Fettuccine Alfredo is classic comfort food, but it can be both too rich and too…well, boring, at least after a few bites. That’s why we’ve collected nine pasta Alfredo recipes, from basic to totally non-traditional. There are a couple healthier versions in the mix, and a vegan Alfredo too, so you can keep eating creamy pasta all winter without ever getting tired of it. And they all come just in time for National Fettuccine Alfredo Day on Feb. 7!
According to origin stories, Roman restaurateur Alfredo de Lelio made the first pasta Alfredo in 1914, and mega–silent movie stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were said to have brought a taste for fettuccine Alfredo back to the U.S. in 1920s Hollywood. In any event, the simple dish of fresh noodles sauced with cream, butter, and parmesan is an enduring favorite, with scores of modern variations. So here’s the classic recipe, followed by eight delicious updates:
Cream, butter, parmesan cheese, salt, and a decent amount of black pepper. A good Alfredo sauce is pure butterfat simplicity, highlighted perfectly by freshly cooked, al dente fettuccine. Make this when you’re in the mood for something both simple and indulgent. Get our Fettucine Alfredo recipe.
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In a slightly more health-conscious take on fettuccine Alfredo, a moderate amount of pasta mingles with fresh zucchini ribbons. Slices of skinless chicken breasts add protein, and the sauce—a flour-thickened mix of milk and evaporated skim—avoids the butterfat of the traditional creamy recipe. Parmesan, of course, adds flavor. Get our Chicken Alfredo with Zucchini Ribbons recipe.
If traditional fettuccine Alfredo is like a formal Italianate dining room, this recipe’s like eating off the coffee table in the family room. Kid-friendly penne or mostaccioli pasta is married to a sauce of cream, parmesan, and Monterey Jack, with a veggie blend of broccoli and sweet red pepper. Get our Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo recipe.
Adding Cajun seasoning gives creamy Alfredo a much needed kick, and the best part of this pasta is that it all cooks in one pot. And yes, that includes the noodles! Get the One Pot Cajun Chicken Alfredo recipe.
Another twist on the Alfredo canon (and OK, maybe no longer technically Alfredo), this one takes its cues from Thai cuisine and just happens to be dairy free. Coconut milk brings the creaminess, and red curry paste brings the flavor. Get the Thai Style Fettuccine Alfredo recipe.
For when chicken seems too ho-hum, simply swap in shrimp for topping your luscious fettuccine Alfredo. Bonus points if the shrimp are sauteed in garlic butter first. Get the Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo recipe.
Related Reading: What Is the Difference Between Alfredo and Carbonara Sauce?
Many vegan Alfredo recipes rely on cauliflower for a creamy base, but if you’d rather try something different, this one is based on cashews, and can be completely oil-free if you desire. Get the Vegan Alfredo recipe.
A self-proclaimed “faux-fredo,” this slightly lighter version of the classic creamy sauce is no less delicious; there’s still butter, just not as much, and the heavy cream is replaced by a combo of whole milk and cream cheese. It’s also larded with spinach for a little green. Get the Lighter Spinach Alfredo Pasta recipe.
Doubting that this indulgent pasta bake deserves the healthy label? Turns out, the sauce is based on blended cauliflower with only a small amount of milk—so that cuts down on calories, but you’d never know from the taste. There’s also plenty of gooey cheese and caramelized mushrooms in the mix. Get the Healthy Mushroom Pasta Alfredo Bake recipe.
Related Video: Pasta Shapes You’ve Probably Never Seen Before
Header image courtesy of Chowhound.