This Spaghetti with Alfredo Sauce is creamy, decadent and comes together in 15 minutes. It's the ultimate comfort food & a great weeknight meal. You won't believe how easy this recipe is to make and it's only 6 ingredients!
Alfredo sauce is definitely on my list of favorite comfort foods. I'm a sucker for pasta of any kind, but throw a creamy sauce on it and I really can't resist.
The best thing about this recipe is you don't need a two page list of ingredients or a lot of time. It's quick and easy and you can serve it alone or pair it with a protein like this Crispy Chicken Fritta or Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- It only takes 15 minutes to make from start to finish
- This recipe only has a few ingredients
- It's creamy, filling, and delicious
(Not Pictured: Reserved Pasta Water)
Spaghetti- Typically, Fettuccine noodles are served with Alfredo sauce, but spaghetti tastes amazing with Alfredo sauce as well. It's the perfect bite and you get a bit less of the chewiness that comes with classic fettuccine. If you have a Costco membership, see if your store has Rummo Spaghetti noodles. They are my absolute favorite and I always buy them in bulk. They cook to al dente in 8 to 9 minutes and taste good with any sauce.
Heavy Cream- A crucial ingredient for Alfredo sauce. It's really difficult to create an amazing Alfredo without it.
Butter- Another must have classic ingredient for Alfredo sauce. I prefer salted for this recipe.
Garlic-Toasted in butter to create a subtle flavor in the sauce.
Parmesan Cheese- Not just any parmesan cheese will do. For a quality sauce, you need the real stuff-Parmigiano Reggiano. It's nutty and delicious and thickens the sauce into the perfect consistency. If you're on a budget, find another parmesan that you can grate yourself. Bagged or bottled cheese doesn't work in this recipe. They use preservatives and anti-caking agents and won't melt properly to thicken the sauce.
Pasta Water- The secret ingredient to any fantastic cream sauce. If you don't save pasta water currently for sauces, you need to start. It will completely change your cooking game, and can bring a chunky separated sauce back to creamy life again.
Black Pepper- It's a must have for me in creamy pasta recipes. Black pepper brings in a woody flavor that is irresistible.
Minced Parsley- Optional for a fresh garnish when serving.
Substitutions and Variations:
Thinking about adding veggies? Steamed or roasted broccoli tastes amazing with Alfredo sauce.
Like Spicy? Sprinkle in a few dashes of red pepper flakes.
Want to go with the classic fettuccine noodles? Go for it! Most pasta will go great with this sauce. You could also try casarecce, rigatoni or bowties. I don't recommend small noodles like elbows, ditalini, or orzo. These won't pick up the sauce well.
If you're dairy free, I don't have a great option for substitutions for this recipe. It really requires butter, cheese and heavy cream for a good sauce. Check out my Marinara pasta sauce recipe instead.
How to Make Spaghetti with Alfredo Sauce:
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Here are the Step by Step Instructions for this easy Spaghetti Alfredo.
Step 1: Boil Pasta Water
In a large pot, boil water for the pasta. Once it's boiling, add in the spaghetti. I also like to add about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. This prevents the pasta from sticking and flavors the water a bit too. The pasta needs to cook for 8 to 10 minutes until al dente. While it is cooking, make the Alfredo cream sauce.
Step 2: Prepare the Garlic Butter for Alfredo Sauce
When the pasta is cooking, add butter into a large skillet over medium low heat. Once it melts, toss in the garlic and toast for about 60 seconds.
Step 3: Add Cream to Alfredo Sauce
Reduce the heat to low. Pour in heavy cream. Stir every minute or so and allow it to heat up without boiling. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Note: The cream and butter will stay separated until the cheese is added.
Step 4: Reserve Pasta Water
Once the pasta is cooked al dente, ladle out about 1 cup of pasta water into a bowl and set aside. Strain the pasta into a colander.
Step 5: Complete Alfredo Sauce
Next, add the parmesan cheese and black pepper to the Alfredo sauce and stir with a wooden spoon until melted and thickened.
Step 6: Toss in Pasta
Lastly, add pasta into the sauce with tongs and toss to combine. Slowly spoon in as much pasta water as needed to create the desired consistency. *This might not need any pasta water or you might need to use all of it. It depends on heat from the stove, how much pasta you used, if the pasta was dry or wet, etc. Lots of variables here.
Step 7: Top with additional parmesan cheese, black pepper, and/or minced parsley. Serve and Enjoy!
- Do NOT strain all the pasta water. It is important to save one cup full. You might not use any if the pasta has a lot of water in it, or you may use all of it if it takes people a bit to get to the dinner table. It's a great option to have on hand!
- After adding the cheese, you will know it's thick enough when you can see the bottom of the pan when stirring with a wooden spoon (like the 2nd photo in step 5).
- Make sure to read the spaghetti package and cook until al dente or just a minute or two past al dente. You don't want to overcook the pasta.
You may have used too much pasta and it absorbed the sauce. If this is the case, use a bit of pasta water to thin it out. This will create a lighter sauce, but it will still get a creamy texture.
If your Alfredo sauce is too thin, add in more parmesan cheese. It's important to use freshly grated parmesan. Also, leave the heat on low and stir with a wooden spoon to create a thicker textured sauce.
Half and half has a lower fat content than heavy cream, and will not result in as creamy of a sauce. It can be substituted in many recipes, but I don't recommend it in Alfredo Sauce.
Spaghetti Alfredo is meant to be eaten at serving and doesn't make the best leftovers. The sauce separates when cooled.
Love Alfredo Pasta Recipes? Try my Tortellini Alfredo Recipe too!
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