Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta

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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 1/2-1 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

4.91 from 121 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


  1. Cook pasta according to packaged directions.

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

Recipe Video

Recipe adapted from HERE.


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. This looks great! I just have one question. Does it matter what type of milk you use?I only usually have 1 % milk. Thanks!

          1. This was fabulous. I came home craving pasta , but a very specific kind of pasta, and this hit the spot. It was so quick and was done at the same time as my noodles. I am thoroughly impressed 😍

  2. I’ve made this twice already and both times it was great! The first time I added some veggies and the second time I threw in some veggies and shrimp. This is now on my list of dinners to make when I need something quick. I think my favorite thing is that I always have all of the ingredients on hand.

  3. I made this last weekend, tossed it with chicken, it was soooooo good! I’m making it again this weekend. We had enough left over for lunches for the week, too! Great recipe, thank you so much!

  4. Very easy and delicious recipie! I’ve made cream sauces in the past that just didn’t work for me. This one worked great! I used powdered garlic (didn’t have fresh on hand), half and half cream as I was trying to use it up, and dill instead of parsley. Would go excellent with chicken!

      1. Hi Luna,

        I just found this recipe and I plan to make this dish tonight! Since it’s just me, I probably will only cook half of the box of pasta…. would I need to scale back the ingredients if I do? Thanks!

        1. Just now seeing this. I would probably 1/3 the recipe for an individual size. 1/3 box, 1 TB butter, 1 tsp. garlic, 1 TB flour, 1/3 cup chicken broth, 1/3 cup milk, 1 tsp. parsley, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. 😉

  5. 5 stars
    I found this recipe the other day on Pinterest and just made it tonight. I added a little more butter (because my family uses skim milk) and simmered all the ingredients a couple of minutes extra for each step.
    This recipe was absolutely heavenly! It was really simple and super delicious!

  6. I usually don’t comment on any website. But this recipe is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my entire life!! It is so simple and doesn’t take a long time to do! I’ve done it like 5 times this month!

    1. I’m guessing you might have browned the flour too much. You really want a blonde (or slightly less) roux, so make sure you have your liquids ready before you add the garlic and flour. Adding the liquids is what will stop them from Browning.

  7. Loved it! Added some fresh sliced baby Bella mushrooms. Turned out fantastic! Sure to be showing up on our table again. ????

  8. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this simple and delicious recipe! I added leftover chicken. Could have added some veggies too, but didn’t this time around.

  9. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! I made it for my husband tonight, however I did substitute Mozarella cheese for Parmesan. Thank you for the delicious recipe, it is going in our keeper file!

  10. 5 stars
    Made this recipe tonight for my husband and son and they absolutely loved it! This recipe was very delicious…!!???????????? Thank you.

  11. 4 stars
    this exceeded my expectations! yum! I used half a cup of whole milk and half a cup of half and half. I didn’t have broth, so I substituted white wine. I added salt and white pepper to taste. I also added a dash of garlic powder to taste, at the end, to emphasize the garlic flavor. I ate this on top of pasta with peas! tastes great with and without the peas mixed in the sauce. this was quick and easy to make. the sauce came together nicely. the consistency was very creamy. my only complaint is that my stomach isn’t big enough to eat more!

  12. 5 stars
    This is the first pasta recipe I have ever followed, in fact the first recipe in general I’m just learning to cook. I’m really happy I found this, the pasta was fairly easy to make, and tastes delicious 😀 Will definitely be cooking this when I go to uni next year, thank you for sharing!

  13. 5 stars
    Loved this! Absolute heaven! I used stock and evap milk (not because I am fancy…it’s just all I had????). Thanks for this simple recipe…great for a busy mama!

  14. Hello
    What kind of butter should I use when I cook pasta please? I’m Asian and I don’t usually use butter so I don’t know which one is good.
    Thank you.

    1. You don’t cook the pasta in butter. You cook them in boiling water, but you do start making the sauce with butter, 3 tablespoons. I just use cubed butter for that. Hope that helps!! Good luck!

  15. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, I just made this and it was soooooooo good! I added some red pepper flakes cause I can’t help myself and love a little spice in all my foods 😉 but hands down some of the best pasta I’ve had! Thank you 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    I love it! And trust me I am such a tough critic to my own makings… But I devoured this pasta as if it were made by a top-notch chef! And yes it was so quick and simple to put together; I was super stoked!
    I loved it without but just for protein I added chicken breast!

  17. 4 stars
    It was good, I have a big family i doubled up on the ingrinternets. I added a cup more of flour and a cup more of chicken broth. It thicken nicely.
    4 out of 5 kids under 9yr liked it! But 5yr kid is going through a picky stage.
    Over all we give it a thumbs up.

  18. 5 stars
    I just made this last night for my boyfriend and son and they loved it! his son wanted a second plate plus take the left over for lunch! Thank you so much for sharing!

  19. 5 stars
    Thanks for this great recipe! It’s so easy to make, especially since most of the ingredients are staples in my kitchen The only thing I did different was add peas and cubed ham. I followed the recipe exactly and I almost ate the whole thing myself!

  20. Hi Lil,

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes. I only signed up to your web site a few weeks ago and welcome your emails. I even made your recipe for Creamy Tomatoe Soup and it was Deeeeeelish!!!

  21. 5 stars
    I don’t like to cook and I’m not very good at it but I love food! This recipe is the easiest white sauce recipe to make and it taste very, very good!! It only needs a few ingredients and once you begin cooking, it goes smoothly and fast. I highly recommend.

  22. Your recipes look great! I printed out some. I can’t wait to try some of them in the school cafeteria where I work. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

  23. 5 stars
    I made this tonight. I added chicken, shrimp, red, yellow and orange peppers, mushrooms, a variety of different colored cherry tomatoes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus. My family absolutely loved it!

  24. 5 stars
    This was so delicious and easy to make. I had my young boys do most of the work after I prepped it. We added Italian sausage and served with lots of veggies on the side. We will most definitely make again. Thank you!

  25. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe for the first time tonight and it was delicious. This will be in my rotation for sure. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  26. 5 stars
    This is good but I don’t know why milk was used instead of heavy cream to make the sauce. I of course made it with the cream. Better with the cream.

  27. This recipe was not my favorite. It was very dry. I followed it step by step so I’m guessing something happened that went wrong but I’m not sure what. Everyone else said it was delicious so I not sure.

  28. 5 stars
    Hi! I just made this today & cut everything to 50% since it’s just for 2 people. Half a box of pasta, 1.5 tb butter, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1.5 tb flour, 1.5 cup broth, 1.5 milk, 1 tsp parsley, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.

    End result- it didn’t look like there was enough sauce for half a box of pasta. The sauce was only enough for maybe maybe.. 1/4 of the pasta.

    Did I do something wrong? After I did step 4, the flour made the garlic/butter into little clumpy balls. So I added milk/broth which helped but there was not a lot of sauce to use. Any advice would help! I’m a total newbie in the kitchen.

    BTW, the sauce is delicious! 🙂

    1. The flour does do that, but when you add the milk, it should get smooth. You have to stir constantly. I have never halved it, so I wish I knew about the sauce being enough. You would think it should be? I appreciate you trying it. You could always freeze half & reheat later:) Thank you for letting me know & I am glad that you liked the sauce. You are doing great..just keep at it 🙂

  29. 5 stars
    We love pasta at our house & i’m always looking for some new recipes. I tried this one for my family & they loved it. It is so creamy.

  30. I love this recipe. I’ve made it twice this week! I cant believe how delicious and easY it is after a long day at work!! Tried it the second time with a little bit of Some creamy melt mozzarElla and it was somehow even better

  31. 5 stars
    I made this, and it was excellent! The only thing I tweaked a little, is, that I didn’t used as much garlic because my husband is picky. He loved it. Thanks for sharing.

  32. 5 stars
    This looks ABSOLUTELY amazing! I do have a question though, is the chicken Broth optional? I don’t believe i have any on hand, but i would love to make this!

    1. I am sure it could be 🙂 I haven’t left it out, but I would substitute some liquid. It could be water or if you have chicken bouillon, I would mix that in with the water. You could use another broth, too, if you have others.

  33. 5 stars
    My kids love pasta so i usually serve Sometype of dish each week. Sometimes we hAve pasta twice in a week! IM always on the look out for another reciPe to add to the rotatiOn. This one made the cut. My family loved it!

  34. 5 stars
    This is one of the easiest & cheesiest dishes! My family loves it! I usually make a pasta, one night a week & this will definitely go into the rotation.

  35. 4 stars
    I made this last night as a side dish. Fairly simple to make and tasty. a whole pound of pasta is too much for my family so i only prepared 8 oz. I still made the whole recipe for sauce. i used a little over half for the pasta and used the rest to pour over some roasted chicken breast. i only had 1% milk and was worried my sauce may not thicken up but it did just fine.

  36. 5 stars
    made this last night and am so sad I didnt make a double batch. We DEvoured every last drop of it and needless to say I’ll be making this again! It was so easy and yummy!

  37. 5 stars
    my daughter loves noodles and anything pasta!! she was so excited to make this. It is easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  38. 5 stars
    Hi, i liked your recIpe aloT specialliy using the Stock😊.
    Its really Looks greaT.
    My question if i needed a thicker saucE what should i do.😊.
    Sorry For the caPital letters ,so Something is wrong with my mobile.😊

  39. 5 stars
    excellent. Turns out great every time. Tonight I am adding sea scallops to it. The last time I did it, it turned out wonderful and yummy. Thank you Jan Reither

  40. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night for the first time. Highly recommend! I added chicken, peas and spinach. The whole family enjoyed it (even my picky 7 year old) and i’m Looking forward to leftovers for lunch!

  41. 5 stars
    My daughter and i love this sauce!!!! It’s simple to make and super delicious!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  42. 5 stars
    This sauce was delicious! I used equal parts of Whole milk and Half & Half for a richer taste, but all whole milk would probably be just as good! Very easy to do — I had all of the ingredients prepped (garlic and parsley chopped, flour measured out) beforehand, so it came together very quickly! Thanks for sharing!

  43. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe. Substitute salt with Mr. Binghams seasoning and used penne instead. Turned out so delicious!

  44. 5 stars
    This recipe is awesome! I cut the recipe in half since I’m cooking for 2 and it still made a lot! It’s creamy and so full of flavor. The only change i made besides the AMOUNT is adding a tablespoon of SOUR cream to my sause (i add it to many recipes that have cheese in it). I will use this as a base from now on for many different variations of this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing recipe!!

    1. 5 stars
      Family loved it. Made it last night and even my 3 year old gobbled it up. So good. I used Fettuccine noodles instead of penne and added shrimp.

  45. 5 stars
    i made this recipe last night and it was AMazing!!! i chopped shittake mushrooms and sauteed them with the garlic and butter sauce and my kids inhaled this dish! I will definitely make this again!

  46. 5 stars
    I actually made this when it was first put up!!!! we love it at home! Ive actually made modifications; changing the pasta used, adding protein, and its stayed flavorful and yummy!

  47. 5 stars
    Love this! I especially love that it just uses milk instead of cream because heavy cream doesn’t sit well With me. The family gobbled it up and it makes a ton- I have 4 boys 2 which are teenagers and we actually had a little leftover!

  48. 5 stars

  49. 5 stars
    I can’t BELIEVE how easy and fast it was to make this sauce. It was reaDy in aBout 20 MINUTES Start to Finish. It took longer to cook the noodles than to make the sauce. My faMily lOves it and it’s Going to be a new family favorite. My only problem is i’m not serving dinner for another 45 MINUTES anD wE’ll probably Have tasteD it, until it’s all Gone, by then. Lol

  50. 5 stars

  51. 5 stars
    So yummy and so easy to make! My kids said it was the best meal we have had in quarantine. i love that it uses staple pantry items. We will be eating this a lot in the next few weeks.

  52. 5 stars
    This Sauce is the bomb! So easy to make!

    I had no dinner ideas aNd with 20 min before The natives got RESTLESS- This recipe saved me!

    And, the best part: I had all The INGREDIENTS in my Pantry- woo hoo!
    I steamEd some broccoli and added iT To the pasta.

  53. 5 stars
    This was a wonderfully quick and easy dinner recipe that the whole family enjoyed, and I have picky eaters!! Thanks for another winner and another meal for our weekly menu planning-this will definitely go into rotation asap!

  54. 5 stars
    Very easy to make and no special INGREDIENTS needEd. I might add a little More gaRlic next time and buy fresh parmesan (i used the canned Stuff today). Will dEfinitely make it again.

  55. 5 stars
    Super easy to make anD it was a hit with all 5 of my kids… bonus! This would be super easy to aDd INGREDIENTs (musHrooms, chicken, etc) to as well. Great recipe.

  56. 5 stars
    This white sauce pasta is sooooo yummy and sooooo easy to make! Everyone in my house gobbled it up! definitely adding this to Our regular dinner rotation. Thank you!!

  57. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight, and There were no leftovers! It was so delicious! The recipe was simple, and it uses ingredients that I always have on hand. This will definitely make it into our regular dinner rotation. YAY!

  58. 5 stars

  59. 5 stars
    Such an easy and YUMMY recipe. My husband and kids Kept going back for seconds! We ate it as a side dish but I’m def goIng to make it wIth broccoLi and grilled chicken next time. My hUsband Kept eXClaiming it as the best Pasta ever lol. Easy, pantry ingredients and loved by all!

  60. i love your idea an cant wait to try it! But i have one questioN, can i subst SOMETHING for The broth? If i can then Can u please give me a suggestion?

    1. I don’t know if it’s because of dietary needs, but you can always use water or maybe milk. Google has more suggestions 😉 It really is so good, I hope you find something to use instead.

  61. Thank you for the recipe! It indeed was quick and the sauce was nice and creamy. However, I found the amount of sauce too little for even half the pasta. I kept half of it aside and the half that I put with the sauce was too dry so I had to make another batch of sauce. This quantity of sauce might be good for 4 oz of pasta, I’d estimate. 🙂

  62. 5 stars
    Wow it made Me and my wife’s day! We used mushroom broth and fresh parsley and black Truffles salt. Thank you so much!

  63. 5 stars
    This was a great recipe. I added peas and bacon on the boW Tie pasta and it was amazing. Extra garlic was a plus!!

  64. 5 stars
    Hi, I will try this for my family dinner tomorrow, but the only problem is that I don’t have chicken broth and the store where I will get this has an odd time of opening and closing due to the pandemic, so what do I do?

  65. Funny story about this recipe, I was getting frustrated because I kept adding flour and it was not getting thicker. Finally I gave up and poured it on pasta. It was ridiculously sweet. I came to read the reviews and nothing said anything about it being ridiculously sweet. So I kind of just SUCKed it up and thought with every bite about how I’ll never make this recipe again. And then it hit me that i didn’t have anywhere to put the powder sugar 2 weeks ago so i put it in a container just like the container i used for my flour…. I think you can figure out the rest….🤦‍♀️

  66. 5 stars
    This was a great recipe. My daughter doesn’t like red sauce so we tried this on our tortellini and it was an instant hit. Thanks, we will be making this again. And as a bonus, she was able to help make it!

  67. 5 stars
    Did its job. I used half water and half heavy whipping cream instead of milk since i didn’t have milk. Reliable recipe for a quick, thick white sauce

  68. 4 stars
    Very awesome and tasty. But When i added the PARMESAN it wAsnt enOugh for me so i added about 1 more cup. DeliciOus

  69. 5 stars
    O my gosh is this good!! I added a few more spices and added a rotisserie chicken to add more flavor. Added broccoli too..everyone loved it..Oo and I doubled the recipe for the sauce!!

  70. 5 stars
    it is difficult to find a quick, delicious recipe for a weeknight meal, but this one fits the bill. Added bonus is that we always have these ingredients on hand. Followed the instructions exactly as written. however, you should double the sauce if you have 6 people. There were only two of us and enough sauce left over for about one more. But it’s a keeper! This one will definitely end up in our rotation! Thank you for sharing it.

  71. 5 stars
    I made this tonight foR my three daughters. They loved it! So much Better with the chicken broth as compared to others with heavy Cream. A keeper for our home.