Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

The Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce recipe is creamy and delicious, and this is the best alfredo sauce you will ever try. This recipe has the exact flavor and taste of the original dish.

And did you know, this easy alfredo sauce recipe is what inspired me to start CopyKat.com? Best of all it is perfect for the whole family. Make this and everyone will declare that you have the best recipe!

A plate of pasta with homemade Olive Garden Alfredo sauce


Why This Recipe Works

Honestly, this particular Alfredo Sauce recipe was my sole reason, or at least my first really big inspiration, for creating copycat recipes. It quite literally was the first recipe I created for CopyKat, you won’t want to miss out on this pasta dish.

I lived in a very rural area of East Texas; the nearest Olive Garden was 90 minutes away. It was a very special treat to have this Alfredo sauce. I knew the only way I could have fettuccine alfredo was to learn how to make homemade alfredo sauce.

It was for me, looking back, a magical moment that would change my life and cause me to create many more copycat recipes. I still order Olive Garden’s Alfredo sauce from time to time, and honestly, it still tastes just as good to me as it did the first time I had this dish. The Olive Garden makes many delicious creamy sauces, but by far, this is their best sauce.

Olive garden’s alfredo sauce recipe is an easy dinner idea for your next pasta night. This delicious sauce is an easy meal for any night of the week. This is perfect for a main or a side dish.

Homemade Alfredo Ingredients

What You’ll Need to Make this Recipe:

  • Garlic puree or garlic powder – you can make your own puree out of fresh garlic
  • Butter – I have used both salted and unsalted butter
  • Heavy whipping cream – please use only heavy cream, milk, half and half, and fat-free half and half aren’t thick enough to develop the rich texture of the Olive Garden’s sauce
  • Grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fettuccine pasta – I recommend Barilla pasta, or De Cecco pasta
  • Parsley for garnishing, if desired

What you don’t need for this recipe is an egg yolk, or any flour to thicken the sauce. The creamy sauce will thicken nicely, and the sauce thickens with the heat, so this sauce is gluten-free.

Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce ingredients on a wood cutting board.

How To Make Easy Alfredo Sauce (Olive Garden):

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown the garlic puree.
  2. Whisk the heavy whipping cream to the browned garlic.
  3. Once the butter and cream start to bubble, add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and salt & pepper.
  4. Stir on medium heat until the cream mixture starts to thicken. If the sauce does not thicken after a couple of minutes turn the heat up to high, until the sauce thickens, then turn off the heat and continue to stir.
  5. In a separate pot, follow the instructions to make your fettuccine noodles, be sure to drain off the pasta water
  6. Combine the pasta with the alfredo sauce and garnish with chopped parsley.

Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce Recipe

Tips and Variations:

  • Use a block of fresh Parmesan cheese you will be able to grate. Pre-grated cheese has an anti-caking agent that may prevent the cheese from melting well.
  • Heat the butter and cream to where it bubbles before you add the cheese, this helps the sauce thicken, and it is at a high enough temperature the cheese will melt.
  • If you plan on having some extra sauce, do not store the sauce with the pasta. The pasta can soak up the sauce.
  • This is perfect for a large family or a party. If you want to serve up a fancy pasta bar you can easily place this sauce once it is finished in a slow cooker. By placing the slow cooker on low, you can hold this sauce for a long time.
  • If you like your alfredo sauce really creamy, you can also add cream cheese to this recipe.
A bowl of pasta with homemade Olive Garden Alfredo sauce

Olive Garden Alfredo Dipping Sauce for Breadsticks

Did you know this is the same sauce that is used as an appetizer? I am sure you have seen on the menu where you can order the Alfredo dipping sauce, this is the same sauce used in the Alfredo Dipping Sauce. So you don’t need to place the dipping sauce order anymore! You now know how to make the special sauce!

Frequently asked questions about Alfredo Sauce

  • Can you make alfredo sauce with half and half? – Yes, you can. It may not thicken as well, but when combined with the pasta, the starch in the pasta will help thicken the sauce.
  • Is this sauce better than Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce? – A lot of people who have tried this pasta sauce think so, just check out the comments.
  • What type of pasta should I use for alfredo? – Use your favorite pasta. Fettuccine is what is most often used, but you can use anything you have on hand.

How to Store and Reheat Alfredo Sauce

If you happen to have some leftovers, I recommend storing the sauce in its own airtight container. Do not combine the pasta and the sauce in the same container.

I recommend reheating the sauce in a small saucepan over low temperature, when the sauce melts due to the heat, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream to thin out the sauce. I typically make fresh pasta the second time I serve the sauce.

A plate of pasta with homemade Olive Darden Alfredo Sauce

Love Olive Garden? Try these Copycat Recipes

Be sure to check out more of my easy homemade sauces and Olive Garden recipes.

Did you make and love this recipe?  Give your review below and make sure you share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! 

A bowl of pasta with homemade Olive Garden Alfredo sauce.

Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

We all need a great Alfredo Sauce recipe in our recipe box. And since we only need one, this copycat Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce recipe is the one you want.  It's creamy, delicious, and made with cream.
4.91 from 121 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Alfredo Sauce, Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce, Olive Garden Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 1385kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic puree or garlic powder
  • 1 pound pasta cooked according to package directions

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to the package directions. 
  • In a saucepan, cook garlic puree, in butter over medium heat. Add the cream once the garlic becomes fragrant.   
  • When the butter and cream become bubbly, add Parmesan cheese, and stir.  Turn up the heat slightly and continue to stir.  The sauce will thicken. 
  • In a large bowl combine cooked pasta and Alfredo sauce.   Stir well, and serve.   Season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Video

Notes

  • You may want to add 2 tablespoons of cream cheese if you do not like the thickness of the sauce.
  • You may omit the garlic if desired.
  • Ground white pepper adds a nice touch to Alfredo sauce.
  • While the Olive Garden does not use nutmeg in their sauce, many people like a touch of nutmeg in the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 1385kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 123g | Saturated Fat: 77g | Cholesterol: 403mg | Sodium: 1458mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4410IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 773mg | Iron: 1.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Cody

    Recipe is wrong. The correct recipe which I got from the OG website some years ago when they accidentally posted them is;

    1.5c milk
    1.5c heavy whipping cream
    3oz butter
    1Tbsp garlic
    2Tbsp flour
    1/2c Romano cheese
    1/2c Parmesan cheese
    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Melt butter in pan. Add garlic and sauté. Add flour and make a roux. Add milk and cream mixing over medium heat. Once mixture begins to lightly boil, turn off heat and add cheese, mix until fully incorporated. Add salt and pepper.

    • Stephanie Manley

      The Olive Garden has published several recipes online for their Alfredo sauce.
      The one you shared
      https://web.archive.org/web/20170501052459/http://www.olivegarden.com/recipe/alfredo-sauce/man-imp-reci-prd-69
      They also used to share this one.
      https://web.archive.org/web/20071019115635/http://www.olivegarden.com/recipes/recipe_search/recipe_display.asp?id=69

      I personally believe they shared a recipe that was similar. Since they have published two different recipes, I do not believe that they are sharing their actual recipe. I tried to make it as close to what I tasted.

  2. Amy

    5 stars
    Turned out awesome buuuut was waaay to buttery and I’m a butter lover like Paula Deen lol. Next time I definitely will use half the butter. The taste is amazing though. I just had to add noodles to soak up the butter and also added more parmesian cheese. Hope this will help others.

  3. Max

    I worked at OG years ago in all positions in the kitchen. I would prep this and other sauces for cold storage prior to being heated and ready for the line to use.
    Here is what I recall for prepping this fantastic sauce:
    In a deep 3rd pan, we combined a full gallon of heavy cream and a full pound of butter (unsalted, I think). The remaining ingredients of white pepper, salt, minced garlic, and parmesan cheese were also added. (I don’t recall the quantities for those, however, though the majority of it was parmesan cheese and garlic)
    The pans would be stored in the walk-in until they needed to be cooked of use on the line.
    To cook the mixture, we would place the entire 3rd pan in a boiling water bath for about 30-45 min while frequently whipping with a large whisk until fully heated and thickened. Many (3-6) pans were prepped at once for immediate use on the line or hot stored as back-up.
    In a pinch, if we ran out on the line, which did happen from time to time, we could heat up a pan by placing it in a fry basket and lowering it into the deep fryer while constantly whipping it to keep it from burning. Never in my time there did we cook it up for a single serving.
    Any remaining amount at the end of the night was left to cool briefly before being stored in the walk-in. It would be the first used the following day. When reheating, the key is frequent whipping. “So, whip it! Whip it Good!” =)

  4. kate

    5 stars
    THis is my go to alfredo recipe. I cut the cream in half & use 7-9 minced garlic cloves. I love using the trader joe’s egg fetticinni w/ this. SO yummy!

  5. Liane

    5 stars
    I think this was the very first recipe of yours I tried. I had a bit of trouble making the bechamel sauce (that white sauce made without browning flour) since we don’t eat gluten. I had a brilliant idea to make the sauce using full fat cottage cheese. In a blender of course. Mine is a Blendtec and it makes stuff hot so it essentially cooked my sauce. Lots of butter, cream top heavy cream, the kind with no carrageenan …to die for. The parm melted right in. For fettuccine I use Japanese rice noodles. They are flat like linguine and fettuccine.

    • Ryan King

      I used to be a culinary professional at OG years ago. The white sauce base is basically flour. This is not the exact recipe although it does produce a very similar taste and texture.

  6. Ashkey

    I worked at Olive Garden for seven years. This is pretty close, but you also need salt and white pepper. And we used chopped garlic.

  7. Suzanne

    3 stars
    It was really good the day I made it, but then when I reheated it, there was so much melted butter on the plate. Really 8 oz of butter or should it only be one stick, 4 oz?

    • Stephanie Manley

      Alfredo sauce does separate when reheated. I do not advise reheating it. You could reduce the amount of butter, but it will still separate because the emulsion breaks when it cools.

  8. Jaime

    Pretty good. I add a little ground mixed peppercorn, some salt, and a bit of an Italian blend of cheese as well. Also about 2tbsp cream cheese. I also up the minced garlic to almost a tbsp. That’s what makes it like olive garden; those little bits of roasted garlic. Freezes and reheats well too 🙂 I also add chicken and occasionally broccoli.

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