Alfredo basil sauce is a snap to whip up - in 30 minutes, dinner is served. This sauce is creamy, with a hint of garlic, and the fresh basil takes it over the top.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Don't want the extra carbs? Serve it over zucchini noodles, broccoli, or chicken.
- Need a lighter version? Reduce the cream to 1 cup, use 1 cup of half and half, and low fat cheese.
- Can't have flour? Use ½ cup butter, 1 cup heavy cream, and 2 cups Parmesan, some pasta water, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Want to add more spice? Try a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg or take it up a notch with crushed red pepper flakes.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients. Slice the spring onion, grate the Parmesan, and mince the garlic.
- Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic.
- Saute the onion until it's soft, then add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Reduce the heat to medium, sprinkle on the flour, and whisk for two minutes so the flour can cook.
3. Deglaze the pan by pouring in the white wine and whisking until the pan is clean of browned bits. Slowly pour in the heavy cream and chicken stock, whisking continuously, then reduce the heat to a simmer and add the grated cheese.
4. Keep whisking until all the cheese is melted. Simmer for 5 minutes, so it can thicken. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of pasta water if needed to further thicken it.
5. Finish off the sauce by adding black pepper and freshly chopped basil.
6. Cook the tortellini according to package directions, reserve some pasta water to thicken, if needed, then drain and rinse under cold water. Add all the cooked pasta to the alfredo basil sauce, then stir to combine.
7. Just before serving, add the roasted grape tomatoes and sprinkle on some grated Parmesan cheese.
8. Enjoy right away!
Italy is where it has its roots, but the sauce there is different from its American variation. The authentic version has butter, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and pasta water to help thicken it.
There are a few different ways to thicken alfredo sauce. Pick a combination of the following. Use a roux. It's made from equal parts butter and flour cooked together until smooth and lightly browned. Remove it from the heat and allow to cool. Add 2 tablespoons of pasta water. Add 2 ounces of cream cheese.
The most common reason is the heat is too high and possibly the milk has scorched. When making a cream sauce, like alfredo, don't ever let it boil. If this happens, the butter will separate from the rest of the sauce.
When your cheese curdles in the cream sauce, it can take on a grainy or gritty texture. To avoid this from happening, grate the cheese with a microplane, add it slowly to a mixture that isn't too hot. The heat needs to be medium low, or the saucepan can even be taken off the heat entirely.
If you catch it starting to curdle when adding the cheese, immediately halt the cooking process by placing the saucepan in an ice bath.
If it has broken or separated, take ½ cup of heavy cream and simmer it until it has reduced by one third. Slowly drizzle in the reduced cream while vigorously whisking.
Whisk one egg yolk with a tablespoon of water, wine or stock, and constantly whisk it then add one tablespoon at a time until a fresh elmusion happens and a stable sauce emerges.
Serve leftover sauce with dinner rolls, tomato olive salad, cucumber salad, roasted asparagus, grape tomatoes, fresh kale, or baby sweet red peppers. You can also serve it on top of pasta, in a casserole, as a dipping sauce, on pizza, or with roasted veggies.
If you're looking for other pasta recipes, you'll want to try our recipes for Panera mac and cheese, Panera broccoli mac and cheese, Chick-fil-A mac and cheese, creamy bow tie pasta, American goulash, and Caprese pesto pasta salad.
Leftovers: If stored in the fridge in a jar with a tightly fitting lid, this should last up to 5 days. When ready to use, pour into a pan on low heat and slowly heat it up stirring often. It is best to only reheat it once.
Freezing: Unfortunately, creamy sauces don't freeze well, because when it is thawed and reheated, it looses its original texture. The sauce separates and doesn't look as it once did.
- Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese, don't use pre-grated or the powdered Parmesan.
- Need to reheat? Use the stovetop on a low temperature. If microwaved, it will become oily and will separate.
Other Pasta Recipes
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Alfredo Basil Sauce
For the Basil Alfredo Sauce
- 2 tablespoons green onions, white part only, sliced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup white cooking wine
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Pasta & Garnish
- 20 ounces three cheese tortellini
- 1-2 cups grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cooking the Pasta & Tomatoes
- Boil the tortellini in a large pot of salted water according to instructions on the package. Reserve some pasta water, then drain the pasta.
- Preheat the oven to 450 F and line a small baking tray with foil. Rinse the grape tomatoes and spread them out on the tray. Bake for 9 minutes, or until very soft.
Making the Basil Alfredo Sauce
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter then saute the onion for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Reduce the heat to medium, then sprinkle on the flour and whisk it in for a couple of minutes to let it cook off the raw taste.
- Whisk in some white wine, and cook off the alcohol for a minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the heavy cream until smooth, then add the chicken stock and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then mix in the chopped basil. If it needs thickening, pour in 1 to 2 tablespoons of pasta water. Remember, the sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Sprinkle with some black pepper and garnish with mini basil leaves.
- Gently stir the cooked tortellini into the sauce until it's evenly coated in the alfredo. Add the roasted tomatoes and serve.
- Don't use pre-grated Parmesan, use freshly grated.
- Use the stovetop on a low temperature to reheat. If microwaved, the dish will become oily and will separate.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.