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 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.
4.74 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
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. Carol C

    5 stars
    Awesome 4 ingredient sauce! Thickened easily without flour or cream cheese. And so easy to make. (I used the video version of 1/2 C butter, 2 C cream, 3/4 C parm, 1 t garlic powder), not whatever is linked in above. Actually made a half batch which would easily make 4 small servings for us or half & half w/marinara for bigger eaters. My only addition would be a bit of salt since I don’t salt my pasta. (I used a zester style grater with the American made “Parmesan” hard cheese wedge from Trader Joes – my personal favorite for flavor & price, but by weight it’s probably even less cheese since Costco’s has a thicker grate, )

  2. Ericka A

    I have attempted no less than five times to make Olive Garden Alfredo and came close but something always fell short. This recipe is amazing! Like “everyone was licking their plates” amazing! Only tweak I made was adding more garlic paste than it called for since we are a garlic-loving family! Thank you for posting this recipe!

  3. Robyne Lichtman

    3 stars
    Nothing worse than getting excited about a recipe and while following the instructions it dictates to add an ingredient that was NOT in the list, making it nearly impossible to complete as no amount is called for, just “add milk”. So frustrating. Good thing this particular recipe is easily procured via Olive Garden!

  4. MahdysDesigns

    I suffer from Crohn’s disease & Ulcerative Colitis. With my disease, this is one meal I can always tolerate and truly always enjoy but rarely eat it because I can’t afford it; so, I am trying to learn the best recipe closest to Olive Garden flavor.
    Hello, From Dearborn, MI here. Few questions:
    If someone was on a budget, are there specific brand items to get? For the cheese, butter, etc? Or is any brand; off brand or not fine? (I read the best “authentic” Parmesan cheese brand is Parmigiana-Reggiano)
    People have said to get the Olive Garden taste, to add:
    -All purpose flour
    – 1/2 cup imported of BOTH Parmesan & Romano cheese. Does it work fine with just Parm cheese?
    In regards to the cheese, why shouldn’t you buy it pre grated? I don’t know how to grate cheese, and I don’t have the tools (after searching how to grate cheese) to do it. Would it still taste the same?

    • Stephanie

      Let me try to do the my best to answer the questions.
      Butter – I think the store brand/off-brand is fine. You want to be REAL butter.
      Parmesan cheese – pre-shredded cheese has an anti-caking agent sprayed on it to keep it from clumping up in the bag. The cellulose (the anti-caking agent), makes it harder to melt. It will melt. I think personally think when you by shredded cheese, it is more expensive and doesn’t perform the way you want it to. I don’t recommend it.
      Parmigana-Reggiano – is known for being the best Parmesan cheese. It’s expensive at my Costo, I think it is 13 dollars a pound, but I have seen it up to 22 dollars a pound. You can use a less expensive kind, my guess, the Olive Garden does not use the super expensive kind.
      All-purpose flour – If you want to make the recipe starting with a roux, some people do it, you can, but don’t use my recipe, it wasn’t designed that way. Use a recipe where they start with the roux.
      Both Parmesan & Romano cheese – it will work fine with Parmesan cheese. Romano is less expensive than Parmesan, and gives a slighty different flavor. It’s up to you on what you desire.

      I hope I answered your questions.

  5. Jenny Tam

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! I will definitely share this recipe with my friends however will try it myself first so that I know how it tastes and comes out.

  6. Jeannette

    For the Alfredo sauce from Olive garden do u need fontina cheese ? You have it on the ingredients & not in the video?

  7. Nikki P

    What was the recipe previously? I used to make this all the time and I recently wanted to make it again and now it’s changed completely 🙁

    If I remember correctly it read:
    2TBSP butter
    2TBSP flour
    8oz Parmesan cheese (block)
    1tsp garlic powder
    Salt and pepper to taste

    I’d love your feedback because I really preferred this method, fast, easy, cheap, and delicious.

    • Stephanie

      Nikki, this was not my recipe that you wrote. My recipe has always been the same as listed here, but I think I said add 2 tablespoons of cream cheese.
      Gloria Pitzer’s recipe omitted the heavy cream, and I think it was milk and cream cheese with some Parmesan cheese thrown in. The other well known recipe that I can think of was years ago Olive Garden was suggesting to add 6 egg yolks to the sauce.

      I personally never added flour to this recipe.

      • Karl K.

        5 stars
        Stephanie, Nikki P. Is correct that the recipe in text is not your original. I experienced the same thing when I went back to my bookmark to check my memory. The recipe it states is chef4fun’s version. It make 1 gallon of sauce! Your recipe video shows the recipe that I fell in love with.
        1 pint heavy cream
        1/4 cup butter (1 stick)
        1/2-3/4 cup Parmesan
        1 tsp garlic powder

      • Leuviant

        Ditto this and the other comment, it has been changed the original did not use puréed garlic or fontina. I’d know as I hate fontina cheese and worked at OG. The orginal OG recipe is actually different and closer to your original recipe that was listed, which I liked better. Technically not allowed to give up the real recipe, but I will say when I worked there, no flour was used or eggs. Also it’s done in large batches. The recipe is basic to be honest, and is designed to appeal to average tastes. That’s the downside to their sauce but also smart from a business side. Only thing I wish is that I could find is a decent cooking wine for their Marsala sauce, last one I used had to be modified to be edible, thank god my grandmother taught me how to cook and fix a ruined sauce on the fly.

      • Nicole

        I have the original recipe! I wrote it in my cookbook. I came here to easily copy and paste, but you are right….It is not the same.

        Here is the original.

        1 pt heavy whipping cream
        1 stick butter
        2 T cream cheese
        3/4 c parmesan cheese (I use 1 1/2 c)
        1 t garlic powder

      • Cristina

        That’s exactly what I do and noticed the recipe is different when I opened the bookmark. Turns out perfect this way! Yum!

    • Cinda

      id say non salted butter. Or if you’re using salted butter, don’t add the addtl teaspoon of salt. I used salted butter and it didn’t need any salt added at the end

  8. Renée Rutherford

    Just made this tonight, cannot wait. Added a few adjustments. Used roughly 3/4 stick of butter. 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan, garlic salt w/parsley, pepper, parsley, and this seasoning we love called “Slap Ya Mama” (it’s essentially salt, red pepper, black pepper & garlic). I didn’t measure but only sprinkled in a bit of each to taste. Then, to really shake things up, we had 3 strips of thick cut cherrywood bacon leftover from dinner lady night, so coarsely chopped that and in iut went to the Alfredo. Delicious. Thanks for a great recipe! Hope it’s ok to tweak it a bit.

  9. Nikki

    Oh my GOSH! I absolutely love this recipe! It’s my go to recipe when I want a good fettuccine Alfredo AT HOME! Thanks so much, I love how simple this recipe is!

    • Stephanie

      It may work, I have to be honest, I don’t freeze a lot of stuff. I would cut the recipe in half, and just make a smaller portion. I wished I could speak to using a freezer, but I can’t.

  10. Jahchild

    Just made this for the family my gosh big hit once again I did it with Black Angus Cheesy Garlic Bread from here and wow thank you again and again and so does my family I ask them what they want and I come on here and we got are meal

  11. Josie

    I absolutely love this sauce but is there any way I can get it to be less oily? When I make it, it sets up great but oil settles out of it onto the sides of the pan and bubbles up from the bottom. Am I the only one who has this issue?

    • Kay

      Hi, yes unfortunately it is very oily. Olive Gardens Alfredo sauce is actually the same way. I would say use less butter, this is the only thing I could think I that would make it very oily.

    • Leuviant

      4 stars
      This sounds like a heat source problem and a stirring issue. This sauce much like olive gardens has to be watched at all times because if it starts sticking at bottom of pan then you will have separation of fats and solids. Every stove top if different so start at a lower temp and work it up to a light simmer temp. Once its at right temp use a metal wisk and wisk regularly. This sauce should not be allowed to stick to bottom at all but will want to if you let it and thats when it starts to separate. If it does happen start wisking where it is scraped off bottom of pan to prevent complete separation. When reheating this sauce it has to be brought back up to temp slowly at an even lower temp thats just how homemade alfredo is.

      Also if its your local OG sauce is separated let them know as if its an old pan of sauce they will dump it and open up another bag from the batch unless the guy that made the bulk batch ruined it to begin with….. even the pros make this mistake sometimes but best of luck you’ll get it.

  12. sherri auxier

    i made it for my daughter and i promise we will never buy store brand again..we both loved it..ty for sharing !

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