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How To Thin Out Alfredo Sauce? Do’s & Don’ts

Had a sudden craving for pasta with alfredo sauce? Decided you could make it perfectly on your first try?

But somehow things didn’t turn out well. Mainly because the alfredo sauce got thickened.

As it’s the star of the dish, you’re wondering how to thin out alfredo sauce?

Well, to thin out alfredo sauce, you can add milk. Otherwise, you can use pasta water or broth. But no matter which one you choose, make sure you bring the thinner to a suitable temperature. And mix it with the sauce that is at the same temperature. While mixing, make sure to stir continuously. And add a little amount of the thinner at a time.

So let’s tell you in detail how you can fix your thickened alfredo sauce.

Alfredo Sauce Turned Out Thick

We plan on giving you a detailed overview of why and how your pasta got thickened. Also, we have provided solutions for making the perfect alfredo sauce. So bear with us.

Is It Actually Thick?

So, first of all, you need to sure if your alfredo sauce is actually thick. Or you just assumed it wrong. So you can put your sauce through a real test. Take a spoon and fill it with the sauce. Now pour the sauce again into the pan.

But while pouring, be really slow. And notice if the sauce feels a little heavier than it should on the spoon. And while pouring, see if the sauce sticks to the spoon and not pours slowly.

If yes then the sauce is actually thick. And to be sure, just put some on your mouth. Check to see if the texture is heavier or lumpy than before.

Why Is It Thick?

Now that you know your sauce is thick, you’ll need to fix it. But, you’ll need to find the reason why it thickened in the first place.

Once you find the reason, it’ll be easier to avoid this issue in the future. So, let’s go through the following factors. And see what went wrong.

Added Too Much Flour

In most cases, flour is the main thickening agent on your sauce. You might have put it in the wrong amount or haven’t mixed it properly. That’s why the sauce is thickened.

So our basic recipe is that we add 4 tablespoons of plain flour for the sauce. It will thicken it and it serves 2 people. And the formula is to keep stirring the flour with a manual egg beater. So that it mixes with other ingredients.

You might have messed up with any of these factors. That can be the reason behind your thickened sauce.

Pasta-Sauce Ratio

Well, it’s another factor that gets unnoticed. You’ve put a lot of pasta compared to your sauce. So it can be the reason behind thickening. As pasta has starch, it soaks up the sauce and makes it thick.

So the perfect amount should be 100gm pasta for 1 cup sauce. That’s how we like our pasta. So if you’ve put 200gm of pasta into this amount of sauce, it’s causing the thickening.

One trick you can follow is that don’t pour the pasta into the sauce. Instead, pour the sauce over cooked pasta. You can apply this trick if you’re not sure if there’s enough sauce for the pasta.

Heat Intensity

So an important thing to notice while making the sauce is heat intensity. Because the heat intensity is high, the sauce might get thick fast. So while cooking the sauce, always put the heat to medium/medium-low.

Putting the sauce in higher heat can be the reason for sauce thickening.

Time of heating

Apart from the heat intensity, the time you took to cook the sauce is another factor. You need to cook it slow but not long enough for it to thicken. If you’ve tried setting creme brulee, you know how crucial the heating time is. The ideal time lies between 15-20 minutes to cook the sauce. And you’ll need to stir for the whole time to not let it thicken.

You might have kept it longer than this time period. And this thickened your sauce.

Added Too Much Cheese

Who doesn’t like cheesy pasta? And we never mind putting some extra when it comes to cheese right?

But you need to also keep in mind that excessive cheese will thicken the sauce texture. And eventually, it won’t taste good. So if you’re putting cream cheese, it should be 25 grams. 

And if it doesn’t feel cheesy enough, you can always add a handful of parmesan on top. But do not put it all at once.

You might have put more cheese than we’ve mentioned. Then you’ve found your reason behind the thick sauce.

Heavy Cream

Another thickening agent is heavy cream. So if you’ve put heavy cream more than you should then it’s what thickened the sauce. So we put an equal amount of heavy and light cream to avoid the sauce from getting too thick.

For 2 people serving, you need to add  ½ cup heavy cream and ½ cup light cream. But you might have added more than that. Or you’ve only put heavy cream then the sauce might have thickened.

Now comes the real question. You might have already known that you can fix excessive black pepper in beef stew but can you fix thickened alfredo sauce?

How To Thin Out Alfredo Sauce?- 3 Easy Steps!

Now you know that what you did wrong while preparing the alfredo sauce. But knowing the mistake already solved 50% of the problem. 

However, whether you’re planning to freeze petit fours or thin out alfredo sauce, you need to do it in the proper way.

So now all you have to do is thin the sauce with these easy steps.

Step 1 Of 3: Choose The Agent

First, you’ll need to choose the thinning agent. But choosing the perfect thinning agent can be a tough job. So we prefer you to pay attention.


Now if you’re trying to make a veg pasta,  add the vegetable stock. If you’re trying to make chicken alfredo,  add chicken stock. But while adding the stock, make sure you add it gradually. 

Start with 1/4th cup of stock, then stir and repeat until it reaches the desired consistency.

Make sure to put the low while adding the stock. So that the sauce doesn’t get any more thicken.


For a creamy texture, add some more milk to the sauce. Add half a cup of milk to thin your sauce. For four cups of sauce, you’ll need to add half a cup of milk. Now keep on stirring. See if the texture improves or not. If not then add a little more.

You can use half and half as well to thin out your alfredo sauce. However, you need to add a little bit of water to even out the mixture depending on your sauce amount. The reason I like it is half and half can be used in cereal as well.

And your sauce will be thinned. If you’re avoiding dairy products, use almond or soya milk as well. In this case, the taste might be a little different. To adjust tha,t put ½ teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg. And you’ll be all good.

Pasta Water

When you boil your pasta, do not drain the water. Instead, you can add this pasta water to thin out your alfredo sauce. You can add up to 1 cup of pasta water to your sauce. This amount is appropriate if you’re making it for 4 people.

After putting the pasta-water in, let it simmer for 10 minutes. See if it comes to the perfect consistency. If it seems too thin then simmer it for another 5 minutes. And it will be all good.

Step 2 Of 3: Level Up The Thinner

Now you’ve successfully chosen the agent you want to put in your pasta. But do not put the agent directly into your sauce. Because remember the sauce is still hot.

You don’t want your sauce to be spoiled right? Then you need to level up the agent as well.

For example, if the sauce is warm, warm up the thinning agent before adding it to the sauce. If the sauce is already at room temperature, let the agent be at room temperature.

To be sure, use a thermometer. Here are the one’s we love to use-

  1. Lavatools PT12 Javelin Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer for Kitchen
  2. GDEALER DT09 Waterproof Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer

So do make sure that both the sauce and thinning agent are at the same temperature.

Step 3 Of 3: Add Thinning Agent

Now it’s time to finally add the thinning agent to your sauce. So take the agent and add it to your sauce. Keep stirring it while you add it. And if it was cold before, then turn the heat on. Move it to medium-low.

And mix the sauce and thinner together.

So let’s tell you how much thinner you should add. That will be depending on how many servings you’re making.

Thinning Agent Base Amount Agent Amount  Serving
  1. 1 cup
  2. 2 cup
  3. 4 cup
  1. 1/4th cup
  2. ½ cup
  3. 1 cup
  1. 1 person
  2. 2 persons
  3. 4 persons
  1. 1 cup
  2. 2 cup
  3. 4 cup
  1. ½ cup
  2. 1 cup
  3. 1.5 cup
  1. 1 person
  2. 2 persons
  3. 4 persons
Pasta Water
  1. 1 cup
  2. 2 cup
  3. 4 cup
  1. 1/4th cup
  2. ½ cup
  3. 1 cup
  1. 1 person
  2. 2 persons
  3. 4 persons

If you’re making pasta for a group of friends or colleagues, multiply the amount accordingly. For 8 people serving, add 2 cups of stock to thin the sauce. See that’s how you need to adjust the amount of thinner. And that depends on how many persons you wish to make the sauce for.

Tips On Alfredo Sauce

You are trying to make alfredo sauce. And we thought that the following tips from professionals will help you. These tips will help in your journey of making it. So have a look at these tips. And make the perfect alfredo sauce each time.

Tip 1: Check The Sauce Consistency

So the sauce gets too thick and you end up adding thinner. But unfortunately, the sauce becomes too thin. In this case, you can add some cheese to it. Grate some mozzarella or parmesan cheese and add it to further adjust the texture. 

And if the cheese doesn’t melt in the sauce like when the cheese won’t melt in soup, you just have to keep stirring it continuously. While stirring, set the heat to medium.

This way you’ll be able to mix the cheese with sauce quite easily.

Tip 2: Preserving It For Future

So if you’ve got some leftover pasta, put it in an air-tight container. Then put the container in the fridge. But when you wish to eat it again, do not consider it reheating it on the stove. Because reheating will make it thicker.

Rather put it in the microwave for 50-60 seconds and eat it. If you don’t have a microwave, bring out the pasta from the fridge. And wait for it to come to room temperature. Then while you cook something else, put it near the stove. So that it warms up enough for you to eat it.

Or if you have an electric stove, you can put the pasta on a light bottom pan. And then put it on your stove. But make sure you do it just after finishing your cooking. Because the stove will still be hot.

And the light bottom pan will help to warm up the pasta for you to it. Because if you put the pasta under direct heat, the sauce will simmer. And it’ll get thickened.


Is cream cheese better than mozzarella if wanting not so thick sauce?

Answer: Well, in a proper amount both can be used without ending up with a thick sauce. You can add 50 grams of cream cheese and 1/4th cup of mozzarella to have a balance.

Can leftover pasta be reheated?

We highly discourage you to reheat pasta as there is nothing better than freshly homemade pasta that you can make now much easier. But if you really want to reheat, then just put it on a light bottom pan. And set the heat to low. Then simmer it once and turn off the stove.

Is there any other way to store it, when it won’t be thickened?

Well, if you guess that you won’t be needing all the sauce. Then you can save some sauce for later. Not mixing the sauce with pasta will not let it thicken. Because pasta starch makes it thicker.


You seem to bear with us till the end and know how to thin out alfredo sauce. A big thank you for that. And here’s a bonus tip for you to keep patience till the end. 

When you cook the sauce, always turn off the heat just before your desired consistency. Because after you turn the heat off, it will get a bit thicker on its own.

We hope to hear from you in the comment section.

Good luck & have a great day.

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