This Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce is made with homemade roasted garlic, heavy cream, butter, and pecorino romano cheese for a rich and flavorful sauce that pairs perfectly with pasta. It's made without flour and can also be used on pizza, chicken, and vegetables.
I'm not sure why, but making alfredo sauce at home often seems more complicated than it is.
While it's true that store-bought alfredo sauces can be convenient, they often contain a long list of unnecessary ingredients like thickeners and preservatives to achieve their texture and shelf stability.
But, the good news is that creating your own homemade alfredo sauce is surprisingly simple and allows you to have full control over the ingredients.
By using basic pantry staples like butter, cream, garlic, and cheese, you can whip up a delicious and authentic roasted garlic alfredo sauce that tastes fresher and doesn't contain any artificial ingredients.
So, if you're ready to experience the best roasted garlic alfredo sauce ever, keep reading to learn exactly how to make it for yourself!
Disclaimer: Some links throughout this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. You can learn more by visiting my Affiliate Disclosure Page.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Rich & Creamy- By using real cream, butter, and high-quality pecorino romano cheese, you'll create a rich, creamy, and indulgent alfredo sauce that is absolutely delicious.
- Flavorful- The roasted garlic brings a subtly sweet and complex garlicky flavor, making this classic alfredo sauce extra luxurious.
- No Flour- This simple roasted garlic alfredo sauce recipe does not use flour as a thickening agent. Just heavy cream, butter, and cheese is all you need to create this rich, velvety pasta sauce.
- Only 7 Ingredients- This creamy pasta sauce only requires a few simple ingredients to make.
- Easy to Make- Despite its restaurant-quality taste, this roasted garlic cream sauce recipe is surprisingly easy to make at home.
- Versatile- Get creative with your roasted garlic alfredo sauce! It's not just for pasta. Use it as a pizza sauce, for roasted chicken, or to elevate sautéed veggies. It adds a touch of decadence to any meal.
Here are some notes on the key ingredients. For the full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Garlic- Roasting garlic brings out its natural sweetness and mellows the flavor. Choose a plump, fresh head of garlic for the best flavor.
- Heavy Cream- Since it acts as the base of the alfredo sauce, opt for the highest-quality cream you can find.
- Butter- Opt for unsalted butter to have better control over the overall saltiness of the sauce.
- Pecorino Romano- Pecorino romano cheese is a hard and salty Italian cheese with a sharp flavor. Freshly grate the cheese from a block for better texture and flavor.
- Olive Oil- Extra virgin olive oil helps enhance the garlic roasting process and gives it a richer flavor.
- Kosher Salt- I prefer kosher salt over table salt because it typically doesn't contain added ingredients like sugar or anti-caking agents.
- Black Pepper- Use freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.
Sustainability Tip: When possible, choose locally-sourced garlic, butter, cream, and cheese from farmers' markets or CSA programs. This supports your local economy and reduces the environmental impact of your meal.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can try customizing this creamy roasted garlic alfredo sauce recipe to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Roasted Garlic- If you don't have time to roast the garlic, sauté minced garlic in a small amount of olive oil or butter until golden and fragrant.
- Heavy Cream- Substitute heavy cream for light cream, half-and-half, or whole milk. Keep in mind that the sauce may be less creamy and have a thinner consistency.
- Butter- Swap butter for margarine, extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil. Note that these substitutes will likely change the flavor and consistency of the finished sauce.
- Pecorino Romano- Opt for freshly grated parmesan cheese for a milder, less salty flavor.
- Olive Oil- Choose another neutral-flavored oil or use melted butter.
- Kosher Salt- Use sea salt or table salt in place of kosher salt.
- Reduced Fat- Replace the heavy cream with light cream or use half the amount of butter for a reduced-fat version of this easy roasted garlic alfredo sauce.
- Herbed- Add chopped fresh parsley, basil, or thyme to the sauce for additional flavor. You can also use dried Italian seasoning or oregano.
- Lemon- Grate a little lemon zest into the alfredo sauce to give it a bright pop of citrus flavor.
- Spicy- A few shakes of red pepper flakes can give this alfredo sauce a spicy kick.
How to Make Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce
Here is how to make alfredo sauce with roasted garlic.
Roast the Garlic
Step 1: Preheat the oven. Preheat oven to 400℉. Peel and discard the papery outer layers of the garlic head.
Step 2: Drizzle garlic with olive oil. Cut about half an inch from the top of the garlic head to expose the cloves. Place the garlic head on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle the olive oil evenly over the top.
Step 3: Roast the garlic. Cover the garlic with the aluminum foil and roast it for 40-45 minutes, or until the cloves are soft and lightly browned. Allow the roasted garlic to cool for a few minutes before squeezing the cloves into a small bowl.
Make the Alfredo Sauce
Step 1: Simmer the butter and cream. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the heavy cream to the melted butter and bring it to a gentle simmer. Simmer the sauce, whisking frequently, for about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add roasted garlic and seasonings. Add the roasted garlic cloves, kosher salt, and black pepper to the saucepan and continue whisking for another 1-2 minutes.
Step 3: Add pecorino romano cheese. Remove the saucepan from the heat and gradually whisk in the grated pecorino romano cheese until the sauce becomes smooth.
Step 4: Serve and enjoy! Serve the roasted garlic alfredo sauce immediately over cooked pasta. Enjoy!
Tips for Success
- Use high-quality ingredients. For the best-tasting roasted garlic alfredo sauce, use high-quality ingredients. Choose locally-sourced cream and butter, fresh garlic, and premium pecorino romano cheese.
- Simmer gently. To prevent scorching the cream, simmer it gently and whisk frequently. Avoid boiling, as it can scorch or break the sauce.
- Taste for seasoning. Before serving the roasted garlic cream sauce, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Adjust consistency. If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can adjust the consistency by adding a small amount of pasta water, milk, or additional cream. For a thicker sauce, simmer for a few extra minutes or add more grated cheese.
What to Serve With Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce
Of course, there is nothing better than fresh homemade pasta coated in creamy roasted garlic alfredo sauce. This sauce is perfect for making fettuccine alfredo or chicken alfredo. But, this sauce can be used for so much more than just pasta!
Naturally, alfredo sauce with roasted garlic pairs well with all of your favorite Italian dishes. Try swapping the béchamel sauce for alfredo sauce in this lasagna al forno recipe. Or use it in place of the red sauce when making stuffed shells, manicotti, or meatballs.
Alfredo sauce also makes a delicious pizza sauce and dip for breadsticks or garlic bread. I love making parmesan garlic white pizza using homemade alfredo sauce. Or serve it as a creamy dip alongside freshly baked breadsticks or garlic bread.
Finally, roasted garlic alfredo sauce can be used to take your favorite meals to the next level. Try drizzling this cream sauce over roasted chicken, grilled chicken, or grilled steak. Or toss some crispy roasted vegetables in it.
Storage and Reheating
How to Store
- Refrigerator- Store any leftover alfredo sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freezer- Alfredo sauce can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Keep in mind, however, that the consistency of the sauce may change after freezing.
How to Reheat
- Stovetop- Transfer leftover alfredo sauce to a small saucepan set over low heat. Heat the sauce, stirring frequently, until steaming hot. Be careful not to overheat or boil the sauce, as it can cause separation or a grainy texture.
- Microwave- Place leftover roasted garlic alfredo sauce in a microwave-safe bowl or container. Cover the container with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel, leaving a small vent for steam to escape. Heat on half-power (50%) in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until fully warmed through.
Roasted garlic alfredo sauce tastes best when prepared just before serving.
You can, however, roast the garlic up to 2 weeks in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. In fact, I recommend roasting several heads of garlic at once and storing leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Raw garlic is sharp and pungent, while roasted garlic takes on a sweeter, more buttery, and milder garlic flavor.
Yes, you can use roasted garlic paste if you have it on hand. Adjust the amount according to your taste preference and add it to the sauce as instructed.
While pecorino romano cheese adds a distinctive flavor, you can substitute it with other hard cheeses like parmesan or asiago. The taste may vary slightly, but it will still be delicious.
For a flavorful roasted garlic alfredo sauce, it's important to achieve a balance between the creamy dairy, the subtle sweetness of roasted garlic, and the saltiness of pecorino romano cheese. If you feel like your sauce is lacking flavor, try adding a pinch of salt or a bit more cheese.
If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can add a small amount of milk, cream, or pasta cooking water to achieve the desired consistency. For a thicker sauce, simmer it for a bit longer to reduce and thicken it.
Authentic Italian alfredo sauce traditionally consists of just parmesan cheese and butter. However, many American versions of the recipe incorporate heavy cream to achieve a creamier and more indulgent sauce.
Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce
Roasted Garlic Ingredients
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Alfredo Sauce Ingredients
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
For the Roasted Garlic
- Preheat oven to 400℉. Peel and discard the papery outer layers of the garlic head.1 head garlic
- Cut about half an inch from the top of the garlic head to expose the cloves. Place the garlic head on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle the olive oil evenly over the top.1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Cover the garlic with the aluminum foil and roast it for 40-45 minutes, or until the cloves are soft and lightly browned. Allow the roasted garlic to cool for a few minutes before squeezing the cloves into a small bowl.
For the Alfredo Sauce
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the heavy cream to the melted butter and bring it to a gentle simmer. Simmer the sauce, whisking frequently, for about 5 minutes.4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 cup heavy cream
- Add the roasted garlic cloves, kosher salt, and black pepper to the saucepan and continue whisking for another 1-2 minutes.¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and gradually whisk in the grated pecorino romano cheese until the sauce becomes smooth.1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- Serve the roasted garlic alfredo sauce immediately over cooked pasta. Enjoy!
- Quick Tip: If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can adjust the consistency by adding a small amount of pasta cooking water, milk, or additional cream. For a thicker sauce, simmer for a few extra minutes or add more grated cheese.
- Storage: Store leftover alfredo sauce in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Note that freezing the sauce may result in textural and consistency changes.
- Make Ahead: Roast the garlic ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.