Alfredo Sauce

This Alfredo sauce recipe is creamy, nutty, and silky smooth! But, thanks to a superstar veggie ingredient, it's so much lighter than the classic version.

Best Alfredo sauce

If you’re wondering what to make for dinner tonight, this homemade Alfredo sauce recipe is undoubtedly the answer. It’s rich and nutty, with an irresistible velvety texture. It can transform the humblest pasta into an elevated meal, but it takes just minutes to make. As a result, it’s perfect for any occasion, from a busy weeknight to a romantic dinner at home.

Alfredo sauce recipe ingredients

Alfredo Sauce Recipe Ingredients

Traditional Alfredo sauce contains four basic ingredients: butter, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Many homemade Alfredo sauce recipes take things a step further, adding heavy cream, cream cheese, and even Italian seasoning to make an extra-rich version of this favorite pasta sauce.

My recipe draws inspiration from both of these camps. I start with the basic butter and Parmesan template. Then, I add these ingredients to create a silky smooth Alfredo sauce that’s bursting with rich flavor:

  • Cauliflower – When cauliflower is boiled and blended, it creates a creamy puree. As a result, there’s no need to add cream to this Alfredo sauce recipe! Thanks to the cauliflower, it’s still thick and velvety, but it’s so much lighter than versions made with lots of butter and cream.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – Because I use just a small amount of butter in this recipe, I add olive oil for extra richness. I love its robust flavor here!
  • Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and garlic – I add garlic, Dijon, and lemon to give this sauce bright, tangy depth of flavor.
  • Pasta water – In traditional Alfredo sauce, hot, starchy pasta water is what emulsifies the cheese and butter. It’s a key ingredient in my recipe too, helping the cauliflower blend into a luscious puree. If you’re not planning to serve the sauce over pasta, use the cauliflower cooking water in its place.

Alfredo sauce

How to Make Alfredo Sauce

This homemade Alfredo sauce recipe is quick and easy to make, but how you make it depends on how you plan to serve it. If you’re tossing this sauce with pasta to make fettuccine Alfredo, here’s what you need to do:

  • First, cook the cauliflower. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the cauliflower. Cook until it’s tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Then, drain it and transfer it to a blender along with the Parmesan cheese, garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, butter, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Next, cook the pasta until al dente in a large pot of salted water. Before you drain it, set aside 1 1/2 cups of the starchy pasta water.
  • Then, make the sauce. Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the blender, and blend to form a smooth puree.
  • Finally, toss it all together! Add the pasta to a large skillet or bowl and toss it with the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add more pasta water, as needed, to reach your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

This Alfredo sauce is also delicious over spaghetti squash, sweet potato noodles, and zucchini noodles. If you plan to serve it with these veggie “pastas,” you won’t have the starchy pasta water on hand to add to the sauce. In its place, use an equal amount of the salted water you used to cook the cauliflower, and proceed with the recipe as written.

Homemade Alfredo sauce

More Favorite Sauce Recipes

If you love this recipe, try one of these favorite sauces next:

Get This Recipe In Your Inbox
Share your email, and we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, enjoy daily doses of recipe inspiration as a bonus!

Alfredo Sauce

rate this recipe:
4.80 from 35 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves 4
Learn how to make Alfredo sauce at home! The rich, creamy sauce is delicious over pasta, roasted vegetables, and more.



  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and boil until the cauliflower is fork tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place the cauliflower in a blender. Add the Parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, mustard, butter, lemon juice, salt, and several grinds of pepper.
  • Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the blender and blend the sauce until creamy.
  • As you toss your alfredo sauce with pasta, you may want to add the additional 1/2 cup pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce.


For a vegan alfredo sauce, make the fettuccine recipe on page 65 of The Love & Lemons Cookbook.


Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Deborah

    1 star
    Love your recipes and have bought two of your cookbooks but this stopped us in our tracks. So strong and garlicky, nothing else in the recipe was possible to taste. I’m afraid we couldn’t finish it.. Perhaps we should have sweated down the garlic? What did we do wrong?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Deborah, I’m so sorry you found the sauce too garlicky! Garlic cloves can vary in size and pungency, so it could be that yours were just larger or especially strong. In the future, you could go down to 1 garlic clove and/or boil the garlic along with the cauliflower.

  2. Lauren C.

    5 stars
    I made this tonight. I like garlic so I put in 3 garlic cloves haha My mistake. Next time I’ll do 2 or even just 1 clove. It was too strong (spicy) for my 2.5yo daughter. But she did eat a few bites. My husband liked it, but added some Italian seasoning and salt and pepper; I guess I didn’t salt the pasta water enough.
    I’m wondering, how long will it keep in the fridge? Can I freeze it, and if so, for how long?
    Thanks!! Will be making this again in the future… for now, we’ll enjoy the leftovers!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lauren, it’ll keep for up to 5 days in the fridge and I think it’ll freeze well for a couple of months.

  3. Debbie

    5 stars
    This sauce was amazing!!!!! Who knew cauliflower could make this sauce so light and refreshing!
    I sauteed asparagus, green peas, shrimp top the fettuccine Alfredo. So delicious!!
    Is the sauce freezer friendly since it doesn’t have heavy cream in it? Forgot to take picture before it was devoured!!

  4. Sally

    5 stars
    This tastes like the real deal, and it’s so clean and simple. I told my boyfriend I was making Alfredo pasta for dinner, which got him really excited. I headed off to the kitchen and started making this. I quickly discarded all evidence of the cauliflower and served my boyfriend a plate. His reaction: “This is delicious!” He happily ate away and went back for seconds.

    When he was finally done eating, I told him the secret. He couldn’t believe it. He said had I not told him, he would have never guessed it was cauliflower and not heavy cream. He even packed the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

    What this recipe taught me is that I need to invest in a nice blender. I only have a food processor, so my sauce was not smooth purée at all. It had a lot of lumps. Nonetheless, the flavor was still delicious. I’ll definitely make this again (with my new blender!).

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sally, ha ha, thank you for sharing this story – I love how you hid the evidence of all cauliflower :). I’m pretty obsessed with my Vitamix blender to get these healthy-ish sauces really creamy.

      • Sally

        Hi Jeanine, I’m really considering getting one too! No more clumpy sauces! I’m sure I’ll enjoy this recipe even more the second time around with creamy sauce. Btw, my boyfriend actually ate all the leftovers the next day. He’s not really a leftover kind of guy, so that was impressive.

  5. Rosemarie

    5 stars
    I am making a real change in my life with my cooking and I did a search and found your amazing recipes. I want to go vegan and cook plant base meals. However I love pasta. Thank you for making your recipes available!!! I can’t wait to start them today!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I hope you love them!!

  6. Olivia Godsey

    5 stars
    My wife is incredibly picky and she said this is better than store bought and even her favorite restaurant version! I have no attachment to Alfredo and I found this absolutely delicious.

    I had extra time so I blended the cauliflower with the olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon and then added the butter, garlic and salt to a pan and sautéed it until the garlic was fragrant. Then I added the cauliflower mix, cheese, pasta water and added some cooked chicken and broccoli. It was so delicious- I will absolutely make again and freeze so we have it available.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad it was a hit!

  7. Michelle

    3 stars
    What a wonderful surprise. This recipe is amazing . Of course I was Very skeptical . I’m new to all this And was very pleased with the way it turned out thank you so much.

    • Michelle

      5 stars
      I meant to rate it 5 stars

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        I’m so glad you loved it!

  8. Mark

    4 stars
    This was a nice alternative to the traditional sauce with heavy cream. The cauliflower did make the sauce creamy as suggested. Short of the Parmesan cheese I added a small amount of cream cheese. The only change I would make in the future would be the elimination or drastic cutback of the garlic. With the inability for the garlic cloves to reduce their potency through cooking it overpowered the sauce. Still good but too strong.

  9. Annika

    5 stars
    This sauce is absolutely amazing! I made it a couple of months ago and will make it again in the next few days. I didn’t tell anyone that the sauce uses cauliflower as my husband doesn’t like it and probably wouldn’t even have tried it had he known. As it was, he really liked it. We didn’t eat all of it in one sitting so I froze the leftovers and we had it again a couple of weeks later. Just as good then. I gently heated the sauce up in the microwave just a little bit and it was delicious the second time around as well. My adult son really liked it also. I only told them it was a healthier version of an Alfredo sauce.

  10. Meg

    What is the nutritional info on this?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m sorry, we don’t calculate nutrition facts.

  11. Heather Williams

    5 stars
    This came out so delicious. I literally don’t think I will ever go back to regular alfredo sauce again. How do you think it would freeze?

  12. Yajushi

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe! So so delicious *drools*

    I was just wondering how long I can store the sauce?

  13. Pam Collins

    5 stars
    Deliciious and easy!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  14. Sabrina from

    another long lost dish or sauce rescued through the substitution of healthier ingredients, thank you!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.