Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe (Olive Garden)

We all need a great Alfredo recipe on hand, it’s perfect for a quick dinner. And since we only need one, this copycat Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce recipe is the one you want. It’s creamy, delicious, this is the best alfredo sauce you will ever try. 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 the 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, the sauce thickens with the heat, so this sauce is gluten-free.

A bowl of pasta with homemade Olive Garden Alfredo sauce

How To Make Easy Alfredo Sauce (Olive Garden):

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown the garlic puree.
  2. Add 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 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.

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 copycat 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 milk.
4.77 from 26 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. Sonja

    5 stars
    This recipe was a definite hit in our house! I added a little more parmasian but that was our preference. My kids eat Olive Gardens Alfredo all the time and they thought that this recipe was perfect!

  2. Mary Kreamer

    HUGE difference whether or not there’s flour used. One place shows it, the next doesn’t. I love Alfredo sauce. Please leave out the evil flour

  3. Cody

    Olive Garden used to have a section on their website where they posted their recipes. It was taken down a few years ago. Here’s the actual recipe for their sauce. Makes 4 servings.

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

    • Stephanie Manley

      I appreciate you posting this. Can I just say I doubt they posted their actual recipes? For the longest, that same website had an alfredo sauce that featured six egg yolks. Here is that recipe. I know, because people sent it to me all of the time. I believe they post something close, but not too close or another restaurant would just knock off their recipe.
      1 1⁄2 cups milk
      1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
      1⁄2 cup imported parmesan cheese, grated
      1⁄2 cup imported romano cheese, grated
      6 egg yolks, from fresh jumbo eggs
      salt and black pepper

      HEAT milk and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer.
      Turn off heat.
      Slowly whip in cheese, then remove from heat.
      PLACE egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture.
      Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into the remaining cream mixture.
      Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering.
      Take the sauce off the heat so it thickens. (This will increase the temperature of egg yolks, known as tempering).
      SEASON to taste with salt and black pepper.
      Serve over your favorite pasta.

      That result was a sauce that was super yellow and didn’t taste anything like theirs.

  4. Becky D

    5 stars
    This is a very balanced mix of flavors. The sauce is creamy and rich. This is my go-to sauce for any Alfredo dish.

  5. Allison

    5 stars
    I made the full recipe for the sauce but only 1/2 of the pasta. My husband and I ate it with chicken the first night and blackened shrimp and sweet peas the second night. We still have another meal left! It is very good. Thank you!

  6. Donna Sosa

    4 stars
    Loved the sauce but it wasn’t quite thick enough and I had a ton leftover. What is the best way to reheat?

    • Stephanie Manley

      I would reheat this in a pot on a stove, you may need to add some additional cream. If the sauce isn’t thick enough, turn up the heat, and stir until the sauce thickens to your liking.

  7. Millie Gothard

    Mine did not turn out!! I’m so disappointed. My butter and cheese separated. Last time I made it, it was perfect!! And I made a double recipe… any ideas on how to fix it?

  8. Claudia

    5 stars
    It tasted amazing! I made it last night and it was a hit! Even better than Olive Garden. Only modifications I made was using two tablespoons of minced garlic and about a half teaspoon of black pepper. It was luscious! So creamy a delicious!

  9. Gramma310

    4 stars
    Made this last night with garlic powder and it had no flavor at all! Put it in fridge and reheated today with another Tbsp of finely chopped garlic and it is perfect now. I will make it wirh double garlic next time.

  10. Bradd

    5 stars
    I made this first just after you posted it originally and have dozens of times since. It holds beautifully and is very forgiving, super simple for even the newest cooks. We usually add sauteed chicken breast to it for the complete meal, shrimp is a hit as well. This recipe is a star and should be in everyone’s go to stack!

  11. Maggie

    5 stars
    I have never left a review on a recipe site before, but best Alfredo sauce I have ever made. The same or better than olive gardens! No need to pay 20 dollars for a meal anymore!!

  12. Sherrie

    5 stars
    This recipe instantly became a family favorite. No joke, it’s requested at least 3 times a week for dinner, and I happily OBLIGE. This is BETTER then Olive Garden’s and on the plus side, you know exactly what goes in it because you’ve made it from scratch!!

  13. Janice L

    5 stars
    First time I made this very simple!!!
    I will never buy Alfredo sauce in the jar ever again I will make my own using this recipe!!!😋

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