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bowl of pasta on a white table cloth.

Easy Cream Cheese Pasta

Our favorite cream cheese pasta recipe is made with just a few ingredients and is ready in about 15 minutes.
Course Main Course, Pasta Recipes
Cuisine American
Keyword cream cheese pasta, pasta with cream cheese, pasta with cream cheese sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 772kcal
Author Adina


  • Large cooking pot
  • Large pan or skillet


  • 1 lb pasta 450 g, Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves or more to taste
  • 1 ⅓ cup cream cheese 10.5 oz/ 300 g, Note 2
  • 1 cup milk 230 ml, Note 3
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan + more to serve, Note 4
  • 2 tablespoons parsley or basil chopped, Note 5
  • fine sea salt and ground black pepper


  • Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add plenty of salt. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
    1 lb (450 g) pasta

In the meantime, prepare the remaining ingredients.

  • Grate the garlic cloves and set them aside.
    3 garlic cloves
  • Whisk the cream cheese, milk, some salt, and pepper in a bowl and set them aside.
    1 ⅓ cups (300 g) cream cheese + 1 cup (230 ml) milk + salt and pepper to taste
  • Grate Parmesan and set it aside.
    2 Tbsp Parmesan
  • Chop the herbs finely.
    2 Tbsp fresh parsley or basil
  • Cream cheese sauce: Only start cooking the sauce a couple of minutes before draining the pasta. Sauté: Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic on low heat for about 30 seconds; it should get golden but not brown.
  • Add the cream cheese-milk mixture and stir well until smooth. Add the chopped herbs and Parmesan and combine.
  • Add the drained pasta and a splash of the reserved cooking water. Stir well to combine; the pasta should be creamy and coated with the sauce. If necessary, add a bit more pasta cooking water until the sauce has the right consistency.
  • Adjust the taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately with more Parmesan and herbs sprinkled on top.


  1. Pasta: Linguine, spaghetti, or tagliatelle are great, but any pasta shape (short or long) is excellent.
  2. Dairy: Using full-fat cream cheese and whole or semi-skimmed milk is preferable.
  3. The amount of milk and pasta cooking water you need will depend on the sort of cream cheese you are using. Cream cheese sold in a block is stiffer and requires more liquid to make it smooth. Cream cheese sold in a tub is creamier and softer.
  4. Parmesan: I recommend using freshly grated Parmesan from a wedge of cheese. If using pre-grated Parmesan, start with about 1 tablespoon and add more to taste (freshly grated Parmesan is fluffier and has more volume). You can also cook the dish without Parmesan; it will still be delicious.
  5. Herbs: Either fresh basil or parsley; I use what I happen to have.


Serving: 1portion from 4 | Calories: 772kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 470mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1322IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 2mg