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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
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Other Olive Garden Recipes
- Skillet Chicken with White Wine Sauce
- Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo
- Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce + 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 2022
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