Garlic Alfredo Sauce

I am not (not!) exaggerating when I say this quick, creamy garlic alfredo sauce has changed how I view non-dinner nights. You know. Those nights when dinner just ain’t happening. Too many things going on. Too lazy (who, me??). Too many nights of husband being out of town. Too many kids needing attention. Too many weeks pregnant (yes, that is a subliminal announcement!). Too many this. Too many that.

The problem is, on nights like that, I just can’t handle the thought of dinner approaching and knowing I’m going to have to scrounge up something my kids will eat but I’ll probably find gag-worthy. I can’t help it. Grilled cheese only gets me through so many nights.

Enter this sauce. Fast. Unbelievably fast, and incredibly creamy and flavorful, this alfredo sauce is what I’ve been searching for the past five years. Healthier (relatively) than the versions loaded with butter and cream, it comes together quickly and wonderfully and it reheats beautifully the next day if you are lucky enough to have leftovers.

We’ve made this no less than 10 times in the last month, and I have never, and I mean never, seen my kids gobble up anything so quickly. In fact, they beg for it every night and have requested it for their birthday dinners every year until they turn 42. Hopefully by then someone else will be making it for them, otherwise, we’ll have larger issues than just alfredo sauce overload.

Embarrassingly, I have to admit, this sauce is even on the menu this week. I actually planned it that way. I mean, eating it at least once was inevitable, so I might as well add it in to the menu plan so I don’t look like a total slacker.

Garlic Alfredo Sauce

Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce

Yield: Makes about 2 cups of sauce

Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce

Note: I've only ever used 1% milk in this sauce and it works great for our tastes. Also, I've made it with regular and low-fat cream cheese. The low-fat cream cheese gives it a slightly, very slightly grainy texture, but the cut in calories is worth it, in my opinion, although the full-fat cream cheese offers a luxurious, creamy texture that can't be beat. You choose!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into 6 pieces (see note above)
  • 1 cup milk (see note above)
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste, if needed

Directions

  1. In a medium pot or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, taking care not to let the garlic burn. Add the cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. It will look curdled at first, but with constant whisking for 2-3 minutes, it should come together to form a smooth, creamy paste. Add the milk gradually, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking quickly and constantly until each addition is incorporated fully into the sauce. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is the desired consistency. Cook for 2-3 minutes for a thicker sauce or remove right after the cheese is melted for a thinner sauce. Serve immediately over hot, cooked noodles.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/creamy-garlic-alfredo-sauce-my-go-to-dinner-saver/
Recipe Source: adapted from Sweet Pea Chef

158 Responses to Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce {My Go-To Dinner Saver!}

  1. nikki says:

    Thanks, my kids will love this one!! Congratulations on your pregnancy (that is what you said right??) I have 2 boys and people are always pressuring me to have a girl, like I have a choice in the matter. Anyway, God Bless

  2. Kim in MD says:

    Congratulations, Melanie! I’m so happy for you and Brian! :-)

    This alfredo sauce looks so delicious and yet so easy. Great food styling, too-I love the photo with the green plate under the white bowl…it really makes the dish “pop”! Oh, and I know what you mean about your children begging for the same recipe over and over. In my house it’s your One-Skillet Penne with Sausage recipe that is requested at least once a week! Although I love it, I hope that by the time my children are 42 someone else is making it for them, too! ;-)

  3. I make an alfredo sauce almost exactly like this one and we love it!! Easy and one my whole family gobbles up. Congrats on the upcoming arrival!!!

  4. Erin says:

    I’ve never been an alfredo sauce girl, but with such praises from you, I’ll have to try it.

    Congratulations! How far along are you? I’m coming up on 20 weeks and am way into food. Hope you’re feeling well!

  5. Leslie says:

    I’m sure this recipe is delicious but more importantly – congratulations!!!! You rock!!!!

  6. Stefanie says:

    Congratulations! That is very exciting news.

  7. Renee says:

    Congratulations! How exciting! This recipe looks great. My kids love alfredo sauce much more than meat or marinara sauce. They always order it out at restaurants. Occasionally, I buy the jarred stuff for them. Not very tasty, but they like it. I will have to try this. Thanks so much!

  8. Anne says:

    This is almost EXACTLY like the kind I make [ I add a cup more milk and 1/2 cup more freshly shredded parmesan]. And you aren’t kidding about it being the one dish I know ALL of my 3 finicky little ones will actually eat! So glad you found it, especially at such a time when I know it’s hard [did I mention about the THREE kids?] to get inspired at dinnertime. Congratulations!

  9. Tiffany says:

    Congrats! When pregnant with my first (some 15 years ago…oh gosh that makes me feel old) Alfredo was something I just couldn’t look at. I am glad to say that once I had him that all went away. This looks fantastic! Hope you are feeling well, and no aversions to food.

  10. Christina says:

    Congratulations! I am 26 weeks pregnant and completely understand the need for quick, simple meals.

  11. Liz K. says:

    Congratulations! That is such fantastic news! I haven’t made my menu for the week but I am sure this sauce will be one of the dinners. I am positive all of my family will like it!

  12. Mel says:

    Thanks, everyone! I’m only about 14 weeks along and even then hesitated to share the news thanks to a miscarriage earlier this year and some previous health concerns that have made this pregnancy high-risk. But things are going better and we hope to have a healthy baby here in April! Of course my four boys are dying to know if they are going to get a little sister (and I don’t have the heart to tell them that I still have my hopes up for a sweet little boy). Thanks, again!

  13. Megan says:

    Congrats Mel! Awesome news. On my third boy I never told anyone that I hoped it was a boy because everyone assumed I wanted a girl and thought I was crazy for wanting another boy! I can’t wait to try this Alfredo….

  14. Teresa says:

    Mel,

    I have been usin cream cheese for the base in my alfredo sauce for years. My Italian mother would not approve if she were here :) Anyhoo, I use it for my caterings, and here at the school. Sometimes I add chopped broccoli, we love grilled shrimp, stir in lump crabmeat, (better than Red Lobster) the possibilities are endless. When I have leftover veggies from a veggie tray, I toss them in evoo, roast them and stir it in the alfredo. I love tomato alfredo so sometimes I add fresh chopped tomatoes, if they aren’t in season a small can of petite diced tomatoes. Just wanted to share.

  15. Teresa says:

    OBTW Congratulations, Will keep you and yours in my prayers. I have 5 children, the first four were girls and number 5 was the boy:) 20 years between my oldest and youngest.

  16. Heather Bell says:

    Looks delicious and congratulations!!

  17. AnnetteBrunette says:

    Congrats Mel! This is exciting! Oh and well done on the pregnancy too :)

  18. Lorie says:

    Congratulations! So happy for you! Happy and Healthy 9 (really 10) months!

  19. Alisa says:

    Congratulations!!

    The alfredo sounds fantastic also.

  20. Kira says:

    Congratulations! Nothing like a new baby on the way. Hope all goes well for you.

  21. Melanie says:

    Congratulations! Your recipes continue to be my favorites- I keep recommending your website to everyone that likes my cooking!

  22. Amanda M says:

    Yes! I’m looking forward to trying this… I’ve been looking for a delicious (relatively easy) alfredo sauce! Congrats on the little one on the way!

  23. Lin says:

    Yay, congratulations on being pregnant! Thanks for this easy & delicious looking recipe…anything that’s easy to make is my kind of recipe :)

  24. I HAVE to try this. I’m always looking for new pasta recipes. It looks amazing!! And they’re all pantry staples except for the cream cheese. Grocery store here I come!!!

    Thanks for posting this and congrats on your pregnancy!

  25. Sarah says:

    Congratulations, Mel, I’m so happy for you! This will be on my menu this very week!

  26. Mame M says:

    Congrats on the pregnancy!!! This is a great recipe for when the hubby is out of town bc I love Alfredo and well, he doesn’t like it at all :o)

  27. Emily says:

    Congratulations! So excited for you! Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well. :)

  28. Tristan says:

    Congratulations Mel on your pregnancy!! I’ll be praying for your health and the little nugget’s health!! I am positive everything will go smoothly!

  29. Brittany C. says:

    Congrats!!!! That is super exciting! Hope you are feeling ok. I have a recipe very similar to this and we absolutely LOVE it. It’s the only alfredo I will make or eat. I refuse to make a cream/butter filled kids. yikes. I am going to try yours, because let’s be honest, everything you make is divine!

  30. Keri says:

    I love to make this. I’ll often skip the cream cheese and milk and just use fat free half and half. It’s super creamy minus the fat. :-)

    Congrats on the news!

  31. Jenny says:

    Hooray for you and your family, Mel! :)

  32. sara says:

    Congratulations, Mel! Such happy news!

  33. Laura says:

    Congratulations! So excited for you!

  34. Lindsay says:

    Mel, you can’t leave us hanging like that. Congrats! When are you due? Do you know what you’re having? So exciting! I hope you are getting over the feeling yucky stage! And this looks amazing….thanks for sharing!

  35. Brooke says:

    Congrats! I hope you feel well…and that things go well for you!

  36. Becky says:

    Congrats on your pregnancy. I know that miscarriages give you a scare and it’s hard to enjoy pregnancy the same way afterwards. Hoping you have an uneventful and healthy pregnancy. The alfredo sauce looks like it will make the menu this week as DH will be at work for some dinners. Thanks!

  37. Sara says:

    This is just how we make alfredo sauce and love it! Congratulations on being pregnant. That is great.

  38. Emily Marie says:

    Congratulations! I hope your pregnancy goes smoothly and quickly and safely for you and baby!

  39. Leigh Anne says:

    Congrats indeed! How exciting! And thanks for the Alfredo recipe…..we love alfredo anything around here. I’ve tried one similar in the past, but had forgotten about it. Thx for the reminder!

  40. heather says:

    congratulations!!! such happy news : )

  41. Michaela says:

    wow, congrats! hope all goes well.
    you are incredible for keeping up with your awesome blog and a growing family behind you. must be so much work and I appreciate it a lot!

  42. jnl2211 says:

    Just wanted to pop in and say “CONGRATS!!!” I hope you have a smooth pregnancy. With a just turned 2 year old and 4 month old twins, I’m excited that you’ll probably be posting fast, easy dinners more often now that you’re expecting :)

  43. Jules says:

    Alfredo Sauce!!! Love it!!And add garlic to and it is soo much better!!
    Just thought That I would let you know that your butter and eggs are on sale again at Kwik Trip! Eggs are .99 and butter $1.99. good through 12/9! With all the baking you do and close by!
    Have a good week…Jules your Kwik Trip lady!!!!!
    Keep the recipes comin! Love them!!!

  44. tonya says:

    How exciting!! Congratulations!

  45. Zoe says:

    Congratulations! I love alfredo sauce!! YUM!! I’ve never knew how alfredo sauce are so easy to make. Thanks!

  46. Tammy says:

    Sooooo excited for you! Will keep you in my prayers. Hugs!

  47. Loy says:

    This looks like a great one, Mel. It is the first thing to go my Friday Finds list this week. Congratulations, and I will be praying that all continues to go well with both you and baby. How exciting for your family.

  48. Bri says:

    Mel, so so happy to hear this news. YAY!!! Our babes will be a few weeks apart! I’m 11 weeks tomorrow. I hear you on being scared about announcing. We’ve had 4 miscarriages in a row, so this time around has been extremely monitored and worrisome. Just know miscarriage drops to 2% after the 10th week of pregnancy (that’s what I keep telling myself, but I’m still a basket case sometimes). Hugs to you and your cute family. I think it’s adorable you are hoping for a cute little boy. There really is nothing better in this world than little boys! A girl would be wonderful too, but little boys melt my heart in a way a girl can’t!

  49. Em says:

    I will be trying this soon! It looks really yummy and easy. And congratulations on the pregnancy!!! I have 4 girls and I don’t dare press my luck for another one….I would probably end up with another girl!

  50. Cheri Wegwitz says:

    Congrats on the pregnancy!!!! I just love stalking your blog!!! P.S. Can’t wait to try this…I’ve been looking for a go-to alfredo sauce.

  51. Connie says:

    Congrats on the baby – how exciting!

  52. Kat says:

    I have been making a recipe very similar to this (a bit more butter and garlic powder instead of fresh garlic) for years now. I love how quick, easy, and absolutely delicious it is! Congrats on the baby! I’m expecting too, and I know how hard it is to get dinner on the table! And I only have a one year old and a hubby to worry about! Hope all continues to go well with you and your family.

  53. Ciara says:

    Congratulations!! I hope you and baby are happy and healthy during this pregnancy!

  54. Heidi says:

    I am a first time commentor to your blog, but not a first time user. I have been using recipies for months now, and LOVE them all. Thanks for keeping our hungry bellies happy! Congrats on the baby!

  55. Deanna says:

    This looks yummy! I might have to invite someone over to eat it with me since the hubby doesn’t like cream cheese and the baby isn’t old enough. :-) Congrats on the new addition!!! So exciting.

  56. Marie says:

    Congratulations! I’m 12 weeks along and trying to get back into the kitchen and the grocery store. I love cooking and I love you website. I’m hoping to regain my food energies and try more of your recipes soon.

  57. Jill says:

    Congratulations!!! And thank you for saving our dinner tonight. I had broccoli and pasta and now we have Alfredo to pull it all together. Hooray!!!

  58. Niki says:

    Congratulations!!! I am 11 weeks with my 5th. I have 4 boys and they are adament that it can NOT be a girl lol!! This recipe is going to help A LOT, this last month has been rough in the making dinner department!

  59. Mandie says:

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! I’ll be sending good thoughts your way :-)

  60. Bri says:

    Made this tonight and it was really tasty. Definitely will be a repeat! My son at his WHOLE dinner!

  61. Hillary says:

    This was great! I was worried at first because, even after cooking for a bit, the sauce seemed thin but it thickened up as it cooled. Even my 15 mos. old gobbled it right up.

  62. Whitney says:

    Congrats Mel! So exciting for you and your family :) Good luck with the rest of the pregnancy.

  63. Amy V says:

    I just made this tonight and it was delicious!! The only thing that I would say I had trouble with is that my parmesan cheese took a really long time to melt and get incorporated into the cream cheese/butter/garlic base. But I stuck with it and it can out great!! Congrats on your little bun in the oven!!

  64. Kimberly Christiansen says:

    First of all congrats on the pregnancy! I have two boys and love them to pieces, so like you I wouldn’t mind having another little boy. ;)
    As for the Alfredo pasta, I made it last night and L-O-V-E-D that it was SOOOOO easy and quick to make! It was delish. My hubby and I are not huge fans of Alfredo but this one sounded so good and the fact that it looked like a quick meal, it won me over. I think next time I will hold off on the salt though. I forgot how salty Parmesan is so it was a little much for me. But that is an easy fix. :) Definitely a keeper in my home. Thanks!

  65. Kate says:

    Congrats! I’m expecting my second little one the beginning of april myself! I made this last night but added chicken and broccoli. My husband loved it and even referred to it as “restaurant quality”! I always know you can’t go wrong trying something from your blog! Thanks!! You have inspired many great dinners at my house!

  66. Stephanie says:

    Just made this for dinner tonight. YUM!! Thanks for such a simple but yummy recipe!

  67. Stephanie says:

    This looks amazing! I’m adding it to my recipe box. More importantly, though, congratulations! I hope you have a healthy, uneventful pregnancy.

  68. Alyssa says:

    This is so fantastic and EASY. About 5 years ago I tried making “real” alfredo sauce and it was a disaster. I decided to try this recipe and *maybe* redeem myself, as my husband has not let me live down the previous disaster. He just ate a big bowl and said that I redeemed myself :D Thanks so much for sharing!

  69. yay, congratulations!! and thanks for the tip, i’ll probably make this tonight because it’s already feeling like a non-dinner day :)

  70. Food Lover says:

    mmmm yummy, one of the best comfort food :)

  71. Camille says:

    Mel, I made this tonight after a hectic piano teaching day and no dinner plan and my kids DEVOURED it. That is saying something! Thanks! I’m sure it will be made weekly!

  72. Dena says:

    Made this last night for my husband. He said it was just as good as Olive Garden. I grilled some Italian sausages and put them on top. He only complained that it wasn’t a never ending pasta bowl! Thanks Mel!

  73. gail says:

    Congratulations Mel!! Hope all goes well for you and the little baby. Put your feet up when you can and keep eating delicious and healthy food!

  74. Miriam says:

    Yum yum yum, not good on an empty stomach! Making this tomorrow!

  75. I’m always on the lookout for good Alfredo recipes. Can’t wait to try this!

  76. Brittannia says:

    Mel, this is my first time commenting but definitely not the first time reading and cooking your recipes!!! As my family would say I am obbsessed!! But I wanted to thank you for all the recipes and the time of doing your fabulous blog!! I have 3 small children and am expecting my 4th and am very sick/high risk myself. I don’t know how you do it… simply amazing!! My husband works a cross the country and is home for a minute and is very excited to eat this for dinner tonight and I know it will be great! CONGRATS and good luck on your new bundle of joy! Thanks again so much!!

  77. Cass says:

    Oh my goodness, I made this in a pinch last week. My husband came home from work late and walked in the door and he immediately stopped in his tracks and said “whoa, that smells like flavor!” It was wonderful, I just paired it with some linguini and some chicken seasoned with italian herbs. Favorite.

  78. Gina says:

    Congratulations Mel!!! How exciting! I was thinking of making ravioli with an Alfredo sauce for dinner this week. I was in search of a good Alfredo sauce recipe but not anymore!! I’m sure this will taste wonderful!

  79. Megan says:

    1) Congrats! I don’t know you, nor have I followed your blog, but congrats (: (found this on stumble)
    2) This was AMAZING. Tried it tonight, best Alfredo ever. Better than restaurant! Threw some shrimp in, amazing. Definitely a keeper.

  80. Stacie D. says:

    Congratulations, Mel! What great news. I don’t know how you keep up with this blog with four little ones and one on the way! I sure am glad you do, though. Love this alfredo sauce!

  81. Gina says:

    Made this sauce last night and WOW, it was DELICIOUS! One thing though, we found the sauce a bit salty, next time I’m going to omit the salt. I will be using this recipe over and over again!

    Thanks Mel!

  82. Jennifer says:

    My husband loves stuffed shells but my daughter hates anything with tomatoes. This reciepe was a hit! I made stuffed shells and did not put sauce on a couple of them. When they came out of the oven I put the no sauce ones on a plate with this sauce and they were gone first!

  83. Sherry says:

    I have a similar recipe and love it. I am going to try yours, it is probably even better. We add frozen peas and ham if we have it on hand.

  84. Parool says:

    Hiiii Melanie!
    This is so tempting! Cant wait to try it :)

    Thanks!

  85. AnnetteBrunette says:

    Hmmm. Mel, this sauce went horribly wrong for me, but I think that could be because I am not that great of a cook and my house is a bit chaotic. I could tell while we were eating it that if someone else had made it it would have been yummy. :(

  86. Amanda says:

    I’ve been wanting to make some homemade alfredo sauce. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll try it out next time we are in the mood for pasta!

  87. Tyson says:

    I’m ALWAYS in the mood for pasta! Stumbledupon this after dinner tonight, so guess what’s on the menu for tomorrow night! Thanks!

  88. Deb says:

    YUM! Made this for dinner tonight and added sauteed chicken and broccoli on top. It was delicious! I was impressed how smooth this came out (and I even used the lowfat cream cheese!). Had great garlic flavor. Will definitely make again.

  89. Jason says:

    Yummy! Looks like I’ll be cooking that tonight!
    http://www.soonergunstore.com

  90. Elena says:

    Congratulations on your pregnancy. Each pregnancy and birth is a miracle. I will be praying for you. This looks delish! I am going to try it with your Garlic Lemon Grilled Chicken. As my little gal would say “Num-Num!”

  91. I made this the other night and it was SO GOOD. I’ve never made alfredo sauce from scratch before but this recipe is a keeper. I’m glad I didn’t have to mess around with making a roux, makes life so much easier.

    The bf told me to keep this in the weekly roundup. I’m sure this sauce will be a great addition to so many dishes. Thanks again!

  92. Melanie A. says:

    I made this tonight and everyone in my family gobbled up their noodles without any complaints. That’s a success in my book! I really enjoyed this, although I think that I will omit the salt next time.

  93. Susannah says:

    This is a go-to dinner saver! My 7 year old daughter loved making this with me. She calls it her special sauce. It tasted great with low fat cream cheese. Thanks again for this fast and easy recipe. It definitely saves me from dinner stress when the week gets busy, busy, busy! :)

  94. [...] Recipe from melskitchencafe.comĀ  [...]

  95. Tannis says:

    So easy, and sooo good!! I made this up real quick before my daughter’s dance class. I love an easy recipe that tastes amazing!

  96. [...] Garlic Alfredo Sauce (http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2011/10/creamy-garlic-alfredo-sauce-my-go-to-dinner-saver.html) I made this for lunch a couple of days ago…it was delicious! The garlic added a nice subtle [...]

  97. Heidy says:

    This was the first recipe that I tried from your blog a couple of months ago. It was so yummy! Kept me coming back to try new recipes! Haven’t found anything that we haven’t liked so far! Thanks for all the tasty recipes!

  98. Claudia says:

    A belated congrats on your pregnancy announcement and also a huge thanks for this simple yet absolutely delicious recipe.

  99. Jen says:

    This is the same recipe I use for our “light” alfredo sauce. We also use 1% milk and light /neufacthl (sp) cream cheese. We LOVE it. I use a LOT more milk (at least double, maybe triple?) and let it cook a good long time to boil down/thicken.

  100. tonya says:

    This is the first time I almost doubted you. Alfredo Sauce is one of my favorites & I just use a storebought jar when I eat it at home. It scared me to think of making this, anticipating the flavor I like so much, & being disappointed. Is that a little overly dramatic or what? Anyway, I should have known better than to doubt. I took a deep breath & tried this tonight & was thrilled with the result! Wow!! No storebought sauce for us anymore!!

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