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Simple Tips and Tricks to Improve Jar Alfredo Sauce

Can you make jar Alfredo sauce taste better? Yes! You absolutely can, and it’s not hard at all! In this post, I’m sharing how I improve the flavor, from adding spices and herbs to including vegetables and protein. I love the fact that all of these tips are easy and economical.

bowl of chicken fettuccini alfredo

These tips that I’m sharing have worked for me. They are good for either Alfredo sauce in a jar or canned Alfredo sauce and can actually make it taste homemade!

In addition to my favorite recipe, I’ll add other things you may want to try. Cooking is a delightful journey that delivers so many flavorful foods!

My Recipe to Improve Jar Alfredo Sauce

I’ve tweaked this recipe and tested it on my family. After I got two thumbs up from everyone, I kept this recipe on repeat.

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients I use:

  • 1 jar of Alfredo sauce (15 ounce jar)
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken (leftovers, rotisserie chicken, or canned chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/3 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
chopped cooked chicken

If you would like to print this recipe, please go to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Instructions

This is such an easy method of improving Alfredo sauce from a jar or can. I highly recommend it! First, 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.

alfredo sauce in a pot

Add the ingredients you want. I added the chicken minced garlic, garlic powder, and onion powder. Turn the burner up to medium-low heat.

Continue to cook until the mixture is hot, stirring frequently. Serve over fettuccini or your favorite pasta. Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese over the top. Garnish with the red bell pepper and chives.

More 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.
  • Add fresh vegetables. When you add ingredients, such as broccoli, peppers, onions, and other vegetables, you’re adding flavor, color, texture, and nutrition. 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 the Flavor

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.

jar of Classico creamy alfredo sauce

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.

Variations and More Things to Try

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

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Romano cheese
  • Heavy cream
  • Cup of milk
  • Chopped onions
  • White wine
  • White pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Low fat cream cheese
  • Chicken stock
  • Dried oregano
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Italian seasoning

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.

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

Other Proteins to Improve Jarred Alfredo Sauce

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.

If you prefer beef or pork, use that instead. This is your sauce, so make it to suit your taste.

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.

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.

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. 

How 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.

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

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

Get Creative with Your Alfredo Sauce

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.

Yield: 4 servings

How to Make Jar Alfredo Sauce Better

plate of chicken fettuccini alfredo

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.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

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?

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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!

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