This thick and creamy tasting alfredo sauce is made with real cream cheese, giving us a great texture and richness in every bite.
I love making my own homemade alfredo sauce here and there, but my favorite version includes cream cheese. I always have a block or more in the fridge for baking purposes, so adding it to my sauce is easy.
Making sauces from scratch is always fun because there are so many ways to make it unique and delicious. If you enjoy making sauces, don't forget to check out my Ragu Spaghetti Sauce recipe too!
Why This Recipe Works
- It holds onto the noodles! This alfredo sauce recipe gives you a thick and luxuriously creamy alfredo sauce that clings to cooked noodles or works great in alfredo-baked casseroles and recipes as well.
- It's versatile. Use the homemade alfredo sauce with cream cheese to top your chicken, pizza, or lasagna with this sauce, and you will definitely be in for a good time!
- You can adapt the flavors to your own tastebuds! Add in a pinch of nutmeg, reduce the pepper, swap out seasonings or add in some Creole. There's no limit to your creativity.
Butter- No sauce is really complete without a little butter. Add some richness to your dish by adding in some unsalted butter. If using salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe card.
Garlic- Fresh minced garlic is preferred, but a jar of minced works in a pinch.
Flour- This is the thickener and is a part of the roux sauce base that you create.
Milk or heavy cream- I've used unsweetened plain almond milk, whole milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. All taste delicious, but the fattier milk options do produce a more velvety texture.
Cream cheese- Using cream cheese will give us a thicker consistency with a pleasant tanginess in every bite. Make sure to soften and cube the cheese beforehand so it blends easier!
Garlic powder- This helps to add in more flavor for a stronger Italian feel.
Italian seasoning- I use Italian flavoring in just about everything, and it really works great in this sauce!
Black pepper- For more flavor and depth, fresh black pepper is always welcomed.
Parmesan cheese- I recommend freshly shredded parmesan cheese, not the grated stuff in a green jar. Note that I have tried the green jar cheese, and it will work in a pinch, but the consistency will be different.
Salt- Add in some salt as needed to help naturally enhance the flavors in the dish.
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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Check out how to make cream cheese alfredo sauce with these simple step-by-step instructions:
Melt your butter in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Whisk in the minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Whisk in flour, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth.
Add in the cream cheese and occasionally stir until melted and the sauce begins to thicken.
Add parmesan cheese and whisk until blended.
Once the sauce is smooth you can serve it as-is or you can add in up to ½ cup of reserved pasta water from your cooked pasta to help thin it down a little bit.
Serve and use as desired.
🍴 Recipe Tips
Everyone likes their alfredo sauce at a different consistency, some like runny and others like thick. I personally prefer thick which is why I enjoy this recipe as-is, but there's an easy way to thin it down and stretch it out into even more servings.
How to Thin Alfredo Sauce
If using this alfredo sauce with pasta, reserve water from the boiled noodles and whisk it into the prepared alfredo sauce ½ cup at a time until desired consistency has been reached. Or, you can use very warm water or milk to add to the sauce.
How to Thicken Alfredo Sauce
This sauce is already pretty thick, but you can make it even thicker by adding a cornstarch slurry at the end. Just whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water until it makes a smooth slurry, and then stir it into the sauce. Repeat until the sauce is the thickness desired.
Do Not Use Cold Cream Cheese
Also, when making this easy alfredo sauce with cream cheese, you can use cold cream cheese, but remember that the texture will be different than softened cream cheese.
When cream cheese is cold, it doesn't fully incorporate into sauces and leaves behind very tiny white ball-looking pieces. Visually, they are noticeable. Texturally, they are not.
You can keep any leftover alfredo sauce stored in a closed container in the fridge for up to one week. For the best tasting results, enjoy using it within 3 or 4 days.
Note that this sauce should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours at a time for food safety purposes.
I do not recommend freezing this alfredo sauce unless you plan on using it for a baked recipe later. For example, a meal prepped with lasagna, casserole, or smothered baked chicken breasts would be okay examples, whereas a jar of leftover sauce is not.
The difference is that when frozen the mixture will separate and not come back together in the same texture and appearance as it was before being frozen. When baked it's much less noticeable because it blends in better than if it sat on top of a pile of noodles.
Yes! You can choose to use regular milk, heavy cream, or even half and half to give this sauce the liquid needed for that flavorful creamy end result.
Try making the sauce using Light Cream Cheese and Skim Milk for a reduced fat content. The sauce should still taste incredible!
This sauce yields about 3 ½ cups of homemade sauce when finished. This should be plenty for a family pasta night, a few pizzas, a casserole, or whatever plans you may have in store for it!
More great pasta recipes to try
- 3 Ingredient Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Roasted Garlic and Tomato Pasta
- Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Cream Cheese Bacon Pasta Bake
Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce
- 3 Tablespoons Butter ($0.24)
- ½ teaspoons Minced garlic ($0.03)
- 2 Tablespoons All purpose flour ($0.01)
- 2 cups Whole milk ($0.38)
- 4 ounces Cream cheese softened & cubed ($0.99)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder ($0.10)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning ($0.10)
- ¼ teaspoon Black pepper ($0.02)
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded ($0.99)
- salt to taste
- In a medium sized pot over medium heat on the stove, melt your butter.
- Whisk in the minced garlic and stir about 30 seconds until fragrant. Whisk in the flour, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder, until well mixed.
- Slowly add in the milk, while whisking until smooth. Add in cream cheese and stir occasionally until melted into the mixture and it begins to thicken.
- Whisk in the parmesan cheese until blended.
- Serve the sauce as desired or whisk in hot reserved pasta water ½ cup at a time to thin down the sauce if desired.
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