Rich and creamy Fettuccine Alfredo is one of the easiest and most satisfying pasta dishes to make at home. Fresh cream is combined with parmesan cheese and butter to make a luscious Alfredo sauce in only minutes. It’s then tossed with your favorite past for a delicious and hearty vegetarian Italian dinner. Follow my step-by-step instructions with photos to try this easy fettuccine alfredo recipe for yourself!

fettuccine alfredo sprinkled with grated parmesan and chopped parsley filled in a deep dish plate

About Fettucine Alfredo

First, a bit of back story: It’s interesting to know that Fettuccine Alfredo was originally invented by Alfredo Di Lelio in his mother’s restaurant in Italy in the mid-1900s. The original recipe was very simple and only included butter and cheese, and it wasn’t until much later than cream was added.

Nowadays you can find this classic dish on nearly every Italian menu and in every pasta cookbook. Some fettuccine alfredo recipe variations use eggs, others use light cream to create a decadent alfredo sauce with parmesan.

I’ve tried several different preparation methods, and this easy fettuccine alfredo recipe is by far my favorite. It uses heavy whipping cream for the creamiest, tastiest fettuccine Alfredo ever!

closeup shot of fettuccine alfredo being taken in a fork

Step-by-Step Guide

Cook Fettuccine Pasta

1. In a deep pan or a sauce pan on the stovetop add 6 cups of water and 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of salt.

salt in a teaspoon over a saucepan filled with water

2. Stir, turn the heat onto high and bring the water to a boil.

water boiling in pan

3. Once the water is to a full boil, add the 226 grams (½ a pound or 8 ounces) of fettuccine pasta or other pasta of choice.

fettuccine pasta in water

4. Use a spoon to push the fettuccine down into the boiling water as they soften, until fully submerged.

fettuccine pasta immersed in water

5. Continue to boil the pasta on medium to high heat.

fettuccine cooking in water

6. Cook according to package instructions, until the pasta is just al dente. That means cooked through but with a slight bite – so that the pasta are still toothsome.

al dente fettuccine pasta lifted with pasta tongs

7. Drain the water, making sure to save and set aside about a ½ cup of the cooked pasta water. You might want to use a bit to thin out the Alfredo sauce.

fettuccine paste in a strainer

Step-by-Step Guide

Make Alfredo Sauce

8. While the pasta is boiling, start to prepare the Alfredo sauce. In a large, deep skillet melt 3 to 4 tablespoons of salted or unsalted butter (approximately 40 grams) on low heat. If using salted butter you’ll want to add less salt to finish the dish.

butter cubes in a pan

9. Once the butter has melted, add ½ a teaspoon of chopped garlic. Sauté for a few seconds until the raw aroma of garlic goes away. No need to brown the garlic.

garlic and butter cubes in pan

10. Next add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.

whipping cream in pan

11. Use a whisk and continuously stir as you bring the cream mixture to a low simmer. Keep an eye on the cream to make sure it does not get brown or burnt.

wired whisk inside the cream in pan

12. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cream thickens a bit.

cream simmering in pan to make alfredo sauce

13. Then add 6 tablespoons (50 grams) of grated vegetarian parmesan cheese to the pan.

grated parmesan cheese added to cream

14. Mix well.

cheese mixed with cream to make creamiest Alfredo sauce for pasta

Step-by-Step Guide

Make Fettucine Alfredo

15. Now add the cooked and drained pasta to the prepared alfredo sauce in the pan.

cooked al dente fettuccine pasta added to Alfredo sauce in pan

16. Use tongs to thoroughly mix the pasta and sauce together, so that every noodle is coated in creamy Alfredo.

tossing fettuccine with Alfredo sauce

17. Continue to cook the fettuccine Alfredo on low heat for another minute or two, stirring frequently to keep the pasta from sticking together. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water, and stir.

fettuccine alfredo sprinkled with seasonings in a pan

18. Taste the dish, and season with as much salt as needed and a ¼ teaspoon of crushed black pepper. I also recommend adding a light grating of fresh nutmeg for an earthy, aromatic pop of flavor.

fettuccine Alfredo with seasonings

19. Mix the fettuccine alfredo again, and turn off the heat.

fettuccine alfredo in pan

How to Serve

20. Serve the pasta hot. I like to garnish fettuccine alfredo with a tablespoon of grated vegetarian parmesan cheese and 1 to 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley, fresh or dried.

Leftovers will keep well stored in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days.

overhead shot of fettuccine alfredo sprinkled with grated parmesan and chopped parsley filled in a deep dish plate

Helpful Tips For Best Alfredo Pasta

  • I use whipping cream in this alfredo recipe. However, for a lighter dish you can use half and half or low fat/light cream or cooking cream.
  • I have kept this vegetarian version of fettuccine alfredo super simple, but feel free to add your favorite cooked veggies. Sautéed or steamed broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach – or any vegetables you like – are delicious to include when you toss together the Alfredo sauce and cooked pasta.
  • Traditionally, Alfredo sauce is served with fettuccine. But you really can use any pasta you prefer! Try this deliciously cheesy sauce with penne, pappardelle, macaroni, rigatoni, farfalle, or whatever you’ve got on hand.

More Pasta Recipes To Try!

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fettuccine alfredo sprinkled with grated parmesan and chopped parsley filled in a deep dish plate

Fettuccine Alfredo

Rich and creamy Fettuccine Alfredo is one of the easiest pasta dishes to make. Fettuccine pasta is tossed and mixed in a rich Alfredo sauce made with fresh cream, vegetarian parmesan cheese, butter and seasonings.

5 from 9 votes

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 40 mins

For cooking pasta

Other Ingredients

For Garnish

Cooking Fettuccine

  • In a deep pan or a sauce pan add 6 cups of water and 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of salt. Stir.

  • Place saucepan on stovetop and bring the water to a boil on high heat.

  • Once the water comes to a boil, add the fettuccine pasta or other pasta of choice. Use a spoon to push the fettucine down into the boiling water as they soften, until fully submerged.

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions or until the al dente. That means cooked through but with a slight bite.

  • Drain the water, making sure to save and set aside about a ½ cup of the cooked pasta water. You might want to use a bit to thin out the Alfredo sauce.

Making Alfredo Sauce

  • Meanwhile when the pasta is cooking, begin to make the Alfredo sauce. In a large, deep skillet melt salted or unsalted butter on low heat. If using salted butter you’ll want to add less salt to finish the dish.

  • Once the butter has melted, add ½ a teaspoon of chopped garlic. Sauté for a few seconds until the raw aroma of garlic goes away. There is no need to brown the garlic.

  • Add the whipping cream. With a whisk continuously stir as you bring the cream mixture to a low simmer. Keep an eye on the cream to ensure it does not get burnt or brown.

  • Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cream thickens a bit.

  • Add grated vegetarian parmesan cheese to the cream and mix well.

Making Fettuccine Alfredo

  • Add the cooked and drained pasta to the prepared Alfredo sauce in the pan

  • With the help of tongs thoroughly mix the pasta and sauce together, so that every pasta is coated in the creamy Alfredo.

  • Continue to cook the fettuccine Alfredo on low heat for another minute or two, stirring frequently to keep the pasta from sticking or clumping together. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water, and stir to combine.

  • Taste the dish, and season with as much salt as needed and a ¼ teaspoon of crushed black pepper. I also recommend adding a dash of freshly grated nutmeg.

  • Mix again, and turn off the heat.

Serving and Storing Suggestions

  • Serve the pasta hot. Garnish fettuccine alfredo with a tablespoon of grated vegetarian parmesan cheese and 1 to 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley or soft fresh herb of your choice.

  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator. While reheating, add a bit of water or milk to thin the consistency slightly.

Nutrition Facts

Fettuccine Alfredo

Amount Per Serving

Calories 712 Calories from Fat 423

% Daily Value*

Fat 47g72%

Saturated Fat 28g175%

Trans Fat 1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 3g

Monounsaturated Fat 13g

Cholesterol 210mg70%

Sodium 646mg28%

Potassium 264mg8%

Carbohydrates 57g19%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 17g34%

Vitamin A 1662IU33%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin B12 1µg17%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Vitamin D 1µg7%

Vitamin E 1mg7%

Vitamin K 6µg6%

Calcium 236mg24%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 27µg7%

Iron 2mg11%

Magnesium 61mg15%

Phosphorus 316mg32%

Zinc 2mg13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This fettuccine alfredo recipe post from the archives, first published on March 2018 has been republished and updated on 12 November 2021.

Welcome to Dassana’s Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.