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 in white bowl.

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 - a great white pasta sauce.

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).

Cooked Penne noodles in colander.

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.

Close up image of White Pasta Sauce recipe.

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.

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

What to serve with Creamy Penne Pasta:

White Pasta Sauce recipe sprinkled with parsley in white bowl.

For more easy pasta recipes, check out:

White Sauce Pasta Recipe

4.93 from 288 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

Ingredients

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

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to packaged directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more.
  • Add milk and broth and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils and thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Add Parmesan, parsley, garlic salt and pepper. Continue stirring until the cheese has melted.
  • Add pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Add mozzarella, and stir until melted. Serve warm.

Video

Notes

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.
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.

Recipe adapted from HERE.

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About Kristyn

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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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    Dang. I just made this pasta sauce and it was lip smacking. I used heavy cream in place of the milk to make it creamier. Will definitely make this again. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I literally just made it in this is amazing. Thank you so much for this recipe and I’m glad I found it. I didn’t have cheddar cheese so I couldn’t make a regular mac & cheese. I just wanted a simple white sauce and I came upon your recipe. It is a total hit in my house. Even my three year old who is picky loves it

  3. 5 stars
    I just did this with a pan of onion, carrots, and mushroom on the side. Added in at the end…perfection. The ratio of butter/flour/stock/milk (I used heavy cream instead though) is really exactly what you need here. The trick to a good white sauce is that butter/flour/liquid ratio, and this one is spot on.

    Needs salt is all, like any white sauce it gets very flavorless without help. Taste then add!

    1. Thanks for sharing what you did. Sounds like a tasty addition! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Simple and easy sauce, I should have been doing this all along through the years (SMH) lol

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you! Quick and easy with pantry staples. I never have cream for alfredo but my kids liked this.

  6. 5 stars
    Had to use beef broth instead of chicken but still came out really good. Also added shrimp and broccoli. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed the dish. The addition of shrimp and broccoli sound delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    I cut up some chicken I still had in the fridge and added it to this recipe. Dynamite! Now part of the regular meal rotation.

  8. 5 stars
    This came out absolutely delicious! My family cleaned their plates! I made it with chicken meatballs and chick pea pasta- you can’t tell the difference- great recipe! It tool me an 90 min with the meatballs and clean. Will make it a regular meal.

  9. 5 stars
    Love this super simple and easy recipe! I would like to make this again. Thank you, Kristyn, for this mouth-watering recipe.

  10. 5 stars
    This penne pasta recipe was a hit at last weekend’s gathering. My family appreciated and loved its creamy and garlicky flavor. I’ll surely make this highly recommended recipe on repeat.

  11. 5 stars
    How come the directions at the end say add mozzarella but that’s not part of the ingredient list?? I’m extremely new to cooking…i don’t know what I should do!?

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