Cooking Corner: How To Thicken Alfredo Sauce The Easy Way
When you are making your own alfredo sauce or buying a bottle at the store, you’ll often find that the sauce is much thinner than you would like it to be. Even if you follow a recipe precisely, sometimes the sauce just doesn’t start to thicken.
Thankfully, there are a few easy solutions that you can follow to master how to thicken alfredo sauce. I’ve made super thin alfredo sauce before and used these tips & tricks to make sure I got the creamy consistency that I was looking for.
What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial
The first thing that you will need to be able to thicken alfredo sauce is a thin alfredo sauce! It’s possible to make your own alfredo sauce at home, or you can buy a jar at the store.
If you want to learn the basics of making your own sauce, try following this video:
Alfredo sauce is a cream-based sauce that is typically made of butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. That’s all it takes to make this tasty sauce! The key to making a thick sauce from scratch is lots and lots of practice, but there are ways to thicken sauces that are too thin.
Option #1: Skillet
A skillet is a pan with slanted sides that has a big surface area. This makes it ideal for cooking things that need to be browned evenly or for reducing things like sauces.
When it comes to alfredo sauce, cooking it in a skillet for a long period of time over low heat can help the sauce reduce and become thicker.
Option #2: An Egg
Eggs are often used as binding agents to help things stick together. Their texture and properties make it possible for them to do this, and using eggs when combining your sauce with your pasta is no exception.
Option #3: More Parmesan
While some cream sauces have a roux as a base, there is no flour or starches used in traditional alfredo sauce. The thickening agent in alfredo sauce is Parmesan!
Parmesan is a hard, dry cheese made with skim milk that has a complex and salty flavor. This cheese is what gives alfredo its distinctive flavor.
Option #1: Use A Skillet!
Step #1: Simmer That Cream
The most important step to making sure that your alfredo sauce gets thicker is simmering it for a long period of time over low heat. This will allow the water in it to slowly evaporate, creating a thicker sauce.
If you are making your pasta sauce from scratch, make sure to simmer the cream and butter mixture over low to medium heat until it reduces by 40 to 50% before adding the parmesan.
If you already added the cheese or you bought the sauce at the store, simply pour the sauce into a skillet and set it to simmer.
Step #2: Simmer Until Reduces, Stirring Often
Keep the cream or sauce on the skillet simmering until it gets thick enough. Stir the sauce often to make sure that it does not stick, especially if you have already used the cheese.
Option #2: Use An Egg!
Step #1: Get The Egg
If your sauce is already done and it is not thick enough to cling to the noodles, using an egg might be the perfect solution.
Step #2: Mix Up The Egg
If you are cooking the sauce from scratch, mix the egg and add it to the cream before you start heating it. The egg will help add some thickness to the sauce and help it cling to the noodles.
If you have already cooked your sauce or you bought it from a store, mix the egg up in a bowl with some pasta water and then mix it into the sauce over low heat. Mix constantly to prevent the egg from cooking before it is combined into the sauce.
Step #3: Mix With Noodles & Enjoy!
Now that your sauce is thicker, mix it with the pasta. The egg will help the sauce bind to the noodles giving it a thicker texture.
Option #3: Use More Parmesan!
Step #1: Grate More Parmesan
Parmesan is the key to ensuring that your sauce is thick enough, as it is the only thickening agent used in traditional alfredo sauce. Grate up more parmesan as needed to thicken your sauce.
Step #2: Add In The Parmesan
Add in more Parmesan in ¼ cup increments. Mix thoroughly and allow to sit over heat for five minutes before adding more Parmesan. Check the consistency regularly until you are satisfied with the thickness.
Bonus Tip: What If It Gets Too Thick?
All of these techniques will help your sauce get thicker, but what do you do if your sauce gets too thick?
There’s a secret to this, too! Every pasta lover knows this secret, so I’m going to let you in on it, too.
Make sure that you set aside some pasta water when you’re done cooking your pasta. You can then use the pasta water to thin your sauce if it gets too thick while you are adding in an egg, parmesan, or something else.
Thick Sauce Is Delicious Sauce
Have you learned how to thicken alfredo sauce? It’s pretty easy once you know how. All you need is the sauce and an add-in or two to make sure that your sauce has the time it needs to get thicker.
With a cream sauce like alfredo that doesn’t have any flour in it, the main thing that you should always focus on is making sure you let the cream and butter mixture reduce long enough before you add in any cheese. This is the best time to thicken the sauce, after all!
Do you have any other tips about how to thicken alfredo sauce? Share with me in the comments, and then share this article with other friends who love to make their own pasta!