Alfredo sauce without heavy cream is an easy homemade pasta sauce you can make in about 10 minutes with simple ingredients for a quick weeknight dinner.
When it comes to weeknight comfort food cooking, hearty pot roast, savory vegetable beef soup, and cozy chicken casserole are always family favorite options. But when you want something homemade, soul-soothing, AND super fast, pasta with Alfredo sauce for the win!
This easy homemade Alfredo sauce recipe is rich and creamy and comes together in about 10 minutes on your stovetop.
Unlike traditional Alfredo sauce, which can be tricky to master, this shortcut Alfredo sauce relies on milk and cream cheese -- no heavy cream -- to pull everything together into a silky smooth and creamy white sauce.
This easy Alfredo sauce recipe is absolutely delicious tossed with spaghetti (because that’s always in the pantry, right?), or any type of pasta for fast, easy weeknight dinners the whole family will devour.
Alfredo sauce without heavy cream is also a great recipe to use in your favorite recipes for meatballs, pizza, or lasagna, or as a dipping sauce for breadsticks or roasted veggies!
You’re going to love this
- Rich and creamy homemade Alfredo sauce recipe -- you may never buy store-bought Alfredo sauce again!
- Fast and easy spin on classic Alfredo sauce you can make in about 10 minutes
- Simple ingredients — butter, cream cheese, milk, Parmesan cheese
- Delicious recipe you can use in your favorite fettuccine Alfredo recipe or any pasta Alfredo dish.
This delicious homemade Alfredo sauce recipe is an easy recipe made from basic ingredients.
Unsalted butter. The Parmesan cheese adds plenty of saltiness.
Cream cheese. A block of full-fat cream cheese will give you the creamiest results without heavy cream.
Garlic powder. I like the flavor of garlic in Alfredo, so I use just a half teaspoon of garlic powder. You can adjust this up or down to your liking. Or use fresh garlic cloves.
Whole milk. You don't need heavy cream to make rich, creamy Alfredo sauce. The fat content in whole milk is enough to make silky Alfredo with a smooth, creamy consistency.
Parmesan cheese. A good quality fresh grated Parmesan cheese will give you the best flavor and creamy texture. For best results, avoid powdered or the stuff in the green can.
Nutmeg. Nutmeg is a common ingredient in cream sauces because it enhances the flavor and adds a subtle deep, rich flavor. And this cream cheese Alfredo sauce is no exception.
Pasta water. If you’re making this Alfredo sauce without heavy cream recipe to toss with pasta, keep a cup or two of the pasta water. You can use it to loosen up cooked pasta noodles waiting to be “sauced,” or toss it with the hot pasta and sauce to help meld the two together.
This is the best Alfredo sauce just the way it is. But you can easily make your own homemade Alfredo sauce without heavy cream to suit your tastes:
- Make it spicy with a little kick of red pepper flakes.
- Stir in your favorite dried herbs like Italian seasoning, dried oregano, or dried basil.
- Add freshly minced garlic to amp up the garlic goodness even more.
- Serve with fresh parsley or any of your favorite fresh herbs to brighten it up and add more flavor.
- Top your dish with more freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano, aged Asiago, or your favorite hard cheese
How to Make Alfredo Sauce without Heavy Cream: Step by step instructions
It will almost look like it has separated along the way, but just keep going. 🙂 Whisk in the garlic powder.
Step 2: Slowly add the milk a little at a time until it is all incorporated.
Whisk in the Parmesan cheese until it has melted and fully incorporated into the creamy sauce. Add the nutmeg and black pepper and whisk until combined.
Step 3: Remove the sauce from the stovetop. This sauce will thicken as it cools. It if becomes too thick, add a little milk or pasta water until it reaches your desired consistency.
Step 4: Toss with hot, cooked pasta, serve with your favorite sides for pasta, and enjoy!
- Cut the butter into slices and the cream cheese into cubes for fast and easy melting.
- Use fresh Parmesan cheese for the creamiest, most flavorful results.
- If the sauce becomes too thick, thin it with some milk, cream, or starchy pasta water, starting with one tablespoon and adjusting as needed
Yes, this easy cream cheese Alfredo sauce will thicken as it cools. If you will be using it with pasta, I recommend tossing it with the hot pasta immediately and add a little pasta water, if necessary, to thin it.
Homemade Alfredo sauce with cream cheese is always best served fresh from the stovetop. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or freeze in a freezer-safe container or bag and thaw in fridge.
To reheat Alfredo sauce without heavy whipping cream on the stove top, warm in saucepan over medium heat, whisking continuously. Or, microwave in 20-30 second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth and warmed through.
To reheat pasta with cream cheese Alfreso sauce, use oven, stovetop, or microwave.
Oven: Spread in dish, add splash of milk, cover, bake at 350 F.
Stovetop: Warm with a little butter and milk over medium heat.
Microwave: Warm with a little milk in a covered dish at 50% power.
Click here for the full instructions.
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Alfredo Sauce without Heavy Cream
- 1 stick butter, cut into slices
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ¾ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- dash black pepper
- Cut the butter into slices and melt it in a large skillet or pan over medium heat.
- Cut the cream cheese into cubes and whisk it into the butter as it melts together. After the cream cheese has melted, whisk in the garlic powder.
- Slowly whisk in the milk a little at a time until it is all incorporated.
- Whisk in the Parmesan cheese until it has melted and fully incorporated into the sauce. Add the nutmeg and black pepper and whisk until combined.
- Remove the sauce from the stove top and use immediately or store in the refrigerator for later use. This sauce will thicken as it cools.