Pasta Alfredo is named for Alfredo di Lelio, the Italian chef who is said to have been the first who threw together pasta noodles, butter, and fresh Parmesan for his wife back in the early 20th century, thus inventing fettuccine Alfredo. It eventually became beloved by many who dined at di Lelio’s restaurant in Rome, including, as the story goes, actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.
And, well, we’ve got a lot to thank de Lelio for since that first innovation. Today, this simple yet undeniably delicious dish is still a firm favorite among lovers of Italian food. It also seems to be a staple on grocery store shelves and restaurant menus across America, not to mention dinner tables everywhere. In fact, you’ll find the word "Alfredo" plastered over pretty much everything with pasta and a creamy sauce these days.
Sadly, however, the sheer ubiquity of sub-par commercialized versions of fettuccine Alfredo will likely be enough to send anyone running for the hills. Who wants overcooked pasta and a dull, dairy-heavy sauce, after all? Fear not, though, because there is one simple trick to nailing down a truly great Alfredo dish: get in the kitchen, roll up your sleeves, and make it your own darned self. And to help you along as you follow in Signore di Lelio’s hallowed culinary footsteps, we’ve put together this nifty little compilation of our very favorite Alfredo recipes even the most hardened fettuccine Alfredo skeptic will love. Buon appetito!
Let’s start simple, shall we? This fettuccine Alfredo recipe from Eating Works’ Maren Epstein is the dish in its purest form, and arguably the best thing about it is that you only need a small handful of ingredients to pull it off. Raid your cupboards for salted butter, heavy cream, pepper, Parmesan, eggs, and a little nutmeg, and you’re good to go — once you’ve got your fettuccine pasta, of course. The prep and cooking are about as easy as it comes, too, with the whole thing only taking 10 to 15 minutes to rustle up. Not a bad jumping-off point, right?
If you’ve already graduated from Alfredo 101 and are ready for the next level, you’ll be looking to jazz up the classic recipe with something a little different. Everyone knows there’s nothing jazzier than a shrimp. Our shrimp Alfredo recipe from registered dietary nutritionist Mackenzie Burgess includes all the staple ingredients of fettuccine Alfredo, including Parmesan, noodles, milk, and butter, but delivers them with a flavorful (and nutritious) kick. Toss it all in a pan, pour a glass of wine, close your eyes, and pretend you’re sitting by the sea somewhere along the Amalfi Coast. It’s almost as good as the real thing. You know — almost.
3-ingredient Alfredo sauce
You can probably guess the best thing about our recipe for 3-ingredient Alfredo sauce. Heck, it’s in the name. Requiring just a little cream cheese, garlic powder (or chopped garlic), and Parmesan, this sauce can be whipped up at a moment’s notice with an absolute minimum of fuss. The whole thing will take just five minutes to prepare, too, meaning the total effort you’ll need to expend will only be slightly more than that spent reading this article. And when you put it like that, how can you possibly resist?
Easy chicken Alfredo
Chicken Alfredo might well be the ultimate incarnation of Alfredo cooking, and our easy chicken Alfredo recipe comes courtesy of Orchids + Sweet Tea‘s Shanika Graham-White. You will be sure to delight in this creamy, savory dish that’s packed full of seasoned chicken and creamy sauce.
A bold claim, perhaps, but one that’s easy to believe, especially considering that chicken will be baked to perfection with garlic, salt, and pepper, as well as the tantalizing (albeit optional) inclusion of broccoli, greens, and other veggies. Who wouldn’t love to amp up their pasta Alfredo dish with some hearty, tasty vegetables? Throw it all together, smother it in a gorgeous sauce made from cream cheese, garlic, heavy whipping cream, and chicken broth, and you’ll be sure to enjoy it to the utmost degree.
Copycat Olive Garden Alfredo sauce
Olive Garden’s Alfredo sauce has become something of an icon in the world of casual dining, so nobody could really blame you for wanting to recreate it at home. Just as well, too, since we’ve got this convenient copycat Olive Garden Alfredo sauce recipe for anyone hoping to take up the challenge.
All you’ll need here are the basics. These include butter, garlic, flour, milk, heavy cream, Parmesan, and Romano cheese. Even better, making the sauce takes just under 15 minutes of your time. It’s not quite the simplest recipe in the world, as you’ll need to know how to mix a basic roux, but aside from that easy-to-learn skill, you shouldn’t run into any problems. Go nuts, Olive Garden fans.
20-minute shrimp Alfredo pasta
Maybe there’s something innate in shrimp that makes it go so well with Alfredo pasta … or maybe it’s just an affordable and convenient way of bringing a lil’ Mediterranean love to the table. All we know is that, if one shrimp Alfredo recipe isn’t enough for you, then you’re bound to want to hear about our 20-minute shrimp Alfredo pasta. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’ll taste damn good — and with a little help from some lemon and parsley, it’ll probably taste as authentic as you could possibly want, too.