Alfredo sauce is as famous for its flavor as for its richness. The richness also comes from its thick and creamy consistency, which goes very well with pasta. However, sometimes the sauce can be thin or runny, which it is not supposed to be. This spoils the look and feels of the final product apart from tasting not as good. The sauce has to be thick and not thin as a curry. This will rarely happen with a store-bought sauce but can occasionally happen with a homemade one. But, there are a couple of ways you can thicken your alfredo sauce.
The best Alfredo sauce will be rich, velvety, creamy, thick yet smooth. You have to aim for this kind of finish.
People prefer to make the Alfredo sauce at home for its relatively readily available ingredients and because it’s ready in just 15 minutes. A thin homemade alfredo sauce is almost a disaster, but you do not have to worry as we have tips that will help save it for you. There are quite a few ways to thicken a sauce; some may work for you, and others you may not prefer. Some may not work with all recipes. So we have a list of options for you to help save the sauce and still get that same rich, creamy consistency that alfredo sauce is all known for.
How To Thicken Alfredo Sauce?
To thicken an already prepared alfredo sauce, you will need a saucepan and heat to ensure the ingredients mix and cook well together.
Cube or grate some Parmesan cheese into the sauce, which is heating over low temperature. The fresher the parmesan, the better the taste and the more excellent the aroma. Please give it some to mix and cook well in the heat before storing. Do not overuse the cheese; else, the alfredo will smell and taste more cheesy than saucy. You can also use other types of cheese, but since alfredo is made with parmesan, it’s the most obvious choice. You can use mozzarella or sharp provolone or even cheddar cheese.
You can use cream cheese to add the desired richness and thickness to the sauce. Cut the cream cheese into smaller cubes and add them to the sauce, which is heating in the saucepan. Let the ingredients mix well. Use an adequate amount of cheese to adjust the thickness. Heat it and stir it until it’s smooth and well incorporated. This can take time and must be done at low heat to prevent the cheese from burning. Freshly shredded cheese is the best as it melts pretty well compared to the pre-shredded one. Do note that the cream cheese will add a bit of tanginess.
Heavy cream is your next best option and a variation from using the typical cheese. Mix small quantities of heavy cream in the alfredo sauce. Let the sauce sit over simmering heat in a saucepan. Let it simmer till you get the desired consistency. Compared to the thickness of cheese, the cream is less thick, so you will need large quantities to get the desired effect. Nevertheless, it tastes terrific.
Corn starch (or arrowroot)
Corn starch is a powder that needs to be mixed with a small quantity of water before it can be added to the sauce. This will also ensure all the lumps are removed before it’s mixed in the sauce. Let the corn starch slurry mix well and cook with the Alfredo. Examine the Alfredo sauce to decide if you need more corn starch slurry or not.
You can use any all-purpose flour, just like how we used corn starch to thicken the sauce. The process is the same, however, do not overuse the flour. Otherwise, the flour taste will be predominant in the final sauce.
Taking a cue from baking and cakes, we can also use egg yolks to thicken sauces. They add their taste and flavor apart from the desired level of consistency. Just like the flour and corn starch, overdoing it will result in the sauce looking and tasting more like scrambled eggs. Use one or two at the most, depending on how much sauce you mix them in. Less is better in this case. Whisk the egg yolks first in the sauce and only later add them to the simmering sauce for the best results. Else you will have curdled egg yolks in the sauce. This needs care and precaution when executed.
You can make Roux by mixing an equal amount of fat and flour. Then heat it until the flour is thoroughly cooked and the raw flavor of the flour is gone. Then mix this with the sauce over simmer and let it reduce to the desired consistency. You can also use any fat like oil, bacon grease, or any other fat to make the roux.
Butter gives a vibrant flavor and taste. So you can use butter and flour the same way as making a roux and then mix it with the sauce. Let it thicken to the desired consistency over simmering heat.
Tapioca flour has its characteristic taste. You can use it in the same manner as we prepared the roux earlier to thicken the alfredo sauce. Tapioca may not be readily available, but if it is, do try it. You can dilute it in water like flour or add it to the butter and cream mix. Either way, it tastes fantastic.
Thicken with pasta
The last method is the most straightforward. If you do not have any of the above ingredients or time, mix the alfredo sauce with some pasta. The pasta will absorb all the extra moisture in the sauce as it cooks. Also, cooking over simmering heat will reduce the moisture. You will be amazed at the results.
When you use any of these ingredients and are a first-timer, the sauce can also turn too thick. This is because the sauce is a little runnier when hot and thick when cold. To avoid this situation, you can add milk or cream to the final product if it turns out to be too thick. I hope the information in the article has been useful.