Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce is a creamy cheese sauce, perfect on pasta or veggies. With our copycat recipe, you can make it easily at home!
If you don’t feel confident enough about your creative cooking ability, I have a lot of copycat restaurant recipes that you can make!
Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce
I love copycat recipes. One of the easiest ways to recreate restaurant recipes at home is to experiment with your cooking.
Don’t be afraid to make substitutions to see how you and your family like them. You can always improve on your favorite restaurant’s signature dishes!
Or try this 30 Minute Chicken Alfredo.
The Olive Garden is one of our favorite restaurants. So, it only makes sense that I’d want to try a few Olive Garden copycat recipes at home.
Try our cheese stuffed shells smothered in this luxurious half and half alfredo sauce.
If you aren’t in the mood for Italian food, consider making some of our wildly popular copycat Cracker Barrel recipes. That down home comfort food can’t be beat!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
For the best authentic Italian flavor, I use a blend of freshly shredded Romano and Parmesan in this Olve Garden Alfredo sauce recipe.
You could substitute other hard aged cheeses like Gruyere, Gouda, or Asiago, but definitely shred them fresh from a block rather than using preshedded cheese.
- Substitutes for heavy cream in Alfredo sauce
While heavy cream is one of the things that creates the creamiest Alfredo sauce, I like to make this Alfredo sauce with half and half.
Half and half is simply equal parts heavy cream and milk, so you can easily make your own substitute with those two ingredients.
Using evaporated milk, equal parts Greek yogurt and milk, or a combination of regular milk and butter are other options that might work for you.
For a vegan Alfredo sauce, you can try using soy milk with a dash of olive oil.
Olive Garden Alfredo Recipe Tips
- Bring the cheese to room temperature before using it. Also, be sure to add the cheese gradually to prevent it from clumping.
- Monitor the heat. The base of the sauce should be warm, but not too hot. Otherwise, the cheese separates and causes the consistency to be grainy.
- Use high quality dairy products. Using a good quality butter is important to achieving the creamy consistency of this Olive Garden Alfredo sauce.
European butter has less water content than most brands of American butter.
Kitchen Tools You’ll Need
One of the reasons this Olive Garden Alfredo recipe is so popular is that you don’t need any special tools to make it!
- Medium (2-3 quart) Saucepan
- Box Grater
- Whisks – I’ve had this set for over 10 years and it is still as good as the day I bought it. With 3 sizes, there is a whisk for every job.
Serving Suggestions for Half and Half Alfredo
There are a lot of different uses for Alfredo sauce with half and half! The most popular dish is fettuccine Alfredo, but it’s delicious over gnocchi too.
Feel free to add meat and/or cooked fresh veggies to your sauce too. Chicken, Italian sausage, and shrimp Alfredo are all fantastic options!
You can even use Olive Garden alfredo sauce as a substitute for red sauce in homemade lasagna.
Storing and Reheating Leftover Sauce
If you have leftover Alfredo sauce, be sure to refrigerate it within two hours.
Store the Olive Garden Alfredo sauce in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing odors from nearby foods.
NOTE: Half and half Alfredo sauce will thicken up quite a bit in the fridge, but it does thin out as you reheat it in a microwave or slowly on the stove top.
If you want to thin it more, you can stir in a couple of tablespoons of milk or water.
Freezing homemade Alfredo sauce: Dairy based sauces like Alfredo don’t freeze very well because they tend to separate as they thaw out.
It does work for me, but only when I reheat it very slowly over very low heat, stirring often.
Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce Recipe FAQ
One of the best things about this Olive Garden Alfredo sauce recipe is that it turns out perfectly rich and creamy. If you are trying to replicate that at home, be sure that you use fresh Parmesan cheese, not pre-shredded cheese.
Definitely avoid using powdered Parmesan cheese. The flavor isn’t even close to the real thing!
Spices and seasonings go a long way, so that’s usually the best place to start! Because the cheeses add lots of flavor already, I stick with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
For something bolder, try Italian seasoning or choose your favorite from dried basil, oregano, or parsley. Start with 1/2 teaspoon, let it simmer, then add more to taste if needed.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Olive Garden Recipes
Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce (Copycat Recipe) + Video
- 2 cups half and half, or 1 cup milk plus 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh shredded Romano cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or white
- Whisk together butter, garlic and half & half in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer (do not boil), then remove from heat.
- Stir in cheese, a handful at a time. Gently stir until the cheese melts before adding the next handful.
- Return pan to burner over medium heat. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Stir until cheese sauce is smooth and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove pan from heat and allow sauce to cool for 5 minutes. Alfredo sauce will thicken even more as it cools.
- Serve and enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published February 2014, updated and republished March 2023
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