would like, just add a splash of milk and stir everything together. Keep in mind that Alfredo sauce thickens as it cools, and warming it up helps it to not be as thick.
Why is my Alfredo sauce not thickening?
When you make Alfredo sauce with heavy whipping cream, the sauce will generally not be very thick. Using flour helps to thicken the sauce. Even so, sometimes it may not be as thick as you would like. If you’d like your sauce to be thicker, mix an extra tablespoon of flour with 2 tablespoons of water to make a slurry. Then whisk it into your sauce and keep stirring over medium heat until your sauce thickens to your liking.
Choose your favorite to pin!