Fusilli Alfredo is a quick and easy creamy pasta recipe. Perfect as an alternative to a heavy meat based pasta, this cheesy pasta gets dinner done in 15 minutes. Fusilli alfredo pasta is vegetarian, loaded with taste, texture and delicious flavour.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Budget friendly: pasta is an economical ingredient readily available year round as well as having a long shelf life!
- Vegetarian: it can be nice to switch it up a little and have some meatless nights. This recipe ticks the no meat nights but still comes loaded with cheesy garlicky yum!
- Freezer friendly: you might want to meal prep a batch of this so that on a night when you have no energy you still have options which are not take out. It can be thawed during the day when you are at work.
- Versatile: you can add to this pasta to bulk it up with cooked chicken, bacon or sliced mushrooms. It lends itself to a number of diverse serving options.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Fusilli pasta: a tightly spun spiral shaped pasta which has great texture.
- Cream: in Australia this will be known as thickened cream, in the USA heavy cream. Found in the fridge section of the supermarket.
- Butter: I like to use a very soft, creamy butter and often use a more premium brand when making pasta sauce as I think you can taste the difference. If you purchase it when its on special it is roughly the same price as the cheaper versions anyway.
- Cheese: you can use parmesan cheese, however, I like to switch it up for this recipe and use pecorino romano. I like the addition of the sheep's milk cheese and feel we have enough contribution already from the cow so this cheese is my preference and adds a semi-sweet balance.
- Salt: for adding to the sauce, but also we need a little of this to cook the fusilli in a pot of 'boiling salted water'.
- Garlic: not always traditional in alfredo sauces, however, it does help to add a depth of flavour to the sauce so I encourage you to use it.
- Parsley: for garnish and a pop of colour. This dish would be pretty bland in appearance without it!
- Cracked black pepper: an almost essential for seasoning the finished dish. This seasons and adds texture.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by cooking the fusilli pasta and we need to reserve some of the water that we cook it in to help create the pasta sauce.
- Reserve pasta water (Photo 1)
- Drain cooked fusilli (Photo 2)
- Add butter to sauté pan and melt (Photo 3)
- Add garlic and salt (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Fusilli Alfredo
To make the fusilli alfredo sauce start by cooking the fusilli pasta in a saucepan with a pinch of salt. Just before it is ready, scoop out some of the water to use later for the sauce.
Then drain the pasta using a colander and allow the rest of the water to be discarded.
Next start to make the alfredo sauce by melting butter in a sauté pan at high heat. Add the minced garlic and salt and stir to combine.
Slowly pour in the cream and then let it come to boil, once there, turn the heat to low, add the cheese in and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Pour in the cream (Photo 5)
- Then add the cheese and stir to combine (Photo 6)
- Add the cooked fusilli to the pan (Photo 7)
- Pour in the reserved pasta water (Photo 8)]
The next step is to add the cooked pasta to the alfredo sauce, ensuring the heat is turned to low. Then pour in some of the reserved pasta water.
Stir continuously for around 5 minutes to get all of the pasta pieces smothered in the creamy sauce.
- Stir to combine (Photo 9)
The recipe will be cooked and hot at this point but needs a little sprucing up for serving. Garnish, garnish, garnish my friend 😉👍.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Be sure to liberally adorn the dish with cheese, cracked black pepper and basil as these add texture, taste and flavour 👍😉. 'Too much' garnish doesn't really apply for a recipe like this 😂.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the dish on a plate with cling wrap or in sealed, air tight containers in the fridge. They will last up to 3 days.
How to Freeze
Allow the dish to fully cool. Then portion into zip lock bags that you squeeze the air out of and then lay flat in the freezer. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat
Thaw frozen fusilli alfredo in the fridge overnight as you will get the best results if you reheat from frozen and not try and defrost using the microwave. Once the alfredo is thawed, you can add it to a sauce pan on the stove and use medium heat with a drop or 2 of oil to stir till heated through. It will take between 5 to 10 mins. Or you can reheat the leftovers in the microwave, this will only take about 2 to 3 minutes on high.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- If you want more protein in the dish you can add cooked chicken or bacon.
- For vegetables sliced mushrooms or broccoli are good choices.
- If you want to add some dried onion for additional flavour, you can add it to the sauce, 1 tablespoon will be plenty.
- You can use rigatoni or penne pasta as alternatives to the fusilli (rotini pasta).
- Fresh basil leaves are a great alternative to parsley for serving.
- Either flat leaf or curly parsley can be used.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- It is definitely best to make the pasta before the sauce with this recipe. This allows the sauce to come together at low heat and the pasta can be simply added to it. The sauce also stays 'just combined' as opposed to simmered for a long period of time.
- To ensure that the cream and cheese combine well, it is best to use low, almost no heat at this time.
- The dish will be visually bland without garnish, so don't hold back on this to achieve a delicious looking and appealing plate of pasta.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Alfredo sauce made of?
Alfredo sauce is made of cream, cheese, butter and salt. Some recipes will add additional ingredients such as garlic or shallots.
How would you describe Alfredo?
Alfredo is a creamy white pasta sauce that has a cheesy flavour.
What is Alfredo vs carbonara?
The biggest difference between alfredo and carbonara is that alfredo uses cream and cheese whereas carbonara uses eggs and cheese. Many carbonara recipes have no cream at all, despite being known as a creamy pasta sauce.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Pasta makes dinner effortless and easy. Here are some more recipes that I think you will love!
- Pork Bolognese
- Linguine Al Pesto
- Lamb Bolognese
- Turkey Mince Bolognese
- Chicken Spaghetti Bolognese
- Marinated Lamb Ribs
- Oven Baked Pork Ribs
- Coca Cola Ribs
- Slow Cooker Lamb Stew
- Slow Cooker Lamb Ribs
Things are going to get creamy my friend! You can also find all of my pasta recipes in the one spot.
- 1 Sauté pan
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 1 Sauce pan
- 1 Colander
- 1 Heatproof jug
- 500 grams/ 16 oz fusilli pasta
- 40 grams/3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup pecorino romano cheese loosley packed, freshly grated
- ½-1 cup reserved pasta water
- pecorino romano cheese
- cracked black pepper
- parsley finely chopped
- Cook fusilli: place a medium sized saucepan on the stove, add water, turn to high heat and add a pinch of salt. Cook fusilli according to the packet instruction indicated time.
- Reserve pasta water: scoop out 1 to 2 cups of pasta water, set aside.
- Alfredo sauce: add butter to a large sauté pan and turn to high heat. As the butter melts, add the garlic as well as the salt and stir to combine. Then add the cream and stir to combine. Allow the cream to come to the boil then turn the heat to low.
- Pasta: add the cooked fusilli to the creamy pasta sauce. Then pour in the reserved pasta water. Aim for ½ cup to not more than 1 cup. Stir continuously till the pasta and sauce is consistently combined.
- Garnish: portion the pasta onto serving plates and liberally garnish with more freshly grated cheese, cracked black pepper and finely chopped parsley. Provide forks for serving!
- Note 1 - Cheese: you can use parmesan cheese (traditional), however my recommendation is pecorino romanao, made from sheep's milk. It has a sweeter flavour than parmesan and I think that works better in the creamy garlic sauce.