What’s in Olive Garden Alfredo sauce?

BLOOMSBURG, UNITED STATES - 2022/08/18: The Olive Garden logo is seen at the restaurant near Bloomsburg. (Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BLOOMSBURG, UNITED STATES - 2022/08/18: The Olive Garden logo is seen at the restaurant near Bloomsburg. (Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

From its humble beginnings in the 15th century, Alfredo sauce sure has come a long way and has been transformed over the course of its long years in existence. Many popular mainstream restaurants serve a version of this sauce on their respective menus, but the Olive Garden has been serving up a version of this sauce for quite some time, and believe it or not it has some fans. Today, we’ll be looking at just what’s in the Olive Garden’s Alfredo sauce.

Before being transformed, Alfredo sauce was once known as ‘maccaroni romaneschi,’ which translated means Roman Pasta.

The recipe was of course simple at the start (as many things were back then—ah simpler times indeed), the classic Italian recipe calling for butter and cheese…the pasta being sautéed in this combination of ingredients. In later years the cheese became Parmesan although Romano cheese can often be used as well for this classic option.

A rich history this dish has, but just what’s in the version of Alfredo sauce served at the Olive Garden? Keep reading to find out…

The later developed version was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio and yes in the city of Rome. Di Lelio worked at his mother’s restaurant in the ancient city drenched in a rich history all its own, and it was there that he perfected the recipe. This was in 1907 or in 1908 as Wikipedia suggests.

Di Lelio’s contributions to the culinary arts—specifically this invention here—led to his being crowned by the Order of the Crown of Italy! Man what a delicious recipe can do for you, eh?

Well, it was also in the 20th century that the dish became popular with Americans traveling to the country…and yes even Hollywood’s elite. Names like Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart and even Ava Gardner sampled the dish in its native birthplace and it was prepared by Di Lelio himself…a famous photo shoot helped spread the word and further bring the dish to worldwide prominence.

To this day, the dish has gone through many changes and additions have been added. I mean you can get Chicken Alfredo and even broccoli added to the mix among other things—even seafood. But as for the real Alfredo, all you need is a pan, some boiled fettuccini, some butter and fresh Parmesan cheese and you’ve got yourself a delicious dish you’re likely never to forget.

Which brings us to the here and now and of course the Olive Garden…

In December, the Olive Garden will be celebrating 40 years of existence. Since 1982, the restaurant has grown to massive heights, having over 900 locations the world over and with profits that have certainly gone through the roof, as the old expression goes.

Many claim that their stuff is mass produced and isn’t at all classic Italian cuisine, but in the end, many patrons flock the aforementioned locations and seem to go away full and happy for the most part—hence its popularity.

But what about the dish in question? What about their Alfredo sauce? Just how is it prepared, and how close is it to the original?

Well, according to the cozycook.com, the recipe is simpler than one would think and apparently is ready in just 20 minutes. According to the site, sauté some chopped garlic in some butter, add some flour and heavy cream and whisk away…as that reduces a tad, add the cheese (any cheese will do—the site gives many options which include: Gouda, Asiago, Mozzarella, etc..), then add some pasta to the emulsion and sauté some more. It seems also that fresh chopped parsley is added.

I’m not really sure where the addition of cream has come from, but many chefs also add cream to Carbonara, which is an egg yolk and bacon pasta dish, which is a no-no among classically trained Italian chefs, but hey, this is a world of stress, and simple fixes go a long way in making this machine we call life easier, so I guess cream is the way to go if you want to replicate this sauce.

I’d have to agree with the above recipe as far as stating what is in Olive Garden’s version of this sauce: They definitely add cream to their sauce at the Olive Garden, and I believe the Cozy Cook certainly has nailed the recipe.

Mara’s Cooking Channel on YouTube offers this recipe, which is also pretty close…

In the end though, nothing beats a classic sautéed fettuccini in butter, parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper, but hey, that’s just me, folks.

Next. 5 of the best poutines you’ve gotta try in Quebec. dark

Try it at home though, and you won’t be disappointed. Let us know how it all turns out, dear readers.