Did your alfredo sauce turn out too salty?
Here are 7 quick & easy fixes to reduce the sodium levels in your Alfredo sauce.
Related: How to Fix Salty Rice: 7 Easy Hacks That Actually Work
How To Fix Salty Alfredo Sauce
1. Add Dairy
Dairy can counteract over salted food. Milk, cream, sour cream, non-fat plain yogurt, cream cheese, and low-sodium cheeses are great fixes.
Good low-salt cheese options include: fresh mozzarella, Swiss, goat, and ricotta, or Gruyere. Stir cheese(s) into the Alfredo Sauce over low heat until the cheese is smooth.
Tip: When using cream, reduce the cream to sauce consistency and then add it to the salty sauce.
The saltiness will be lessened without making the sauce too thin.
2. Add a Liquid
Low-sodium broth, white wine, water, or other liquid also help mitigate saltiness.
Start with a splash. Taste, and add more until just right.
Don’t reduce (aka evaporate) the extra liquid in your Alfredo sauce to thicken it.
Reduction can concentrate salty flavor. Instead thicken it with a slurry, roux, or beurre manie.
Tip: If you choose to add wine, simmer the sauce until the alcohol burns off. If the alcohol does not cook out entirely, then the sauce will become bitter.
3. Add a Thickening Agent
If adding a liquid to lessen the salt flavor, you might need to thicken the Alfredo sauce back to the desired thickeness.
Try a starch slurry, beurre manie, or a roux.
Each of these thickening techniques will further reduce the salt levels in your sauce:
Starch Slurry Thickening Method
Flour and cornstarch are commonly used for thickening, but you can also use potato starch, arrowroot flour.
- In a separate bowl, use one tablespoon of flour or cornstarch for every cup of liquid you want to thicken.
- Whisk in equal parts cold water. For every tablespoon of starch you added, add one tablespoon of cold water to the starch. Whisk until there are no lumps.
- Gradually pour the starch slurry slowly into your Alfredo sauce, whisking constantly.
- Simmer until you get the desired thickness..
- Season if needed.
Beurre Manié Thickening Method
Beurre manié is French for kneaded butter, because you knead the butter and flour together.
- Place equal parts flour and butter in a bowl.
- Using a fork or your fingers, knead the flour and butter together until a smooth paste or dough is formed.
- Roll the dough into teaspoon-sized balls. These portions will be added one at a time to whatever you are thickening.
- Add individual balls to simmering sauce. Whisk one ball of butter dough into your Alfredo sauce at a time. For every ball you add, allow the sauce to simmer for at least one minute, giving it time to thicken, before adding another ball.
- Add balls of beurre manié like this until your Alfredo sauce reaches the desired consistency.
You can use a food processor for larger quantities of beurre manié.
Roux Thickening Method
A roux is also French and describes the paste created equal parts fat with flour.
- Place butter into a sauce pan over medium heat. Depending on how thick you want your Alredo sauce, use between one and three tablespoons of butter plus equal amounts of flour per cup of liquid. For a thinner sauce, use one tablespoon; for a thick sauce, use three tablespoons each of fat and flour.
- Stir in equal parts flour to the sauce pan. Depending on how much fat you used, add the equivalent in flour to your butter.
- Stir while cooking. For a basic white roux for thickening, cook the flour and butter together for a few minutes, until they are fully incorporated and start to froth.
- Remove from heat. When the roux is cooked, let it cool. A hot roux will separate if you add it to a sauce.
- Whisk the cooled roux into your Alfredo sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for at least 20 minutes.
- Adjust seasonings as needed.
A french béchamel sauce made from a white roux and milk can also be added to the salty sauce.
4. Add More Alfredo Sauce
Add half the amount of Alfredo sauce you used (without adding salt).
If the Alfredo sauce is very salty, double the original amount.
Do not to use a broth/stock with high sodium levels, or a salty cheese — like Parmesan — in your second batch of sauce.
5. Add Bulk
Add More Pasta
If you have a large batch of Alfredo sauce, add more (unsalted) pasta.
This will further mitigate the salty flavor.
Add Some Veggies
Throw in some veggies like cooked cauliflower, zucchini, squash, white onion, eggplant, artichoke, mushroom, or avocado. Other veggies work great too.
Vegetables will neutralize the saltiness.
This is also a great hack for adding more nutritious vegetables to your meals.
Add Potato Flakes
- Measure out a tablespoon of mashed potato flakes for every cup of sauce.
- Gradually add potato flakes to your sauce. As your sauce simmers, add potato flakes a little at a time.
- Stir to incorporate, giving each addition time to thicken. Add more potato flakes as needed until the desired consistency is reached.
- Adjust the seasoning as necessary.
You can even make a puree of white rice and water to avoid thinning out the sauce too much.
Related: How to Fix Salty Stew
6. Add Egg Yolks
- Beat the egg yolk in a bowl. Slowly ladle in small portions of your warm Alfredo sauce, as you whisk the egg.
- Add small amounts of Alfredo sauce liquid until you have a full cup. Once you’ve added enough liquid, continue whisking.
- Whisk the egg mixture back into your sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer until it has thickened.
Be careful with this one so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs in your sauce!
Be sure to follow the above instructions to properly temper your eggs.
7. Make Another Dish Out of It
Here are some ideas for how to turn salty Alfredo sauce into a masterpiece:
- Add ground beef and veggies and turn it into a casserole
- Make it Mex by adding canned black beans, tomato, onions, and cilantro, and guacamole
- Mix with unsalted chili
- Make a potato salad Alfredo
- Make shrimp, chicken or ham Alfredo salad
- Make *Indian style Alfredo pasta
*Tempering is a cooking technique used in the cuisines of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Ingredients typically used in tempering include ghee (or oil) plus fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, slivered dried red chili peppers, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, fresh green chilis, asafoetida, cassia, cloves, urad dal, curry leaves, chopped onion, garlic, or tejpat leaves.
The aromatics used counteract saltiness.
A dry or sweet white wine, or a semi-dry Riesling will distract your palate and balance the salty flavor of your sauce.
Easy Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe
When you need some comfort food fast, there’s nothing better than Fettuccine Alfredo!
- kosher salt
- 1 lb. fettuccine
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water then drain.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add cream and butter. Cook until the butter is melted and the cream is heated through. Whisk in Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
- Add cooked pasta and toss until coated in sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
This is a great base recipe for all your one-pot pasta needs.
Fettuccine Alfredo is one of the easiest and tastiest pasta recipes EVER!
Did you know?
Fettuccine Alfredo is named after Alfredo di Lelio, who featured the dish at his restaurant in Rome in the early- to mid-20th century; the “ceremony” of preparing it table side was an integral part of the dish. – Wikipedia
Alfredo Sauce Q&A
How do I avoid oversalting Alfredo sauce?
Tips to avoid oversalting
- Heavily salted canned broths and stocks, may add salt to your Alfredo sauce. Use low-sodium options.
- Never substitute one type of salt for another. Kosher salt has larger granules than table salt, so measure much less table salt than the recipe calls for.
- Hams, Parmesan cheese, olives, capers, anchovies and other ingredients can also add salt to a recipe.
- Do not let your Alfredo sauce reduce (evaporate) too much, this can concentrate salty flavors.
When cooking, keep in mind that under salting is easier to fix than over salting.
Which cheeses have the most salt?
- Halloumi (approx 330 mg sodium/serving)
- Imported blue cheese (approx 325 mg sodium/serving)
- Feta (approx 323 mg sodium/serving)
- Processed cheeses (like string cheese) (approx 200-300 mg/serving)
- Edam (approx 276 mg sodium/serving)
Does potato “absorb” salt?
The “potato absorbs salt” myth has been fairly well discredited. The potato trick just doesn’t work.
Salt is ionic and the level of salt can only be reduced, by dilution (adding non-salty liquid). Or running it through a desalinization facility that uses reverse osmosis or some other industrial process.
What is the best pasta to use for Alfredo sauce?
- Wide ribbons like pappardelle pair well with rich, meaty sauces.
- Thinner flat noodles, like fettuccine or linguine, pair with simple cream sauces like Alfredo or proteins like seafood.
What is difference between fettuccine and linguine?
Fettuccine is sometimes confused for linguine. But fettuccine is wider, thicker and flatter than linguine. It’s an ideal pasta for a heavy, creamy sauce, like Alfredo sauce. Fettuccine is traditionally made of egg and flour (usually one egg for every 100 g of flour).
How do you pronounce fettuccine?
What goes well with fettuccine alfredo?
Fettuccine Alfredo is great with:
- Protein like: Chicken, Shrimp, Ham, Cheese
- Vegetables like peas, broccoli florets, eggplant, spinach
- Extra melted cheese (baked crust or stove top)
- Seasoning (garlic, dill…)
- Garnish (parsley, cilantro…)
- Ground beef
- Canned tuna
- Bread crumbs
- Parmesan cheese
- Hot sauce
“The limit does not exist!”
How do I fix Alfredo sauce with too much milk?
Reheat the Alfredo sauce on the stove stirring constantly. Heat the milk down to the desired level. Optionally, you can add a starch like flour, cornstarch, or mashed potato flakes to thicken it. Starches should be cooked to remove the raw flavor.
Can I make Alfredo sauce recipe substitutions?
- Substitute heavy cream or half and half for milk
- Fettuccine pasta is a classic, but angel hair or spaghetti would work just fine! Just make sure whatever pasta you choose can be completely submerged in your cooking liquid.
- Stir in some halved grape tomatoes after the pasta is cooked.
- If you’re missing crunch, toast up some panko bread crumbs in a skillet with butter and garnish with a handful. This trick works for any pasta.
How do you fix salty cream sauce?
For cream or butter based sauces, just add more cream. Adding sweetness like sugar can also mitigate the salty flavor.
How do you make Alfredo sauce sauce thinner?
Throw the Alfredo sauce in a skillet with olive oil, stock/broth, wine, water, or cream and cook over a low heat.
How long does it take for Alfredo sauce to thicken?
Bring the sauce to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes. Cook the sauce until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly.
Will Alfredo sauce thicken as it cools?
Yes. But, Alfredo sauce is best served hot, so keep the dish on low until ready to serve, remember to stir it occasionally.
Can I freeze Alfredo sauce?
Absolutely! Like other cheesy pasta casseroles, Alfredo sauce freezes well. You can freeze it in separate containers, too, for easy reheating.
How do I reheat my Alfredo sauce leftovers?
Reheat your pasta in a pan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Microwaving may make your noodles a too-soft, and might leave your sauce greasy instead of creamy.
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