Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta

Super simple and delicious Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta recipe packed with flavor. This dish is perfect by itself or you can add chicken too!

This is one of our favorite white sauce pastas because it’s SO simple and easy! Whenever I crave a white sauce recipe, I also love to make chicken alfredo, pasta carbonara, or cheesy garlic tortellini.

Penne Pasta in Creamy Pasta Sauce

White Sauce Pasta

I LOVE pasta! I mean, who doesn’t?! Yes, it has carbs, but this girl needs it in her life because I cook with it ALL the time. In fact, now that I think about it, we usually have pasta at least once a week, whether it’s in salad form, or a main dish.

From Spaghetti to Fettuccine Alfredo,  pasta is something the whole family loves, so we have it quite often. This next recipe is another one of those dishes you can add to the meal plan, because it’s simple and definitely delicious.

This Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta is a white sauce pasta that is great on it’s own, but could be even heartier if you add chicken or another favorite meat.

If you like pasta dishes I would definitely try this one out. It’s super cheesy and has just the right touch of garlic and other spices making it another “go-to” dinner recipe!

Creamy Pasta Sauce in a skillet

How to make white sauce:

One of the main reasons we love this dish is because it’s simple and quick! You can make it start to finish in about 20 minutes. That’s my kind of dinner recipe! Just follow these easy steps to make this creamy pasta sauce which can be added to any pasta.

Cook Pasta. Begin by cooking the pasta according to the package instructions (we used penne).

Make Sauce. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium sauce pan, add garlic and cook for 1 minute over medium heat. Add flour and cook for an addition minute, stirring constantly. Add milk and broth, stirring constantly. Cook until sauce boils and thickens. Add parsley and parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese has melted.

Combine. Mix in pasta and serve immediately.

Tip: If you want your pasta to be extra cheesy, add ½-1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese (we like to use shredded Mozzarella or Parmesan).

Change it up

Protein. There are so many things you can add to spruce up this delicious dish. Try adding meats such as grilled chicken, diced ham or shrimp.

Produce. You can also add produce such as halved cherry tomatoes, sliced sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, bell peppers, or mushrooms.

Spice. To add a little heat, sprinkle on some red chili flakes.

What to do with leftovers

Storing. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. 

Reheating. We typically reheat this pasta in the microwave, but this can also be done in a pot on the stove. You may need to add a little more broth if it’s too thick when reheating.

Freezing. If you plan to freeze this dish, leave the pasta undercooked as the freezing process will make thoroughly cooked pasta mushy. Store the cooked dish in a freezer safe airtight container for months.

To reheat, thaw in the fridge and reheat on the stove top stirring constantly to keep the cream base from curdling.

White Sauce Pasta Recipe in bowl

Just another quick, easy dinner meal! We hope you love this easy pasta dish.

What to serve with Creamy Penne Pasta:

For more easy pasta recipes, check out:

White Sauce Pasta Recipe

4.82 from 172 votes
Super simple and delicious Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta recipe packed with flavor. This dish is perfect by itself or you can add chicken too!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 409 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook pasta according to packaged directions.
  • Melt butter in a medium sauce pan, add garlic.
  • Cook for 1 minute over medium heat
  • Add flour and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add milk and broth, stirring constantly. Cook until sauce boils and thickens.
  • Add parsley and parmesan cheese. Add desired salt and pepper. Continue stirring until cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
  • Pour sauce over pasta and serve.


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Recipe adapted from HERE.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    Adding 1 cup broth and 1 cup milk to 3 tablespoons of flour made for a very very thick sauce. Adding another cup of milk made it much more manageable.

    If you want a super thick sauce, follow the instructions.

    Overall, pretty good. A few modifications makes it excellent.

  2. I want to make this but was wondering how much salt you add? I know it says to taste but what would be a good starting point. Thank you

    1. I usually just do a few shakes of salt to start and then add from there if I feel it needs more. If measuring it out, maybe 1/8 tsp and go from there. If that’s not enough, gradually add a little more in.

    2. 5 stars
      Loved this recipe!! I ran out of Alfredo sauce so I used this recipe. It is delicious! I didn’t have parsley, but it was still very good tasting.

    1. Sorry to hear you felt there wasn’t enough information. Please let us know if you have any specific questions regarding the recipe that we can help answer. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I have made this several times and I will never go back to store bought sauce again! The only change I make is I add another cup of parmesan. Thank you!

  4. Love the recipe! Have made it several times, and am making it again tonight! Can’t wait! I’ve made a few modifications such as adding sauteed onions and mushrooms and throwing in some peas. I might even add some ham tonight. But it’s a winner every time! Thanks!

    1. Ooh those add-ins sound tasty! I’m sure they make it taste great. Thanks for giving the recipe a try. Glad to hear you enjoy it!

  5. 5 stars
    What a wonderful and simple sauce! Could easily do different herbs to switch up the flavor. Thanks for this classic creamy recipe!!

  6. 2 stars
    the recipe overall is ok but it needs to be specified more it was too salty for me and it was just not tasting that good

    1. Thanks for your feedback and for giving the recipe a try. You can totally play around with the amount of salt if it was more than you prefer. 🙂

  7. Looks delicious & certainly going to try making it. My question is – with your recipe how much does it actually make? I will need enough to serve 6 people so do I double this recipe or? Thanks.

    1. This recipe makes enough for about 6 servings… depending on how large the servings are, you may want to 1.5x the recipe. You can adjust the servings on the recipe card on the post. If you have a group of adults who may eat larger portions, you could increase the servings a bit. If there are children or others who may not eat as much, the 6 servings it makes may be enough too. It might also depend on if you are serving side dishes with it, etc. You can also save leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days and have it for lunches or another dinner later if you do double it and have extra.

    1. Hi Jim! The advertisements help provide the means for us to be able to continue to deliver free recipes, meal plans, content, etc. for our amazing readers. We hope you understand and continue to enjoy the recipes. 🙂

    1. Just depending on how large of portions are served, 4 may be a better number for some… it may stretch for 6 for others (especially if children are eating too). There is a feature on the recipe card that you can adjust the amount, so you can slide that up a bit if you want to make more too! 🙂

    1. I would recommend using all-purpose, but since there is such a small amount of flour in the white sauce, you can probably get away with it. I haven’t tried using self-rising flour so I’m not sure how it would alter flavor/texture, but you could certainly give it a try!

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