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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 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:

4.97 from 617 votes

White Sauce Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
This super simple and delicious white sauce recipe is packed with flavor. This dish is perfect by itself or you can add chicken too!
Servings: 6
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes


  • 1 (16-ounce) package (about 4 cups) penne
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • garlic salt with parsley flakes or salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese or additional Parmesan cheese optional


  • Cook pasta according to package 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.



Variations. Try adding cubed grilled chicken, chicken sausage, diced ham or shrimp for protein, or adding vegetables like halved cherry tomatoes or steamed asparagus, broccoli, bell peppers, or mushrooms. You can also change up the flavoring with spices and herbs such as red chili flakes (for heat), dried Italian seasoning, and fresh basil or parsley.


Serving: 1g, Calories: 191kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 512mg, Potassium: 117mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 450IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 251mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

Recipe adapted from HERE.

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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Recipe Rating


    1. Hi Lina! If you scroll to the bottom of the page, the measurements are all there. You can also click on “Jump to Recipe” at the top of the page and it will take you directly to them. Hope that helps!

    1. Yes you can. Then you can reheat either in the microwave or on the stovetop when ready to toss with the pasta.

  1. 5 stars
    Im new to cooking and oh my gosh this sauce was so easy to make and tastes amazing!!!! Been looking for pasta meals without heavy cream since it bothers my stomach. I used rotini noodles, added seasoned pan fried cubed chicken and also added some red pepper flakes!

  2. 5 stars
    Very good !!! Used w chicken and pasta w artichokes …saved recipe as better than jarred white sauces.

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely LOVE this recipe!! Literally just made it on my lunch break for my daughter who would never eat sauce from a jar. So quick and easy, and so, so, so good!!