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How To Make Alfredo Sauce Thicker

David Lynch
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by David Lynch

As any pasta lover could tell you, there’s almost nothing worse than a sauce that is watery and runny. Most store-bought or restaurant alfredo sauces don’t have this issue, but anyone who has tried to make their own sauce from home knows that this can easily happen to you.

Homemade alfredo sauce is always the more delicious option, so seeing your hard work turn into a runny mess can be a bit of a letdown. Luckily, there are several ways for you to thicken up that sauce and fully enjoy the fruits of your labor.

If you’re wondering how to thicken alfredo sauce, you’ve come to the right place!

How To Thicken Alfredo Sauce Using Ingredients

There are a surprising amount of ingredients that will easily help thicken your sauce without potentially ruining the flavor. Many of these ingredients can be casually found in your kitchen, so an extra trip to the grocery store may not even be necessary.

Cheeses

Cheese makes just about everything better, and alfredo sauce is no exception. There are several types of cheese that both help thicken your sauce and can even improve the flavor.

  1. Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan is one of the best options you can use to thicken your sauce. Hand grating works best, but store-bought grated parmesan can get the job done. Just mix the parmesan into your sauce while it’s still hot enough to melt the cheese, then stir thoroughly.

2. Shredded White Cheese

Shredded white cheese

While you can pick whatever cheese you want to mix into your sauce, the flavor of white cheeses combined with alfredo sauce is the best. Much like parmesan, grating the cheese yourself will make it easier to mix in and melt rather than pre-shredded.

Some other types of cheese that work well besides parmesan are white cheddar, mozzarella, and provolone. The pre-shredded options at the store will work, but putting in the work to grate or shred them yourself will always lead to faster melting and a better taste.

3. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese

If your cream cheese is softened and cut into cubes, then it can be a great way to thicken your sauce. It does take a while to become smooth and mix well, so patience is key if you choose cream cheese. The flavor can also be a bit strong, so mix small amounts until your sauce is thick.

Powders

Learning how to make alfredo sauce thicker using a powder may seem like a strange idea, but the end results are hard to argue with. You won’t mix them directly into the sauce, but afterward, your sauce will be much thicker.

1. Flour

Flour

You need to mix a little bit of flour with some cold water and stir it until it’s completely smooth. If there are any lumps remaining, the taste of your alfredo sauce could be at risk. Once you have your combination, slowly combine it with your simmering sauce until it has thickened.

2. Cornstarch

Cornstarch

Cornstarch is pretty much identical to flour as far as how quickly it thickens your sauce. You need to follow the same steps by stirring a bit of cornstarch with cold water until completely smooth. Slowly combine during the simmering process until you reach the desired thickness.

Liquids

While cheese may be the best addition for taste, liquid is the addition that is the easiest to add. Figuring out how to thicken alfredo sauce with any of these liquids will serve you and your future dinners well.

1. Heavy Cream

Heavy Cream

Out of all of the liquid options, heavy cream is probably the last option you’d want to use. You combine the cream with the sauce as it simmers, which is an easy way to combine, but cream falls short in that it requires large amounts of it to properly thicken the alfredo sauce.

2. Egg Yolks

Egg Yolks

Using egg yolks may seem like it would ruin your sauce, but if done properly, your sauce will be thicker with no strange taste. Egg yolks take a bit more work to correctly combine with your alfredo sauce, and if you do it wrong, you’ll have a strange mixture of scrambled eggs and alfredo.

Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl until liquefied, and then slowly add some of the hot alfredo sauce to the bowl. Continue to slowly add and whisk the combination until the eggs are both warm and very diluted. After that, just pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and you’re good to go!

3. Vegetables

Vegetables

Odd as it may sound, if you’re wondering how to make alfredo sauce thicken, pureed vegetables can be a great method. Using a cooked cauliflower is a good option, but the main downside to using a liquefied vegetable is that the taste of the alfredo sauce is going to be greatly influenced.

4. Roux

Roux

Roux is a fat mixture that you probably won’t have on hand with you. It also requires you to combine butter and flour, so roux isn’t always the best option to thicken your alfredo. Once your butter and flour combination is smooth, mix in some roux before adding the mixture to your alfredo sauce.

5. Butter

Butter

Butter is your best and most versatile option out of all of the liquids. If you realize that your sauce is too runny, you can directly add butter to the sauce and stir while heating. Eventually, the mixture will begin to thicken as the butter interacts with the fat already in the sauce.

The other option of combining butter is similar to the roux process. Simply mix butter and flour together thoroughly until smooth, then slowly whisk the combination into your sauce until it thickens up nicely.

Conclusion

There are many different ingredients that can be used to thicken your alfredo sauce, but it all boils down to either a cheese, a liquid, or a powder. Each one has certain advantages and disadvantages that you should keep in mind based on how you want the end result to turn out.

The absolute best options are freshly grated parmesan cheese, and butter added directly to your sauce mixture. The parmesan adds a nice consistency and cheesy taste to your sauce, while the butter makes the sauce thick without affecting the flavor. 

About David Lynch
David Lynch
David is a longtime foodie from Virginia that got initiated into good eats with amazing cooking growing up by both his mother and grandmother. He swears, to this day, that they made some of best tasting and presented food that you can imagine. Therefore, it's not surprising that making and enjoying great food has become an important part of his life.
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