Welcome to our website. Today’s post will teach us how to thicken Alfredo sauce. As many of you know, melting butter, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese together creates Alfredo sauce. For some of its delicious flavor, alfredo uses dairy products rather than vegetables, in contrast to other pasta sauces that use tomatoes as a base. Adding ingredients to taste, such as salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, or Italian seasoning, is another good choice among cooks. The taste is anything but simple, even with the simple components! This filling, cheesy combo can make any food taste better.
Alfredo sauce has three main ingredients:
- Heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese
Some common ways to thicken Alfredo sauce
You can thick your sauce in many ways but there are some common ways to make thickened alfredo sauce.
If you want to thicken Alfredo sauce, you can try a few things. The first method is the easiest and, arguably, the most delicious. The key ingredient in Alfredo sauce is cheese—generally Parmigiano-Reggiano—and lots of it. Add more cheese than the amount called for in a recipe to thicken Alfredo sauce until you achieve the consistency you want.
Reduce heavy cream
Another way to thicken Alfredo sauce is by reducing the heavy cream while cooking before adding the cheese. Heavy cream is often split in half to make an alfredo sauce. Chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, Christopher Arturo, advises triple reducing a sauce if you want it to be even thicker and richer. The water content will have evaporated, leaving behind a very rich triple-cream, so if a recipe calls for one cup of heavy cream, you should reduce it when it measures around 1/3 of a cup.
Adding Parmesan Cheese
Add some freshly grated, good-quality Parmesan cheese to the sauce. Your best option, in this case, is freshly grated full-fat Parmesan cheese. I enjoy getting a large block of Parmesan from a nearby shop and grating it by hand. If you get what I mean, you will work A LOT better than anything you find already grated in your pasta aisle at the grocery store shelf.
7 ways to thicken Alfredo sauce
- Make Alfredo sauce with Shredded Cheese
- Using Cornstarch (or Arrowroot) to make Alfredo sauce
- Whisk flour to make it thick
- Using Egg Yolks
- Adding Vegetables
- Make Alfredo sauce thickened with Roux
- Butter can easily make Alfredo sauce thicken
Make Alfredo sauce with Shredded Cheese
Whisking in some good quality cheese that you have shredded can also work well. If necessary, you can always utilize pre-shredded meat, but pre-shredded meat doesn’t really melt well in sauces, so stick with a name brand.
If you can, shred your cheese using a box grater or a food processor. Mozzarella, provolone, or even white cheddar could be good options depending on your taste.
Using Cornstarch (or Arrowroot) to make Alfredo sauce
Mix a little cornstarch in a small bowl with some cold water (or other liquid) until the mixture is smooth enough to form a slurry. Slowly whisk the slurry into the boiling saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly mix the slurry into the spicy sauce until you achieve the required thickness.
Finally, Arturo says that you can make a cornstarch slurry, a mixture of cornstarch and water that should resemble the consistency of heavy cream. He advises always producing more than you require and consuming less than you believe. To make a cornstarch slurry, whisk together equal parts of cornstarch and water, about two tablespoons each; from there, add a teaspoon or two at a time. Start by whisking just two teaspoons of the slurry into the sauce, letting it come to a boil, activating the starch, and then adding more if needed.
Whisk flour to make it thick
Like cornstarch, you can whisk a little water into some flour in a small bowl until smooth. While the sauce is cooking in a pan, slowly whisk the flour mixture into the sauce.
If you’re serving fresh pasta with homemade alfredo sauce, tossing the raw pasta with a lot of flour before cooking it in salted, boiling water is one technique to thicken the sauce organically. The flour will help form very starchy pasta water; when you transfer the pasta to the sauce, it will carry over some of that starch, which will thicken the sauce, says Arturo.
Using Egg Yolks
In this method, you have to be careful with this one, so your sauce doesn’t contain scrambled eggs! Place an egg yolk or two (or more, depending on your sauce) in a small bowl. Whisk a little of the hot sauce into the eggs. Continue to whisk more hot sauce into the yolks until they’re diluted with the sauce and the eggs are warm. After that, mix the yolks into the hot sauce-filled pan. Don’t just whisk in cold egg yolks into the hot sauce; you’ll have chunky curdled eggs in your sauce. Not good. Been there, done that.
Yep, you read that right! Some vegetables can be pureéed and then added to the sauce. It would be excellent to purée cooked (steamed) cauliflower! Well, as long as you don’t mind vegetables and their taste in your sauce.
Make Alfredo sauce thickened with Roux
In a pan set over medium heat, melt some butter, then mix in the same quantity of flour. Butter and flour should be blended and smooth after whisking. Whisk a little of the roux into the simmering sauce in a pan over medium heat.
Butter can easily make Alfredo sauce thicken
Like the roux, mix equal parts of softened butter and flour in a small bowl until well combined into a paste-like consistency. Whisk it in a little time into a simmering sauce until it thickens.
Make homemade or store-bought Alfredo sauce thicker
To make it thick, rich, and creamy. Pick your favorite option out of these 10+ troubleshooting methods!
Alfredo sauce in the pan
If you’re frustrated with a too-thin Alfredo sauce, I have some tips and tricks to help thicken your favorite store-bought or homemade Alfredo sauce. If you’re wondering how to make a thick and creamy Alfredo sauce right from the start, try my Homemade Alfredo Sauce, Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese, or Cajun Alfredo Sauce. Although it shouldn’t happen, I hope these simple tips will be helpful when it does.
Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese
So, homemade Alfredo sauce takes about 15 minutes to make. It’s so much better than anything you can buy at the store, but sometimes, like at the nearby store or your favorite Italian restaurant, the homemade version doesn’t turn out as you had hoped.
Start with a small amount at a time. When the cream cheese is smooth, add the softened cream cheese cubes to the Alfredo Sauce and mix until combined. Be patient, as it may take a little while for the cream cheese to melt and become creamy.
Troubleshooting is not always easy, but I think you’ll find at least one method that works for you here. You may need to experiment or check what you already have in your home because some may work better for you than others. There are numerous ways to thicken a sauce. Here are some of my favorites.
You may not get as thick of a sauce if you’re making a low-fat or “skinny” Alfredo sauce. But that’s okay, and it will still taste great! After all, there is a lot of cheese in it.
Things to remember
For almost all of these options, your sauce must be hot in a pot or pan to incorporate other ingredients to help thicken. So keep that in mind.
Using a jar to thicken Alfredo sauce
Store-bought Alfredo sauce is okay, but you can improve its flavor to be more like a homemade sauce. A little fresh cheese works wonders.
Pour the sauce from the jar into a pan, and add as much cheese as possible to achieve the taste you’re happy with.
Then, slowly boil the sauce over low heat so the cheese can melt into the sauce mixture.
It may stick to the pan’s bottom if it gets too hot, so heat it gently.
What can I do if my Alfredo sauce is too thick?
If your sauce is still too thick after using one of these techniques, you can thin it out again by adding a little milk, cream, or even chicken or vegetable broth.