12 Jarred Alfredo Sauces, Ranked Worst To Best

For a quick, stick-to-your-ribs meal, nothing in the world beats fettuccini Alfredo. A plate of noodles suspended in a creamy, cheesy sauce will always have our mouths watering, no matter our age. But try as we might, whipping up a sauce from scratch isn't always possible day-to-day. Sometimes you need a shortcut to put dinner on the table, and a jarred sauce will do in a pinch. There's no shame in that — store-bought sauces have come a long way, and when you're dealing with hungry kids you'd be a fool not have a few jars on hand. 

Thankfully, your local supermarket has no shortage of jarred Alfredo sauce, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it's nice having choices, and bad because, well, sometimes too many choices turns a simple task into a daunting experience. Are the cheaper brands better or worse? Is it worth spending a little extra for something nicer? Will they be too thick, too runny, too blah? The next time chicken Alfredo is on the menu, allow our list to be your guide and check out what jarred sauces are worth picking up — and what's worth leaving on the shelf. 

12. Sonoma Gourmet Creamy Alfredo Sauce

In the battle of jarred Alfredo sauces, this one ranks dead last. At first glance, it seems like an okay option. It's gluten-free, Keto-friendly, and made with all-natural ingredients. The steeper price ($7.99 on Sonoma Gourmet's website) suggests you're getting something better than the average store-bought sauce. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, that's not the case. 

Reviewers who've tried it first-hand complained of its pungent and "sour" taste, and that it's thick and goopy in texture. But the real kicker? The flavor is eerily similar to ranch dressing. One possible explanation for why it's so Hidden Valley-esque is the fact that it contains dehydrated vegetable stock, celery, onion, garlic, and carrot, all things which would make for a great veggie tray dip but not so much for traditional Alfredo. 

Don't get us wrong. We love ranch dressing, and all the myriad ways you can eat it. But ranch dressing on Fettuccini pasta? No. It shouldn't be anywhere near noodles if we have anything to say about it. Not to mention it's loaded with sodium at 340 mg for a 1/4 cup serving size, which is high even for store-bought sauce standards. As far as whether it's totally inedible, that has to do with your tolerance for herbs, unpleasant smells, and a paste-like texture. For $8 of your hard-earned money? It's a hard pass. 

11. Botticelli Premium Alfredo Pasta Sauce

If this were a list about authenticity, then Botticelli would win in a heartbeat. For one, it's actually made in Italy, and two, it uses real Italian parmesan cheese. But this list is about taste and we have to take a stance. For all intents and purposes, Botticelli falls flat in just about every way. Besides its unappetizing appearance, this sauce is far from the silky consistency you desire in an Alfredo sauce. It's actually quite gelatinous in texture, almost gravy-like. What makes the consistency even worse is knowing there's not a lot of flavor there. 

Reviewers complained of an unpleasant aftertaste that lingers in the mouth, which really gives itself away as to whether it's a processed store-bought sauce or something made from scratch. It also spoils a lot faster than other brands, with just three days to use it after opening. Not ideal if you were hoping to enjoy chicken Alfredo all week long. At that point, you might as well pick up a wedge of fresh Parmesan and cream and make it yourself. It'll save you money and taste a lot better, too.

10. Victoria Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Don't get us wrong: there are some killer vegan products out there these days, and many of them can easily be found at the grocery store. But if you spy Victoria Vegan Original Alfredo Sauce lurking in the sauce aisle, skip it. According to the label, it recreates the cheesy texture by using cashew cream and infusing it with garlic and spices. This is a common vegan substitute for meals like macaroni and cheese, and it's usually delicious. Seems like it would fool you into thinking it was the real thing, right? Wrong. 

Not only does it look wrong with its off-putting beige color, but it tastes wrong, too. Apparently, the flavor is closer to something like Italian dressing, which despite the piquant notes of herbs and garlic, doesn't resemble anything like the Alfredo sauce we know and love. You'll also need to shake it vigorously since it separates in the fridge, and lumps in a pasta sauce is a huge red flag. So unless you're looking for something different to drizzle on your garden salad, steer clear. 

9. Good & Gather Alfredo Sauce

The Alfredo sauce from Target's Good and Gather line is an affordable option — for just $1.69 a jar, you can prepare a relatively quick and tasty meal for the whole family. But it shouldn't just be about quantity, here. It should also be about quality, and this sauce doesn't seem to have it. According to reviewers on Target's website, the sauce has a diluted, watery texture that's plain at best and at worst mimicking the mouthfeel of plastic (gross). It's also lacking that sharp, full-bodied flavor that makes Alfredo sauce so tantalizing. For this reason, it could be decent as long as you dress it up with your own seasonings or toss it with grilled vegetables or chicken. But if you have to add extras in order to make it palatable, then it's not really doing what it's supposed to. It might not be the worst, but being ho-hum shouldn't give it a pass for essentially being a dull cheese sauce. Compared to other brands on the market, we think you can do better. 

8. Newman's Own Alfredo Pasta Sauce

For something basic, the Alfredo sauce from Newman's Own isn't bad. Unlike some of the ones listed, it isn't thick, gluey, or overly pungent. Rather, it has a thinner texture that, while easy to cook off in the pan, borders on runny. Like if you used a canned soup for your pasta. Sauce should be, well, saucy, but we also don't want the noodles simply swimming in it. The flavor is also mild despite the bold flavors of Parmesan and Romano cheese, and while that can be good for picky eaters it might read bland to some. For a quick fix, reviewers suggest adding extra cheese or spices to kick it up a notch (via Influenster). While we believe it should be able to stand alone without adjustments, we also get the appeal of making customizations to your preferences. You may like this one if heavy cheese sauces a la Olive Garden aren't your thing, but if not, feel free to go to town on the extras. Are we saying it's mind-blowing? Not by a long shot. But for those busy days where you need a meal in half an hour or less, this would do the trick.  

7. Trader Joe's Alfredo Pasta Sauce

Trader Joe's has plenty of praise-worthy products in its arsenal, but one that isn't talked about much is its Alfredo sauce. We're not sure why, because this one's pretty good as far as store-bought goes. The flavors of Italian cheese and black pepper really shine through and make a perfect counterpoint to grilled meats like seafood and chicken. It also has fewer preservatives than the average supermarket fare, which adds to the homemade feel many jarred varieties lack. It's not without its faults, however. As fan website Everything Joe's reveals, the sauce is actually quite heavy out of the jar, a turn-off if you're aiming for a silkier, lighter texture when cooking. But it's nothing a dash of pasta water or milk can't fix. Even though it's not as cheap as some, you get over a pound of the stuff, which is a pretty good deal for what you're getting. Just add a bag of frozen broccoli, some pre-cooked chicken, and voila– dinner is served. And unlike the seasonal items that come and go with the Fearless Flyer, you can always find it on the shelf. Final verdict? Give it a shot. 

6. Ragu Classic Alfredo Sauce

Big brands might feel overplayed, but hey: they're popular for a reason and do prove to be the best choice. For the last-minute chef in mind, you can't go wrong with Ragu's Classic Alfredo Sauce. It hits on the key elements of a cheesy cream sauce: the just-right thickness, the gooey consistency, and the bold flavors of Parmesan and Romano that are strong without overpowering the meal. Plus, you can find it in just about any supermarket across the country. Shoppers from Target not only said it's "yummy," and "the best there is," but they also shared easy recipe ideas that use it to its full potential. Penne pasta with broccoli, Shrimp Alfredo, classic Chicken Alfredo–all delicious possibilities that point to this sauce being a huge hit. And since it's light on the pepper, it's recommended for anybody who has young children or picky, hard-to-please eaters in their house. When the inevitable craving for Alfredo hits, you'll be happy to find a jar of this in the pantry. It's a godsend. 

5. Classico Four Cheese Alfredo Pasta Sauce

If you want a sauce dinner party guests won't suspect of being store-bought, look no further than Classico. The brand offers multiple Alfredo sauces fit to please any pasta-lover, but it's the Four Cheese variety customers flock to again and again. Mixing a flavorful blend of Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, and Ricotta cheeses, it's combined with fresh cream and notes of onion and garlic resulting in an authentic, delicious sauce. The variety of cheeses adds unexpected nuance, and the flavor profile meshes with just about any kind of pasta. You can toss it in mushroom ravioli, gnocchi, and shrimp linguine all in one week without having to return to the store for more ingredients. Some even use it as a pizza sauce! And not only does it taste less processed than what's normally in a jar, but it's inexpensive to boot. Walmart's website sells the 15-ounce jar for around $2, though you can find similar pricing at most major retailers. Cheap, easy, and delicious — what's not to love?

4. Prego Homestyle Alfredo Sauce

Who doesn't remember their mom making spaghetti as a kid? In addition to the love cooked into it, chances are high her secret ingredient was also a jar of Prego sauce from the pantry. And her famous chicken Alfredo? The exact same thing. It isn't simply nostalgia coloring our view of Prego's Homestyle Alfredo Sauce. It really is that good. The sauce is described as "silky" and "smooth," with a rich consistency that avoids the pitfalls other jarred sauces experience time after time. Too gluey, too runny, too stinky, not enough seasoning? Prego is none of the above, instead settling on a balanced texture with the right amount of cheese and garlic coming through. 

In other words, the Goldilocks of jarred Alfredo sauces. Scores of reviews on Prego's website praise the sauce's versatility across dishes as well as its affordability, two reasons we've placed it so high on our list. But don't just take our word for it — grab a jar on your next grocery run and taste it for yourself. You'll see why so many people love it. 

3. Bertolli Alfredo Sauce with Aged Parmesan Cheese

In our opinion, the gold standard of store-bought sauce. Bertolli's Alfredo Sauce with Aged Parmesan is easily the best-kept secret of the supermarket shelf. A single jar will turn Tuesday night dinner into an indulgent Italian feast. The addition of aged parmesan, complete with butter and fresh cream, elevates this sauce into something spectacular. It's somehow rich and indulgent while also remaining light to the touch, a tough feat for any cheese sauce. Creamy enough to coat pasta without becoming a  heavy, congealed mess? That's what you want in an Alfredo sauce, and Bertolli's gets it right.  Customers all over have called it "smooth and tasteful" and "the best jarred Alfredo sauce" due to its ability to make an ordinary weeknight meal restaurant-quality on a budget. One pro-tip to keep in mind is to go easy on the salt, since the sauce already contains it in addition to the plethora of Italian seasonings that make it so flavorful in the first place. It's the best jarred Alfredo money can buy, and for that it earns its spot in third place. 

2. Little Italy in the Bronx Alfredo Sauce

Deciding on the top jarred Alfredo sauce comes with its own unique challenges, but sometimes the victors are clear. This Alfredo sauce from Little Italy in the Bronx comes in second place for the fact that it achieves a level of authenticity other sauces can only dream of. Quality ingredients, from the fresh cream and butter to the sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, lends itself to forming a richly creamy base that will coat your favorite pasta perfectly. You might end up saving money in the long run, since its quality rivals any Alfredo you'd order from a chain restaurant any day of the week. 

One reviewer on Amazon who swears by homemade pasta sauces only was "pleasantly surprised" by how good it tasted. It's jarred Alfredo sauce for people who don't like jarred sauces, which is the highest praise a store-bought product can get in our books. Keeping in mind that is has a steeper price tag, the quality of this sauce justifies the splurge, especially when it rivals the homemade kind. If you weren't someone who'd spend almost $10 on a jar of sauce, this will convert you. 

1. Rao's Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Finally, the time has come. For the best jarred Alfredo sauce on the market, we give the honor to none other than Rao's Homemade. Out of all the sauces on this list, this Alfredo stands unparalleled for its premium ingredients and taste. You've got the basics covered: traditional Italian cheeses, bold herbs, and the freshest butter and cream tying it all together. But jam-packed into each jar is a family's culinary legacy. The brand was started by the restaurateurs of Rao's Restaurant in New York City in efforts to make their world-famous sauces more accessible to the public. This means every time you buy it from the grocery store, you're receiving restaurant-level quality, only without the reservation (or even a plane ticket). 

Who thought your normal Friday night dinner could be elevated to such heights? The rave reviews speak for themselves – home chefs adore it on pasta and pizza, but it also tastes great on grilled fish and potatoes. It is more expensive (about $7.50 on Amazon), but in this case, it's only a testament to its craftsmanship. So go ahead, treat yourself to Rao's at least once. You may not order Alfredo out again.