Roasted Garlic Alfredo
Roasted Garlic Alfredo- A simple cream sauce infused with a whole head of roasted garlic coats pasta noodles and broccoli bits.
May 9, 2022 by Nicole Collins
When it comes to pasta, are you team cream sauce or tomato sauce?
I’m 10000% team creamy in pretty much everything.
I like creamy pasta. I like creamy soups. I like creamy scented candles. I’m sure my cholesterol really loves that about me.
I’ve always been obsessed with fettucine alfredo. I remember eating it pretty frequently growing up. My mom used to get these TV dinners that had alfredo pasta, chicken, and broccoli. I honestly thought alfredo with broccoli was the only way you were supposed to eat it.
I still remember the moment as a grown adult where I brought my first jar of alfredo sauce hoping to make my own version at all. I think I still have the incredibly disgusting phantom taste on my mouth 15 years later. YUCK.
After that terrible jarred alfredo sauce experience, I tried a couple different brands, thought they were all equally disgusting, and conceded that alfredo would be something that I would have to save for the dining out experience.
But then, by total accident, I was making a fridge clean out meal early on in the pandemic. And, I created a quickie alfredo sauce that I’ve made over and over and over a thousand times since. You guys have seen it here only a fraction of the times I’ve actually made it for myself at home.
So, can you guess what we’re making today?
Today, we’re making Roasted Garlic Alfredo!
This quick and easy pasta uses my base alfredo recipe that we’ve seen variations of many times here in the past couple of years. But in this version, we’re throwing in a big ol’ head of roasted garlic for extra indulgent flavor. Then, we’re mixing in some broccoli at the end to pay homage to my childhood memories of alfredo pasta.
This recipe starts with the star of the show: roasted garlic. Roasting garlic is sooooo easy. The oven does all the work! We just need to lop the top off of a full head of garlic, still in its peel. Then we drizzle it with olive oil, give it a pinch of salt and pepper, wrap it up in a foil pouch, then send it to the oven for about 45 minutes to become soft and sweet. When it’s ready, we’ll give it a bit to cool down, we’ll squeeze all those softened garlic cloves out of their skin, and we’ll mash them up with a fork until they make a smooth paste.
Next, we can work on the sauce. We’ll add a little butter to a skillet, and mix in all of that beautiful mashed roasted garlic. Then, we’ll add some milk, heavy cream, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese to the skillet which will cook together for a couple minutes until the cheeses melt and the sauce thickens. Cream cheese is my secret ingredient for alfredo sauce, because it adds that thickening component without having to rely on a butter/flour/cream mixture which can break or separate with leftovers. My other secret ingredient in this pasta sauce is garlic powder. Yes, we’re using a whole head of garlic AND garlic powder. But, I think the garlic powder enhances the flavor of the roasted garlic in the most pleasant way. And, it’s really not overpowering at all.
From there, that’s it! We’ll mix in some cooked pasta and some thawed frozen broccoli, and it’s pretty much time to eat. I’ve always preferred a skinnier noodle, so I used linguine for this. But honestly, any long or short cut past works great here. It totally depends on what kind of mood you’re in and what shape of pasta you already have in the pantry.
This bowl of pasta is pure comfort food. It’s rich and creamy and decadent and luxurious. But, it almost feels a little lighter because I make the choice to use a low fat milk and cream cheese option. The broccoli helps to break up some of that richness with the little pops of earthy freshness. It’s just soooo good! And, you could absolutely add some cooked chicken or shrimp to the plate to make it even heartier. It’s not only optional, but recommended.
Besides making my tastebuds and my tummy happy, the nostalgia of this pasta makes my heart happy too. (Even despite all the cream…lol.)
Ok, everyone. Don’t forget to tag me on social media when you make this so that I can see too! I LOVE seeing your recreations!
I hope you all enjoy, and let’s eat!
Roasted Garlic Alfredo
Serves: 2 Print
1 large head of garlic
1 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk (I used 1%)
2 oz cream cheese (I used low fat)
½ cup freshly shredded parmesan, plus more for garnish
¼ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, for drizzling
1 cup frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
4 oz long cut pasta (I used linguine)
Roast the garlic: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top quarter off of the head of garlic horizontally to expose the cloves of garlic. Place cut garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle enough olive oil over the garlic to cover the top surface. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Wrap foil around the garlic to create a closed pouch, and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 mins. When cool enough to touch, squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves onto a small plate, and mash the roasted garlic.
Make the alfredo: Cook pasta to al dente in salted water according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add roasted garlic, and saute about 30 seconds- 1 minute until fragrant.
Add heavy cream, milk, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk constantly until cheeses are melted and incorporated. Once simmering, reduce heat to low, and simmer sauce for 5-6 mins, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add cooked pasta and thawed broccoli to the sauce, toss to coat, and cook for about 1 minute more. Taste for seasoning, and add another pinch of salt and pepper, if needed.
To serve, garnish with shredded parmesan. Enjoy!
*Any cut of pasta would really work here. I like this one with a long cut pasta, but a short cut would work great too. You could even serve this with a whole wheat pasta, if you like.
*The sauce will look thin at first, but it thickens up once it mixes with the pasta. I use low fat milk and low fat cream cheese, but a fuller fat version would make this even creamier. Use what you prefer. Both work great.
*You could use fresh broccoli for this if you have it instead of frozen. Chop the broccoli into pretty small pieces, and add it to the skillet with the roasted garlic. Follow the directions exactly the same from there. The broccoli has just enough time to cook in the sauce that it's tender but still has a nice bite.
*I find this pasta to be filling on it's own, but feel free to add some extra protein like cooked chicken or shrimp. Add it in at the end with the broccoli.