One-Pot Classic: Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo

Forget roux, stock, separate pans and superfluous spices. One pot, five ingredients and about 30 minutes are all you need to make a cream-based fettuccine Alfredo that your family will rave about. If you want to take this fettuccine Alfredo a step further, you can do that too. Its simplicity lends itself well to variation as a host of secondary ingredients and flavorings, such as fresh herbs, garlic, shrimp and chicken, meld beautifully with the rich, velvety sauce.

Total Time: 30 minutes | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 4


  • 8 ounces dry fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a 3-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook to al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the noodles and set them aside.
  2. Melt the butter in the pot over medium heat. As soon as the butter melts, add the cream.
  3. Simmer the cream until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set the heat to low.
  4. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano. After the cheese melts, taste it and, if needed, add the kosher salt.
  5. Stir in the freshly ground black pepper. Return the noodles to the pot and toss to coat. Serve immediately.


  • If you choose to add herbs, chop them just before the sauce finishes cooking and stir them in; if you want to include spices, add them when you add cream. 
  • To make a milk-based Alfredo, cook 4 tablespoons each of flour and butter until it turns blond. Next, whisk in 2 1/2 cups of milk, simmer for 20 minutes and finish with the cheese.
  • To add chicken or shrimp, fully cook it in a separate pan before adding it to the sauce.