Are you looking for a quick, easy weeknight dinner recipe bursting with flavor? Look no further than this Copycat Olive Garden Creamy Mushroom Sauce!
With its rich Alfredo sauce base and hearty mushrooms, this sauce is a delicious and satisfying option, ready in 10 minutes. Plus, since it’s based on Olive Garden’s “all you can eat” pasta menu, you know it’s a dish sure to please.
What’s great about this recipe is that it takes a classic Alfredo sauce and adds a touch of lightness with lots of savory mushrooms.
So whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, this creamy mushroom sauce is a crowd-pleaser that’s sure to impress. And since it’s so easy to make, you can enjoy it whenever you want something delicious!
- Why you’ll love this recipe
- What ingredients do you need to make an Olive Garden mushroom sauce copycat recipe?
- How to make the Olive Garden mushroom sauce at home
- Tips & tricks when making a thick and silky mushroom sauce
- Customizations and substitutions
- How to store it for later
- How to reheat it
- Olive Garden Mushroom Sauce Copycat Recipe
- Frequently asked questions about the olive garden mushroom sauce
Preparing homemade Alfredo sauce is a breeze, and it’s surprisingly quick! The sauce can be made in less time than it takes to boil the noodles.
The versatility of this dish is a huge bonus. You can easily add chicken, steak, or shrimp to your Alfredo, making it a perfect meal for any occasion!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Quick and Easy: This recipe can be whipped up in 10 minutes, making it the perfect choice for a quick weeknight dinner.
- Versatile: This recipe can be easily customized to suit different preferences and dietary needs. Add chicken, steak, shrimp, or any other protein to fill it more.
- Creamy and Flavorful: The creamy mushroom sauce is rich and indulgent, with a savory umami flavor from the mushrooms and parmesan cheese.
- Budget-Friendly: Making this mushroom sauce at home is a great way to save money and enjoy the same delicious flavors as the Olive Garden version. You can make as much or as little as you need, so there’s less food waste.
What ingredients do you need to make an Olive Garden mushroom sauce copycat recipe?
- Heavy cream or whipping cream: This type of dairy cream has a high-fat content and a rich, creamy texture. It’s a key ingredient in Alfredo sauce, providing the creaminess and richness it is known for.
- Butter: Butter is used to sauté the garlic and mushrooms and make a roux (a mixture of flour and fat) that helps thicken the sauce.
- Pasta: This recipe is versatile and can be used with different types of pasta, such as linguini, fettuccine, shells, etc. Choose your favorite kind of pasta or use what you have on hand.
- Garlic: Garlic is a flavorful ingredient that adds depth and complexity to the sauce. It’s sautéed in butter before adding the mushrooms.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are the star ingredient of this dish, adding a savory, earthy flavor and meaty texture. Any type of mushroom can be used, but button or cremini mushrooms are commonly used.
- Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese is a salty, nutty cheese that adds a delicious flavor to the sauce. It’s grated and added to the sauce towards the end of cooking.
- Flour: Flour makes a roux with butter, which helps thicken the sauce. It’s essential to cook the flour and butter mixture for a few minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste.
How to make the Olive Garden mushroom sauce at home
First, you’ll want to cook your pasta according to the package directions. While that’s happening, heat up a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté your mushrooms for about 3-4 minutes.
Once they’re done, go ahead and set them aside for later. Next, in the same skillet, add some butter and garlic and cook for a minute or so, stirring occasionally. Then whisk in some flour until it’s smooth.
Now it’s time to add in the heavy cream, milk, and Parmesan cheese. Keep stirring frequently until the sauce simmers and thickens up. Once your pasta is done cooking, go ahead and drain it and add it to the sauce with your cooked mushrooms.
Give everything a good toss to make sure everything is evenly coated in that delicious sauce.
Don’t forget to season with some salt and pepper to taste, and when you’re ready to serve, sprinkle some chopped parsley on top. And there you have it – a tasty meal that’s sure to impress!
Tips & tricks when making a thick and silky mushroom sauce
- Use heavy cream or whipping cream instead of milk. This will help to make the sauce creamier and richer.
- Use good quality Parmesan cheese and grate it yourself. Pre-grated cheese often contains anti-caking agents that can prevent the cheese from melting smoothly into the sauce.
- Add the Parmesan cheese gradually, stirring constantly, and let it melt completely before adding more. This will help to prevent the cheese from clumping and ensure a smooth, creamy texture.
- If you prefer a thicker sauce, slowly add a small amount of flour (1-2 tablespoons) to the sauce, stirring constantly. Allow the flour to cook for a few minutes before adding more. Be sure to cook the flour thoroughly to avoid any raw flour taste.
- Don’t overcook the sauce. Overcooking can cause the sauce to become too thick and lose its silky texture. Keep the sauce warm on low heat, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.
Customizations and substitutions
- Add protein: Add cooked chicken, shrimp, or steak to the sauce for a heartier meal.
- Add vegetables: You can add spinach, roasted red peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce for extra flavor and nutrition.
- Use different types of mushrooms: If you don’t have or don’t like white button mushrooms, you can use cremini, shiitake, or portobello mushrooms instead.
- Use different types of pasta: This sauce goes well with various pasta shapes, such as linguine, fettuccine, shells, or penne.
- Make it spicy: Add some crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños to the sauce to give it a spicy kick.
- Use a different type of cheese: Instead of Parmesan cheese, you can use Romano or Asiago cheese for a slightly different flavor.
How to store it for later
To store the leftover mushroom sauce:
- Let it cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container.
- Store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When reheating the sauce, you may need to add milk or cream to thin it out and bring back its creamy texture.
- Avoid freezing the sauce, as the texture may change after thawing.
How to reheat it
To reheat the mushroom sauce, place it in a saucepan over medium heat and stir occasionally until heated. If the sauce has thickened too much in the refrigerator, you may need to add a splash of milk or cream to loosen it up as you reheat it.
Alternatively, you can microwave the sauce in a microwave-safe dish, stirring every 30 seconds until heated. Be sure to cover the container to prevent splatters.
Olive Garden Mushroom Sauce Copycat Recipe
- 8 oz pasta linguini, fettuccine or spaghetti
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté mushrooms for 3-4 minutes. Remove mushrooms and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add butter and garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk in flour until smooth.
- Add heavy cream, milk, and Parmesan cheese. Stir frequently until sauce simmers and thickens.
- Drain pasta and add to the sauce with the cooked mushrooms. Toss to coat evenly.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Enjoy!
Frequently asked questions about the olive garden mushroom sauce
The mushroom sauce can be made of various ingredients, but a basic recipe includes fresh mushrooms as the primary ingredient. Common elements include heavy or whipping cream, butter, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and flour. The mushroom sauce can also be seasoned with herbs and spices for flavor. The mushroom sauce can be used as a topping for pasta, meat, and vegetables or as a base for soups and stews.
In the early 1980s, Olive Garden took inspiration from the classic Alfredo sauce recipe and created its version. The Olive Garden’s recipe uses butter, milk, cream, flour, garlic, imported parmesan cheese, and imported Romano cheese. According to a spokesperson from Olive Garden, adding cream to the Alfredo sauce gives it a richer and more full-bodied flavor, popular among Americans.
The mushroom sauce can also be called mushroom gravy and is a delectable light brown sauce with fresh mushrooms as the star ingredient. The sauce is usually cream-based and includes a roux with flour and butter, beef broth, onions, garlic, herbs, and other flavoring ingredients.