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Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo

Real alfredo should never (never!) include cream; the silky sauce is the result of an emulsion between the grated cheese, melted butter, and starchy pasta water. This is part of Our site's Best, a collection of our essential recipes.


  • 12 ounces fettuccine or other long pasta
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

  • Transfer 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to a large skillet. Bring to a gentle simmer, then whisk in butter, a piece at a time, until melted. Whisking constantly, gradually add cheese, making sure it’s completely melted and incorporated before adding more. Add pasta and toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce blankets noodles completely. Serve topped with pepper and more cheese.

Recipe by Carla Lalli Music,Photos by Michael Graydon Nikole Herriott

Related Video

Fettuccine Alfredo

Reviews SectionI made my own fettuccini and then doubled this recipe (as I had 22 oz of pasta). After whisking and whisking and whisking the parm was not emulsifying.. I turned up the heat a bit more and still was encountering a slow slow slow incorporation. I then took an immersion blender and that worked amazing well... everything blended quickly. So... the recipe was good (be sure to use enough salt in your water), and if you don’t have an immersion blender, either get one or skip trying this whisking.. unless you really really like to whisk for 15 minutes. As for cleanup.. it’s a nightmare as there is a coating of melted parm on everything. So, I won’t make this again, not because it was not good.. but because trying to get parmesan cheese off of everything from a whisk to a pot was more effort than the results warranted.Anonymousnorth carolina08/12/20This recipe is delicious! For those of you whose sauce breaks or the cheese globs up, you are probably doing things too quickly. Simmer the pasta water and whisk in the butter in tablespoons, sometimes i even cut those in half. When you go to add your cheese, only add about a 3-finger pinch at a time. The secret: Whisk like a MOT********!!! Wait until it's totally incorporated and i mean TOTALLY before you add the next pinch. Another tip i'd have is, salt your pasta water but maybe not as heavy as carla did in the video. Don't forget that your pasta water is the base of your sauce plus added parm, so if your water is too salty the sauce will be too. While you make your sauce make sure you are always on medium low heat. I hope this helps you guys! When it comes out it is so tasty and creamy but without the heaviness of cream!nate_eraPennsylvania08/10/20This recipe was so easy and quick I don’t know how so many people messed it up , it was very nice and simplyAnonymousEngland 08/04/20followed the recipe but like others just got buttery water with globes of cheese on the wisk and at the bottom of the skillet :-( tastes fine but like not worth the effort bcause what i got was nothing like the videoAnonymouswashington d.c.08/03/20This is without a doubt the absolute worst recipe on this website. I’ve tried seven different times, tweaking here and there, even following the video exactly, changing cheese grating, adjusting heat etc and it NEVER. WORKS. It’s always cheese globs in butter. Carla is a smart chef but do not listen to her here: use a cream-based Alfredo. Maybe BA should be focusing more on actually reproducible results over what the chef thinks you “ought” to be doing because it works with their decades of expertise.AnonymousAustin, TX07/23/20Followed the recipe, but it turned out to be basically butter noodles with globs of cheese here and there. We ate it anyway, and it tasted okay, hence the extra star, but definitely not an alfredo.Absolutely delicious and light! But like another reviewer do I wash my pan??? I have parm glue stuck to EVERYTHING.....AnonymousSan Diego, CA06/30/20First off this amazingly delicious recipe prompted us to use fresh Parm for the first time. How do you wash the remaining cheese out of the sauteepan? I had to toss out a new sponge because it was caked with cheese?AnonymousTacoma, Wa06/16/20The easiest peasiet pasta and it tastes so damn delicious. The sauce is so silky smooth, coating the pasta perfectly. Just the right recipe during quarantine.mintysnackThailand06/05/20I didn’t quite get it right, and I’m not sure what went wrong. It ended up not cheesy enough and very salty. However, I’m sure the mistake was my fault and the recipe is most likely just fine, that’s why I’m giving this a good review.AnonymousPennsylvania 05/30/20This is a super simple, light version. I will never go back to the heavy recipe. I also add in some lemon zest whenever I’m wanting to make it a little fresher.HotlannieAtlanta, GA05/22/20I made this recipe and would never go back to the typical milk/cream version of Alfredo Sauce again. I think the key to the sauce is a heavily salted pasta water, fresh noodles, and an unsalted butter. I personally use a freshly grated Parmesan Romano cheese I get from the local Italian Grocery Store but great [email protected], CA05/04/20This is the simplest and easiest recipe. The taste is out of this world I loved it as well as the family.AnonymousPortland, Oregon 04/28/20I didn't get it right yet, but I am dedicated to making it work! Will definitely try again.Lovely recipe, so simple to make yet delicious... family loved it ...I tried this recipe and the water and butter did not emulsify and the cheese did not melt properly, I use the correct cheese but, did not work for me. I will try this recipe again and still high hopes that it'll work.AnonymousHONG KONG04/15/20Took multiple trys to get it right, like others i had alot of trouble with the cheese clumping. But when i finally got it right the taste and texture was INCREDIBLE. Definitly worth the trouble.Absolutely love this recipe! I think the most important part is to add small portions of butter while adding to the pasta cooking liquid for best results. Overall - GREAT recipe. Perfect to make with friends or family. I sautéed some shrimp, mushroom, garlic, and onions to add and it made for an extremely delicious meal.LukaybNew York, NY03/21/20It blew my mind that Alfredo has no cream in it. This recipe is utterly delicious, the freshly ground pepper on top really finishes the dish. It’s also super easy to make, everyone I’ve made it for has become an addict!CookiesssVictoria, Australia03/05/20Loved it! Cut your butter is very small pieces and add them one by one. Never stop stirring the water and add your parmesan slowly after the butter. When it gets creamy you can add your pasta! All my friends loved it!Msoto30El Salvador 01/26/20This recipe is awesome. As simple as it gets. If you can't figure out how to get it melted correctly, try changing up the steps. I melted about 3 tblsp of butter first and then added slightly under 2 cups of pasta water. After mixing that together for maybe a minute, I added close to 2 cups of freshly grated parm and just kept stirring. It didn't clump even a little and I added all the cheese at once basically. After I added my pasta, I felt like it was just a little thin, so I turned the heat down and quickly stirred in a single egg yolk. It was perfect. If your attempts keep failing, it's not Carla's fault. Figure out how to make it [email protected] Orleans01/24/20I really liked this recipe! I worked really slow and added very small amounts of butter at a time. It ended up beautiful and creamy. I added a little bit too much pasta and didn't have enough sauce to fully coat everything. Next time I'll use less pasta and maybe add a little garlic. Overall, a really good recepie! Not heavy like Fettuccine you get at the resteraunt.MarandabrookeMaine01/13/20Third time's the charm! After two failed attempts with the cheese lumping up, I decided to give this another shot. I figured I saw this recipe being successful with my own eyes in Carla's video so I must just be doing something wrong, and that thing turned out to be the size of my pieces of butter. Before, I was cutting the half-stick into about 6 pieces and melting them in one at a time. The butter didn't completely incorporate when I melted it in, so the cheese didn't have anything to grab onto and would lump up. Tonight, I cut it into about 15 (ish) little cubes and melted them in one by one, and it COMPLETELY melted into the water, which allowed the cheese to do the same. Work slowly, especially when starting out with the cheese. As you get towards the end, the cheese will melt in a lot easier and you can add more at a time. This recipe is A LOT of whisking, but turned out absolutely delicious.lindsaysrNorth Carolina12/30/19Yes, would definitely make again.When i made the fettuccine it turned out great. however when my son and another friend made it they got a tangled mass of cheese.hmmmm.....i used finely grated cheese and turned the heat off when adding the cheese. what did i do "right" while what they did created the tangled mass of cheese. they both said it was still good but not nearly as attractive while we all know presentation is ALWAYS part of the food presentation.excellent recipe! So easy I willl never use jarred Alfredo sauce again. Perfectly easy and delicious if you follow the instructions and steps. Just be careful with your use of salt as parm cheese is very salty on its own.Try it!

Olive Garden Alfredo Pasta

Here's an updated Olive Garden fettuccine alfredo recipe from Top Secret Restaurant Recipes that includes more grated Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. You'll find this sauce thickens easier and has an improved Olive Garden taste. Just be sure not to crank the heat up too high when simmering the sauce or it could break, resulting in a not-so-creamy, curdled Alfredo. Also check out our copycat Olive Garden toasted ravioli recipe!

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  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 12-ounce box fettuccine pasta
  • (or your choice of pasta)

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat.

2. Add the garlic, cream, pepper and salt, and bring mixture to a simmer. Turn the heat down if the mixture reaches a rapid boil or it could boil over. You just want a simmer. Add the cheese, and continue to simmer the sauce for 8 minutes or until thick.

3. While the sauce cooks, bring 4 to 6 quarts of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook pasta for about 12 minutes or until done, then drain it.

4. Spoon pasta onto serving plates with Alfredo sauce poured over the top.

Fettuccine Recipes That Go Way Beyond Alfredo

When most Americans hear the word "fettuccine," they immediately think "Alfredo." While fettuccine Alfredo -- that simple, creamy, buttery pasta -- is one of the world's best comfort foods, it's not fettuccine's only trick. Fettuccine, which in Italian means "little ribbons," tastes great with many sauces. Pesto is perfect for coating the wide, flat noodles, as are tomato-based sauces. One of the noodle's best assets is, indeed, its wide surface area, which holds onto sauce like a charm.

Fettuccine is a noodle that has stood the test of time. According to Barilla, it's one of the oldest shapes of pasta and also one of the most common. It's easier to make at home than other noodles, because you basically just need to cut dough into strips -- unlike forming more difficult shapes, like cavatelli, for example.

Whether you're making fresh fettucine or using the store-bought kind, spice up your pasta routine by trying some recipes that have nothing to do with Alfredo. Then return to the classic, because fettuccine Alfredo will always deserve your love.

How to Make Fettuccine Alfredo

  1. Start by boiling your pasta in salted water.
  2. While your pasta cooks, melt butter and add milk/half and half/cream and the spices to the pot. Cook until it begins to steam and then stir in the cheese.
  3. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Drain the pasta and toss the pasta with the sauce. Top with more parmesan and enjoy!

Fettuccine Alfredo for One Variations

  • Garlic Alfredo – Before adding the cream, add 1/2 teaspoon of minced or crushed garlic to the melted butter and cook until browned, about 30 seconds. Omit the garlic powder.
  • Broccoli Alfredo – In the last 3-4 minutes of cooking time, toss a handful of broccoli florets in with the boiling fettuccine noodles and cook until tender.
  • Chicken Alfredo – Add 3 ounces/ 3/4 cup of chopped warm cooked chicken (I like to use the method from my post How to Cook Chicken Breasts for Salads and Sandwiches) to the sauce just before pouring over the pasta.

What to serve with Fettuccine Alfredo?

Serve your pasta with a side of garlic bread and a simple veggie side like roasted or steamed broccoli or roasted zucchini.

More Quick Pasta Dishes

A Note on Serving Size

This makes one 2-ounce serving (the recommended serving size) of pasta. If you want a big restaurant-sized portion or are feeding a big eater, double the recipe. To change the recipe yield, hover over the number of servings in the recipe card below (or click if you are on mobile) and slide the slider.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Peas

Thisꃾttuccine Alfredo with Peas is a dish best made to taste. The trick to success in alfredo dishes is coating your noodles to your liking. I like a creamy and cheesy alfredo𠅊nd even double this sauce recipe when I’m feeling sinful. You can adjust the amount of cheese and cream to achieve the consistency you prefer.

Tip: Thaw peas for about 3 minutes in a bath of cold water and drain. This way they won’t become soggy.  


  • 1 (1-pound) box fettuccine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ pound butter, at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed (optional)


1. Cook fettuccine according to package instructions.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Do not let the cream come to a boil. Whisk in butter until melted. Add the Parmesan, whisking continually, until sauce thickens. Keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to burn the sauce.

3. Drain pasta do not rinse. Place in a bowl large enough to allow tossing. Pour sauce over warm pasta and toss to coat.

4. Sprinkle with pepper and toss in the peas. Top with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Recipe Courtesy of Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes by Jamie Geller (Feldheim 2010).

7 Delicious Dishes Made From Alfredo Sauce in a Jar

Alfredo sauce forms the basis of many tasty and satisfying recipes. Classic Alfredo sauce is made of just butter, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Those ingredients combined with pasta make fettuccine Alfredo, an Italian favorite. Jarred Alfredo sauce is quick and easy when you want to make a nice dinner after a busy day. Besides with pasta, you can use Alfredo sauce as a substitute for white sauce in any casserole.

Some of these recipes call for a cheesy pasta sauce. That's a white sauce that includes other cheeses, usually some form of cheddar. If you can't find jarred cheesy pasta sauce, just heat up a jar of Alfredo sauce and add a cup of shredded cheddar or colby and heat until the cheese melts and the mixture is blended.

Menus & Tags

Super easy. Made the adds of garlic and nutmeg as others have mentioned and also used double the amount of table cream in place of whipping cream. Turned out perfect.

I thought this was great -- very simple and elegant. I followed the recipe pretty closely and used Parmigiano-Reggiano, as advised. I might try adding garlic and/or parsley next time as others have suggested. Also, adding peas sounds like a good idea.

Absolutely wonderful! I did add nutmeg,garlic and we barbecued 2 chicken breasts and cut them up in big size pieces and added to pasta. This will be my go to pasta dish. Not hard to make. We had Pimm drinks with it and a simple salad.

Made this for supper last night: big hit. I grated a tiny bit of whole nutmeg but that’s the only chance I made. The sauce has good texture and the nutmeg deepened the flavor profile, adding some complexity. 4 forks from me for simplicity of construction, flavor, texture and clarity of instructions. I recommend this recipe.

Im pretty young, and I found that this is super quick and easy to make! The sauce is so good and yummy and I absolutely love making this for dinner! (Im actually making some right now. )

Made this after church- super simple and yummy! Don’t over cook your butter/cream mixture, but if you do you can always compensate with more pasta water. Added a pinch of nutmeg and parsley, and some crush garlic while simmering. Salting the pasta water makes a big difference- did not have to add much salt at the end! Super easy & delicious- will make again!

This is my go-to alfredo sauce. I usually saute mushrooms too in the beginning to add some depth to the sauce. Easy and delicious!

Just made this and it was outstanding. I added nutmeg and a whole garlic clove which I removed at serving.

The is a perfect master recipe. I just added some fresh garlic to the butter and finished it with grated nutmeg and chopped parsley. Perfect with a nice chardonnay!

I agree with thomasculver93 about adding garlic and a touch of fresh nutmeg. The thing different we do is to add fresh chopped parsley at the end. We honestly didn't think parsley was worth much except as a useless garnish then when we added it to this dish it became elevated to the most amazing dish EVER! delizioso! 4 forks for sure! My husband who is a fettuccine Alfredo freak wants this every night, but he gets it once a quarter because I really love him and do not want him to die of a heart attack too soon!

Easy weeknight dish quick and elegant. My daughter requested farfalle it was delicious. I added one chopped garlic clove, a bit of fresh grated nutmeg and some roasted chicken.

Here are the variations I made, which made this the best alfredo I have ever had! Add whole, crushed garlic to the butter/cream. Add 1/2 cup parmesan to the butter/cream mixture once it comes to a simmer and whisk. Grate fresh nutmeg into the mixture. Add the pasta to the sauce and add a few tablespoons of water to thin the sauce out. Grate additional pepper and parmesan on before serving.

No deviations necessary from this recipe! It's perfect as is!

My daughter's friend was invited for his birthday and being has favorite dish is Fettuccine Alfredo, I made this recipe. My daughter's favorite is also Fettuccine Alfredo. They both LOVED this recipe. Other than adding a touch of freshly grated nutmeg and some crushed garlic in with the butter, I made the recipe as written. I even used Kraft grated Parmesan - I know - ewww, but regardless it turned out really good. I can only imagine how much better it would be with freshly grated good quality Parmesan. I know this will be a frequently requested recipe in my house.

learn from my mistakes and make sure to use enough cheese and season well (both pasta water and sauce!). Mine came out good but not amazing. Peas were a nice addition. I added one large garlic clove next time I'll add more.

It was amazing, I added a big clove of crushed garlic and a tsp of dried parsley to the cream sauce when it was cooking.

This the easiest Alfredo recipe and it turns out perfect every time! we add peas or broccoli and chicken. The family loves it!

This is the easiest Alfredo Sauce I have ever found, and it tastes AMAZING. The first time I made this, I added in broccoli and extra Parmesan cheese. This time I changed it and added in Pickled Peppered Garlic (YUM!) as well as Basil, Barley, a touch of Garlic Salt and Pepper. Paired this sauce with some bow tie noodles and Buttery Herb mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. Easy, simple, AMAZING.

My daughter made this and the whole family L-O-V-E-D it! We loved how the fettuccine was not laying in sauce, just covered. This is a keeper.

Excellent and simple! Added broccoli, extra parm and smashed fresh garlic to the butter while heating (removed the garlic thereafter). Omitted that pasta water. Also, as suggested, increased sauce quantity for a bit heavier covering. So good!

This is one of those reviews where I say the recipe is perfect, and then proceed to tell you how I altered it because it wasn't. Prior to mixing in the cream, I added two cloves of garlic to the butter and browned both to add a little nuttiness and spice to the meal. And I tossed a chopped head of broccoli and some chard into the pasta boil and added the whole lot to the cream sauce. I did these things because I like garlic and bitter vege, and this recipe was delicious and reliable enough to accept my abuse. That's why it's perfect. PS if you're anticipating a plate covered in runny sauce like at some Olive Garden, quadruple the recipe. The product here is just enough to coat the pasta. Personally Iɽ rather a smaller amount of this delicious stuff than a whole ton of "healthy option" alfredos made with ricotta, yogurt or what have you.

Echoing what most reviewers have said, this is a great base, easy to build on. That said, i decided to skip the 1/2 cup pasta water as suggested by a reviewer below, and I found that my pasta stuck together too thickly for my liking, on my plate. The next time I make this, I'm going to add the 1/2 cup water. The flavor of the sauce is delicious, and subtle. Definitely a keeper!

Really liked this recipe as a base. I used rotini and made the alfredo sauce adopting a couple of things from the reviews. I used some nutmeg and black pepper and lost the pasta water. I added half the parmesan to the sauce and then added the sauce to the pasta. Added more parmesan and some chopped peameal bacon in two additions. Great quick dinner on a cool gloomy summer evening. My SO declared it the best pasta ever and had 3 helpings -- which means he really really liked it :-)

You are correct, tispiteri, not an appropriate review.

Ok, you might not think this is an appropriate review because I did so many things different, but I used what I had and what I wanted to create. Had left over bbq chicken, zucchini, and carrots, no cream and no quality parmesean. Used evaporated milk, 1 1/2 cups, 3/4 stick butter and lots of that green lid parmesean. Added the zucchini and carrots to the boiling noodles, and then added that to the sauce. I also added some dried red chilli flakes because my husband and I like some heat. When I added the noodles and vegies used a noodle scoop which added some water but not a lot. Got a thumbs up from the hubby.

While I'll usually choose fresh pasta over dried if given a choice, for this dish, I recommend using dried pasta. Dried pasta is firmer and will hold up better to the sauce. That said, you can use fresh pasta if you prefer, just cook it al dente.

  • Serve the pasta immediately. The sauces are weak emulsions, which will break if held too long.
  • Warm your serving dishes. Run your hot water over your dishes (or put them in a low oven, if they are oven-safe) before plating the food. Warm plates will help the sauce stay together.

  • 12 ounces dry fettuccine pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 oz Mushrooms, (we used baby bella)
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (we used 26/30 shrimp per pound)
  • 10 oz can of whole clams, drained
  • 4 oz can crab meat, drained
  • salt to taste
  • 4-5 grinds black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus a little for garnish
  • 1/2 cup Provel Cheese or Provolone cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


  • 1/4 cup Toasted bread crumbs or Panko (toasted in 2 tablespoons butter for a couple minutes, until lightly brown)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Ingredients to make fresh pasta:

  • 3 cups &ldquoOO&rdquo flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 11 large egg yolks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Recipe Summary

  • ½ pound fettuccine, uncooked
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 ¼ cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • 4 ounces PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel cheese, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile, heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken cook 5 to 7 min. or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet. Mix broth and flour in same skillet. Stir in Neufchatel, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, garlic powder and pepper cook 2 min. or until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly with whisk. Stir in chicken.

Drain pasta place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.