Alfredo sauce with cream cheese, an easy homemade alfredo sauce recipe that is quick enough for weeknight dinners. Learn how to make alfredo sauce with cream cheese with low fat ingredients that is perfect with fettuccine, chicken, shrimp, and more!
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Quick and easy homemade alfredo sauce with cream cheese recipe for you! You may remember my Homemade Alfredo Sauce recipe that has been super popular. I thought I’d change it up a little and try making the sauce with cream cheese. This cream cheese alfredo sauce is delicious, ready in just 20 minutes, and quick enough for a weeknight dinner!
Can you make alfredo sauce with cream cheese? YES, you can!
So apparently, a lot of people love making alfredo sauce with cream cheese. I used to make it years ago and for whatever reason, just hadn’t made it in a while so thought I’d give it another try. We love all things alfredo even this one-pot Chicken Alfredo Soup, which is another must-try.
So why would you, you might be wondering?
You can use lower-fat ingredients with good success. The nice thing about making it this way is that you can use low fat cream cheese and skim milk, compared to regular alfredo sauce that uses a lot of heavy cream.
Personally, I think the alfredo sauce with heavy cream tastes better especially if you’re going for that Olive Garden alfredo sauce type taste, BUT if you’re looking to cut the fat or want to try something different, give this one a try. It’s still really good.
What is Alfredo Sauce
You’re probably already familiar with Alfredo Sauce if you’ve gotten this far. But just in case you’re not, it’s an Italian sauce made with heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. It’s creamy, rich, and delicious!
Equipment You May Need
- Large Skillet – You can make this sauce really in a saucepan or large skillet. I like to make it in a large skillet to help speed things up and a large enough skillet to also fit the pasta, chicken, seafood, or whatever else I’m planning to add.
- Whisk – A good whisk really helps smooth out the sauce.
- Rotary Cheese Grater – A handheld cheese grater is quick and easy for grating your own Parmesan cheese.
- Garlic Press – Some kind of garlic press helps prevents large pieces of garlic. Otherwise, just be sure to mince the garlic really well.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese Ingredients
- Butter –Unsalted preferably. If you want to use salted, just adjust the amount of salt you add if any. The Parmesan is also fairly salty.
- Garlic – Just a couple of cloves or you could add more. Be sure to mince or use a garlic press so you don’t get large chunks.
- Cream Cheese – Whole fat cream cheese (like Philadelphia cream cheese) will melt better and be thicker. However, if you’re looking to eat a bit more healthy, you can use low fat cream cheese. Cut the cheese into small cubes to help it melt quicker.
- Milk – The higher fat milk you use the thicker and creamier the sauce will be, but you can use any kind such as skim, 2%, whole, half & half, or heavy cream. I would heat the milk a little (microwave works) if you can before adding it to the pan.
- Parmesan Cheese – Good quality freshly grated Parmesan (not the stuff in the green tub container…) will melt and work best, but again, if you want o use a low fat option, it should be ok.
- Salt – Just a tiny bit since the Parmesan is salty.
- Black Pepper – I added just a little, but do like the alfredo sauce with a lot more freshly ground black pepper.
- Nutmeg – Just a dash of freshly grated nutmeg is great in this sauce but totally optional.
How to Make Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese
- GARLIC. Heat butter and garlic in large skillet.
- CREAM CHEESE. Add cubed cream cheese, stir to melt. Add a little milk at a time and keep whisking.
- PARMESAN. Add Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and whisk.
The recipe makes about 3 cups of alfredo sauce which should be more than enough to toss with pasta for a family or do all sorts of things.
If you want less than 3 cups, you could easily cut the recipe in half. And likewise, you could easily double the ingredients to make even more sauce.
(Full printable recipe card with full details is at bottom of post.)
Quick Tips for Best Results
- Higher fat ingredients will result in a thicker creamier sauce, BUT you can use low fat or lighter ingredients. Just know the sauce might have a slightly different taste and consistency.
- Add the milk very slowly to the pan so that your sauce doesn’t get clumpy.
- Good quality Parmesan cheese can make a huge difference. It can be kind of pricey but so worth it if you can get it. Grate it yourself at home right before making the sauce.
- Cut the cream cheese into small cubes so it melts quicker. It may bake a little time to melt, but just be patient. It will smooth out.
- Serve the sauce immediately after making it. It doesn’t generally store or reheat well.
Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese FAQ
How should I store the Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce?
This sauce is generally best served immediately after making it. However, if you do have leftovers, store it in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Can I freeze the sauce?
It really doesn’t defrost or reheat well.
How long will the sauce last?
The sauce should last at least a few days in the refrigerator.
Instead of milk you can use half & half or heavy cream. Evaporated milk might also work ok.
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
Yes, you can use low fat cream cheese and low fat milk.
What else can I add to this recipe?
You can add your favorite fresh or dried herbs or spices. Some chopped fresh parsley, rosemary, oregano, or basil would be delicious.
Can I make this vegan/vegetarian/low carb/gluten-free?
Here are some suggestions, but I can’t guarantee results. Be sure as always to check particular brands and ingredients if you’re following a specific diet or have diet restrictions or allergies.
Vegan – There’s a lot of dairy in this version of cream cheese alfredo sauce so I would not recommend making a lot of vegan substitutes.
Vegetarian – The alfredo sauce is vegetarian.
Low-Carb – All the ingredients should be fairly low carb.
Gluten-Free – All the ingredients should be gluten-free but be sure to check specific brands.
I have a great list of 27+ uses for Alfredo sauce you might want to check out, but here are some quick ideas…
What to do with Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese
Here are a few quick recipe ideas and serving suggestions for some easy uses for this homemade alfredo sauce:
- Toss with cooked pasta such as penne or fettuccine, or a pasta alternative like zoodles (zucchini noodles) or spaghetti squash
- Mix into casseroles
- Serve over chicken or seafood (like crab, shrimp, or even lobster)
- Use as a fun sandwich spread
- Add a little cajun seasoning and mix with andouille sausage, pepprs, onions, and pasta
- Serve as a cheese sauce over baked potatoes
- Serve with pita chips as a creative dip
- Toss with pasta alternatives such as zoodles (zucchini noodles) or even cauliflower rice
- Drizzle over steamed vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, or even spinach
I’m sure there are like a million other possibilities.
Other Homemade Sauce Recipes You May Enjoy
- Boom Sauce – One of my most popular condiment recipes. Perfect on burgers, hot dogs, fries, sandwiches, and more!
- Korean BBQ Sauce – A delicious from-scratch sauce that keeps well in the fridge.
- Homemade Buffalo Sauce – Delicious on chicken wings and all sorts of things. A secret ingredient makes this sauce the best!
- Homemade Teriyaki Sauce – Another easy Asian sauce you can make at home.
Would love to hear how you like to use this alfredo sauce recipe with cream cheese! Let me know in the comments!
Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese Video
Quick video to show you how to put this cheesy sauce together…
Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter then minced garlic. Stir and cook slightly until garlic starts to soften.
- Add the cubed cream cheese to the pan. Stir until it starts to melt. Add a little milk at a time and keep whisking. Continue adding milk and whisk until cream cheese is all melted and all of the milk has been incorporated.
- When the sauce is smooth, stir in the parmesan cheese as well as the salt, pepper, and nutmeg if desired. Continue whisking until well combined. Use immediately.
This post was originally published in September 2018, but updated in December 2020 with additional information.