Admit it – store-bought Alfredo sauce in jar often falls short of expectations. Often, it’s too runny, too thick or just doesn’t have enough flavor to make your meal pop.
But if you tweak it a bit, you can turn those blah containers into a heavenly Alfredo sauce your guests won’t soon forget. Here’s how:
Herbs & Spices – Start by throwing in a healthy portion of oregano, basil and parsley. This will give your store-bought Alfredo sauce that distinct Italian flavor and add another layer of complexity to your dish. For a bit of heat, throw in some crushed red pepper flakes.
Butter & Garlic – To achieve a richer flavor, add a tablespoon of butter, as well as a clove or two of garlic, to the sauce and stir to combine while it’s simmering. This will help to revitalize and enhance the flavor of the sauce.
Cream & Parmesan – To thicken your Alfredo sauce, stir in a few tablespoons of cream before adding a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. If you’re making a larger amount, you can use a few ounces of grated Parmesan.
Lemon – To help balance out the richness of the Alfredo sauce, add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. A squeeze of citrus will add a light brightness and acidity that gives this dish a depth of flavor.
Nutmeg & Pepper – To bring all the flavors together, add a pinch of nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper. You won’t need a lot of either, just enough to add a pop of seasoning.
Aromatics – Finally, you can add a few aromatic ingredients like rosemary, bay leaves, and thyme to infuse the sauce with more flavor. You don’t need to use all three – use one or two and make sure to remove them before serving.
Add Some Protein
To make your alfredo even more delicious, why not toss in some protein? Chicken, shrimp, bacon, and sausage all pair nicely with Alfredo sauce.
Or, if you’re looking for something a bit healthier, you can always add some grilled or steamed vegetables. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong!
If you’re using chicken, we suggest cutting it into cubes and searing it in a pan before adding it to the Alfredo sauce. This will give it a nice, caramelized flavor that pairs perfectly with the rich cream sauce.
If you’re using shrimp, we suggest cooking them in olive oil and garlic until they’re lightly pink before adding them to the sauce.
Sausage is another great option, and you can’t go wrong with either Italian sausage or breakfast sausage. Simply cook the sausage in a pan until it’s browned and add it to the sauce.
And lastly, if you’re adding bacon to the alfredo, we suggest dicing the bacon and cooking it until it’s crispy before adding it to the sauce.
Once you’ve added your desired protein, let the sauce simmer and infuse it with all the flavors. Then, after a few minutes, it’s ready to serve!
Add Some Veggies
To give your alfredo even more flavor, you can also throw in some vegetables. We suggest adding squash, mushrooms, onions, or potatoes. All of these veggies pair wonderfully with Alfredo, and they’ll give your dish texture and plenty of flavor.
Plus, they provide an extra health benefit to your meal.
If you decide to add potatoes, we suggest cutting them into cubes and then boiling them in water until they’re just tender. Once they’re cooked, drain them and add them to the Alfredo sauce.
If you’re adding squash, we suggest cutting it into strips or cubes and sautéing it in oil until it’s just tender before adding it to the sauce.
As for mushrooms and onions, you can chop them into small pieces and sauté them in oil until they’re cooked through. Once they’re done, add them to the sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Once you’ve added your vegetables of choice, let everything simmer together for a few minutes. Then, after a few minutes, it’s ready to serve!
Add Some Oomph
If you want to add a bit of an extra kick to your Alfredo sauce, there are a few ingredients you can add to really “spice” it up.
We suggest adding some hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce into the mix, as both these ingredients add flavor and a bit of a kick to whatever dish they’re added to.
If you like, you can also add a splash of white wine for a bit of extra richness.
To give your alfredo a bit of a smoky flavor, add in a teaspoon of smoked paprika. If you want to add some heat, add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper to the sauce.
Lastly, if you want to add some creaminess to your Alfredo sauce, you can add a few tablespoons of cream cheese. This will thicken the sauce and give it a nice, creamy texture.
Once you’ve added your desired ingredients, let the sauce simmer until it has reached your desired consistency. Then, it’s ready to serve!
Give It a Splash of Acid
To bring all the flavors of the sauce together, a splash of acid always does the trick. Whether you decide to use vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice, you can’t go wrong! A splash of acid will brighten up the flavors of the alfredo and balance out the richness of the sauce.
If you’re using vinegar, we suggest using apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. To use the vinegar, add a tablespoon to the Alfredo sauce and stir. If you’re using lemon or lime juice, a few drops should do the trick.
Once you’ve added your desired acid, let the sauce simmer for a few minutes and then it’s ready to serve!
As you can see, with just a few simple tweaks and enhancements, you can transform any store-bought Alfredo sauce into a heavenly dish that your guests won’t soon forget.
Whether you choose to add a few herbs and spices, some protein and veggies, or a splash of acid, you can’t go wrong.
So, why not try one of these tweaks the next time you’re making store-bought Alfredo sauce?