This creamy Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe comes together quickly and is supremely flavorful. It works great as a standalone dish or pairs beautifully with chicken or shrimp! Recipe includes a how-to video!
The BEST Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe
If you’re searching for a truly authentic fettuccine alfredo recipe, you’re going to want to go back to google, because this isn’t it. Instead, this is a simple, incredibly flavorful comfort dish that’s creamy, not too rich, and super satisfying. It’s also fast, making it a perfect weeknight dinner (alongside some homemade breadsticks or garlic knots, of course!). It’s also meatless, making it a great Lenten Friday dinner option!
I love this alfredo because it’s packed full of flavor and so easy to make. Simply start your pasta, make the sauce, and if you time it right, the sauce will finish just as the pasta does. You will notice my recipe uses a few ingredients that are a bit different from the norm, but trust me–they make a big difference!
When developing this recipe, I wasn’t aiming for a true authentic alfredo (my recipes rarely aim for 100% authenticity). My goal is to bring you the best, tastiest, and most uncomplicated version of a recipe possible, and this is my best version of fettuccine alfredo! I’m so proud to share it alongside my other Italian-inspired recipes (like my baked ziti).
What You Need
“Authentic” alfredo doesn’t use shallots, garlic, or cream. Good news, though: we aren’t making authentic alfredo today! Here’s what I use to round out the flavor of my recipe:
- Parmesan. Use freshly grated parmesan cheese, as it doesn’t have any ingredients that would keep it from melting smoothly. Don’t use that infamous green can!
- Shallot. Adding shallot adds to the flavor of the sauce. You could leave it out, substitute a tablespoon of garlic, or use a few tablespoons of finely minced onion, but the taste will vary accordingly.
- Nutmeg. A pinch of nutmeg (just a pinch!) really helps round out this dish. It’s an interesting and subtle flavor (I also use it in my meatballs!), and I find it keeps the sauce from being cloying or overly rich.
- Heavy cream. A traditional Italian fettuccine alfredo recipe wouldn’t dare use cream, but here in America, we expect it! Adding cream is a wonderful way to achieve a perfect creamy texture without super high quality parmesan (which is often difficult to find here). Using cream also helps prevent the sauce from “breaking” while you prepare it. There are quite a few benefits to this method, and I feel strongly in my preference for it!
SAM’S TIP: Serving this dish topped with chicken or shrimp is a great idea! I’d recommend cooking the meat separately and serving it on top of the pasta.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Fettuccine Alfredo
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions.
- Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining your pasta.
- Mince the shallot into fine pieces.
- Melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the shallot to the melted butter/oil and cook until softened, then reduce the heat to low.
- Drizzle in the cream slowly while whisking constantly. Let the sauce cook until thickened.
- Add the parmesan and stir it into the sauce until fully incorporated and melted.
- Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then taste test for additional seasoning.
- Add the pasta along with a splash of pasta water and stir until the pasta is well coated and the sauce is creamy. Add more pasta water as needed.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!
SAM’S TIP: Don’t forget to save your pasta water! Adding a few splashes in with the sauce will help meld everything together and create a super silky sauce that clings beautifully to your noodles! I use this trick in my penne alla vodka and it works like a charm!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you read the ingredients section above, then you know I feel very strongly about using cream in my alfredo sauce. If you are determined to make alfredo sauce without cream, I recommend finding a recipe that is specifically designed to be made that way. I just don’t have a good substitute for it in my recipe!
Yes, the original dish was Italian; however, many popular recipes today have strayed from the original recipe (simply pasta, butter, and parmesan cheese!) and are no longer authentic Italian cuisine. That doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious though!
Yes! If you double this recipe, you will want to double all ingredients (including the seasonings).
Reheating alfredo sauce can be tricky as the sauce tends to separate and get greasy, plus reheating pasta in general can cause it to become overcooked. Tasting Table outlines quite a few ways to reheat fettuccine alfredo that should do the trick; if you try any of these, please let me know how they work for you!
If you decide to serve this fettuccine alfredo recipe with chicken or shrimp, consider adding in some steamed/blanched broccoli too!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- 8 oz fettuccine pasta
- 4 Tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter
- 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot finely minced (about 3 Tablespoons)
- 1 cup (236 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (55 g) freshly-grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt plus additional to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper – freshly ground preferred
- Pinch of ground nutmeg about 1/16th teaspoon
- Chopped parsley for garnish optional
- Pot for boiling pasta
- Large pan
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Once pasta finishes cooking, reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta. While pasta is cooking you can begin preparing your sauce.8 oz fettuccine pasta
- Melt butter with olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add shallot and cook until softened.4 Tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter, 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil, 1 shallot
- Reduce heat to low. While whisking the butter/shallot, slowly drizzle in cream. Allow it to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened.1 cup (236 ml) heavy cream
- Add grated parmesan cheese and stir until melted.1 cup (55 g) freshly-grated parmesan cheese
- Add salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg, and taste-test and add additional salt if needed.½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper – freshly ground preferred, Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Add warm, cooked fettuccine to the pot along with a splash (about 2-3 Tablespoons) of reserved pasta water). Stir well until sauce and pasta are creamy and emulsified. If needed, add additional pasta water, a splash at a time.
- Serve immediately, garnished with parsley if desired.Chopped parsley for garnish
StoringFettuccine alfredo is best served immediately after preparing as the sauce tends to separate when reheated and the noodles can become dry. One of the best ways to reheat is to cover with foil and warm in a 350F (175C) oven until heated through. Stir well before serving.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Miriam Rose Blanar
This was so good! I didn’t have any shallots do I left that out and I totally forgot the nutmeg. But I made this to go with chicken and your breadsticks. My family loved it!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much, Miriam! 🙂
It may be 8:45 in the a.m., but I’m drooling over this fettuccine! But…I’m trying to figure out HOW to measure 1 & 1/6 tsp nutmeg. I have the 1 tsp down pat – it’s the 1/6 that’s giving me pause. Is that = to a pinch?
Thanks for the great, easy recipe!
Blessings from Alberta, Canada 🍁 🇨🇦
Hi Terry! it’s actually 1/16 teaspoon. I typically do just take a teeny pinch with my fingers, but if you have a 1/8 teaspoon you can just use half of that. I hope that helps, and that you love the fettuccine alfredo! 🙂
OMG so so yummy and easy too! I’m no cook, and believe it out not it tastes better than Italian restaurant! Thank you for the recipe 🙂!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Brigitte! 🙂