Carbonara vs Alfredo: Are They The Same?

Carbonara vs alfredo

Carbonara vs. Alfredo, what’s the difference? Carbonara sauce has more ingredients than Alfredo sauce. While Alfredo sauce is made of heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and melted butter, carbonara sauce comes with additional ingredients such as eggs, pecorino romano, cured pork, parsley, and black pepper.

Both Alfredo and carbonara sauce is popular in Italian cuisine, but carbonara sauce has more ingredients. There are also other differences between these two sauces, so keep reading to learn more!

What Is The Difference Between Carbonara And Alfredo?

The main difference between Alfredo sauce and carbonara sauce is in their ingredients. Alfredo sauce is made with heavy cream, melted butter, and parmesan cheese.

On the other hand, carbonara sauce is a creamy sauce made with egg yolks, cream, parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano cheese, and guanciale – Italian cured pork (or pancetta), olive oil, black pepper, and parsley.

Alfredo sauce has a smooth texture and buttery taste. Carbonara sauce is more crunchy and it has an earthy flavor. Alfredo sauce relies on the mixture of melted butter and heavy cream, while carbonara includes egg yolks and hence has a richer texture.

Alfredo sauce goes best with fettuccine noodles, and fettuccine alfredo is considered a classic Italian pasta dish. Carbonara sauce goes best with spaghetti.

Both sauces belong to the group of white Italian sauces as their base is heavy cream, as opposed to most other sauces that have tomatoes or other vegetables as their base.

Carbonara vs alfredo pin

Does Carbonara Sauce Taste Like Alfredo?

No, carbonara sauce doesn’t taste like alfredo. Carbonara sauce is a rich sauce that’s creamier than Alfredo sauce. It also has a smokier flavor due to the pancetta or guanciale. Alfredo sauce is lighter and has a more subtle flavor.

If you are looking for pasta with a strong flavor, carbonara pasta is a better option. However, if you prefer lighter pasta, pasta Alfredo may be a better choice.

So, when you have to choose between alfredo vs. carbonara, keep in mind that they have different flavor profiles.

What Does Carbonara Sauce Taste Like?

Carbonara is a rich and creamy sauce that has a salty, smoky flavor that goes well with pasta. It is also common to add black pepper to the sauce. Another flavor note that is sometimes added to carbonara sauce is garlic.

Also, carbonara is one of those sauces that is best when made fresh. So, if you have the time, make it from scratch. But, if you are short on time, there are some good quality jarred carbonara sauces available at the grocery store.

Is Fettuccine And Carbonara The Same?

No, fettuccine is a type of pasta noodles, and carbonara is a sauce. Fettuccine noodles are a type of pasta made from durum wheat and water.

Durum wheat is a hard type of wheat that is higher in protein than soft wheat, which is used to make most other types of pasta. Fettuccine noodles are similar to spaghetti noodles, but they are flatter and wider.

Fettuccine noodles can be prepared with many sauces, including the carbonara sauce, but they are most often made with alfredo sauce. Fettucine alfredo is popular italian dish.

The dish originated in Rome, Italy, and was created by chef Alfredo di Lelio at his restaurant, Alfredo Alla Scrofa. The dish became popular in the United States after it was featured in a Hollywood film, Roman Holiday.

Fettucine alfredo is typically made with fettuccine noodles, but other types of pasta can be used as well.

Homemade Carbonara

To fully enjoy its rich flavor, you can try and make your own carbonara sauce.

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 large eggs and 2 egg yolks.
  2. Add 1/3 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese and 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese.
  3. Stir everything well together and season with salt, black pepper, and chopped parsley (optional).
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.
  5. Add 3 1/2 ounces of chopped pancetta, guanciale, bacon, or ham.
  6. Saute the meat until it starts getting crispy.
  7. While sauteing the meat, cook 12 ounces of spaghetti as you usually cook them.
  8. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the remaining water.
  9. Transfer the pasta into the skillet and stir over low heat for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Add the cheese mixture into the skillet.
  11. If needed, you can also add that reserved pasta water.
  12. Enjoy your homemade carbonara!

Homemade Alfredo

If you prefer the simplicity of the Alfredo sauce, you will be delighted to hear that it is extremely easy to make, just follow these steps:

  1. In a large skillet, combine 1/2 cup of butter and 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream.
  2. Simmer this mixture over low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Add 2 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir everything together, simmering until the cheese melts.
  5. While the sauce simmers, you can cook fettuccine or other pasta of your choice.
  6. Once both pasta and sauce are cooked, combine them and serve.

If you prefer a more basic Alfredo sauce, skip minced garlic and Italian+ seasoning, and season it only with salt and black pepper.


So, now you know the difference between carbonara vs. alfredo. Alfredo sauce is made with heavy cream, melted butter, and parmesan, while carbonara sauce has more ingredients, and it includes guanciale, eggs, cream, parmesan, black pepper, and parsley.

Both sauces can be used in various pasta dishes, but alfredo sauce is usually combined with fettuccine noodles, while carbonara is more often found in spaghetti dishes.

Alfredo versus carbonara sauce, which one is your favorite? Share in the comments!

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