This cream cheese alfredo sauce is smooth, creamy and has the perfect texture and flavor! Simple to whip up and always a family favorite.
Alfredo is one of my all-time favorite pasta dishes. The sauce is to die for and so creamy and delicious. Give me a big bowl of fettuccine alfredo with a warm breadstick and a chopped salad and I am in literal heaven!
I don’t know about you, but alfredo is my weakness. Whenever we go out for Italian, it’s usually what I always end up ordering. Especially this pregnancy. Olive garden breadsticks with a big bowl of alfredo for dipping please. Bring on all the carbs! ;) Luckily I can make the alfredo sauce easily at home whenever the craving strikes.
This homemade alfredo sauce with cream cheese is such an easy recipe to make. It comes together very quickly and is always a hit with everyone who has tried it. The cream cheese just adds a smooth richness to the homemade alfredo… you can’t taste it, promise.
What can I use instead of heavy cream?
Instead of using heavy cream, you could substitute half and half. For a skinnier version, you could use milk and light cream cheese. Just add 1-2 teaspoons of flour to help make it thicker.
How to thicken the sauce
One of the main keys to getting the perfect consistency is to make sure to simmer the sauce (this requires some patience!) and whisk often. The alfredo will thicken as it cooks. You also want to make sure you use the correct amounts of cheese and cream (or substitute of choice). If using milk instead of cream, add a couple of teaspoons of flour to help thicken it up.
How to make cream cheese alfredo
MELT. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream cheese and then whisk in the heavy cream and garlic powder. Add Italian seasoning if desired.
SIMMER. Increase heat to medium low. Bring sauce to a simmer, then let simmer for 5 minutes (whisking occasionally).
TOSS. Add in the parmesan and stir. Once melted, toss with hot fettuccine and serve!
Tips for the perfect alfredo sauce
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese tastes best. Trust me, it does make a difference!
- While the sauce simmers, make sure to whisk often.
- Make sure not to use too high of heat. I find that medium-low is perfect. You don’t want to burn or curdle the cream.
- Feel free to add in cooked chicken after the sauce comes together. You can also add cooked broccoli or peas.
- Top with more fresh parmesan and parsley before serving.
- You could easily make this sauce a couple of days in advance, then reheat it over low heat when ready to serve. Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
More delicious pasta dishes:
Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream (1 pint, could use half and half)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound fettuccine
Optional: Grilled chicken, steamed broccoli
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
- Add in the cream cheese. Next whisk in the cream and garlic powder. Season with Italian seasoning if desired.
- Increase the heat to medium low heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Stir in parmesan cheese and allow to melt. Taste and salt and pepper as needed. Toss with hot fettuccine and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from the The Food Nanny cookbook.