Alfredo sauce is a crowd-pleasing creamy white sauce made with heavy cream and parmesan cheese.
It is commonly served over pasta, and in dishes like chicken alfredo or fettuccine alfredo.
While Alfredo sauce is delicious, it is high in saturated fat and calories so it’s not ideal for those watching their waistlines.
Thankfully, there are plenty of healthier alternatives to traditional Alfredo sauce that still provide amazing flavor.
Below we will explore five simple, healthy substitutes for Alfredo Sauce—so you can enjoy your favorite Italian dishes without the guilt.
What is Alfredo Sauce?
Alfredo sauce, also known as white sauce, is a comfort food favorite.
This creamy sauce consists of butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese.
It is typically served over fettuccine pasta.
Although delicious and indulgent, Alfredo sauce is packed with saturated fat and calories.
Making Alfredo sauce from scratch is surprisingly simple and quick.
All you need are a few simple ingredients, such as butter, cream, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.
For a healthier twist on the classic dish, opt for a milk or lower-fat cream instead of heavy cream.
Consider adding fresh herbs like basil or oregano for an aromatic touch or add a sprinkle of red chili flakes for some kick.
Alfredo sauce can be served with all types of pasta, from noodles to zucchini noodles to spaghetti squash.
It also makes an excellent sauce for chicken dishes like chicken breasts and wings.
Make sure that your Alfredo sauce is completely smooth before serving – there should be no lumps in it – by blending it with a stick blender or traditional blender until creamy and blended together.
For added richness and flavor, stir in some freshly grated parmesan cheese after the initial blending process is complete.
5 BEST Alfredo Sauce Alternatives You Should Try
Whether you’re trying to cut back on dairy or just looking for a new way to mix up your dinner routine, alternatives to Alfredo sauce can open up a realm of possibilities.
A favorite classic, Alfredo sauce is traditionally made with butter, cream and Parmesan cheese, resulting in its classic flavor.
Here are five great and healthy alternatives that are worthy of exploring.
1 – Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt makes for a great substitute for Alfredo sauce because it is creamy, smooth and not as heavy as traditional Alfredo.
It also has a much lower calorie content than traditional Alfredo sauce, making for a healthier and lighter version of the dish.
To make your own Greek yogurt Alfredo sauce, mix together one cup of plain Greek yogurt with half cup of grated Parmesan cheese, two minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper to taste, and one tablespoon of olive oil.
This simple recipe can be used in any recipe that requires Alfredo sauce as its base.
2 – Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
Cauliflower Alfredo sauce is a great alternative for anyone wanting to cut down on their intake of cream, as it uses cauliflower as the base for achieving your desired creamy texture.
Cauliflower Alfredo sauce has a mild flavor and is much lower in fat and calories, making this an ideal option for those looking to make healthy choices without sacrificing taste.
To make cauliflower Alfredo sauce: Start by cooking the cauliflower until soft and adding it to a food processor along with additional ingredients such as garlic, lemon juice, vegan butter or olive oil, salt, cashew milk or vegetable broth.
Blend everything together until smooth.
Before serving the Alfredo sauce over pasta of your choice, add any additional seasonings—such as parmesan cheese—to enhance flavor.
For garnish you can use fresh herbs like basil leaves.
3 – Cashew Cream Sauce
Cashew cream sauce is a great Alfredo sauce substitute as it can easily achieve the same creamy and thick consistency.
To make this delicious sauce, you will need to blend raw cashews with cooking water, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice and other seasonings.
This creamy vegan Alfredo sauce will delight your taste buds with a hint of nuttiness.
You can use this vegan Alfredo sauce just like you would traditional Alfredo; over pasta, veggies or even baked potatoes.
4 – Olive Oil Alfredo Sauce
Olive oil Alfredo sauce is a healthier spin on classic Alfredo pasta sauce.
It achieves that creamy, restaurant-quality texture without resorting to heavy cream and other unhealthy ingredients.
Olive oil adds flavor and healthy fat, while tapioca starch replaces the butter in a traditional Alfredo recipe, providing an emulsifying agent that binds fat and liquid together.
This easy-to-make substitute requires just 5 simple ingredients: olive oil, fresh garlic, tapioca starch, grated Parmesan cheese and salt.
To start, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat before adding in minced garlic cloves.
Saute for one minute or until fragrant before adding in tapioca starch.
Whisk constantly for two minutes until a thick paste forms.
Add in two cups of warm water while whisking vigorously to combine the ingredients into an ultra creamy sauce base.
Finally add salt to taste and grated Parmesan cheese for more flavor and protein.
Simmer the dish for 3-4 minutes or until it reaches your desired thickness before tossing with your favorite pasta dishes.
5 – Vegan Cheese Sauce
Vegan cheese sauce can be a great substitute for Alfredo sauce and you don’t have to worry about using real dairy or added trans fats.
Coconut milk, almond milk and cashew milk are some of the classic vegan milks that can be used as bases for cheese-like sauces that mimic Alfredo when cooked and seasoned properly.
Common vegan cheeses, nutritional yeast, non-dairy yogurt, and some plants like potatoes or squash can also provide creamy textures and natural flavors.
These variations vary of the classic Alfredo sauce don’t contain any animal products, so feel free to use them for a delicious vegan-friendly meal.
Here are 5 classic vegan cheese sauce recipes to try:
- Vegan Mac & Cheese Ball – Cashew Milk Cheese Sauce.
- Coconut Milk Cheezy Potato Bake.
- Carrot and Herb Sunflower Cheese Spread.
- Cauliflower Cream Sauce with Roasted Garlic.
- Butternut Squash Nacho Cheese.
As you can see, there are lots of delicious and healthy substitutions for Alfredo Sauce.
If you’re in a pinch and need a quick and easy substitute for your next meal, try one of these five different options.
Keep in mind that the best Alfredo Sauce substitutes depend on the dish that you’re making and your personal taste preferences.
Experiment with different sauces to find the perfect fit for your favorite recipes.
No matter which method of creating a substitution for Alfredo Sauce that you try, remember to enjoy it.
There’s something special about cooking a meal with fresh and flavorful ingredients—it can make all the difference between an ordinary and extraordinary meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Alfredo sauce?
Alfredo sauce is a creamy white sauce made from butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese.
It is commonly used to top pasta dishes.
Is Alfredo sauce healthy?
Alfredo sauce is typically not considered to be a healthy dish due to its high fat and calorie content.
What are some healthy substitutes for Alfredo sauce?
Healthy alternatives to Alfredo sauce include tomato sauce, pesto sauce, Greek yogurt sauce, cauliflower sauce, and olive oil and garlic sauce.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!