Easy Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo

5 from 3 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Easy and soul-satisfying, this pasta has a sauce that leans on real whole milk for its body and richness.

Easy Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo

You have undoubtedly read recipe intros that boast that the sauce can be made in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. This simple Alfredo pasta recipe is definitively one of those pasta dishes. But it doesn’t taste easy. It tastes like — Fettuccine Alfredo! A touch of garlic, a bit of freshness from chopped parsley, and possibly a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes at the end to balance the soft richness of the sauce.

I can make this pasta pretty much any night I walk in and think, “Oh yeah, dinner…ok, now what hotshot?” If you think we food writers are constantly wrapping paper bands around our souffle ramekins on the average weekday, you would be very wrong. We can also oftentimes be found holding a box of fettuccine and looking puzzled and tired. But this is a true pantry pasta.

Fettucine Alfredo is named for an Italian restauranteur in Rome, Alfredo di Lelio. He created this recipe in the 1920s making a sauce out of Parmesan and butter. Traditionally Alfredo sauce did not contain cream, however, most Italian-American versions do include some cream and dairy to smooth out the sauce and add silky richness.

Serve this creamy pasta dish with a crispy green salad topped with a vinaigrette or Italian dressing.

Fork in a bowl of Creamy Fettucine Alfredo.

Easy Creamy Fettucine Alfredo: Simple and soul-satisfying, with a silky sauce made with cream and milk for its body and richness.

Tweet This

Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo Ingredients

You may have all of the ingredients for Fettuccine Alfredo on hand! (If not, think about keeping them around!)

  • FettuccineOr use another long skinny pasta.
  • Whole milk – Don’t be tempted to use skim or low fat here — it would be disappointing!
  • Heavy cream – Adds lushness, body, and richness.
  • Butter – Ditto!
  • GarlicFinely minced garlic blends perfectly into the creamy sauce.
  • Flour – A little bit helps thicken the sauce.
  • Parmesan cheese – Adds nutty flavor.
  • Fresh parsley – Please use fresh — it makes a big difference.
  • Red pepper flakes – A little heat is a welcome foil to the creamy richness of the sauce.
Sprinkling red pepper flakes on bowl of creamy fettuccine Alfredo.

Variations

  • Add a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Add some fresh herbs at the end, such as thyme or basil.
  • Try different-shaped pasta…fettuccine is the classic shape, but you can use any long skinny noodle or a chunky pasta shape. Everything works with Alfredo sauce!

And try these other Alfredo recipes!

Or, feel free to add cubed cooked chicken, sautéed shrimpair-fryer shrimp, or chunks of poached salmon or crab to this recipe when you toss it before serving. For a vegetarian version, you can add little florets of cooked broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, halved cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, or chopped roasted red pepper.

How to Make Fettuccine Alfredo

  1. Cook the pasta: Cook the fettuccine according to package directions.
  2. Warm the cream: Meanwhile, heat the milk and cream in a saucepan just until warm; don’t let it come to a simmer (you can also do this in a microwave).
Warming cream and milk in pot on stovetop.
  1. Make the sauce: While the milk is heating, melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, then add the garlic cloves and stir for 1 minute, just until you can smell the garlic and it turns golden. Add the flour and stir for about 3 minutes until the flour is well incorporated and the mixture starts to lightly brown.
Melting butter and adding flour to pan for creamy sauce.
  1. Very slowly, pour the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture, whisking constantly until the sauce is smooth. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture thickens. Add the Parmesan in a few batches, whisking after each addition until the cheese is melted and smooth.
Adding milk and Parmesan cheese to pan of pasta sauce.
  1. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk in the parsley.
Adding pepper and parsley to creamy pasta sauce in pan.
  1. Toss: Add the cooked, drained pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Toss until the pasta is well coated with the sauce.
Tossing fettuccine with Alfredo in large pan.
  1. Serve: Serve immediately with red pepper flakes, if desired.
Easy Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo in bowl with red pepper flakes on table.

Recipe Tip

Heating the milk and cream before adding them to the sauce allows them to incorporate more smoothly. You can either heat the milk and cream in a saucepan just until warm or heat them in the microwave. Either way, don’t let the dairy come to a simmer, or it might curdle or separate.

How to Reheat Fettuccine Alfredo

This is best hot right out of the pot, but if you have leftovers, you can reheat them. The pasta will definitely thicken up in the fridge, but it should loosen up when you reheat it. If you want to add a few extra tablespoons of whole milk to help thin out the sauce a bit, go for it. Reheat the pasta over low heat, stirring occasionally, or heat it in the microwave in short bursts, stirring in between just until warmed through.

What to Serve With Fettuccine Alfredo

Tongs placing Creamy Fettucine Alfredo into a bowl.

More Creamy Pasta Recipes

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It
5 from 3 votes

Easy Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo

Easy and soul-satisfying, this pasta has a sauce that leans on real whole milk for its body and richness.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 People
Save this recipe!
We’ll send it to your email, plus you’ll get new recipes every week!

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound dried fettucine
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup freshly finely grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Red pepper flakes (to serve; optional)

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fettuccine according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile heat the milk and cream in a saucepan just until warm; don’t let it come to a simmer (you can also do this in a microwave).
  • While the milk is heating, melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, then add the garlic cloves and stir for 1 minute, just until you can smell the garlic and it turns golden. Add the flour and stir for about 3 minutes until the flour is well incorporated and the mixture starts to lightly brown. Very slowly, pour the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture, whisking constantly until all of the milk mixture is added, and the sauce is smooth. Bring to a gentle simmer and continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture thickens. Add the Parmesan in a few batches, whisking after each addition until the cheese is melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk in the parsley.
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain it, and then add it to the skillet with the sauce. Turn off the heat and toss (tongs are good for this), until the pasta is well coated with the sauce. Serve immediately with red pepper flakes, if desired.

Video

Notes

Variations
  • Add some fresh herbs at the end, such as thyme or basil.
  • Try different-shaped pasta – fettuccine is the classic shape, but you can use any long skinny noodle or a chunky pasta shape – everything works with alfredo sauce!
And try these other Alfredo recipes! 
Or feel free to add cubed cooked chicken, sautéed shrimp, air fryer shrimp, or chunks of poached salmon or crab to this recipe when you toss it before serving. For a vegetarian version, you can add little florets of cooked broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, halved cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, or chopped roasted red pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 637kcal, Carbohydrates: 64g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 161mg, Sodium: 389mg, Potassium: 356mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1350IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 336mg, Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

You May Also Like:

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. MAbe says:

    I would like to add shrimp to this. Can I just sauté a few shrimp in a little butter and add them at the end, after the pasta is added to skillet where the sauce is?

    Thank you.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      absolutely! delish.

  2. Laverne says:

    The Fettuccine Alfredo was absolutely divine. Whole family, including Gramma and Grampy, loved it, left nothing for tomorrow…. Thanks!!! xoxoxo