Here I’ll show you a secret tip to getting truly creamy Cream Cheese Pasta without the sauce drying up. With just 5 ingredients, this easy pasta dish is a total winner!
This truly is the easiest pasta recipe of all time. Plus it’s freaking delish. If you’ve got a spare 20mins and your belly is rumbling, you’ve come to the right place. Follow me…
Cream Cheese Pasta Sauce
I don’t know about you, but if you’ve ever tried cream cheese pasta before, you’ve probably felt a little lack luster afterwards. Well, same.
I’ve seen so many recipes where it’s simply just pasta and cream cheese mixed in. It’s a nice idea, but in reality it just doesn’t taste that great. I was determined to make cream cheese pasta work, so I did a little experimenting, and here’s the result.
It’s kind of like an Alfredo sauce with cream cheese. Better still, you only need 5 ingredients!
Cream Cheese Pasta Sauce Ingredients
- Cream Cheese
You could totally trade the ham out for bacon, chicken or mushrooms, but as this is a super easy recipe, I usually go with ham as it’s usually what I’ve got on hand/doesn’t need cooking.
Okay, so we’ve added some more flavour to the classic cream cheese pasta, but there’s also a second problem.
By adding cream cheese straight to pasta it just ends up dry and clumpy. Even thinning it out with milk doesn’t particularly help.
So, meet your new best friend.
Starchy Pasta Water
By stirring through some pasta water into melted butter you create an emulsion. This will be the base of your sauce and result in a silky, creamy sauce.
A lot of traditional Italian pasta sauces actually only use pasta water and butter, purely because that’s all you need to create a creamy sauce base. But hey, I promised you cream cheese pasta, so that’s what we’re getting 😋
How to make Cream Cheese Pasta
- Fry garlic and ham until lightly browned, then melt in butter.
- Completely melt butter and keep on a medium heat.
- Stir in pasta water to create an emulsion.
- Add cream cheese and parmesan. Season to taste.
- Toss through spaghetti.
- Thin out with pasta water as needed.
What Cream Cheese to use?
I always go with Philadelphia (not sponsored). But in general the cream cheese is the star of the show, so don’t skimp out on something cheap and nasty.
Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other creamy pasta recipes?
- Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Creamy Salmon Pasta
- Sausage Pasta in a Sun Dried Tomato Mascarpone Sauce
- Chicken and Bacon Pasta
Right, let’s tuck into the recipe shall we?
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How to make Cream Cheese Pasta (Full Recipe and Video)
Cream Cheese Pasta
Ingredients (check list):
- 7oz / 200g Spaghetti
- 3.5oz / 100g Cream Cheese
- 3.5oz / 100g Ham, chopped (could sub chicken/bacon/mushrooms)
- 1/3 cup / 20g Parmesan, grated (plus extra to serve)
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 clove of Garlic, finely diced
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Olive oil, for frying
- Cook your spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente. Right before draining, reserve a cup of starchy pasta water.
- Meanwhile, in a pan heat a drizzle of olive oil over a medium flame and fry your garlic and ham for a few minutes until lightly browned.
- Melt in your butter, then stir about 1/3 cup of starchy pasta water. Quickly whisk in a circular motion to create an emulsion and combine the starchy water with the butter.
- Stir in your cream cheese then add your parmesan. Season to taste then add your spaghetti. Toss through the sauce, using your starchy water to thin out as needed.
- Serve with extra helpings of parmesan. Enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
For another easy pasta recipe that uses the wonders of pasta water, check out my Marmite Pasta!