Brunch 'n' Lunch/ Cheese/ Cream/ Pasta

Cream Cheese Pasta

April 8, 2019

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 served in a white bowl on a marble surface

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
  • Butter
  • Parmesan
  • Garlic
  • Ham

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.

Cream cheese sauce ingredients

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

  1. Fry garlic and ham until lightly browned, then melt in butter.
  2. Completely melt butter and keep on a medium heat.
  3. Stir in pasta water to create an emulsion.
  4. Add cream cheese and parmesan. Season to taste.
  5. Toss through spaghetti.
  6. Thin out with pasta water as needed.

How to make Cream Cheese Pasta - 6 step by step photos

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?

Right, let’s tuck into the recipe shall we?

Cream Cheese Pasta in a white bowl with a fork sticking out the top

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How to make Cream Cheese Pasta (Full Recipe and Video)

Cream Cheese Pasta served on a curved white plate on a marble surface

Cream Cheese Pasta

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!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 761kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

a) What Cream Cheese to use? - I use Philadelphia (not sponsored) but use a good quality brand. The cream cheese is the main event so don't skimp out on something keep and nasty. 
 
b) What much pasta water to use? - Start off with 1/3 cup to create the emulsion, add in all of your other ingredients and then adjust accordingly.
 
c) Calories - based on using 1 tsp olive oil for frying and shared between 2 people.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Cream Cheese Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 761 Calories from Fat 308
% Daily Value*
Fat 34.22g53%
Saturated Fat 17.928g90%
Trans Fat 0.146g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.142g
Monounsaturated Fat 10.108g
Cholesterol 95mg32%
Sodium 994mg41%
Potassium 417mg12%
Carbohydrates 82.53g28%
Fiber 3.2g13%
Sugar 4.27g5%
Protein 30.02g60%
Vitamin A 2300IU46%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 220mg22%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

For another easy pasta recipe that uses the wonders of pasta water, check out my Marmite Pasta!

Marmite Pasta with Parmesan Cheese

If you loved this Cream Cheese Pasta recipe then be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Neli Howard
    April 9, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    5 stars
    This pasta look so classic and easy yet perfect for a nicer dinner too! That sauce looks incredibly creamy and flavorful!!

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 9, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks Neli ! 🙂

  • Reply
    Katherine Hackworthy
    April 9, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    5 stars
    I really like an easy to make tasty meal, ideal for busy mid-week days. This looks delicious and perfect for those days when you need good comfort food. No fussing, but always tasty.

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 9, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      Yes! So good for busy mid-week days!

  • Reply
    Rosa
    April 9, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    5 stars
    Wow this sounds decadent!! I bet my kiddos would love this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 9, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Definitely kid approved! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicolas Hortense
    April 9, 2019 at 11:49 am

    What I love is that pasta clearly doesn’t need much else! It’s just perfect like that. Looks so creamy and delicious! (:

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 9, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Yup, you’re totally right there!

  • Reply
    Dannii
    April 9, 2019 at 10:52 am

    5 stars
    We make a variation of this for our toddler and it always goes down well. You can’t beat cheesy pasta.

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 9, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      You’re so right, you really can’t beat cheesy pasta!

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