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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Homemade Alfredo Sauce Without Heavy Cream

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This classic alfredo sauce without heavy cream is delicious with your favorite pasta! Made with parmesan cheese, black pepper, skim milk, and garlic powder, you will want to prepare this creamy sauce the next time you make fettuccine alfredo. I promise, this is the best homemade alfredo sauce recipe you’ll ever try – it’s total comfort food, is gluten free, and can easily be made vegan too!

alfredo sauce without heavy cream tossed with fettuccine in a bowl

Made without wheat flour, with no butter or a roux, this easy alfredo sauce recipe without cream is a lighter version of authentic Italian alfredo sauce since it is made with low-fat milk.

Just like the real thing, you will not be able to get enough of this sauce. Savory and perfectly seasoned, this sauce has a creamy texture you will love paired with silky fettuccine noodles – all thanks to the cream cheese and milk.

One of our favorite vegetarian Italian dinner recipes, we like to keep this healthy alfredo sauce recipe in rotation because it is such a crowd-pleaser and so simple to make. With just a handful of steps, you will have a simple sauce ready to be drizzled over your favorite pasta dish!

This is a great recipe for anyone looking to switch things up in the kitchen or experiment with something new. This cream cheese alfredo sauce (no heavy cream) is ready in under 30 minutes and perfect for busy weeknights. The best part about this recipe is how versatile and easy it is!

If you love creamy white pasta sauce with your favorite noodles, then this is the best alfredo sauce to make any pasta dish shine! This classic alfredo sauce without cream is way better than what you’ll find at Olive Garden or any Italian restaurant, it’s tastier and healthier too!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Great recipe for the whole family
  • Tastes just like traditional alfredo sauce
  • Super easy recipe
  • Packed with flavor
  • Rich & thick cream sauce
  • Simple ingredients
  • Low carb, lower in calories, and lower in fat than most store bought cheese sauces
  • Best alfredo sauce without cream ever!

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🥘 Ingredients

You don’t need a lot of ingredients for this easy homemade alfredo sauce with milk instead of cream! With just some pantry items and a couple items from the refrigerator, you will have a flavorful sauce ready in no time. If you do not have these ingredients, then you easily find them at your local grocery store.

ingredients for alfredo sauce without heavy cream
  • Corn Starch: Also known as corn flour, cornstarch is a great gluten-free substitute for wheat flour. Cornflour mixed with water allows this sauce to be a thicker sauce. It also allows you to make diy alfredo sauce with milk and no flour, keeping it gluten free.
  • Garlic Powder, Salt And Black Pepper: Just a little bit of these three spices is all that is needed to add flavor to this creamy alfredo sauce recipe without heavy cream. You can use fresh garlic if you don’t have garlic powder, but garlic powder blends better into this creamy white sauce than fresh garlic does (you’ll end up with small garlic pieces in the sauce).
  • Milk: We made this light alfredo sauce with regular milk instead of cream, and chose low-fat organic milk for this recipe, but you can use any type of milk!
  • Water: Cold water is needed to mix with the corn starch. Be use to use filtered water.
  • Freshly Chopped Parsley: Brings fresh and bright flavors to this dish.
  • Cheese: Both cream and parmesan cheeses are needed to make this alfredo without cream rich and thick.

🔪 Instructions

See the complete list of ingredients and detailed instructions in the recipe card below for how to make alfredo sauce without heavy cream.

Heat Milk On The Stove Top: First, heat the milk in a medium saucepan or large pot over medium heat until it simmers.

homemade alfredo sauce cooking in a pot

Combine Corn Starch And Water: Meanwhile, combine the cold water and corn flour in a bowl until mixed.

corn starch and water mixed in a bowl

Thicken Sauce: Once the milk has just started to simmer, pour the cornflour mixture into the milk while whisking to make sure no lumps form. Reduce to low heat and continue to stir until your no cream alfredo is smooth and thickened.

homemade alfredo sauce without heavy cream whisked in a pot

Add Cheese And Seasoning: Next, add the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk until it’s smooth and has reached your desired consistency.

wet and dry ingredients added to pot

Season And Serve: Adjust the seasoning to taste, then stir through the chopped parsley and serve this homemade alfredo sauce without butter and cream immediately with your favorite pasta.

alfredo sauce without cream cooking in a pot with fresh parsley added

We chose fettuccine pasta to make the classic dish: fettuccine alfredo without heavy cream!

💭 Expert Tips

  • To make this sauce a little thicker, add more of the cornstarch mixture.
  • Don’t let your milk boil! Ensure the milk doesn’t come to a boil otherwise the corn starch mixture, when added, will form large lumps very quickly.
  • To make sure your white pasta sauce without heavy cream doesn’t separate, use a whisk when stirring vs. a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • For best results, always use cold water to mix with corn starch before adding to the heated milk.

📖 Variations

  • Vegan Alfredo Sauce Recipe Without Heavy Cream: Use soy or unsweetened almond milk in place of the dairy milk. Substitute the cheese for ½ cup a vegan parmesan cheese and six tablespoons of nutritional yeast. You may need to add more corn starch to make sure this alfredo sauce made with milk is thick enough and the best quality. You can also use a vegan bechamel sauce instead of the alfredo.
  • Add Herbs And Spices: To give this cream free alfredo sauce recipe a little more flavor, feel free to add white pepper, a dash of paprika, fresh coriander, oregano, rosemary or Italian seasoning.
  • Extra Creamy Consistency: Add sour cream or mozzarella cheese to give this recipe more decadence.
  • Thickener: Instead of using corn starch, feel free to use arrowroot powder, regular wheat flour, or tapioca flour. Keep in mind, the way this recipe is written it doesn’t need butter or a roux. If you use wheat flour, you’ll need to add butter and make a roux, and this recipe will no longer be gluten free.
  • Alternative Milks: For this alfredo with milk, you can use any kind of milk you like such as unsweetened flax, cashew, coconut, or oat.
  • Chicken Alfredo: If you are serving meat eaters, feel free to add in some shredded chicken breast to the pasta sauce without heavy cream! You can also make vegan chicken alfredo by using tofu or meatless chicken tenders with pasta.

❓Recipe FAQs

What Can I Substitute For Heavy Whipping Cream in Alfredo Sauce?

You can totally make a cream sauce without heavy cream! One of the easiest ways to substitute heavy cream in alfredo sauce is to use a thickener + milk.

We chose corn starch + milk because it gives that same creamy texture without the fattiness that heavy cream brings. The corn starch also allows you to thicken your pasta sauce without heavy cream. You can use any type of milk instead of heavy cream to pair with the corn starch. Whole milk, skim milk, low-fat milk, and different types of unsweetened dairy-free milk will all work.

Other heavy cream substitutes include: silken tofu and soy milk, cottage cheese and milk, or flour and milk.

Can you use evaporated milk instead of heavy cream in pasta sauce?

No, evaporated milk is not the same texture and will not yield the same results. You can use any type of other unsweetened milk in place of heavy cream. You may need to adjust the amount of corn starch if you use a plant based milk versus regular milk though.

Is heavy cream and heavy whipping cream the same thing?

Heavy cream has a little more fat content than heavy whipping cream, but they are both similar dairy products. Both are traditionally used when making alfredo sauce, and helps to give the sauce that thick creamy texture.

How do you store, freeze and reheat alfredo sauce?

To Store In The Fridge: Allow the sauce to completely cool prior to storing in an airtight container. Once the sauce has cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.

To Freeze alfredo sauce without whipping cream, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to six months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge, then warm on the stovetop, whisking until heated through.

How do you know if alfredo sauce is bad?

The easiest way to tell if your cream sauce is bad is to smell it. If it’s still good, it will have a clean, fresh smell – similar to what milk smells like when it’s good. If it’s bad, it will have a very sour, acidic and pungent smell.

👨‍👩‍👧 How To Serve

alfredo sauce without heavy cream drizzled over fettuccine pasta

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🎥 Watch How to Make It

alfredo sauce without heavy cream tossed with fettuccine in a bowl
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5 from 46 votes

Alfredo Sauce Without Heavy Cream

This recipe for alfredo sauce without heavy cream is delicious with your favorite pasta! Made with parmesan cheese, black pepper, skim milk, and garlic powder, you will want to prepare this creamy sauce for your next fettuccine alfredo recipe. This comfort food recipe is the best and family-friendly!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 137kcal
Author: Anjali Shah



  • Heat milk in a pot over medium heat until it starts to simmer.
  • While milk is heating, combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
  • When milk has just started to simmer, pour the corn starch mixture into the milk while whisking continuously to ensure no lumps form. Reduce heat and continue to stir until sauce has thickened and is smooth.
  • Next, add the grated parmesan cheese, cream cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  • Stir the chopped parsley through the mixture and serve immediately tossed with your favorite pasta.


  • If you want the sauce to be a little thicker, add more of the cornstarch mixture.
  • Toss this tasty sauce through cooked fettuccine pasta to create the perfect dinner option.
  • Ensure the milk doesn’t come to a boil otherwise the corn starch mixture, when added, will form large lumps very quickly.
  • Always use cold water to mix with cornflour before adding to the heated milk.
  • Serve with your favorite pasta.
  • For a vegan version: Use soy milk or unsweetened almond milk instead of low fat milk and substitute the cheese in this recipe for ½ cup vegan parmesan cheese and 6 tbsp nutritional yeast. You may need to add some additional corn starch to ensure the sauce is at the desired thickness.


Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g

38 responses to “Homemade Alfredo Sauce Without Heavy Cream”

  1. This was a surprise. It was so delicious. I added chicken and broccoli to it and my family ate it up (literally)! Rich and creamy without the extra calories. I will be making this again. Thank you!5 stars

  2. This was REALLY good. Alfredo is one of the few things I buy in a jar because it makes an easy meal and with shrimp and asparagus is my absolute favourite. Today I didn’t have a jar so I gave it a whirl. VERY good. I love that it uses regular milk and I did replace 1/3 C of the milk and all of the water with chicken broth because I had some and finish with a sprinkle of nutmeg. I’ll be pinning this recipe….Such a great back up plan or …..first plan hehe. Thank you for the recipe5 stars

  3. This is a great recipe! I always feel that heavy cream leaves a slightly greasy sensation on my tongue, but cream cheese was just perfect! Thanks! Will definitely make it again!5 stars

  4. Mmmmm, that looks so good. Much nicer than the peanut butter and jam sandwich I just had for lunch. Making this one!5 stars

  5. This alfredo sauce is so delicious! I wanted to get every single spoonful out of the pot. This is one of my daughters favorite foods and could eat it every week.5 stars

    • Hi Pushpa! I have never tried a cheese spread instead of cream cheese in this recipe so I’m not sure if it would work. It may not melt the same way or have the same texture so if you can find cream cheese I’d recommend sticking with that. But if you do try it with a cheese spread, let me know how it turns out!

  6. Aw loved that this was made with low fat milk and cream cheese (and I used Lactaid milk – I’m lactose intolerant so it was great to reduce the lactose even more). I never make/get to enjoy alfredo sauce…so yummy!!5 stars

  7. I love you’ve created an alfredo sauce without cream so healthier than normal. It makes such a delicious creamy pasta dish.5 stars

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