This recipe for Alfredo sauce without heavy cream is super easy and ready in under 15 minutes. It has no butter, no flour, and no Parmesan cheese, yet it is still so creamy, smooth, and delicious that your whole family will love it! The best part?! This recipe has no nuts either. Follow my tips to make the perfect homemade alfredo sauce every time!
We love Italian cuisine, especially this spaghetti al pesto, but Indian food is still our favorite! Lately, we have also developed a taste for South East Asian food. We enjoy making dishes like ramen, stir fries, curries, and teriyaki noodle broth at home.
What is your family favorite food? Do let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you. - Padma
I love recipe development and experimenting with spices and flavors. This makes me create many interesting dishes, such as this Indian curry pasta, and to think "why not try it this way, even if it's not the traditional way!" 😀. This results in delicious recipes such as this dairy free pumpkin bread and this easy alfredo sauce without heavy cream.
This post contains helpful notes, tips, and tricks to help you make the perfect dish. However, if you are in a rush, please use the "Jump to Recipe" link above or the "Jump to" links below to get to the section you want.
About this Recipe
Alfredo di Lelio, a restaurateur in Rome, invented alfredo sauce. He tossed hot, freshly cooked pasta - fettucine - with just butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano. He also used some of the pasta water to make the sauce smooth and consistent. The authentic alfredo sauce was lighter and creamier than the versions we usually eat. Learn more about the traditional alfredo sauce here.
The creamy alfredo sauce that we are used to is an American version. It usually contains heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, butter, grated Parmesan cheese and some seasonings like salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Other versions use whole milk and flour or corn starch to thicken the sauce.
My easy alfredo sauce recipe is lower in calories than the American version because it has no heavy cream or butter (see the nutrition chart at the end of the recipe card).
I use light (single cream) as the base of my homemade alfredo. To make the sauce thick and creamy, I add some cream cheese. I use cheddar instead of Parmesan in my recipe since vegetarian parmesan is hard to find. The sour cream gives the sauce a bit of tanginess that Parmesan would have provided.
Allergens Free Labels
This super delicious sauce is:
This sauce can be made vegan and allium free (see section further below on suggestions).
If you love dairy, you probably have all these ingredients in your fridge.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Light cream (also known as single cream): This being a "no heavy cream alfredo sauce", light cream is the base of the sauce.
Cream cheese: Use full fat cream cheese to make the sauce thick and creamy,
Sour cream: This adds more creaminess and a nice tang to the sauce, enhancing its flavor.
Grated cheese: I choose mild cheddar, but you can use any fast-melting cheese you like.
Garlic: I only add one clove for a subtle flavor. Add more if you prefer a stronger garlic taste.
Seasoning: I use salt, black pepper and nutmeg to keep it simple. You can also add any other seasonings such as oregano and fresh basil leaves.
Have a question regarding the ingredients? Feel free to ask in the comments section below and I will try my best to answer it for you.
How to make alfredo sauce without heavy cream and flour?
Making alfredo sauce is so easy and this recipe is so much better than store bought alfredo! You just need to mix the creams and the cheeses well and let the flavors blend.
Lets get started.
Also see the video at the end of the recipe card below.
Step 1: Measure all the ingredients. Peel and smash the garlic.
Step 2: To make the sauce, heat the light cream in a saucepan over low heat. Then add the smashed garlic.
How do you thicken Alfredo sauce without heavy cream? This is the question this next step answers: add sour cream, cream cheese and grated cheese to the warm cream.
Mix well until the cheese dissolves and the sauce gets thick.
Resist the urge to increase the heat, or the sauce will separate. Keep the heat low and keep stirring.
Add the seasonings - salt, black pepper and nutmeg powder - and mix well.
Keep stirring until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth.
That's it! You have just made this easy alfredo sauce without heavy cream. Enjoy it!
Look at the section below for ideas on how to use this sauce.
Making the perfect creamy alfredo sauce every time
If you have had a busy day, this elegant sauce will make your day end on a comforting note! Here are some tips to get the perfect creamy and smooth sauce every time:
- Use low heat all the time. Resist the urge to increase the heat, or the sauce will separate.
- Keep stirring to prevent the sauce from splitting.
- Taste the sauce before adding salt. Your cheese might have more salt than mine.
- Don't cook the sauce too long. Stop when you see a few bubbles.
- Bring the cheeses to room temperature before putting them in the pan. This way they will melt and mix faster.
- You can customise this sauce with different flavors to suits your taste. For instance, you can increase the quantity of black pepper or add red pepper flakes for some extra spice; fresh basil or thyme and extra fresh garlic cloves or garlic powder, if you prefer.
How to use this sauce
This cream cheese alfredo sauce will make your weeknight dinners easy and fun. You can use it in many creative ways to create delicious dishes!
- As a pasta sauce with your favorite pasta - fettucine alfredo is my favorite!
- Mix it with some green beans, potatoes or mixed veggies for a creamy veggie bake. Remember to add some corn starch or plain flour (not gluten free) to the veggies to keep the sauce from splitting,
- Use it with some zoodles (zucchini noodles) or any grain free noodles for a satisfying grain free meal.
- Add your favorite protein - chicken (not vegetarian), paneer or tofu for a filling meal.
- Use this sauce as a base for your homemade pizza. It is a nice alternative to tomato sauce.
- You can also use this sauce as a dip for bread, crackers, nachos or on your charcuterie board.
Variations to this easy homemade alfredo
You can easily customise the recipe above to your liking. Here are some options:
- Make it vegan: Replace the dairy products with vegan ones and use vegan cheese or nutritional yeast instead of cheese.
- Make it allium free: Skip the garlic if you don't like it.
- Make lemon alfredo: Add some fresh lemon juice and zest. Do this after removing the sauce from the heat, or it will curdle.
Storage and reheating
This sauce is so delicious that we rarely have any leftovers! If you do have some extra sauce, here is how to store it.
Refrigerate it: Let the sauce cool down completely and put it in a fridge-safe, airtight container or jar (glass preferably). It will last for up to 3 days.
Reheat it: To reheat alfredo sauce, pour the sauce to a saucepan and heat it on the lowest setting. Stir it slowly and gently until the sauce is smooth and warm. Don't microwave this sauce or it will separate and taste bad.
Any doubts or questions? Feel free to ask via the comments below. I will try my best to answer them for you.
More easy sauce recipes
I love making these sauces ahead of time and keeping them in my fridge. They save me a lot of time and effort.
- Passata tomato sauce: This is a hearty marinara sauce with tomato puree (passata). It's great for hot pasta or as a base for pizza, and it takes less than 25 minutes. It lasts for up to a week.
- The ultimate pesto without cheese: This plant based pesto has fresh basil, nuts, and garlic. It is full of flavors and has a nice spicy kick!
- Tomato yogurt sauce: This is a raitha (dip) that also works as a sauce! I like to mix it with some rice noodles for a gluten free meal. Yum!
- Philadelphia cream cheese tomato pasta sauce: This is one of the easiest sauces I know! It is just my marinara sauce with some full fat cream cheese and extra seasoning. It is very versatile!
You can replace heavy cream with cream cheese in Alfredo sauce.
Use full fat cream cheese of good quality to make a sauce that is thick and creamy. You can also use a roux made with equal amounts of butter and flour.
You can replace heavy cream with light cream in Alfredo sauce. You will need to thicken the cream with cream cheese, Parmesan, or a roux of butter and corn starch.
Yes, you can make alfredo sauce without heavy cream.
Heavy cream may be the default ingredient for the American alfredo, but it is not the only option. You can also try these delicious alternatives:
1. Light cream and cream cheese for a smooth and tangy sauce.
2. Butter, whole milk, cheese, and a roux to create a rich and thick sauce.
3. Parmesan cheese, butter and some pasta water for a simple and creamy sauce.
If you have made this simple recipe for Alfredo sauce without heavy cream, please take a moment to leave a comment and a rating below. This will make me super happy and motivate me to create more good content for you! You can also engage with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram xx Padma
Easy Recipe for Alfredo Sauce without Heavy Cream
- 1 saucepan
- 1 mixing spoon
- 1 and ¼ cups (10 fl oz. | 300ml) light (single) cream
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, full fat
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup grated cheese, see notes
- 1 fat clove (~5g) garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper, use more or less as you like
- A pinch nutmeg powder
- Peel and smash the garlic.
- Measure all the ingredients.
Make the alfredo sauce
- To make the sauce heat the light cream in a saucepan over low heat. Then add the smashed garlic.1 and ¼ cups (10 fl oz. | 300ml) light (single) cream, 1 fat clove (~5g) garlic
- add sour cream, cream cheese and grated cheese to the warm cream. Mix well until the cheese dissolves and the sauce gets thick.Resist the urge to increase the heat, or the sauce will separate. Keep the heat low and keep stirring.2 tablespoons cream cheese,, ¼ cup sour cream, ¼ cup grated cheese,
- Now add the seasonings and stir them in well.¼ teaspoon salt,, ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper,, A pinch nutmeg powder
- Allow the sauce to come to a gentle boil and then remove from heat.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only.
Note: The nutrition information is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.