I couldn’t be more excited about sharing our Browned Butter Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe with you all! It’s one of my favorite rich and creamy dishes on our entire site!
Admittedly the first time I had fettuccine alfredo was when I was in high school. I know, crazy right? I grew up in a Korean household, eating primarily Korean foods. When we did have pasta at home, it was usually spaghetti with jarred sauce and the sprinkle “Parmesan cheese” from a can. True story. When I did finally try fettuccine alfredo, I was hooked. I was in love with the silky smooth cream sauce.
Our browned butter version is so good. The nutty flavor from the browned butter is to die for and makes this recipe just a little bit special.
How to make this Browned Butter Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe
- unsalted butter – this is where all the flavor starts and how the sauce develops
- thinly sliced garlic – the thinly sliced garlic acts as the aromatic in this sauce
- heavy cream – the higher fat content in heavy cream vs milk helps to stabilize the overall sauce, resulting in a silky smooth finish
- grated Parmesan – the Parmesan cheese helps to thicken and bring the sauce together
- peas – this ingredient is totally optional, but I love the bright pops of flavor it adds to the dish
- salt and pepper – because we always need to be seasoning our dishes!
- Boil your fettuccine in well salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Slowly melt and simmer butter in a skillet. You want to take your time doing this to make sure your butter doesn’t burn
- Once the milk solid bits begin to brown and you smell a nutty and toasty aroma, add the garlic and cook.
- Add cream to browned butter and simmer until it has reduced by about a third.
- Once the cream had reduced, stir in Parmesan until evenly melt together, creating a very smooth and creamy sauce. Adding the cheese in small increments will prevent the sauce from breaking and allow for a smooth and creamy sauce to form.
- Tossed cooked fettuccine into browned butter alfredo sauce until everything is evenly coated. So simple!
- If you’re using peas, stir them into the pasta.
What is browned butter?
Browned butter is when butter is melted and simmered over low heat long enough for the milk solids to brown and the water to evaporate. This results in a rich, nutty and more intensely flavored butter. It’s truly delicious and worth the minimal time and effort!
Watch how to make our Browned Butter Fettuccine Aflredo step by step with our video:
Yes! Both the pasta and sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. They should be stored separately, each in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To reheat: Pour sauce into a skillet and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. The sauce should be heated slowly to prevent it from separating or clumping up. As the sauce reheats, stir in small amounts of milk or cream as needed to achieve the right consistency.
Yes! Although cream sauces can be a little tricky to freeze and reheat, it can be done.
To freeze sauce: Pour cooled sauce into a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and seal shut. Lay bag flat on its side to allow sauce to freeze quickly. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat sauce: Slightly thaw and pour into a pot and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. The sauce should be heated very slowly to prevent it from separating or clumping up. As the sauce reheats, stir in small amounts of milk or cream as needed to achieve the right consistency and regain its smooth and creamy texture.
Yes! Cooked pastas freeze and reheat quite well.
To freeze: Cool completely and store in a freezer bag, separate from the sauce, removing as much air as possible and sealing shut. Lay bag flat on its side and freeze pasta for up to 3 months.
To reheat: Bring a pot of water, just enough to cover pasta, to a boil and add pasta. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until pasta has thawed and just heated through. Drain and toss into reheated sauce.
Meat and Seafood Additions
- Shredded, grilled or breaded chicken
- Grilled steak tips
- Grilled or sautéed shrimp
- Seared scallops
- Steamed broccoli florets
- Seared cremini or shiitake mushrooms
- Sautéed spinach
- Sautéed kale
We use dry fettuccine for this browned butter fettuccine alfredo recipe, but if you want to tackle making fresh, homemade pasta, we have a recipe for that here!
If you love pasta dishes as much as we do, you might be interested in our recipes for Cacio e Pepe , Carbonara Pasta Pie, or fusilli with the Best Homemade Vodka Sauce!
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Browned Butter Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe
- 1 pound dry fettuccine
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 ounces grated Parmesan (3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat. Once water comes to a boil, add pasta and a small handful of salt.
- Boil pasta, stirring occasionally until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain and toss with a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Continue to cook butter until browned and a nutty flavor comes through, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cream and increase heat to medium-high to bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until mixture reduces by 1/3, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Slowly whisk gratedParmesan into the cream mixture until fully incorporated and smooth. Continue to simmer sauce for 2 to 3 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Stir in peas and remove from heat. Toss fettuccine into the browned butter alfredo sauce until completely coated. Adjust seasonings. Top with extra grated Parmesan if desired and serve.
To reheat sauce: Slightly thaw and pour into a pot and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. The sauce should be heated very slowly to prevent it from separating or clumping up. As the sauce reheats, stir in small amounts of milk or cream as needed to achieve the right consistency and regain its smooth and creamy texture. To freeze pasta: Cool completely and store in a freezer bag, separate from the sauce, removing as much air as possible and sealing shut. Lay bag flat on its side and freeze pasta for up to 3 months.
To reheat pasta: Bring a pot of water, just enough to cover pasta, to a boil and add pasta. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until pasta has thawed and just heated through. Drain and toss into reheated sauce.
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This was AWESOME!!!!! Best Alfredo I’ve ever made. Thank you so much for sharing.
Yay! So happy you love this one!
Holy. Cow. This recipe is bonkers good. So glad I found it!
So happy to read this!
Love this recipe, it is easy to fix and so delicious. The brown butter does take this recipe to another dimension. I cooked the rest of the frozen peas and placed them along side the pasta. Very pretty presentation but much more important, it all tasted wonderful.
Hi:) Love your recipe!! Is there any way I can add chicken to and do you think I can substitute skim milk for heavy cream? Thanks for this can’t wait to try it!!!
Yes! You can totally add chicken + replace the milk for heavy cream!
OK. I made this last night. I am quite a novice in the kitchen so browning butter intimidated me… BUT this was SO easy. It was creamy and delicious! I will be making this again! SERIOUSLY, it is heaven.
YAY!! So glad you like this recipe and hooray to brown buttering success!! :)
It was vary comforting
This looks fabulous – gonna ‘pin’ this immediately!!
Hey! Looks amazing. Any way I could at a pinch of flour during the butter melting process to thicken a bit or would a roux ruin the recipe’s integrity? Thanks! Can’t wait to eat way too much of this tonight :P
Honestly, you don’t need it! As long as you reduce the cream by at least a third, you get such a nice and creamy sauce…the flour may also make it slightly gritty in this case!
Cheese and Chinese
Oh my gosh this was so creamy and delicious! Love anything with browned butter..
Hello. Can I change the heavy cream for whole milk? Thanks.
Absolutely! It will just take a little longer to reduce!