What Is Alfredo Sauce?

What is alfredo sauce? For many children and adults who eat like children, it’s the only acceptable pasta sauce. 

As an adult, I have come to learn that tomatoes are one of the great ingredients. They’re unbelievably versatile, adding rich flavor to a soup or a sauce, and by themselves, they add a pop of freshness to a sandwich or salad that really can’t be rivaled. However, there was a time, when I was younger, when I considered tomatoes to be completely disgusting. 

If you yourself are a seven-year-old, or at least, are as yet still put off by tomato sauce, there are fortunately a variety of other delicious pasta sauces to enjoy. And the absolute go-to for indulgent and satisfying flavor that isn’t too adventurous, or at least wasn’t for me when I was a picky eating youngster, is alfredo. 

Cheesy and rich, alfredo is a classic sauce. But what is alfredo sauce made of? Where does it come from? What’s the deal? 

Let’s answer a common question first: Is alfredo sauce Italian? 

There may be some skepticism due to its reputation as “grown up mac and cheese,” but alfredo is bona fide Italian. Fettuccine Alfredo was featured by Alfredo Di Lelio (hence the name) at his restaurant in Rome beginning in the early 20th century. Its popularity grew and it eventually spread to the United States. 

What is alfredo sauce made of? 

Made from scratch, alfredo typically contains parmesan cheese, butter, cream, and salt. If you’re getting it from a jar, it’s essentially the same thing along with some additives to keep it shelf-stable. One of the most popular brands, Classico Alfredo sauce, contains “Water, Heavy Cream (from Milk), Parmesan Cheese (Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Modified Cornstarch, Contains Less than 2% of Salt, Sugar, Enzyme Modified Egg Yolks, Whey Protein Concentrate Flavored Butter (Butter [Cream, Salt], Natural Flavor), Pasteurized Milk, Dried Garlic, Xanthan Gum, Black Pepper, Lactic Acid, Sodium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Enzymes, Cheese Culture, Gum Arabic.”

Is alfredo sauce gluten free? 

Generally speaking, the answer is yes. Especially in its simplest form, alfredo does not contain any gluten products. But, if you’re ordering it in a restaurant, note that chefs sometimes thicken the sauce with flour, so make sure you ask before assuming it’s completely gluten-free. 

Is alfredo sauce keto? 

Basically yes, but it depends on the particular sauce and your approach to keto. While alfredo sauce is low in carbs which is keto-friendly, many store-bought varieties contain processed ingredients such as soybean oil that are not strictly keto. So, keto purists might consider this “dirty keto.” In any event, there are explicitly keto-friendly alfredo sauces made without the processed ingredients available on the market as well. (Sporked will get to tasting those, too, don’t worry.) 

Now that you’ve taken a crash course in alfredo, you grab it from the sauce aisle or order it at your favorite Italian restaurant worry-free. But, really, you’re getting to be a big kid, you should consider giving tomatoes another try.

best alfredo sauce

Best Jarred Alfredo Sauce

Now that you know what alfredo sauce is, find out all about the very best alfredo sauce you can buy in the grocery store.

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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