Spaghetti with Alfredo Sauce is an easy twist on a classic dish. This creamy, comforting family favorite recipe comes together in under 20 minutes, a great recipe for easy weeknight dinners or whenever you're craving comfort food.
This Alfredo pasta recipe is a great option for busy weeknights and lazy weekends when you just want to settle in with a big bowl of soul-soothing pasta.
This wonderful recipe is one of those pasta dishes made from simple ingredients you might already have in your pantry and fridge -- and just might become your new favorite pasta night recipe.
The delicious alfredo sauce with cream cheese is an easy recipe that comes together quickly with butter, cream cheese, milk, Parmesan cheese, and a few things from your spice cabinet. Once you try it, you may never buy jarred alfredo sauce again.
You’re going to love this
- Rich and creamy homemade alfredo sauce recipe you can make in 10 minutes
- Simple ingredients — you might already have everything you need to make this
- Fast and easy dinner idea — you can have a comforting, home cooked dinner on the table in 20 minutes
- Give it a twist — add your favorite herbs, spices, chicken breasts, shrimp, or whatever your family loves to make this pasta dish your own
Cream cheese. Use full-fat cream cheese in the block for best results.
Whole milk. Whole milk makes this delicious alfredo recipe rich and creamy.
Parmesan cheese. Use fresh Parmesan cheese, if possible. Or, at least, not the kind that comes in a green can.
Nutmeg. Nutmeg enhances the flavor and adds a subtle deep, rich flavor to the sauce.
Pasta water. Whenever you make a pasta dish, reserve a cup of two of the pasta water. You can use it to loosen up the cooked pasta that’s waiting to be “sauced,” or toss with the pasta and sauce to meld the two together. It’s lovingly called “liquid gold” for good reason.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Boil the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water until it is al dente, or about 2 minutes less than the package instructions.
Save about one cup of the pasta water before you drain the water. Get more tips and tricks for cooking spaghetti noodles in this post.
Step 2: Melt butter in a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the cream cheese and whisk it into the melted butter. As the cream cheese melts, it will look like it has separated, but it’s okay. It gets better :). Whisk in the garlic powder.
Step 3: 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 4: Remove the sauce from the stove top and add the hot pasta noodles to the sauce. Toss the pasta until it is coated in the rich sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a little pasta water to loosen it up.
Add more freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if desired.
- To create a smooth and creamy alfredo sauce, use full-fat ingredients.
- For best results, use freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if possible, not the kind in a green shaker can.
- Save about one cup of the pasta water before you drain the water.
- It’s best to toss the pasta in the sauce immediately after it is done cooking, so start the sauce just before you drop the pasta into the water.
- If the pasta is done before the sauce and the noodles stick together, toss them with a little pasta water.
Reheating Instructions: 3 Ways
You can reheat your spaghetti with Alfredo sauce one of three ways: with the oven, stove top, or microwave!
Place the pasta in an even layer in a shallow oven-safe dish. Add a splash of milk or two and tightly cover the dish with aluminum foil to keep it moist. Heat at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until warm, stirring halfway through and adding a little more milk as necessary.
Melt a little butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the pasta and stir until warmed through, adding splashes of milk as needed.
Place pasta in a microwave-safe dish and add a splash or two of milk. Cover the dish with vented plastic wrap or damp paper towels. Heat at 50% power for one minute. Stir and add more milk, if necessary. Continue heating and stirring and adding splashes of milk as necessary in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
Read this blog post for the full instructions for reheating pasta with Alfredo sauce.
Store leftover spaghetti and Alfredo sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Yes. Place it in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.
Bechamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is made by mixing butter, flour, and milk until smooth and creamy. It serves as the base for dishes like macaroni and cheese or scalloped potatoes, but can also be enjoyed over vegetables.
Alfredo sauce, traditionally an emulsion of butter, Parmesan, and pasta water, can be tricky to make. Many recipes use flour or cornstarch for thickening, along with milk, cream, or cream cheese for a consistently smooth and creamy texture.
If your Alfredo sauce is bland it might just need a little salt. You can also try adding more garlic or more Parmesan cheese — which is also salty and may eliminate the need to add salt.
To take the flavor in a whole new direction, try dried herbs like oregano or basil, Italian seasoning, or any of your favorite seasoning blends.
Grainy Alfredo sauce could be caused by using ingredients that aren’t full-fat, by using lower quality Parmesan cheese, or by not fully melting the Parmesan cheese. Use full-fat milk and cream cheese and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the creamiest Alfredo sauce.
This Alfredo sauce with cream cheese is a far cry from authentic Alfredo sauce, which is made from just butter, Parmesan cheese, and pasta water.
This Alfredo sauce recipe is thick and creamy and also very fast, easy, and foolproof (no tricky emulsion!). Cream cheese is a handy shortcut that helps get a delicious pasta Alfredo dinner on the table fast.
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Spaghetti with Alfredo Sauce
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 stick butter, cut in 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
- Boil the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water until it is al dente, or about 2 minutes less than the package instructions.Save about one cup of the pasta water before you drain the water. It’s best to toss the pasta in the sauce immediately after it is done cooking. So start the sauce just before you drop the pasta into the water.If the pasta is done before the sauce and sticks together, you can just toss it in a little pasta water to unstick it.
- 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. It will look like it has separated, but it’s okay. It gets better :). 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 add the drained pasta to the sauce. Use tongs to toss the pasta around until the pasta is completely coated in the sauce. This may take a minute or two. If the sauce is too thick, add a little pasta water to loosen it up.
- Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if desired.