Tips On How To Make Chicken Alfredo Pasta

This creamy and cheesy pasta is all about the sauce.

IMAGE Shutterstock

An alfredo sauce is a classic pasta sauce. It's an elegantly simple pasta sauce with just three main ingredients: butter, Parmesan cheese, and pasta. It's creamy from the emulsion that is created with butter, cheese, and starchy pasta water. 

It's a little similar to carbonara but without the eggs. It's closer to a cream sauce but without any cream. Is that confusing? It can be if you don't understand what happens to the ingredients that are being mixed. 

This won't get too technical but here are tips to ensure that your pasta sauce is a creamy sauce when you do attempt this pasta sauce with chicken: 

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1 Start with the chicken and pasta at the same time. 

Prepare all your ingredients and your pots and pans on the stove. You can actually start two burners at the same time: a pot of water for the pasta and a pan for the sauce. You'll need the time to bring the water to a boil and cook the chicken, too. 

Plus, the pasta water will still be hot and ready when you need it to thicken and emulsify your sauce, so season the chicken and get it in the pan to get things started. 

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2 Boil less water than normal. 

The second key to making this sauce better and succeed is the pasta water. You actually want this water to be extra starchy so using less water than you would normally use to boil the pasta is ideal. 

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Don't worry. You don't need that much water to cook the pasta. You need just enough water to submerge the pasta. The less water you use, the starchier the resulting pasta water will be. This magic water will be perfect in making sure your pasta sauce combines well with the other ingredients. 


3 Deglaze the pan. 

You got that perfect sear on the chicken pieces but some of the flavors have been left behind in the pan. You need to deglaze the pan now. It can be when you add the butter and cheese mix and scrape it off. The best way to do it is when you add the pasta water so the water can more effectively loosen those flavorful browned bits off the pan. 

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Photo by Shutterstock

4 Use freshly grated cheese. 

It might be expensive but you don't need a lot to make this pasta taste delicious with the sauce you're making. The reason for this fresh cheese is that the pre-grated cheese commonly has other ingredients that could interfere with the creation of the sauce. Fresh cheese is just cheese and will melt and emulsify with the butter and pasta water better. 

Photo by Majoy Siason

5 Broken sauce? Use cream or flour. 

It happens but if the buttery cheese sauce just won't emulsify and come together into a sauce, you have two ways to fix it: add cream or flour. Adding all-purpose cream helps the sauce become thick and by whisking it in, the sauce will have an ingredient to help it combine better. 

You can also make an uncooked roux, a mixture of flour and a fat known as a beurre manie. You can mix butter or oil and flour to make this and add it bit by bit to the mixture until it's combined. Once the mixture has come together, add a liquid to make the sauce. Remember to cook it well so the flour taste will be cooked off. 

No matter how you try to make the alfredo sauce, you will ultimately make an irresistible pasta dish for anyone who loves their pasta creamy. 


If you want to leaarn more ways to make creamy pasta sauces, read on for more information: 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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