Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce (without heavy cream)

If you are like me, you absolutely love a creamy comfort food pasta with a rich and creamy white sauce, but don’t keep heavy cream on hand on a regular basis. This simple alfredo sauce with a butter and flour base has become my go-to for serving over pasta topped with chicken, shrimp or steak. Our favorite way to enjoy this alfredo sauce is tossed with fettuccini noodles and cajun seasoned, pan fried shrimp or with browned butter chicken. For some sides to complete your meal, be sure to try Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits or Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks!

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Easy homemade alfredo sauce without heavy cream

Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce (without heavy cream)

marilynpeight
This easy alfredo sauce is smooth and creamy with a delicious parmesan and garlic flavor! The perfect sauce to serve over fettuccini noodles, or for dipping breadsticks into, etc.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Saucepan (linked below)
  • Whisk (linked below)
  • Stainless steel measuring cups (linked below)

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3-3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup grated or shredded parmesan use freshly shredded parmesan for the best flavor
  • salt and pepper to taste *see suggested amount below
  • 8-12 oz. fettuccini noodles or other pasta *see note

Instructions
 

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add garlic and saute until aromatic. Whisk in the flour to create a smooth roux, then add 3 cups whole milk and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3-5 minutes, while stirring frequently until thickened and the flour flavor is no longer strong.
  • Stir in salt and pepper to taste, then stir in parmesan cheese until melted into the sauce. If the sauce is too thick at this point, the additional 1/2 cup of milk can be added. The sauce will also continue to thicken as it cools. Serve over cooked pasta or as a dip for breadsticks and more. Enjoy!

Notes

I generally add a scant teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper to the alfredo sauce. Tastes vary, so feel free to add more or less salt and pepper to suit your taste. 
I prefer to use 8 oz. of pasta because we like our fettuccini extra saucy, but this amount of alfredo sauce will also cover 12 oz. of cooked pasta. 
Additional notes and step by step photos below. 
 
Keyword Easy alfredo sauce, without heavy cream, minced garlic, parmesan, recipe
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Equipment needed for this Homemade Alfredo Sauce without heavy cream:

  • Large saucepan/skillet a large saucepan or skillet is needed for cooking the ingredients to make the alfredo sauce. I like to use a large skillet with a handle for easier handling.
  • Whisk A whisk is needed to stir the alfredo sauce while adding ingredients and while it is cooking.
  • Measuring cups You will need to use measuring cups and spoons to get an accurate measurement of each ingredient before adding them into the alfredo sauce.

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Ingredients needed for this Homemade Alfredo Sauce: salt and pepper, milk, parmesan, garlic cloves, butter and all purpose flour.

What is the best parmesan to use in this homemade alfredo sauce?

In a pinch I will use grated parmesan, but my preference is definitely shredded parmesan cheese. I usually buy a package of pre-shredded parmesan, because I have a fear of grating my fingers while using my cheese grater, haha. I have heard that using a block of parmesan cheese and shredding it right before adding it to the homemade alfredo sauce is the superior method, flavor wise. But honestly, feel free to use whatever you have on hand!

Step 1: Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add garlic and saute until aromatic. Whisk in the flour to create a smooth roux, then add 3 cups whole milk and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3-5 minutes, while stirring frequently until thickened and the flour flavor is no longer strong.

Step 2: Stir in salt and pepper to taste, then stir in parmesan cheese until melted into the sauce. If the sauce is too thick at this point, the additional 1/2 cup of milk can be added. The sauce will also continue to thicken as it cools.

Notes for the smoothest alfredo sauce:

  • You will want to keep a close eye on your alfredo sauce while cooking it and be sure to stir it frequently. The milk in alfredo sauce can boil over quickly, so keep the heat reduced to a medium-low. keep stirring the sauce with each ingredient addition!
  • Be sure to whisk the flour into the butter well, until no lumps are remaining and the flour-butter mixture has formed a smooth roux.
  • Stir in the parmesan and keep stirring until the cheese is smooth and has fully melted into the sauce. If adding grated parmesan, you may wish to cook and stir the sauce a little bit longer to eliminate lumps.
  • If all else fails and the sauce is still lumpy, you can pour it through a fine mesh strainer before serving it over pasta or with breadsticks.

Step 2 continued:  Serve over cooked pasta or as a dip for breadsticks and more. Enjoy!

Storage notes for this Homemade Alfredo Sauce without heavy cream:

This alfredo sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Simply reheat the sauce in the microwave or in a saucepan over the stove top before serving. You may wish to add a little extra liquid if reheating the sauce, with or without pasta added. I personally do not recommend freezing the alfredo sauce as the sauce can separate after freezing and thawing.

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