A creamy homemade alfredo sauce with just 3 simple ingredients and no flour! Easy to make and naturally gluten free
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Carbs get a bad rap these days, but they’re actually a great source of energy. Our family LOVES anything pasta, and it makes for an inexpensive meal! Our go-to pasta dish is fettuccine with a simple homemade alfredo sauce.
Everyone in our family of 6 will eat it without complaining (hallelujah!) and the recipe we’re sharing today is so ridiculously easy to prepare that this busy mama doesn’t mind it either 😉
What is Alfredo Sauce?
Authentic fettuccine alfredo was developed by an Italian chef in the early 1900’s. In this original recipe, alfredo sauce was made using butter, pasta water, and parmesan cheese.
As the recipe came to Italian restaurants in the United States of America, cream was added to the mix. This might have been to make up for the lack of quality creamy Parmesan cheese available in the States.
Today, Alfredo Sauce is made using a simple recipe of butter, cream, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. While there are many variations to this, some of which include flour or broth, this classic version remains the best in my opinion.
How to Make Homemade Alfredo Sauce
Making fettuccine alfredo at home is very easy, which is why it’s one of my favorite meals.
While a lot of alfredo sauce recipes use flour as a thickener, we wanted this recipe to be super simple. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fresh cream. Can be any type of cream, heavy or otherwise.
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese (see common mistakes below)
- Garlic – you can use any form of garlic you have on hand: fresh, jarred, frozen, or even garlic powder or garlic salt.
Common Mistakes When Making Homemade Alfredo Sauce
Using pre-shredded cheese
You might be tempted to cut corners and pick up a bag of pre-shredded parmesan, but those packages have starch added to keep the cheese from sticking together. This starch acts as a thickener and will create an unpleasant, globby texture in your sauce that you certainly don’t want.
You might also use the ground parmesan sold in plastic canisters. While this can work in a pinch, it certainly won’t provide the same taste or creamy texture, and the amounts are not interchangeable. Go for a fresh block of parmesan from your grocer’s deli or cheese department for the best results.
Adding the cheese all at once
Cheese takes a minute to melt, and if you add all the cheese at once then you might end up with a blob of melted cheese in the middle of your homemade alfredo sauce. Ummmm don’t do that K?
Add the cheese gradually, stirring after each addition until it’s melted. It will only take a few extra minutes and is absolutely worth the effort!
Is Alfredo Sauce Gluten Free?
This recipe sure is! Be aware that some recipes use flour to thicken alfredo sauce, but we just use the basics: cream, butter, and parmesan cheese.
Because our family eats gluten free, we have tested a lot of gluten free pasta over the years. Gluten free fettuccine noodles can be hard to find, but we do like Barilla Gluten Free Fettuccine which we have found at Smith’s or Amazon.
We also think outside the box sometimes and serve alfredo sauce with another type of gluten free pasta. Our favorites are American Beauty gluten free rotini which we get at Walmart for under $2, or Ronzoni gluten free rotini.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, we love Cybele’s Free to Eat Superfood Gluten Free Pasta which you can find at many grocery stores or on Amazon, and Barilla’s new chickpea rotini. Both of these options pack around 20 grams of protein a serving and are a good source of iron, fiber, and other nutrients.
How to Cook Gluten Free Pasta
The #1 mistake people make when cooking pasta is to overcook it. Pasta is intended to be cooked al dente, meaning “to the tooth”. It should have a slight crunch to it and not be soft and mushy.
Gluten free pasta is especially prone to being overcooked. It goes from not done to mushy in a hot minute, so watch your pasta carefully!
No need to add oil to the water, it actually can prevent the sauce from sticking as well.
Here’s how to make perfect gluten free pasta every time:
- Bring water and salt to a full rolling boil. Salt is optional, but will add to the flavor of your dish.
- Add pasta and return to a boil. Make sure the pasta is fully submerged.
- Reduce heat enough to keep the pot from boiling over, but keep it boiling as much as you can.
- Set the timer for the lowest recommended time. The pasta should have a slight bite to it.
- Drain the pasta and briefly with cold water.
- Serve immediately with Alfredo Sauce or any other sauce!
What Type of Pot Should I Use to Cook Pasta?
I love this pasta pot Bialetti sent me and use it every time I make pasta. The design is a unique oval shape so that you can fit long noodles like fettuccine inside the pot without the ends sticking above the water.
This helps your pasta to cook evenly without leaving ends that aren’t done as quickly as the rest of the noodle. The pot also functions as a colander when you’re ready to strain your pasta which is super handy.
The pot is beautiful and sturdy, but lightweight enough to pack for a weekend trip so you have something safe to cook in. It also has a non-stick interior.
Our favorite feature is the lid because you can strain the pasta right in the pot by twisting the lid! No need to worry about using a designated gluten free colander or doing extra dishes. When the pasta is done, you simply twist the lid to seal it and tilt the pot to drain the water.
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- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (not packed)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 package gluten free pasta, cooked and drained - See notes for recommendations
- In small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat, stirring often. Watch it closely and when you start to see steam, begin to add the parmesan cheese.
- Add parmesan cheese about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking until the cheese has melted before adding more.
- Once all cheese has been added and is melted, add garlic. Serve over prepared pasta.
- Refrigerate any leftovers. You can re-heat in the microwave or on the stove, it reheats well and works best if stored separately from any leftover pasta.
Gluten free pasta is especially prone to being overcooked. It goes from not done to mushy in a hot minute, so watch your pasta carefully! No need to add oil to the water, it actually can prevent the sauce from sticking as well.
Use only fresh parmesan you grate yourself, and add it gradually.
Use any kind of pasta you like! While alfredo sauce is usually served with fettuccine noodles, it also tastes great with rotini, penne, or even spaghetti.
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Serving Size:1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 59mg Sodium: 311mg Carbohydrates: 10g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 1g Protein: 7g