Alfredo Sauce with Evaporated Milk comes together in less than 15 minutes. Toss this 3-ingredient sauce with pasta for a meal that is as easy as it is delicious.
Why you will love this
- This sauce comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta. This rich and creamy sauce takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.
- Toss with pasta for a quick and easy dish that's perfect when you are short on time. This recipe works equally well as a main dish or a side dish.
- Evaporated milk is a convenient and delicious substitution for heavy cream. It is lower in fat and calories and is a great staple to keep on hand in your pantry.
- None of the flavors are compromised. Evaporated milk provides the same delicious creamy consistency as a sauce made with heavy cream, but it has a lighter feeling.
This sauce comes together with just 3 ingredients (plus salt and pepper). Add pasta for an incredibly satisfying 4-ingredient dish.
- Evaporated milk - This can typically be found in the baking aisle of your local supermarket. Be sure to use evaporated milk NOT sweetened condensed milk.
- Parmesan cheese - Buy a wedge and grate your own. Freshly grated cheese tastes better and also melts more smoothly into the sauce. Pecorino Romano is also a great option.
- Pepper - If you prefer a pure white sauce, use white pepper. You can also add a pinch of cayenne for a touch of heat.
- Pasta - I prefer long pasta like bucatini, fettuccine, spaghetti, or linguine. Use your favorite pasta or what you have on hand.
OPTIONAL - For garlic lovers, add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic to the sauce.
How to make
- Cook the pasta in well-salted water (add 1-2 teaspoons of salt to the water before adding the pasta). Cook until al dente. Drain, but do not rinse. The starch on the pasta will help thicken the sauce.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the evaporated milk and pepper and heat for 3-4 minutes.
- While the milk heats, grate the cheese. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cheese, in batches, to the skillet, whisking to combine. Stir until the cheese is fully incorporated and the sauce has thickened slightly. This will take about 3-4 minutes. Taste and season with salt as necessary.
- Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to combine. Garnish with black pepper and fresh basil, if desired.
This recipe yields 2 main dish servings or 4 side dish servings. Customize this dish by adding protein or veggies.
- Chicken Broccoli Alfredo - Stir in sliced cooked chicken and broccoli florets for an all-in-one skillet dinner.
- Steakhouse dinner- Serve the pasta alfredo alongside your favorite steak. Don't forget a slice of Ciabatta Garlic Bread.
- Carbonara-inspired dish - Add peas and crispy bacon or pancetta for a twist on a classic.
- Kid-friendly - Use a fun pasta shape like farfalle, orecchiette, wagon wheels, or rotini.
Storing and reheating
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Alfredo sauce with evaporated milk reheats beautifully. The sauce doesn't separate as sauces made with heavy cream often do.
- Reheat individual portions in the microwave until heated through. Serve and enjoy!
If you don't have freshly grated Parmesan on hand, use Pecorino Romano, Asiago, or Gruyere. These are good melting cheeses and would be delicious in this creamy sauce.
Adding shredded cheese helps to thicken the sauce. When adding pasta, the starch from the pasta also helps to thicken the sauce. Flour or cornstarch is not necessary for this recipe.
No, these sauces are similar but not the same. The white sauce starts with a roux which is a mixture of butter and flour. Milk is then added and is thickened by the roux, forming the sauce. Alfredo sauce is a mixture of milk (or cream) and cheese, typically Parmesan.
For alfredo sauce made with heavy cream, try Fettuccine Alfredo with Mushrooms.
More skillet pasta recipes
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Alfredo Sauce with Evaporated Milk
- 6 ounces Bucatini pasta (or similar long pasta)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 3-4 ounces Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- ¼-½ teaspoon black pepper
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain but do not rinse.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the evaporated milk and season with pepper.
- While the milk heats, grate the Parmesan cheese. When the milk is hot, reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly add the cheese, whisking to combine as the cheese melts.
- Once the cheese is incorporated, season to taste with salt, if necessary.
- Add the pasta and toss to coat. Serve.
- Freshly grated cheese is the most fresh tasting and melts beautifully. Pecorino Romano or Asiago cheese can be substituted for Parmesan.
- Add 2 teaspoons salt to the pasta water before adding the pasta. This will season the pasta itself.
- The cheese and the starch from the pasta will thicken the sauce somewhat. This sauce is meant to be a lighter sauce, less thick and heavy than traditional alfredo.
- To reheat: heat in the microwave until warm throughout. Stir and serve.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.