Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce + Video

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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!

I love copycat recipes. One of the easiest ways to recreate restaurant recipes at home is to experiment with your cooking.

If you have a favorite restaurant recipe you would like to create, just start with the basic recipe ingredient and adjust the seasonings and ingredients until you have matched their taste.

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!

olive garden alfredo sauce over pasta

If you don’t feel confident enough about your creative cooking ability, I have a lot of copycat restaurant recipes that you can make!

A few of our most popular Olive Garden™ recipes are the pasta fagioli soup, the amazing salad with Olive Garden Italian dressing, and the breadsticks!

Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

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.

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!

Watch the video in this post to see us make the Olive Garden Alfredo recipe from start to finish!

 

adding milk to saucepan for creamy cheese sauce

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Cheeses – For the best authentic Italian flavor, I use a blend of freshly shredded Romano and Parmesan. 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, there are a few possible substitutions.

Using evaporated milk, equal parts Greek yogurt and milk, or a combination of regular milk and butter are options that might work for you. Half and half also works as a lighter substitute for heavy cream.

For a vegan Alfredo sauce, you can try using soy milk with a dash of olive oil.

making olive garden alfredo recipe in saucepan

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, causing the consistency to be grainy.

Use high quality dairy products. Using a good quality butter is important to the creamy consistency of the Olive Garden Alfredo sauce. European butter has less water content than most brands of American butter.

grating block of romano cheese for olive garden alfredo sauce recipe

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

One of the reasons this recipe is so popular is because you don’t need any special tools to make it!

  • 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.

Uses and Serving Suggestions for Olive Garden Alfredo

There are a lot of different uses for Alfredo sauce! The most popular meal is fettuccine Alfredo. But it’s delicious over gnocchi too.

Or use a different type of pasta, like rotini, homemade ravioli, shells, or even cavatelli pasta. I also have a scrumptious 20 minute recipe for tortellini alfredo.

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 it as a substitute for red sauce in homemade lasagna.

adding shredded parmesan cheese to half and half for alfredo sauce recipe

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: The 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.

Alfredo Sauce Recipe FAQ

How do you make a creamy Alfredo sauce?

One of the best things about this Olive Garden Alfredo 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!

close up fork twirling olive garden cheese sauce into fettucine

Enjoy!

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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plate of olive garden alfredo sauce over fettucine

Other Olive Garden Recipes


pile of pasta with white sauce sits on a plate

Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce + Video

Donna Elick
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!
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Method Stovetop
Servings 6

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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!

Video

Donna’s Notes

Freezing Alfredo sauce
If you want to freeze the sauce, it will stay good in an airtight container for up to six months. The sauce WILL separate as it thaws. To recombine, reheat slowly and gently over low heat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 189cal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 477mg | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 275mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled (shown over pasta) Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

Originally published February 2014, updated and republished March 2022

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62 Comments

  1. I do not use eggs but I do use cream cheese and mine tastes exactly like Olive Garden's. I also use fresh minced garlic not garlic powder.

  2. Holy crap! I have never seen such know-it-all's in my entire life! Donna E. is sharing her "COPYCAT" recipe. No one asked ANY of you what your opinions are. If you know so much what are you doing on her website looking up the recipe? Hilarious! Better yet, where are your websites with all of your recipes that get clicked on by people all over the world? That's what I thought. Thanks to Donna E, and keep all the great recipes coming please.

    1. How true Donna. People should just be thankful there are sites like this one where you can get the recipe.

      cory j.

  3. Well put. The know-it-alls don't know it all. There is more than one route to Jerusalem. ANother example of the "me" generation. They wouldn't know a Julia Child if they saw one! Haw, Haw, Haw.

  4. Thanks so much for this recipe! Best home made alfredo sauce to date!

  5. Could anyone please tell me how many servings it makes? I have 3 teenage boys and my husband and I. So i need to know if i should double it or triple it. Lol
    Thanks

  6. I'm looking forward to experimenting with this recipe! I'm wondering if I were to make a casserole using this recipe and adding perogis should I cook them first or can I add frozen. If I use frozen should I make the sauce thinner because of the starch from the perogis.

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