Skip to Content

How to Make Jar Alfredo Sauce Taste Better

Can you make jar Alfredo sauce taste better? Yes! You absolutely can, and it’s not hard at all!

If you want to know how to make jar Alfredo sauce better, there are so many different things you can do, from adding spices and herbs to including vegetables and protein. These tips that I’m sharing have worked for me, and they are good for either Alfredo sauce in a jar or canned Alfredo sauce and can actually make it taste homemade!

bowl of chicken fettuccini alfredo

I have a recipe for the way I improved the Alfredo sauce at the bottom of this post. You can either scroll down or click on the jump-to-recipe button beneath the title. That should take you to the very top of the recipe card.

Whether you use the Alfredo sauce over pasta or for making pizza, there’s no shame in starting with a jar. After you’ve checked out my tips, I’d love to hear about yours if you’ve tried something different. Please leave a comment if you know of a different way of improving jarred Alfredo sauce. I’ve tried a variety of add-ons to make jarred Alfredo sauce better. So far, my favorite way is in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Simple Ways to Improve Jarred Alfredo Sauce

Although it’s easy to make homemade Alfredo sauce, sometimes you just need something to get supper started quickly. Add a few different ingredients to take your store bought Alfredo sauce to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Although Alfredo sauce is fairly easy to make, you might not have all of the ingredients. Plus the jarred Alfredo sauce often goes on sale in grocery stores. That’s when I stock up for those evenings when I don’t have much time but still need to get a meal on the table.

Never feel guilty when you use the prepared version. You can enhance the jarred Alfredo sauce’s flavor that’s already delicious by adding more fresh garlic or garlic powder. That’s probably the easiest way to improve the sauce. But there are still so many other things you can do. 

You can change this creamy white sauce up a bit with ingredients that aren’t on the list on the back of the jar. By the time you toss in a few ingredients from your pantry, it will taste homemade.

Quick and Easy Tips to Spice Up Jarred or Canned Alfredo Sauce

When I see any kind of packaged or jarred product in the grocery store, I try not to limit myself to its original purpose. In fact, I see the product as the starting point for an even better recipe.

Here are some of my thoughts on how to improve jarred Alfredo sauce:

  • Add seasonings. Look at the list of ingredients, then add more of your favorite. For example if it has a little bit of garlic, try adding more. The same goes for oregano or any other ingredient.
  • Add any kind of meat. When I made the one in the picture at the top, I added chicken. I typically cut the meat into bite-size pieces, but you don’t have to do that.
  • Thin out the sauce if it’s too thick. I use either cream or broth (chicken or beef). Most of the time I use broth. Below, I’ve listed even more ways to thin out the sauce.
  • Thicken the sauce by simmering longer. If you want the sauce to be thicker, simmer it until some of the moisture evaporates. Be careful not to scorch it, so simmer on low heat.
  • Add vegetables. For a complete meal, also known as one-pot meal, chop or shred some vegetables into the sauce. Bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and even fresh tomatoes are good options.
  • Brighten sauce by adding color. My favorite thing to add is a mixture of peppers in various colors. Tomatoes are also good for extra color.
  • Make it creamier. The best way to do this nis to add some cream cheese. Start with an ounce or two and add more if needed.
  • Enhance the flavor with white wine. This is a great way to add flavor without dulling the color of the sauce.

Improve Jar Alfredo Sauce with Fresh Vegetables

Turn your jar Alfredo sauce into a one-pot meal by adding lots of fresh vegetables. When you add ingredients, such as broccoli, peppers, onions, and other vegetables, you’re adding flavor, color, texture, and nutrition.

When adding fresh vegetables, I like to chop them into small, bite-sized pieces or smaller. Then I sauté them in butter or oil. This adds even more flavor and helps them blend into the sauce. However, if you prefer more crunch, you can add the vegetables raw.

More Thoughts on Improving Alfredo Sauce from a Jar or Can

Although you can do whatever you want with the sauce, there are certain precautions to take or hints to take it from better to best. Here are some things I’ve tried.

  • Only add one extra ingredient at a time and taste it before you add more. Otherwise, if you’re not happy with the results, you may not know why.
  • If you’re unsure about adding an ingredient, test it on a small amount of the sauce before adding it to the entire batch.
  • Fresh herbs are normally better than dried seasonings. However, if you don’t have access to fresh, don’t be afraid to use the dried version. Just remember that the flavors in dried herbs are often concentrated, so go lightly.
  • Add wine. It adds a rich flavor to almost any sauce. If you add wine to an Alfredo sauce, use white wine to prevent the color of the sauce from changing.

Below, you’ll see a list of specific ingredients that will add more flavor to your Alfredo sauce. And I think that adding a couple of them will make it even better than most homemade sauces.

Brands of Alfredo Sauce in a Jar

Next time you go to the grocery store, peruse the Italian sauce aisle. It seems that this aisle grows a little bit every time I go to the store.

As you look over the selection, you’ll see some national brands, such as Bertolli Alfredo sauce, Rao’s homemade Alfredo sauce, Classico Alfredo sauce, Ragu Alfredo sauce, and generic store brands of Alfredo sauce.

I’ve found that these are all Alfredo sauces of good quality, including the store brands. However, my favorites are Classico and Raos. But you might like one of the others more.

Like anything else, it’s all a matter of personal taste. Plus, after you add more ingredients, it doesn’t matter quite as much.

jar of Classico creamy alfredo sauce

Based on my experience, they’re all delicious, even though they all taste different. I recommend trying all of them … one at a time, of course. 

Many of the brands offer a choice between creamy white sauce and tomato sauce based Italian sauce. You can also find more specific flavors, such as the creamy basil Alfredo from Bertolli. My personal favorite is typically the one that’s on sale because I know that I’ll be making it my own sauce after adding a bunch of delicious ingredients.

Ingredients to Make Jar Alfredo Sauce Better

My simple recipe only needs a few extra ingredients for the best results. However, you need to please your taste buds, so try different things.

I typically add 5-6 extra ingredients, but you might like more or less. The ingredients I added were things that I knew would be good. Most of my improvised recipes came about through trial and error. It’s all up to you to make it your own sauce with the same or different ingredients.

garlic powder
onion powder
red pepper flakes

Here are some things you can add to your own Alfredo sauce to make it delicious:

  • Garlic in any form (minced or chopped garlic, fresh or garlic in a jar)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Romano cheese
  • Heavy cream
  • Cup of milk
  • Jarred minced garlic or fresh garlic
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Chopped onions
  • White wine
  • White pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Low fat cream cheese
  • Chicken stock
  • Dried oregano
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Italian seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Any type of fresh herbs

As I mentioned earlier, I also like to add some protein, and I prefer chicken, either chopped or shredded. You can also keep larger pieces intact if you prefer.

chopped cooked chicken

I’ve also used shredded beef. Or if you prefer seafood, fish and shrimp are good too. If you add seafood, keep in mind that most of it cooks very quickly. It’s best to add it the last few minutes of cooking to prevent it from overcooking and getting rubbery.

For an extra creamy sauce, add some cream cheese or heavy cream. If you don’t have either of those, a little bit of sour cream also works wonders and adds depth of flavor to the sauce.

If you want to add color to your Alfredo sauce, top it with chives, parsley flakes, or pieces of red bell pepper. I do this because I think that when food looks good it also tastes better.

If you like a little bit of tartness to your Alfredo sauce, try adding some yogurt, either plain or Greek. Regular yogurt is thinner, while Greek yogurt will thicken the sauce. Another thing you can add is a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lime juice. It provides a hint of sour that balances out the richness of the cream.

Alfredo Sauce Pizza

Have you ever tried pizza with Alfredo sauce? If not, I highly recommend it! As with any of the other things you can do with jar Alfredo sauce, you can add any other seasonings you enjoy.

slices of pizza with alfredo sauce, chicken, tomatoes, and cheese

It’s good with your favorite meat, such as chicken, sausage, or pepperoni. Also chop up some veggies on top for a full, delicious dining experience!

Then There’s Bacon

Yes, I did just mention bacon because … well, we all know that bacon makes everything better. Seriously, if you’re looking for a way to make a savory food taste better, try adding bacon. And there are times when it works on sweets as well.

turkey bacon on a plate with a paper towel over one side

I like all kinds of bacon, from the traditional pork bacon to turkey bacon. For those times when I don’t have bacon that I can cook, I keep packs of real bacon bits on hand. Most grocery stores have them near the salad dressings.

package of bacon bits

There are many ways to add bacon to your Alfredo sauce. You can stir it into the sauce in strips (cooked, of course). Or you can crumble it and sprinkle it on top.

If you’re not sure you’ll like it, set some aside and try a couple of bites before you add it to the whole pot. My guess is that if you like bacon, you’ll love it in Alfredo sauce!

Improving the Flavor of Jar Alfredo Sauce

I’m sure there are plenty of ways to do this, but I’ve found this to be the easiest way. Feel free to switch out the ingredients to ones you prefer. 

I believe that the best flavors are the ones you and your family like. I also highly recommend choosing just a few of the above ingredients (or others you might want to experiment with) to test the first few times.

Directions for How to Make Jar Alfredo Sauce Better

Pour the jar of Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan and turn the burner to medium-high heat. As soon as you see a couple of bubbles, turn it down to medium-low heat.

Now start adding the ingredients you like, starting with the liquids and anything that’s not solid. I highly recommend sautéing the onions if you choose chopped onions as one of the ingredients because that brings out the flavor.

alfredo sauce in a pot

I used all dried seasonings because that’s what I had. But if you have access to fresh ingredients, I highly recommend using those. 

Fresh ground pepper is much better than already ground, but use what you have. Or you can use white pepper if you don’t want the specks of black pepper in the sauce. I added chopped chicken that I cooked earlier. We love chicken Alfredo, so that’s what I normally do.

If you don’t have fresh cooked chicken or leftover frozen rotisserie chicken, you can use the canned version. After it’s added to the cream sauce with the other ingredients, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.

When I’m in the mood for seafood, I might use either shrimp or scallops instead of chicken. Both are good. Try using a variety of different proteins to see which ones you like. You can also mix different forms of protein. For example, a combination of shrimp and chicken is really good.

As you add ingredients, you may want to turn the burner up to medium heat to keep the sauce hot. After everything has been added and the flavors have blended, it’s time to serve it.

I’ve added the directions to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. This is how I made it. However, you can add whatever ingredients you want.

Mix Your Sauces

Something else I like to do is mix a couple of different types of sauce to create a whole new flavor sensation. One that we especially like is this delicious pasta and meatballs dish that I make in my Dutch oven.

pasta and meatballs on a plate

You can also try mixing Alfredo sauce with different salad dressings. I use a lot of Catalina dressing to add some extra zing to … well, to almost anything.

Alternate Uses

Don’t be afraid to try something different. Alfredo pasta sauce is delicious on pizza. You can mix it with the standard red pizza sauce or use it instead of the red sauce. I’ve done both, and I like them equally, depending on my mood.

Another delicious way to serve it is over any kind of meat. It adds a creamy deliciousness that turns the beef, pork, chicken, or fish into something even more special.

I’ve even added it to various types of soups, from homemade tomato soup to canned chicken noodle. It adds so much deliciousness that you’ll probably start looking for more ways to use it.

How to Serve Alfredo Sauce on Pasta

My husband and I like fettuccini Alfredo. Since I have a gluten sensitivity, I get fettuccini pasta that’s gluten-free. You can serve this however you like, but I’ve found this to be the best way to serve this easy recipe.

After cooking the pasta and putting it on the plate or in the bowl, I scoop some pasta sauce (in this case, Alfredo sauce) over it. Then I top it with parmesan or a blend of parmesan and Romano. 

chicken fettuccini alfredo in a bowl with a fork

Or, if you prefer, you can mix the pasta into the Alfredo sauce. For a baked dish, mix all of it and put it in a greased baking dish. Top it with mozzarella cheese and pop it into a 350˚ oven. Bake it until the cheese on top melts and then serve it hot.

It’s always good to enjoy any pasta dish with a side salad or steamed vegetable. My husband also enjoys a slice of crusty Italian bread with butter. 

More Ways to Thin Out Alfredo Sauce

If you prefer a thinner Alfredo sauce, there are some easy ways to thin it out. A lot depends on how creamy you want it.

Here are some ways you can thin out Alfredo sauce:

  • Add milk. I recommend doing this very slowly, just a couple of tablespoons at a time because it will thin out very quickly.
  • Use some of the pasta water from the noodles. The starch from the pasta will help keep some of the body and prevent it from being too watery.
  • Add chicken broth, beef stock, or vegetable broth. Again, I recommend adding just a little at a time, until you get the consistency you want. The advantage of using broth over water is that you’re also adding flavor.
  • You can also add water, but that “waters down” some of the flavor. You might need to add more seasonings if you choose water.

Healthier Options

If you’re trying to keep this recipe as healthy as possible, make sure you find ingredients without added sugar, including the Alfredo sauce.

Other things you might want to use are low-fat cream cheese, low-sodium broth, and chopped vegetables such as broccoli or spinach. This is actually a good way to get non-veggie loving kids to have more nutrition because the creamy sauce on top of the pasta dominates the flavors.

I also have a delicious but healthy low-fat Alfredo sauce that I make from scratch. It’s not quite as creamy, but you still get the flavors you love. I make it with low-fat Greek yogurt, which adds a little bit of extra flavor.

Questions You May Have About Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce has become more popular lately, and that’s because it’s so delicious! Here are some answers to questions you may have about Alfredo sauce:

How Long Can You Refrigerate Alfredo Sauce?

If I have any of this creamy Alfredo sauce left over, I pour it into a medium or large mason jar, depending on how much I have. Put leftover Alfredo sauce in the refrigerator, and it should be good for at least 4 or 5 days. However, it rarely lasts that long at our house because we love leftovers for lunch. 

Even if it’s only been in the fridge for a couple of days, I still recommend smelling and tasting it before you serve it. If anything seems “off,” find something else.

Can You Freeze Alfredo Sauce?

Yes, absolutely! Put the Alfredo sauce in an airtight container and store it in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it, let it thaw for several hours. Then put it in a covered saucepan over medium heat.

I’ve noticed that when I freeze Alfredo sauce, the sauce sometimes separates. But all I have to do is stir it as it heats, and that usually solves the problem.

You can also thicken it by adding a little bit of cornstarch. The best way to do this is to make a slurry of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of your favorite cold broth (mine is chicken). Whisk it and then slowly add it to the Alfredo sauce. It thickens as it gets hot.

Is There Protein in Alfredo Sauce?

Alfredo sauce by itself has protein from the dairy it contains. Most Alfredo sauce has a cream base.

If you add chicken, meat, or other type of protein, it has quite a bit more.

Does Alfredo Sauce Have Vitamins and Other Nutrients?

Yes, Alfredo sauce does have vitamins. Most brands of Alfredo sauce in a jar include vitamin A, calcium, thiamine, folic acid, and more. Read the label under nutritional content. Anything else you add contribute to the nutritional value of this delicious food.

jar of alfredo sauce next to a bowl of chicken alfredo fettuccini

Why Is It Called Alfredo Sauce?

It’s named after restaurateur Alfredo di Lelio who featured it at his restaurant in Rome, where it was ceremoniously prepared at the table.

More Delicious Italian-Inspired Recipes

My husband and I enjoy dishes with seasonings that give them the Italian flavor we love. Here are some of our favorites:

Zucchini Pasta Sauce – This is another great way to enjoy zucchini!

plate of zucchini pasta with shredded cheese

Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce – Enjoy it over noodles as-is or add your favorite meat!

How to Make Jar Spaghetti Sauce Taste Homemade – It only takes a few ingredients to kick the flavor up to the next level.

Penne with Italian Meat Sauce – This has become one of our family go-to meals because it’s so good.

Bowl of penne pasta with Italian sauce

Crock Pot Italian Chicken – This recipe from Back to My Southern Roots will knock your socks off, it’s so good!

Italian Chicken Zucchini Casserole – When you want a flavor-packed one-pan meal, this is what you need to try!

Italian chicken zucchini casserole
plate of chicken fettuccini alfredo

How to Make Jar Alfredo Sauce Better

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Elevate the taste of jarred Alfredo sauce by adding just a few ingredients. It's super easy to do and has a huge payoff in flavor.

Ingredients

  • One 15 ounce jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup of chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup of sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives

Instructions

  1. Pour the contents of the jar of Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan. Turn the burner up to medium-high heat. As soon as the sauce begins to bubble, turn the heat down to low.
  2. Add the ingredients you want. I added the chicken minced garlic, garlic powder, and onion powder. Turn the burner up to medium-low heat.
  3. Continue to cook until the mixture is hot, stirring frequently.
  4. Serve over fettuccini or your favorite pasta.
  5. Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese over the top.
  6. Garnish with the red bell pepper and chives.
Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 594Total Fat 52gSaturated Fat 31gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 173mgSodium 487mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 22g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Get Creative and Make Jar Alfredo Sauce Better

Don’t be afraid to try something new. If you like Alfredo sauce but consider the jarred version too bland … or simply not to your taste, doctor it up. You just might discover that it turns out even better than what you’ll get at your favorite Italian restaurant. Have you found a delicious way to improve jar Alfredo sauce? Please comment below and let us know what works for you.

Please feel free to share!

Nathan

Saturday 22nd of October 2022

you didn't mention it but i have found that browning your protein and stir-frying your veggies then adding sauce can amp up flavor...remember that browning meat adds a ton of flavor to any dish...also for a real junky foody feeling try chopped or ground up spam...yum

southernhomeexpress

Sunday 23rd of October 2022

Hi Nathan, Great tips! Thank you for sharing!

John

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Great tips. I use Rao's, Rao's and Rao's sauces. Ditto for the pasta. Since I don't know any better, I add some chopped fresh mushrooms to both Alfredo and Marinara dishes while they're cooking. Also lots of grated primo shamefully expensive Parmesan to the sauce while it's bubbling and on top before serving. Thanks for the ideas on what to add to a nearly perfect sauce.

southernhomeexpress

Thursday 29th of September 2022

Hi John. All of your add-ons sound wonderful!

Laurel

Wednesday 24th of August 2022

A lot of great tips! I've also added powdered milk, powdered cream, and or powdered butter to enhance alfredo sauce. That also applies to cheese sauce and any red sauce.

southernhomeexpress

Wednesday 24th of August 2022

Hi Laurel! Thanks for the additional tips. I'm always up for trying something different. All of the things you mentioned sound really good, especially the butter!

Ginger

Saturday 16th of July 2022

Thank you so much!! I just made the easiest and best alfredo sauce that I have made in years! Jar of alfredo, about 1T lemon juice, 2oz Neufchatel cheese, about 2T Pampered Chef Tuscan-Style Herb Chicken Meal Mix, garlic, salt, fresh pepper, bacon. AMAZING!!! Added it to cubed chicken and gluten free cheese tortellini.

southernhomeexpress

Sunday 17th of July 2022

Hi Ginger. You sound like me in the kitchen, always tweaking recipes to make them even better!

Skip to Recipe