For A Creamier Chicken Alfredo, Always Use European-Style Butter

Maybe you've heard of bakers opting for European-style butter for flakier pie crusts and pastries. But if you haven't been thinking "European-style butter" when you think of Alfredo sauce, it's time to start. Skip the roux. Say "bye-bye" to flour and cornstarch. We don't need any thickener safeguards where we're going. We say "European-style" here rather than "European" because this luxurious butter variety doesn't necessarily come from Europe. Sometimes it's produced in America or somewhere else (it'll say so on the packaging). The distinction is less about geographical birthplace than its crave-able idiosyncratic characteristics.

European-style butter totes a higher butterfat content, at least 82% butterfat compared to American-style butter's 80% butterfat. This seemingly small 2% is responsible for a significantly richer, more decadent texture and flavor, plus a pleasant bright yellow hue. When it comes to your Alfredo, the high-fat content of the butter makes the sauce creamier. Plus, European-style butter's softer texture means it melts faster and more evenly for a smooth Alfredo sauce that won't break. It makes for an especially rich swap when used in this chicken fettuccine Alfredo recipe, which is thickened with cream cheese instead of flour. Perhaps the best part of this tip is that it doesn't require any extra steps to incorporate. Simply swap your regular butter for European-style and follow your go-to Alfredo recipe as normal. 

A European-style ingredient shines in this comforting Italian dish

Admittedly, this high-quality ingredient comes with a higher price tag to match. At a Walmart, Kerrygold European-style butter runs for $8.36 per pound compared to generic Great Value butter at $3.98 per pound. But you get what you pay for, and it's worth it to take your chicken Alfredo to the next level with a single ingredient swap. Also, most Alfredo sauce recipes only call for a few tablespoons or up to half a stick of butter. This tip also works if you're making your chicken Alfredo in a crockpot. Just position a few generous pats of the European-style butter on top of your chicken; it'll soak up all that rich flavor as it cooks. (You'll add the cheese later.)

For a decadent vegetarian-friendly "chicken" Alfredo, swap the chicken for a plant-based alternative made from soy protein concentrate, seasoned with smoked paprika, garlic powder, and rosemary. Daring Original Plant Chicken is a killer option and Miyoko's makes vegan-friendly European-style butter made from cultured cashew milk.

This rich, flavorful Alfredo sauce doesn't just have to be used for chicken Alfredo, either. Feel free to spoon this luxurious sauce over roasted asparagus, grilled salmon, eggplant parmesan, or anywhere else a dish might benefit from a hit of creamy cheese sauce. You could fold it into a chicken pot pie, make Alfredo gnocchi, spread it over homemade pizza, stuff it into shells, or spoon it over roasted spaghetti squash.