This homemade Alfredo sauce is just as good, if not better, than the Olive Garden original! A rich creamy sauce comes together in under 30 minutes and is ready to coat your favorite pasta.
One bite of this copycat Olive Garden Alfredo and your family won’t realize it’s not takeout!
So many Americans have come to know the Olive Garden as one of their favorite family-friendly restaurants, it’s no wonder people have tried to recreate their menu.
I have successfully done it with slow cooker chicken gnocchi soup, so I knew right away that the famous Alfredo sauce was next on my list.
If it’s something you order often when going out to eat, you’ll be happy to know you can make the exact sauce right at home.
Homemade alfredo comes together easily in 25 minutes and is the perfect creamy white sauce to pair with fettuccine.
Serve with garlic knots and an easy chopped veggie salad for a complete meal your whole family will enjoy.
Why you’ll love Copycat Olive Garden Alfredo
Tastes just like the real deal – Or even better, I’ll let you decide. It may not be authentic Alfredo (classic Alfredo sauce doesn’t use cream), but it sure is an authentic copycat version made with simple ingredients!
Easy dinner idea – In under 30 minutes, you can make the sauce while the pasta cooks any night of the week. Enjoy it as a main dish or a side dish, it’s up to you!
Family favorite – One of my favorite things is making a recipe that I know my whole family will enjoy. This delicious sauce is one of those great recipes.
Leftovers for days – This makes enough to serve a dinner party or a small family meal with leftovers so you can enjoy an easy breezy dinner idea for the next couple of days.
Brings the Olive Garden home – This olive garden alfredo sauce recipe gives people that don’t live near the restaurant a chance to try it from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Equipment you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- For the Roux – Unsalted Butter, minced garlic, and all-purpose flour are used to form a paste that will eventually help to thicken the sauce. I recommend fresh garlic but garlic packed in oil will work or even garlic powder if that’s all you have.
- Heavy Cream & Milk – A no-no if you ask any Italian, but a yes-yes if you ask the Olive Garden! It adds a rich creamy consistency to the sauce. The milk balances the richness of the heavy cream and lightens it up a bit. I use 2% milk.
- Fresh Parmesan Cheese – If you can, I recommend grating fresh parmesan from a block. You want it to melt into the sauce without leaving a gritty texture and fresh parmesan melts much better.
- Salt & Pepper – To taste.
- Parsley & Parmesan – For garnish.
How to make Copycat Olive Garden Alfredo
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Step One: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Whisk in the flour so it starts to thicken into a paste with a slightly nutty aroma.
- Step Two: Whisk in the heavy cream and as the roux dissolves, the cream will become a paste-like consistency. Add the milk to thin it out a bit. It may start to clump, but continue whisking until smooth.
- Step Three: Sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese and bring everything to a low simmering boil.
- Step Four: Once the sauce thickens and becomes smooth and bubbly, sprinkle in the salt and pepper to taste. Use the tongs to add in the cooked pasta and toss everything to coat.
- Step Five: Garnish with fresh parsley and extra Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
What to serve with Copycat Olive Garden Alfredo
A popular pasta choice for Alfredo sauce is fettuccine, which is why most people refer to it as fettuccine alfredo.
Of course, you can really use any type of noodles you want, just make them according to the package instructions. And what’s a pasta dish without a Caesar salad or bread on the side?
I do love one hour dinner rolls, but a slice of onion dill bread is also kind of amazing. My kids love it with these garlic cheese bombs.
If we’re not doing a salad, I’ll whip up a quick veggie side dish like oven roasted garlic green beans or roasted zucchini.
You can also use this alfredo recipe to make a pasta side dish. Then, serve it on the side of grilled chicken breast or chicken thighs along with some veggies and bread to mop up the last bit of sauce.
If you have a recipe that calls for a jar of alfredo sauce, like my crockpot chicken alfredo, you can sub in this homemade version.
Tips & Suggestions
- Keep in mind the sauce will continue to thicken as it sits and cools. If it’s not thick enough for you, give it a moment.
- Before adding the Parmesan cheese, bring it to room temperature. It will melt faster that way.
- I use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt I add in. If you plan to use salted butter, keep in mind there is also salt coming from the Parmesan, so taste it before you decide to add more.
- Add the pasta to the sauce just before serving. Letting it sit together for too long will cause the pasta to absorb too much of the sauce.
Olive Garden Alfredo Recipe
How to reheat and store homemade olive garden alfredo sauce
How to store leftovers
Keep leftover homemade alfredo sauce in an airtight container in the fridge. If you’re saving leftover pasta as well, try and keep them separate until you’re ready to serve it.
How long will homemade alfredo sauce last in the fridge?
It will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze Olive Garden copycat alfredo sauce?
You can, but as with any cream based sauces, they tend to freeze funny. They separate which changes the consistency of the sauce.
It’s important to thaw it in the fridge and then reheat accordingly to get it nice and creamy once again.
How to reheat it?
Reheat on low in a saucepan on the stove. Add a splash of cream, milk, or chicken broth to loosen it up. Whisk or stir so that it doesn’t burn, but allow it to heat through on low heat.
Can I make this without heavy cream?
You can. If you want to use milk and half and half or all half and half instead of the cream, you can. It won’t be as thick in consistency, but if you’re ok with that, then you can certainly go that route.
If you don’t mind a slight change in flavor, you can also use a bit of cream cheese to thicken it up instead of the heavy cream.
What vegetables can I add to homemade alfredo sauce?
There are plenty of veggies you can add! We’re drifting from the original Olive Garden way, but that’s the beauty of making it at home.
Add some spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, peas, or bell peppers to the sauce for added texture and flavor. The extra nutrients can’t hurt either!
Can I add protein to this copycat Olive Garden alfredo sauce?
To bulk it up, add some shredded or diced grilled chicken breasts (you could even shred up a rotisserie chicken), shrimp, scallops, diced ham, or bacon to the sauce to add some extra protein.
Need more copycat recipes? Try these:
Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta (Cheesecake Factory)
Hard Rock Cafe Twisted Mac and Cheese
Click here for my entire collection of copycat recipes.
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