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Alfredo Sauce Vs. White Sauce: What’s The Difference?

Pasta sauces are used to add flavor and moisture to various pasta dishes.

There are several varieties of sauces that go with pasta. They include thick sauces, thin sauces, creamy, oily, or tomato-based sauces.

White sauce and Alfredo sauce are two popularly used pasta sauces.

They are both thick, creamy sauces made primarily from dairy products, however, they are prepared and used differently in various recipes.

So what’s the difference between white sauce and alfredo sauce?

White sauce which is also known as béchamel is a creamy French sauce that is made from roux and milk, while Alfredo sauce is an Italian sauce that is made from butter, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese.

Alfredo sauce is traditionally paired with fettuccini to make a pasta dish known as fettuccini alfredo.

White sauce forms the base for many other French sauces and can be used to add flavor to many pasta dishes.

This post discusses more of the differences between white sauce and alfredo sauce.

Differences between alfredo sauce and white sauce


White sauce is easy to make.  

Three essential ingredients are needed to make white sauce. White sauce is made from a mixture of equal parts of fat and flour which is known as A roux. Roux is then mixed with milk and heated.

The roux makes the white sauce thick and can be adjusted to achieve the desired consistency.

Some white sauce recipes may include salt or nutmeg for seasoning.

Alfredo sauce requires a bit more skill to make than white sauce.

It is made from butter, parmesan cheese, cream.

Other ingredients may be added to give more flavor to the alfredo sauce or to thicken it. They include seasoning, pepper, garlic, salt, and cream cheese.


White sauce is made separately in a pan, which is then added to the pasta or other foods.

Traditionally, alfredo sauce in mixed together with cooked fettuccini pasta in a pan. The sauce coats the pasta as it thickens.

Alfredo sauce is also made separately. You may find alfredo sauce packaged and sold in grocery stores as a condiment.


White sauce is also known as béchamel sauce. It has a French origin.

Béchamel sauce is known as a leading sauce in French cuisine, which is one of the main sauces from which other sauces are derived.

Other sauces that are made from white sauce include crème, mornay, ecossaise, and nantua sauce.

Alfredo sauce has an Italian origin. It is actually a component of the dish alfredo fettuccini which was originally made in a pan together with the pasta by the tableside.

Nutritional comparison

These two sauces are high in calories with alfredo sauce being higher in calories compared to white sauce.

They also contain fats and cholesterols but alfredo sauce is also higher especially in saturated fats and cholesterol than white sauce.

The sodium content of alfredo sauce is particularly high as the sauce is loaded with sodium which could be a problem for those trying to lower their sodium intake.

A 100 gram of alfredo sauce contains about 2590 mg of sodium. White salt is also rich in sodium and contains about 328mg in 100g of white sauce.

Culinary uses

Bechamel or white sauce is very popular in French cuisine and can be used in a variety of pasta dishes They can be used for soufflés, lasagne, mac and cheese.

Apart from being used for a variety of dishes, white sauce could also be used to make a variety of other sauces.

Alfredo sauce is an important part of the dish alfredo fettuccini, where it is most popularly used and known for,  It gives a creamy coat to the pasta.

It also lends its flavorful and rich creamy texture to other dishes as well. Alfredo sauce could also be used for casseroles and other types of pasta.