Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce is made with cream cheese, milk and Parmesan cheese (and a few other things). This recipe comes together in about the time it takes to cook the pasta. It is rich, creamy and perfect for pasta or for dipping breadsticks!
How Much Will This Recipe Make?
This recipe makes about 5 cups of Alfredo sauce, so you will have plenty of leftovers for the next day (depending on how much each person puts on their pasta or uses to dip breadsticks -if you are having breadsticks or garlic knots with it, which we always do!).
I plan on each person eating about 1/2 cup (that’s enough for pasta and dipping- maybe a bit more if we are super hungry). Then we have it the next day as leftovers for a fast and easy dinner when we are busy- and it’s one of the only things that they will eat as a leftover (so you know it’s good!) It reheats in minutes in the microwave or on your stove top.
NOTE: You can easily half this recipe if you don’t want as much sauce!
Making the Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese
To make this Fast and Easy Creamy Alfredo Sauce you will need milk, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter, minced garlic, garlic powder (yes you need both), kosher salt, and flour (you will not taste any flour- it’s just for thickening). It is so simple but so creamy and delicious!!!
A few notes about the milk and cheese:
Milk: I always use 2% milk, whole works great and even 1%, , but I would stay away from skim milk (there’s not enough fat in it to get a rich thick sauce).
Cream Cheese: I wish I could tell you to use the less fat cream cheese… But there is nothing “less fat” about this Alfredo- so you need the original real-deal calorie packed cream cheese.
Parmesan cheese: I always use the little triangles of fresh Parmesan cheese that you have to grate yourself. You can find them usually in the cheese section (by my string cheese) at your local grocery store or if you have a fancy cheese counter you can get a good parmesan cheese there.
This is the kind I usually use…its cheaper and has great flavor!
I grate the entire wedge of Parmesan cheese but do not use all of it. I only use about 1 1/2 cups for the pasta sauce and then we use the extra to sprinkle on top of our pasta.
You can add more Parmesan cheese to taste, start with the 1 1/2 cups and then add more slowly making sure it’s melted fully and mixed well before tasting and adding more again.
NOTE:The pre-shredded bottled parmesan cheese will work for the flavor but the texture will be just a little off…it won’t be as smooth because it doesn’t melt completely, so I always go for the wedge!
Pasta for The Easiest and Best Creamy Alfredo
Use any type of pasta that your family prefers. We like the traditional Fettucine or Bowtie.
I usually cook my pasta ahead of time then set it aside, or put it in a zip top bag (toss with some olive oil to avoid sticking). Then I will make my sauce and breadsticks or garlic knots.
Then when we are ready to eat, I put my cooked pasta in a strainer and let hot water run over it. This heats it up just enough for serving, and with the hot Alfredo sauce on top the pasta is the perfect temperature. Then we have leftovers I heat up the pasta the exact same way!
Step by Step Photos to Make Easy Alfredo
In a small bowl or measuring cup add your milk, flour and seasonings.
NOTE ABOUT KOSHER/COARSE SALT: This is the brand I use. Any brand works as log as its coarse (bigger chunkier) salt. If you use regular table salt the sauce will be way too salty!
Melt your butter in a sauce pan or large pan add your minced garlic.
NOTE: I am lazy and always use bottles/jarred minced garlic. This is the brand I use. Typically 1/2 teaspoon of jarred/bottle minced garlic is equal to one garlic clove minced (not the entire garlic bulb but a clove/section). Use whichever you prefer.
Next add your milk, flour and seasonings mixture to the melted butter and garlic. Whisk it until its mixed fully.
The sauce will slowly thicken and start to bubble.
Add your cream cheese and whisk until it is fully incorporated in the sauce and melted.
Then add your shredded/grated parmesan cheese.
Whisk and wait. It should thicken pretty fast! These pics try and capture the thickness of the sauce…not super thick but thick enough for dipping and sticking to pasta!
Enjoy the pasta sauce!
If you are wanting to add a little something to this Fast and Easy Creamy Alfredo Sauce, add some grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, mushrooms, peppers or zucchini to this dish!
We love to eat our Alfredo with my garlic bread, garlic knots or my easy breadsticks!
Keep your leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days and reheat it in the microwave or stovetop.
The Easiest and Best Creamy Alfredo is made right at home in under 30 minutes! It is rich, creamy and will have everyone coming back for more!
For some other delicious pasta recipes try my Slow Cooker Penne Pasta, my Creamy Chicken Bacon Pasta or my Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce.
Here are some products I used to make this recipe!
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Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- 1 8 oz. block cream cheese – do not use reduced fat/less fat
- 4 cups milk-2%, whole or 1% works best
- 4 heaping tbsp flour
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp kosher/coarse salt *do not use table salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 garlic cloves minced, or about 2 tsp. bottled minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, freshly grated see notes
- Pasta, of your choice, cooked
- In a small bowl or large measuring cup add your milk, flour, kosher salt and garlic powder. Whisk until it is fully combined and there are no lumps.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt your butter and add your minced garlic. Whisk until the butter is melted and garlic becomes fragrant.
- Slowly pour your milk mixture into the melted butter, whisking as you add it in. Whisk until combined and continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Add your block of cream cheese into the warm milk. Whisk until its melted completely and sauce is smooth.
- Add your parmesan cheese and whisk until melted completely. You can add more parmesan cheese to your liking. You can adjust the seasoning at this point, adding more salt, garlic powder or even a dash of pepper!
- Remove from heat. Serve immediately over your cooked pasta.