Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo

5 from 8 votes

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This Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo recipe is a great way to bring the restaurant home! Fettuccine pasta in a creamy rich white sauce with seafood. Ready in just 30 minutes.

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.

A large skillet full of Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo

Why You Will Love This Recipe

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. We also have a Copycat Olive Garden Seafood Alfredo if you want to amp it up with more than shrimp!

This alfredo sauce recipe is a perfect copycat of Olive Garden that your entire family will love! Tender bites of shrimp in a cheesy, creamy alfredo sauce makes this an amazing seafood pasta dish.

When I made 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.

Homemade alfredo sauce is surprisingly fast and easy to make. This easy shrimp alfredo recipe is ready in just 30 minutes! Making it a perfect weeknight dinner idea. You only need a few simple ingredients to get this meal to the table and will want to put this copycat version on your weekly dinner recipes rotation!

A close up of Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo with small shrimp


Full recipe quantities and details for this Olive Garden copycat recipe can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. Let’s talk about the Olive Garden shrimp alfredo ingredients we are using and why!

Fettuccine Pasta – these noodles are classic but you can use other shapes as desired. If you use something with more edges (like angel hair or rotini) it will be a little less saucy because there is more surface area to coat.

Heavy Cream – this is what makes it good and thick! I have tried the recipe before with whole milk and it did NOT work.


Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese – if you buy pre-grated cheese, it is coated with stuff that will not let it melt easily and give you a grainy sauce. I very strongly recommend using a block of cheese and grating it yourself for this reason.

Ground Nutmeg – the secret! We are just using a little.


Black Pepper

Shrimp – Olive Garden’s shrimp alfredo 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.

Fresh Parsley – to garnish, if desired

Instruction Overview

First cook your fettuccine noodles as per package directions to al dente in a large pot. Save a cup of the pasta water if desired to help loosen the sauce later if you want.

In a second pot (or the same pot after pasta is done), melt butter and heavy whipping cream over medium heat.

Add the grated nutmeg to combine.

Stir in the cheese and then season to taste with salt and black pepper. Make sure the cheese melts over a gentle heat.

Add the cooked pasta back into the creamy sauce as well as the shrimp. Cook a couple minutes for the shrimp to heat through. (The tender shrimp cooks in the sauce!).

Serve your creamy shrimp pasta with a touch of fresh parsley garnish if desired like they do at the restaurant!

A copper fork serving Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo

Modifications and Substitutions

Using whole milk instead of heavy cream does not work very well. I have tried it and it does not taste good.

Instead of Parmesan you can use Pecorino Romano cheese – it is a great swap!

Use any size shrimp that you want. If they are not pre-cooked, you can cook them in the sauce before adding the pasta to toss, or cook them separately.

If desired, jazz up your shrimp fettuccine alfredo with additional ingredients like cherry tomatoes, spinach, roasted red bell pepper, zucchini, red pepper flakes, or any other vegetables you want to add.

Kim’s Tips

The creamy 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. 

Pre-grated cheese does not work well! It does not melt well! Use a block of cheese and grate it yourself.


Why does Olive Garden alfredo taste so good?

Olive Garden alfredo sauce is creamy, cheesy, and made with just a few simple ingredients!

What is Olive Garden alfredo made of?

The alfredo sauce is made with heavy cream, butter, and cheese with just a few seasonings.

Does Olive Garden really make alfredo from scratch?

Yes! Alfredo sauce does not hold over well so it is made from scratch every day.

What can I add to Alfredo sauce to make it better?

If you feel like your alfredo sauce is missing something, try one of these things based on what you feel it needs: more cheese, more salt, more black pepper, a touch of acid such as lemon juice (just enough to brighten it up, but not taste it).

What’s the difference between white sauce and Alfredo?

A white sauce tends to be made with butter, flour, and milk. Alfredo is made with a LOT of butter, heavy cream, and no flour.

A bowl of creamy Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo
Pin image close up of Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo with title at bottom

More Copycat Olive Garden Recipes

Copycat Olive Garden

Copycat recipes from Olive Garden to enjoy at home!


Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo

This Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo recipe is a great way to bring the restaurant home! Fettuccine pasta in a creamy rich white sauce with seafood. Ready in just 30 minutes.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: 30 Min or Less, Copycat, Pasta, Seafood
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 1191kcal


  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan (see note)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 pound extra small shrimp (or shrimp size of choice)(or more if preferred)


  • 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.
    1 pound fettuccine
  • As the water is starting for the pasta, combine the butter and cream in a large pot or a wide skillet with tall edges.. Heat over medium until the butter is melted into the cream.
    1/4 pound unsalted butter, 2 cups heavy cream
  • Turn heat down to medium low. Add the nutmeg to the cream and butter mixture. Whisk to combine.
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 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).
    1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan, salt, black pepper
  • 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.
  • Add the shrimp and toss. Let the shrimp heat up as needed in the sauce. Serve immediately.
    1/2 pound extra small shrimp


The quality of the cheese is very important since it is the star of the dish.  Use any freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Pre-grated cheese will not melt well and be grainy.
They use the extra small shrimp which typically comes pre-cooked. If you are using raw shrimp of any size, add to the sauce to cook as needed before adding the pasta.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 1191kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 81g | Saturated Fat: 49g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 316mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 431mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2821IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 569mg | Iron: 3mg
By on July 29th, 2020

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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4 thoughts on “Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo”

  1. 5 stars
    Just finished making and eating this yummy dish. My first ever scratch Alfredo sauce. I used angel hair pasta instead and followed the recipe. I did add a few shakes of garlic powder & Italian seasoning. This dish is a keeper!

  2. 5 stars
    It is so easy to follow and the author is taking the effort to remind us “before al dente”. Thank you for sharing this delicious and easy recipe!


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