This Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo is just as good as the restaurant favorite! A creamy and cheesy alfredo sauce is mixed with fettuccine pasta and shrimp.
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The Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo is one of the most popular dishes, and it has come in various forms over the years with different mix ins. My favorite was their Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo which I made a copycat of (and have made into many different recipes), but all versions are delicious and difficult to replicate. When I found a base recipe that was just as good or maybe better than the original, I knew I was in trouble and would want to make it frequently.
I love trying to replicate my restaurant favorites at home, and have posted many copycat recipes on this site for different restaurants. I do not post them unless I truly think they are very similar, so hopefully you love Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo as well! You can find the Olive Garden copycat recipes specifically here.
The base of any classic alfredo sauce is cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Just a few seasonings like pepper make it special. And because it is so simple, it is also difficult to replicate! The alfredo sauce does not hold over great, so leftovers are not as good as when it is fresh, but you can add a touch of water or fresh cream to it when reheating to help it along.
Olive Garden classically uses the small or extra small shrimp in this pasta. They are easy to find pre-cooked which means you can throw them in at the last second right when you are tossing everything together for them to heat through. But feel free to use any sized shrimp. You can cook them in the sauce as needed before tossing.
- Start the water for the fettuccine pasta. Cook as per package directions until just shy of al dente (it will be added to the sauce later and will continue to cook). If the pasta is done too early, drain and set aside while reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid just in case the sauce is too thick.
- As the water is starting for the pasta, combine the butter and cream in a large pot or a wide skillet with tall edges (like the one in my picture). Heat over medium until the butter is melted into the cream.
- Turn heat down to medium low. Add the nutmeg to the cream and butter mixture. Whisk to combine.
- Add the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste (cheese is salty, so make sure you do not salt until after the Parmesan is added).
- Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes to combine the flavors. If the sauce is too thick, add a little pasta water at a time to loosen the sauce (or cream). If too thin, let it cook a little longer.
- Remove from heat and add the shrimp. Serve immediately.