14 Jarred Alfredo Sauce Brands To Buy In 2023, Ranked Worst To Best

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Ah, Alfredo sauce — the rich and creamy white sauce that's become iconic in American kitchens. It's perfect for clinging to fettuccine noodles but equally useful as a dip for bread or roasted vegetables, as a substitute for cream of mushroom soup in casseroles, or as the base for pizza. The original Alfredo sauce contained nothing more than butter and Parmesan cheese, but modern versions generally contain rich heavy cream along with flour or cornstarch as a thickener.

It's easy enough to make Alfredo from scratch, but we find ourselves spicing up jarred Alfredo sauce more often than not. To find the brands worth seeking out (and worth avoiding), we taste-tested several jarred Alfredo sauce brands available from the local grocery store, ranging in price from $1.99 to $9.49. Our selection included classic Alfredo sauces that would showcase the pure flavor of the white sauce (staying away from fancy flavors that were truffle-infused or herb-enriched). All the brands happened to be gluten-free, and we included two dairy-free options to see how they stacked up.

To ensure every sauce got a fair shake, we used the same brand of noodles for the taste test and heated each sauce in the microwave before tasting. From there, we assessed the sauces based on creaminess, texture, and overall flavor. The brand was awarded bonus points if it didn't have added sugar or preservatives, too. Our taste testers felt a little sick after eating all that Alfredo, but we came away with a solid ranking.

14. Victoria Vegan Alfredo Sauce

We really wanted to like the dairy-free Alfredo options, but this one was easily our least favorite in the test group. We were a little surprised — we've used cashews to make an ideal vegan pasta sauce in the past, and cashews were the first ingredient listed on the jar. Unfortunately, the second ingredient is turbinado sugar, which gave the sauce an oddly sweet flavor and a gritty texture.

This sauce was unappealing from the start. It was almost gray in color, compared to the white or cream-colored sauces in the other jars. It had a very acidic flavor that was off-putting, and the aftertaste was strange and lingered in an odd way. The final straw was the viscosity, which was thin and pooled around the noodles instead of clinging to them. Considering that this was one of the more expensive sauces in the group, we'll definitely give it a pass.

13. Primal Kitchen No Dairy Alfredo Sauce

Considering that almost all of the ingredients in classic Alfredo contain dairy (butter and heavy cream), it's not too shocking to see that the other dairy-free Alfredo sauce fell to the bottom of the list. This bottle was also tied for the most expensive Alfredo on our list, costing the same $9.49 price tag as Rao's Homemade Alfredo Pasta Sauce (which ended up ranking considerably better after the taste tests).

Our first impression of Primal Kitchen wasn't horrible — it smelled nutty, probably from the use of pumpkin seed butter as its base. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. The sauce was green instead of white, and it had separated in the bottle. While we appreciated the lack of preservatives that might have held the ingredients in suspension, this gave the sauce a salad dressing vibe that we couldn't shake.

The flavor was surprisingly sharp and lemony, and it lacked the creaminess or richness we expect in Alfredo sauce. It had a nice roasted garlic presence, but we would be more likely to use this sauce if it was called anything other than Alfredo. At the end of the day, it just didn't have the taste or texture of its namesake.

12. Simple Truth Organic Classic Alfredo Sauce

We've had a generally good experience with Kroger's private label brands like Simple Truth Organic. In this case, the off-brand label fell short in both the flavor and texture departments. Our first red flag was the texture as it poured out of the jar — a gelatinous and thick mixture that caused us to dive into the ingredients label with skepticism. Sure enough, the first ingredient here is water followed by cream, sunflower oil, and cornstarch. Instead of being real thickened cream, those ingredients come together to create an emulsified concoction that mimics a thickened cream.

After heating the sauce, we noticed that the texture was off. Instead of being rich and buttery, it was thick like mayonnaise, and it coated our tongue with a terrible, almost chemical-like aftertaste. In addition to the strange taste, this sauce didn't coat the noodles very well, either. If we got this sauce at a restaurant, we'd probably send it back, so we'll steer clear of buying this the next time we're at the store.

11. Botticelli Alfredo Premium White Pasta Sauce

We expected more of the Botticelli sauce, considering that it was one of the more expensive bottles at a penny shy of $8. The color was almost pure white, which should have been a good sign — that's the same color as cream. A quick check of the ingredients confirmed that the first few ingredients were dairy based: ricotta cheese, cream, and mixed whole milk cheeses (primarily Grana Padano and Pecorino cheeses). Unfortunately, none of these ingredients contributed to the dominant flavor in this Alfredo sauce.

A very bright, acidic flavor was the first note to hit our tongues as we tested the sauce. It wasn't necessarily weird tasting, and it left our palate clean, but it dominated all the other flavors. Where was the cheese? The salinity? The sweetness from the cream? It was all missing, and while this sauce had a decent creamy texture, it didn't cling to the noodles as much as we would've liked. Considering that it also contains sugar and a bunch of preservatives, we'd prefer another brand before we picked this one up again.

10. Whole Foods Market Alfredo Sauce

There was a lot to like about the Whole Foods Market Alfredo Sauce. The ingredients list was full of real ingredients like heavy cream, butter, Grana Padano cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese. Those came together to create a decent creaminess that we expect out of Alfredo sauce, and the sauce clung to the noodles in an almost perfect way. Unfortunately, we found the sauce a little gritty where it should have been smooth, perhaps caused by the use of milk powder and powdered egg yolks instead of the real things.

The aftertaste on this one was a little peculiar, too. We didn't get that much sweet cream or rich cheese out of this Alfredo, instead noticing an almost sour acidity that was offputting. The sauce finished thick and sticky on our tongue, and that taste stuck around in a bothersome way. There are quite a few preservatives on the ingredients label, so that might be what contributed to the off flavors.

9. Bertolli Alfredo Pasta Sauce

For the price, this one tasted much better than we expected. It was well under the average price of the test group, clocking in at a mere $3.19 for a seven-serving jar. The sauce poured thick from the jar, with a light cream color and large, herb-like flakes that gave it the impression of a homemade sauce. It had a smooth consistency and it even did an okay job of coating the noodles.

When it came to flavor, though, we were expecting a little more oomph. The ingredients list includes butter and two types of cheese — Parmesan and Romano — as well as egg yolk and American Sherry cooking wine. We hoped those notes would come through during the tasting, but the sauce was lacking and didn't really taste like much. We wouldn't specifically avoid this brand, but we also wouldn't go out of our way to seek it out, either.

8. Kroger Traditional Alfredo Sauce

The least expensive bottle in the test group was the generic Kroger brand, so we didn't have high expectations going into the taste test. Our hopes were somewhat bolstered when we saw this brand doesn't use added sugar to boost the flavors, although the first two ingredients on the label are water and soybean oil.

It did have an emulsified texture, more similar to a mayonnaise than a gravy, and it didn't finish as rich as we'd prefer. That said, the sauce was smooth and clung to the spaghetti noodles, and it had a solid cheesy flavor. We wish it had a little more going on — a little extra garlic or salt would be helpful here — but it was a solid base. Considering it's available for only $2 per jar, you could easily spice up this jarred sauce with a little cream cheese to amp up the flavor.

7. Trader Joe's Alfredo Pasta Sauce

People rant and rave about how good Trader Joe's products are, so we were excited to try their take on this classic Italian sauce. This sauce was branded as "Trader Giotto's" until 2020 when they discontinued the brand name in favor of the more generic Trader Joe's. We didn't try the controversial pumpkin Alfredo sauce because it isn't available all the time, and we skipped the black truffle version because it wouldn't be a true comparison to the other jars in our test group. Instead, we picked up their standard Alfredo sauce that's available year-round.

We could smell cheese as soon as we opened the jar, the rich blend of Parmesan and Romano cheeses coming out more intensely as the sauce heated. It came out of the jar a little gritty, but the texture smoothed out as it heated and resulted in a thick, buttery sauce that did one of the better jobs of coating the pasta. The flavor was on point, too, with a cheese-forward taste and a lightly garlicky aftertaste. We wish it had a little more salt, and that the sweet flavor came from cream instead of sugar, but we wouldn't be disappointed if we had to eat this sauce again.

6. Classico Creamy Alfredo Pasta Sauce

At this point in the rankings, we've officially rounded the corner from "we'd rather not" and "it's okay, but not my favorite" to Alfredo sauces that could be considered homemade. Classico makes several different Alfredo sauces, from a classic rendition (the one we tested) to versions infused with roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, or roasted red peppers.

This sauce was a little thinner than some of the others in the test group, so it didn't cling to the noodles as well as we would like, but it was smooth and didn't have any noticeably gritty texture. While it wasn't quite as buttery as our top picks, we certainly appreciated what it brought in terms of flavor. It was simultaneously light and bold, with a sweetness reminiscent of real cream and a lightly salty aftertaste. A quick peek at the ingredients list confirmed why this one tasted so good: In addition to heavy cream and Parmesan cheese, this jar also contains egg yolks and flavored butter for richness. It does have added sugar — something we try to avoid in jarred Alfredo sauces — but it didn't contribute to a weird aftertaste like some of the other jars we tested.

5. Ragu Classic Alfredo Sauce

We were surprised at how much we enjoyed this inexpensive jar of Alfredo, but it shows that big brands like Ragu are popular for a reason. The brand began selling tomato sauce in 1937, and it didn't branch out to Alfredo until 1998 when it became the first white sauce to gain national distribution (via Ragu).

The ingredients list puts soybean oil before the main dairy ingredients (in this case, cream and Parmesan cheese), but we found the sauce to have a decently creamy texture. It was able to hang on to the noodles well enough to deliver a saucy bite with every forkful. The addition of egg yolk in the sauce added a delightful fullness that we found lacking in other sauces in the test group. The flavor was light but pleasant, with enough cheese to know it's Alfredo without being too overpowering. It benefited from a pinch of additional salt, but other than that we had few complaints about this sauce.

4. Prego Homestyle Alfredo Sauce

This was another sauce that we expected to taste good — Prego is a pretty well-known brand, after all — but we didn't anticipate it would make it to the top five Alfredo sauces we tested. The company makes three different Alfredo variations, including a four-cheese sauce and one infused with roasted garlic. To make sure we were comparing apples to apples, we chose the simplest sauce: Prego Homestyle Alfredo Sauce.

Our first impression of this sauce was how thick it poured out of the bottle. The color was darker than most of the sauces, too; instead of an off-white color, it was almost tan. After heating the Alfredo in the microwave, the sauce thinned out just enough to create a perfect coating for the noodles. It was extremely thick and velvety, and it had a cheese-forward flavor that delighted our taster's palates. The ingredients list revealed a ton of cheeses — Parmesan, Romano, cheddar cheese, and something called enzyme modified cheese paste — along with real dairy ingredients like cream and butter. Put it all together, and this is a sauce we'd definitely eat again, especially considering its low price tag.

3. Rao's Homemade Alfredo Pasta Sauce

Rao's Homemade was our top pick when we tested pasta sauce brands, so we had high hopes for their Alfredo sauce. Outside of our number one pick, this sauce was the only one we tested that listed cream before water, so its richness was apparent from the first taste. It was also one of the few sauces we tried that had enough salt for our tasters, as the cheese-forward flavor faded to a pleasant saltiness as we ate.

Our major complaint with the Rao's was related to texture. It was smooth, luscious, and didn't lack at all in the flavor department, but we thought it could have been a little thicker. It didn't coat the noodles as well as most of the top sauces, so we found ourselves wishing there was more sauce with every bite. In the end, we found that an okay concession to make considering the superb flavor.

It's also worth noting that this sauce was tied with the Primal Kitchen for the most expensive sauce in the test group at $9.49 a jar. If budget is a concern, we'd recommend our runner-up pick over this one.

2. Newman's Own Alfredo

Newman's Own might have started with salad dressing (and apparently the entire company started as a joke), but it's since branched out to everything from dried fruit and popcorn to salsas and sauces. When it comes to Alfredo sauce, the company is doing something right because it was only relegated to runner-up by a single one point. We feel safe recommending this as a solid pick if you can't find our winning sauce, or if you specifically want an Alfredo sauce that's shelf-stable.

As soon as we opened the jar, our tasters were greeted with a cheesy aroma that was almost a little funky (in a good, funky cheese kind of way). The sauce was thick and gelatinous out of the bottle, but it mellowed to a velvety, soft texture with a little heat. Unlike most of the sauces we tested, this one had a lightly yellowed color instead of a white creamy finish. And when it came to flavor, this one nailed it: It had a pronounced garlic flavor and cheesy notes, with an on-point salt level and a nice, savory aftertaste. Our tasters were completely tired of Alfredo by this point in the tests, but they didn't want to stop eating this one.

1. Giovanni Rana Alfredo Sauce

All of the other sauces we tested were shelf-stable. According to Does It Go Bad, that means you can keep these jars in the pantry long after their printed best-by date — so long as they're unopened. Once open, they need to go in the refrigerator with the rest of the dairy products.

Giovanni Rana Alfredo sauce is unique because it has to stay in the refrigerator the whole time. The Italian brand started in the 1960s when founder Giovanni Rana started delivering tortellini door-to-door. In 2012, the product arrived in the United States, but it never hit the shelves. Instead, it stayed in the refrigerator section, allowing the company to make sauces without artificial flavors, colors, hydrogenated fats, or stabilizing gums.

The result is a sauce with heavy cream listed as the first ingredient, followed shortly by Parmesan cheese, onions, and Pecorino Romano cheese. It's almost pure white, with visible chunks and flecks of cheese and spices. Surprisingly, all that texture smooths out when heated, resulting in an ultra-creamy sauce that coated the noodles perfectly. It easily had the best flavor in the group, with a full-bodied, sweet cream taste balanced with cheese and salinity.

The only downfall? This sauce only has five servings (compared to the seven listed on most of the sauces we tested). That makes it almost as expensive per serving as the Rao's, but we absolutely think it's worth it.