Nothing feels more reminiscent of childhood than a big bowl of fettuccine Alfredo. (C’mon, it can’t just be me.) There’s something so simple and cozy about a big bowl of noodles swimming in a rich and cheesy sauce. Sure, some might call cacio e pepe the more grown-up version of an Alfredo, but I still consider the classic deeply nostalgic and—of course—delicious. And after our red sauce taste-off, it felt only fitting to follow it up with the best jar Alfredo sauce from the grocery store.
In true Taste-Off fashion, we ran to the grocery store and bought every Alfredo sauce that we could find and bring home to test. The result? Standing around the kitchen counter and eating spoonfuls of Alfredo sauce out of jars. (It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.)
Keep reading to find out who won the title of the best jar Alfredo sauce in our latest Taste-Off. Did yours make the cut?
Ranking Guidelines for the Best Jar Alfredo Sauce
- Flavor. We were looking for a sauce that was rich and cheesy in flavor without being overwhelmingly salty or artificial tasting.
- Texture. We were after a creamy and smooth sauce that clung to the pasta noodles.
- Would I eat this off the spoon? A surprising question that we found ourselves asking after each taste.
Similar to how we ran our Marinara Sauce Taste-Off, we tasted each Alfredo sauce on its own straight from the jar AND with noodles. This gave us a good comparison of if each sauce was good enough on its own, and directionally aligned to how it worked with the pasta as well.
Keep scrolling to find out the winners of our Alfredo sauce taste-off!
When I saw the vegan callout on the jar, I knew immediately that it would be tough for this sauce to end up on top. But I figured if we couldn’t tell a difference between a vegan and dairy-filled version then it deserved a chance. Unfortunately, this sauce was a no-go. The texture was a little gritty and the flavor an all-around pass for the tasting team. If you are vegan, will you please point us to your favorite Alfredo sauce?
Just as quickly as we dipped our spoons into this jar of Alfredo, we immediately called it a pass. While texturally it was fine, the flavor was very tangy. (And—to be clear—not in the way we were looking for from an Alfredo sauce.)
I was concerned that it wouldn’t be fair to test an extra garlicky Alfredo sauce, but this was the only version my local Whole Foods had on the shelf. However, my hesitation was tossed out when we actually tasted it—because honestly if it weren’t for the “roasted garlic” label, we would have called it just another Alfredo sauce. The texture was fine, but it was lacking the flavor we were craving (and that should come with anything roasted-garlic.)
I know, I was also sad this one ranked in the middle. Rao’s was the winner of our Pasta Sauce Taste Off—and clearly, our expectations were high. What gave this Alfredo sauce a lower average ranking from our tasting team was that this sauce was just very salty. However, it did taste better when thinned out with a little pasta water. Trust: if you’re using Rao’s, I would highly recommend this method. Because wow, the first thing we all said with this sauce was: S.A.L.T.
This was a fine middle-of-the-pack option. It wasn’t overly cheesy in flavor and felt more savory than anything else. But overall, its creamy texture was fine and we didn’t mind it. Clearly not a bad option, but it wouldn’t be our first pick off the shelf.
I was ready to be a hater with this sauce, but I ended up pleasantly surprised. The texture was incredibly smooth, and a few tasters said that kids would LOVE this sauce’s texture. The flavor is a little more nutty than it is cheesy, but overall it was a fine sauce.
We were all ready to overlook this contender, but we were surprised by how much we liked it. The flavor was more neutral and would have benefited from some crushed black pepper and extra parmesan, but the texture was spot-on. We would keep this in the back of the pantry for emergency pasta nights.
The first thing we all tasted with this Alfredo sauce was parmesan. The cheesy, rich flavor came across immediately and helped it stand out from the other sauces in this line-up. The texture was a little gloopy though and benefitted from some pasta water. But overall, we liked this one and would buy it again.
We’ve definitely had some surprise winners in our taste-offs, but none like this. The best jar Alfredo sauce didn’t even come in a jar from the pasta aisle. Turns out, the best of the best is found in the refrigerated section. The flavor was clean with that cheesy, well-balanced richness that managed to be indulgent without being too heavy. There was a slight peppery flavor to this one that we liked as well. The texture was very creamy and clung to the noodles in a way that kept us coming back for more. Overall, the answer was clear: this is the one we’ll keep adding to our carts.
Did we try your favorite? Let us know in the comments what items we should test in our next Taste Off!