Difference Between Alfredo and Carbonara

Be it a continental dish served in supper or sizzling hot pasta on the dining table, everything is mouth-watering when it comes to iconic and tasty food items.

Similarly, Alfredo and Carbonara are one of the finest and famous dishes across the globe. However, it’s important to differentiate while giving your order to the waiter.

Alfredo vs Carbonara

The difference between Alfredo and Carbonara is the first one has originated from butter and Parmesan, which is traditionally served along with egg-based fettuccine, whereas Carbonara is traditionally made with eggs, Parmesan, and pork cured known as Guanciale.

Alfredo was named after a person, while Carbonara was termed after the Italian version of charcoal.

Alfredo vs Carbonara

The Alfredo, commonly known as Fettuccine Alfredo, is an Italian dish, a pasta-based item made out of fresh fettuccine spread with Parmesan cheese and butter.

The name of this dish is derived from a person, Alfredo Di Lelio, who rolled over this fantastic dish in Rome in the mid-20 century.

The Carbonara is again a proud Italian dish which is a pasta-based recipe made with eggs, cured pork, cheese, and black pepper. This dish was introduced in its mid-20th century.

The cheese used in Carbonara is usually Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano, or the blend. Served usually in the main course which can make anyone’s day.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonAlfredoCarbonara
IngredientsAlfredo is a pasta dish comprised of butter and heavy cream as the base of the dish.Carbonara incorporates Guanciale, pancetta, egg yolks, garlic, heavy cream and black pepper.
TextureAlfredo has a saucy texture all around. That’s why it’s called Alfredo sauce.Carbonara is a bit crispy because of the presence of pancetta.
Also, it seems like meatballs and spaghetti.
Pasta selectionAlfredo uses fettuccine pasta to prepare fettuccine Alfredo pasta.Carbonara generally used spaghetti pasta to make one.
ConsiderationAlfredo sauce pasta is commonly known as the butter cheese version of an Italian dish.Carbonara is considered an authentic Italian dish.
DerivationAlfredo was named after a person, Alfredo Di Lelio, while showcasing the dish in Rome.Carbonara got famous in mid 20th century and got its name from the Italian word for charcoal.

What is Alfredo?

Italy is famous for its heritage and surprising tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Italian dishes. However, Alfredo is considered one of the delicious dishes served as in the main course.

It is also known as Fettuccine Alfredo or Fettuccine al burro. A pasta dish made by tossing fettuccine over butter and parmesan cheese.

As soon as the cheese of Alfredo starts to melts, it blends with liquids to make it even more sizzling and tasty. This emulsion then forms a smooth velvet and rich sauce that galvanise the pasta.

This dish was named after man Alfredo Di Lelio who introduced this mouth-watering dish in mid 20th century.

It’s cooked beside the table, which makes the experience and recipe funkier and more demanding across Italy and across the world.

It takes fresh Parmesan cheese, heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, whole milk, butter (unsalted or salted as per preference), flour, garlic and salt and pepper.

A typical pasta cream is generally prepared in under 15 minutes. A cooked Alfredo lasts for 3-5 days. Proper Refrigeration is important to maintain the taste of Alfredo.

However, it is suggested not to feed something which has crossed 3 days. Still, if it seems fresh, sit back and enjoy the art.


What is Carbonara?

An authentic dish of Italy, and one of those people go gaga about it. Carbonara is a pasta dish made dominantly in Italy and served as in the main course.

The name of Carbonara is derived from the Italian word Charcoal. Carbonara is basically all about eggs, hard cheese over it, cured pork, and pinches of black pepper.

The cheese used in Carbonara is Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano or the mixture of both. Spaghetti pasta is used in Carbonara to make it sexy and stylish.

Fettuccine, rigatoni linguine are also used in alternative to spaghetti. Spaghetti is dominant in the case of Carbonara because it is unlike other common pasta dishes.

The ingredients to cook the finest Carbonara includes Olive oil or unsalted butter, Pancetta or thick-cut diced bacon, minced garlic cloves, eggs, grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, spaghetti pasts, salt and black pepper over the dish.

It generally takes a total of half an hour to get ready, in which preparation time is around 10 minutes, and for cooking, it’s 20 minutes.

It’s believed that Carbonara was the sole meal for charcoal workers. In some parts of the United States, this dish was known as coal miner’s spaghetti.


Main Differences Between Alfredo and Carbonara

  1. The Alfredo is sauce derived pasta that comprises several ingredients like Parmesan, fettuccine while Carbonara is made up of eggs, cured pork, and a variety of cheese.
  2. The Alfredo isn’t considered an authentic dish, yet its popularity makes it dominating over others, while Carbonara is an authentic dish of Italy.
  3. Alfredo sauce uses fettuccine pasta, while Carbonara used spaghetti pasta.
  4. Alfredo sauce pasta doesn’t incorporate meat or pork in the preparation, but Carbonara pasta uses these two as the primary ingredients.
  5. Alfredo has majorly three ingredients in excess. Pasta, butter, and cheese, while Carbonara uses spices, black pepper, and some more items. Alfredo is a bit butter velvet dish while Carbonara is crispy and spicy.
Difference Between Alfredo and Carbonara


  1. https://sophia.stkate.edu/undergraduate_research_symposium/2013/Sciences/16/
  2. https://meridian.allenpress.com/jfp/article-abstract/70/2/405/170087
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