No time to make homemade alfredo sauce but need to make the jar of alfredo sauce in your pantry less bland? Read on for ideas on how to make jarred alfredo sauce taste better!
I absolutely love making homemade alfredo sauce and while it's a fast recipe, sometimes I don't have heavy cream in the house or one of the other ingredients so I need to pull out a jar of alfredo from the pantry and work a little magic on it to add that homemade flavor.
If you have time I highly recommend learning how to make homemade alfredo from scratch. It is very easy to make and takes just a few ingredients and about 10 minutes!
How to make jarred alfredo sauce better
There are many add-ins and techniques so pick one or two or try them all to make your jarred alfredo sauce taste amazing. Whether you are making chicken alfredo or fettuccine alfredo or even shrimp alfredo, it is easy to make a grocery store jar taste like your own alfredo sauce recipe with the help of just a few extra ingredients.
Sauté minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil or butter over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring it frequently to prevent burning it. If you are using multiple add-ins, do this step first to allow the garlic to release its flavor.
You can also add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder to a standard jar of alfredo sauce and stir it well to add the flavor of garlic if you don't have fresh garlic or prefer a smoother sauce.
If you have an herb garden or fresh herbs on hand oregano, parsley, thyme, or chives are all great options. Finely chop the herbs and add a little at a time as you heat your sauce, stirring to find the perfect amount for your taste.
Heavy Cream, Cream Cheese, or Sour Cream
To make an extra creamy sauce you can add up to ½ cup of heavy cream, cream cheese, or sour cream. As with the fresh herbs I recommend adding a small amount at a time as you heat your sauce, stirring until it is blended, and adjusting it according to your taste and the jarred sauce you started with.
Pro Tip: Avoid low-fat cream cheese, use only full-fat cream cheese, to avoid a grainy texture to the sauce.
Cheese is an easy way to add to the flavor of the store-bought alfredo sauce since it already has a creamy texture. Classic alfredo sauce is made with Parmesan cheese so that is my top choice when adding cheese to the sauce but romano cheese or asiago are also great choices. Add up to ¼ cup of these harder cheeses to a jar of sauce and stir over medium-low heat to melt and mix it in.
You can also add more melty cheeses like mozzarella or gouda but these may change your end flavor. Add up to ½ cup of these cheeses.
Pro Tip: Use freshly shredded cheese for the best results. Pre-shredded varieties have a powder coating to help prevent sticking and this can lead to a grainy end texture in your sauce.
Butter is another of the main ingredients in homemade sauce and a great way to add depth of flavor to the jarred sauce. Melt up to ¼ cup (half a stick) of real butter (not margarine) and stir it into store-bought sauce. For extra flavor sauté garlic in butter and then add both to the sauce.
Add ¼ cup of wine to a saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, then add the sauce and heat together, stirring well. The wine adds an excellent rich flavor to the sauce.
You can get creative with your spice cabinet to add flavor to store-bought alfredo sauce. Garlic powder as mentioned above is just a start. Red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, dried oregano, dried thyme, onion powder, salt, black pepper, or white pepper are all great options. As with everything, start with a little, ½ teaspoon, and add a little at a time as you taste test.
Adding chicken broth or chicken stock is a good way to up the flavor profile of your sauce. Add ½ to 1 cup of broth as you heat the sauce.
Meat or Vegetables
Adding shredded or chopped chicken breast, chopped cooked bacon, cooked ground beef or ground turkey, or peeled and cooked shrimp can be the easiest way to disguise the fact you are using jar alfredo sauce. You can also add vegetables such as cooked onion, fresh broccoli, peas, chopped carrots, or even Brussels sprouts. Toss the sauce with added meat and vegetables with pasta or just serve it on its own.
Yes! As I mentioned above, depending on your own personal taste and the brand of sauce you start with, you may want to adjust the amount of add-ins you are using.
Whether it is Ragu, Prego, Bertoli, or any other brand, they will all have their own starting point for taste and seasonings as well as how creamy or thick they are. For the best results add a little at a time of whatever add-ins you like and taste test as you go to make the recipe your own!
Yes! You can freeze alfredo sauce in a freezer-safe container up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring often.
Keep any extra sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If your sauce is too thick you can add broth, heavy cream, or milk to thin it. If you add too much and need to thicken it you can add cheese or you can use a cornstarch slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed in ½ cup of chicken broth. Add to the alfredo sauce as you heat it over medium heat.
I've mentioned many ways you can improve the taste of jarred alfredo sauce above, but if you don't want to experiment, my go-to recipe is below. Happy cooking!
If you try this recipe please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!Print
Make store-bought alfredo sauce taste like homemade with this simple recipe to help make jarred alfredo sauce taste better!
- 2 tablespoons butter (not margarine)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 15 ounce jar of alfredo sauce (our favorite is Bertoli)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup freshly shredded Parmesan
- Heat butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
- Once melted, add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the jar of sauce, heavy cream, and Italian seasoning. Stir to mix.
- Bring to just a simmer. Add cheese and simmer until cheese is melted, stirring often. Serve immediately over pasta, with chicken or shrimp, or however you prefer.
Freshly shredded Parmesan is preferred as pre-shredded or grated cheese have a powder coating in them to prevent sticking. This coating can make the final texture of the sauce grainy.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 222
- Sugar: 0.4 g
- Sodium: 514 mg
- Fat: 21.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 4.6 g
- Fiber: 0.4 g
- Protein: 1.9 g
- Cholesterol: 23.9 mg
Keywords: how to make jarred alfredo taste better