See how to make the dreamiest, creamiest evaporated milk alfredo sauce! This homemade alfredo sauce recipe is a delicious addition to your favorite pasta, including fettuccine, penne, and spaghetti. It will make any meal super special!
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Creamy alfredo sauce with evaporated milk
Ultra creamy and indulgent, this evaporated milk alfredo sauce has it all! It’s so rich, velvety smooth, comforting, full of delicious flavor, and tastes 1000x better than the jarred stuff. Serve it with fettuccine or your favorite pasta, and it will feel like you went out to a fancy Italian restaurant.
You won’t believe how quickly this easy pasta sauce recipe comes together in about 15 minutes. And it uses only simple pantry staples like evaporated milk, parmesan, garlic, and butter. It’s perfect for weeknights when you need a satisfying meal in no time at all.
Reasons to love evaporated milk alfredo sauce
- Delicious: This evaporated milk cream sauce tastes amazing and goes great with any pasta, chicken, shrimp, broccoli, and more.
- Simple: You’ll only need 7 ingredients to whip up this creamy and indulgent sauce to spread over your noodles.
- Versatile: You have different options to customize your alfredo sauce by adding pesto, Italian seasoning, or Cajun seasoning.
Who knew making a delicious evaporated milk alfredo sauce was so easy? You need the following ingredients to create something that tastes like it came straight from an Italian restaurant. Be sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full measurements.
- Evaporated milk creates a thick, creamy sauce without the heaviness of actual cream. You need one 12-oz can.
- Water is needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce. No worries, the sauce won’t thin out, and you still get a luxuriously thick sauce!
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic gives the best flavor. You can sub garlic powder, but it will taste a little different.
- Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter as we do add salt, and the parmesan is salty, too.
- Parmesan cheese: While you can make evaporated milk sauce with pre-grated cheese for convenience, I highly recommend buying a wedge of parmesan and grating it yourself using a box grater or Microplane.
- Cornstarch: I like to use a touch of cornstarch to thicken the sauce and create an emulsion. It helps make the sauce velvety and smooth.
- Salt + pepper: I’ve included measurements in the recipe. Feel free to dial it down or ramp it up according to your preferences.
How to make evaporated milk alfredo sauce
Make the sauce while the pasta cooks. That way, the sauce and pasta will be ready at the same time.
Step 1: Combine dry ingredients
Combine the cornstarch, minced garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a medium saucepan.
Step 2: Add liquids
Add the evaporated milk, water, and butter.
Step 3: Cook sauce
Stirring constantly, heat over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 30 to 45 seconds. This will activate the cornstarch and thicken the sauce.
Step 4: Stir in cheese
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the shredded cheese until melted and smooth. If desired, season with more salt or pepper according to your taste.
Step 5: Adjust consistency
The sauce thickens rather quickly. If it seems too thick, you can rewarm it or thin it out with some reserved pasta water or milk.
Step 6: Serve
Add the cooked pasta and toss everything until well combined. Serve right away and enjoy!
Here are a few things to keep in mind so that your alfredo with evaporated milk turns out perfectly! Making it from scratch is the best way to make alfredo sauce. It just has great flavor and creaminess!
- Room temperature milk and water: Room temp evaporated milk and water incorporate more easily and need less time to warm up.
- Freshly grated cheese: It’s best to make evaporated milk alfredo sauce with freshly grated parmesan. It melts more smoothly and brings extra flavor to the sauce compared to pre-shredded cheese.
- Measure ingredients before you begin: This is a relatively quick recipe, so you need your ingredients ready as you go. I recommend grating the cheese and measuring everything before you start cooking.
- Keep whisking: When cooking and adding the cheese, whisk continuously to get a smooth, thick sauce.
- Herbs: To add more flavor, add 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning or try fresh thyme, oregano, basil, or parsley.
- Heat: Season with chili, red pepper flakes, or Cajun seasoning if you’d like to add a slight bit of spice to your alfredo sauce.
- Pesto: For a nice, herby flavor, stir 2 to 3 teaspoons basil pesto into the cooked sauce.
- Blend of cheeses: Instead of all parmesan, try a combination of freshly grated pecorino Romano and parmesan cheeses.
Making evaporated milk alfredo sauce is so simple, and once you try it, you won’t go back to jarred sauce again! Here are some ideas for how to serve alfredo sauce.
- Pasta: Serve this alfredo sauce with your favorite pasta. Fettuccine, linguine, and spaghetti work exceptionally well, but penne, rigatoni, and farfalle have gotten rave reviews, too.
- Extras: Feel free to add extras to the sauce and pasta like sautéed broccoli, mushrooms, chicken, or seafood.
- Garlic bread: Enjoy the pasta sauce with evaporated milk with a side of garlic bread to dip into the sauce. Try our cheesy mayo garlic bread and olive oil garlic bread.
- Salad: You can also whip up a side salad to go with your evaporated milk pasta.
With how amazing this evaporated milk alfredo sauce is, the chances of you having leftovers are pretty slim. But if you end up having some, here’s how to keep it tasting fresh and delicious!
- Store: Let the sauce cool completely. Then keep leftover sauce in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The sauce will thicken considerably as it cools.
- Reheat: When you’re ready to rewarm, don’t microwave. Instead, reheat the evaporated milk white sauce in a saucepan over low heat.
- Make-ahead: Since evaporated milk pasta sauce stores well, you can make the recipe a few days ahead of time. Simply prepare the sauce, let it cool down, and then refrigerate airtight until ready to use.
- Freeze: Let the sauce cool, then transfer into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. I often double this recipe to save time, and freeze what I don’t need for later.
Can you make alfredo sauce with evaporated milk?
Yes, you can create delicious, creamy alfredo sauce with evaporated milk that rivals the alfredo sauce you would get at an Italian restaurant. However, it’s not as simple as swapping out heavy cream with evaporated milk in your favorite alfredo sauce recipe.
Many traditional alfredo sauce recipes contain almost 1/2 cup butter and heavy cream. The cream works as an emulsifier and mixes with the butter and cream. But evaporated milk doesn’t have the same emulsifying qualities.
When I developed this sauce, I tried this mouthwatering recipe from The Salty Marshmallow and simply replaced the heavy cream with evaporated milk. While the original is absolutely delicious with cream, it didn’t work with evaporated milk. The sauce split, and I ended up with a layer of melted butter sitting on top of the sauce.
For my alfredo sauce recipe with evaporated milk, I reduced the amount of butter drastically. I also added a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken and hold the sauce together. I know this isn’t the most authentic way to cook this sauce, but it tastes so good, and the texture is perfectly creamy too.
What is a substitute for evaporated milk?
If you don’t have evaporated milk, you can try my alfredo sauce recipe with milk. It’s similar to this one but made with whole milk.
Can I use pre-shredded parmesan?
Yes! Although freshly grated parmesan is best, you can make evaporated milk cream sauce with pre-grated parmesan to save time.
More easy pasta dinners
Homemade pasta is happiness on a plate! Here are a few of my all-time favorite pasta recipes that we find ourselves eating often. They come with delicious sauces that your family will go crazy over. Bon appétit!