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Homemade Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce is always a family favorite and you only need a few simple ingredients to make it. This alfredo sauce recipe with cream cheese can be ready in just 15 minutes! Serve over pasta noodles for an easy dinner idea or use in any recipe that calls for alfredo sauce.
Alfredo Sauce Recipe With Cream Cheese
If you are looking for an easy dinner recipe that your entire family will love then you’re in the right place. This Alfredo sauce is so yummy, easy to make, and it’s one of those recipes that you know you can make and your kids will eat it with no whining! And recipes like that are my absolute favorite.
My favorite ingredient to use in Alfredo sauce is cream cheese. It provides so much creaminess, richness, and deep flavor. My version also uses dried garlic powder, heavy cream + butter (must-have combo), and some chicken broth to lighten it up a bit. I know you’ll love this as much as we do.
Alfredo sauce is actually very simple to make at home with some easy ingredients. Below are the ingredients you will need to make it at home. I also share some tips for each ingredient and what I have found works best when making homemade alfredo sauce.
- Butter – The recipe calls for salted butter because that’s what I always use. I don’t even buy unsalted butter because I think it has no taste and does not give any sort of salty, buttery flavor to anything you add it to. If you use unsalted butter (which you can) just taste the sauce and add some if you feel it’s necessary.
- Cream Cheese – Use the regular, full-fat cream cheese or the 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese works well in the recipe too. The key is to cut it into cubes before adding it into the pan. It will melt faster and it’s easier to mix in instead of one big block of cream cheese.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – Alfredo sauce is not diet food so just use the heavy cream. Please. If you must switch it out, you could try half & half or possibly whole milk. But just know that the alfredo sauce won’t be as thick.
- Chicken Broth – Either the regular chicken broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth can be used in this recipe. I normally have the reduced sodium chicken broth so that’s what I use most of the time.
- Parmesan Cheese – The best one to use is the wedge of Parmesan cheese that you grate/shred yourself. The Parmesan cheese wedge that you shred yourself melts so smooth and tastes much better in homemade alfredo sauce.
- Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper – Use fresh garlic cloves if wanted or even the chopped garlic in the jar. I love using the garlic powder because it’s so easy and does not require any chopping. But any type of garlic will work fine.
How To Make Cream Cheese Alfredo
One pan and a whisk is what you will need to make this alfredo recipe. Make sure you are using a silicone whisk, if using non-stick cookware, to avoid scratching your pan. Read below to see how easy it is to make this recipe. Be sure and go to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full directions in detail.
Melt Butter : Add the butter to the pan, over medium-high heat, and let it melt.
Cream Cheese : Once the butter is melted add the chunked cream cheese and garlic powder. Stir with a whisk until it’s combined and mixed as good as it can be. The mixture will be thick and curdled looking but that’s ok.
Broth + Cream : Slowly add in the chicken broth and heavy cream, a little at a time, while whisking constantly. Bring it to a boil.
Cheese : Turn the heat down to medium, or medium-low, and add the shredded parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thickened.
Resting Time : Once the alfredo sauce is thickened and done cooking, it’s important to take the pan off the burner/stove and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. This will allow the sauce to thicken up more while it cools slightly.
Tips For Success
Here are a few tips that will hopefully make this recipe a hit with your own family.
- Parmesan Cheese : My #1 tip for this recipe is to use a wedge of parmesan cheese and shred it yourself. I know it’s more time and prep but trust me, if you want the best tasting alfredo sauce then you must shred fresh parmesan cheese yourself. The shredded cheese that comes in the bag has a powder substance on it to keep it from clumping together. But it also means that it won’t melt as smoothly in whatever you put in. Plus, I just think the bagged parmesan cheese taste a little weird. Definitely stay for away from the cheaper, powdered parmesan cheese in the can.
- Cubed Cream Cheese : When you are trying to melt and stir the cream cheese, you will find that it is much easier to melt into the butter when it’s already cubed. If you try to put the entire chunk of cream cheese in the pan, it will take forever to get it mixed into the butter. Be sure you take the time to cut the cream cheese brick into smaller squares, or you can even use your clean hands to save some dishes ?.
- Resting Time : The recipe has you taking the pan off the burner/stove and letting it sit for 5 minutes before serving. Please don’t skip this! The alfredo sauce may seem thin when you are doing cooking it, which is why you need that 5 minute rest time, so the sauce can thicken up while it cools slightly.
Variation & Substitution Ideas
Although I recommend making this recipe as is, there are a few ways you can change it up.
- Seasonings : If you prefer a stronger flavor to your alfredo sauce then add some additional seasonings. Some great options are more garlic powder, dried basil, parsley, or even some dried Italian seasoning.
- Lighten It Up : If you really want to, there are a few things you can do to lighten up this recipe. Just know that if you do, the alfredo sauce will not be nearly as thick and rich as when it’s made per the recipe. You can use reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel cheese) if wanted. You can also try to use half & half milk, and possibly whole milk, in place of the heavy cream. But if you want an authentic alfredo sauce then I suggest sticking to the recipe.
- Cream Cheese : To try something new, try using a flavored cream cheese in this recipe. I have actually never done this but I have gotten comments from people who have. I think a good one to use would be the chive & onion cream cheese or the herb garlic cream cheese. Instead of a bar, the flavored cream cheese comes in an 8 ounce tub.
Homemade Alfredo Sauce With Cream Cheese FAQ’s
- How Do I Serve Alfredo Sauce?
- Use this alfredo sauce in any recipe that calls for jarred alfredo sauce. This is a great use for leftovers if you have any.
- My family loves alfredo sauce served over some cooked pasta like the spiral Rotini pasta.
- You can add some chicken to the sauce and serve it over fettuccine noodles for a homemade fettuccine chicken alfredo dish.
- Use it as a dip for breadsticks, pizza, or mozzarella sticks.
- Can I Freeze Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce?
- I would recommend not freezing alfredo sauce. This recipe has lots of dairy in it (cream cheese + cream) and dairy tends to curdle and separate if frozen and then thawed.
- I know lots of people freeze everything just fine and you can freeze this if wanted. When you are reheating the alfredo sauce, I would suggest doing it in a pot on the stove and adding a little bit more chicken broth to help it mix together smoothly. The sauce won’t look the same once it’s frozen, then thawed & reheated.
- How To Store Leftovers
- Leftovers of this alfredo sauce recipe can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
- You can either heat up leftover alfredo sauce in the microwave or in a pot on the stove.
Try These Other Pasta Dinner Recipes
Easy Garlic Parmesan Pasta : My kids request this weekly. Same idea as alfredo sauce but a much lighter recipe. We love it with rotini spiral pasta.
One Pot Taco Pasta : All the classic taco flavors in a pasta dinner recipe that cooks in just one pot.
Creamy Tomato Beef Pasta : Creamy ground beef mixture with tomatoes and mixed with pasta. Easy, delicious, kid-friendly dinner idea.
Cheesy Ziti Pasta Bake : Easy to assemble casserole with a short-cut pasta sauce and lots of cheese!
Baked Spaghetti Casserole : Spaghetti baked in a casserole dish. This sets up so nicely and it’s a fun way to eat spaghetti.
Here are a couple supplies that you will need to make this alfredo sauce recipe for dinner. These are an affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase, I will make a very small percentage from the sale. As always, I appreciate the support for the free recipes I post. I will only recommend things that I personally own and love! Promise.
Silicone Balloon Whisk : I love this trio of whisks! The perfect sizes. Make sure that you are using a whisk that has silicone on it if using non-stick cookware. Using a stainless steel whisk will scratch the bottom of your pan.
Angled Measuring Cups : These measuring cups are angled which makes it so easy to measure out liquids. I like to use the 2-cup measuring cup and add both the heavy cream and chicken broth into it. That way I can slowly add both into my alfredo sauce while stirring with the whisk.
Cheese Grater : I did not realize it was possible to have a favorite cheese grater, but it is! Since you will need to shred the parmesan cheese this is the best one to use.
Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese cut into chunks
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 8 oz wedge parmesan cheese shredded
- ½ teaspoon salt I use kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Melt butter in a skillet pan or saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Once butter is melted, add in the chunked cream cheese and garlic powder. Stir with a whisk until mostly smooth and mixed together. This will take a couple of minutes.(It may look curdled and not perfectly smooth but that's fine. It will smooth out when the liquid is added)
- Add the whipping cream and chicken broth a little bit at a time, while whisking constantly. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and add the parmesan cheese, salt & pepper. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Take the pan off the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes so it can thicken up. Serve over pasta noodles of choice. You can also add the cooked pasta noodles into the pan and mix it in with the noodles and then serve that way. Or serve the noodles and sauce separately.
- Serve over pasta noodles of choice OR use in any recipe that calls for alfredo sauce.