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

4.95 from 438 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 191 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna


  • 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.

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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Yummy! Quick, easy, and using ingredients I had in house without going to store! The mozzarella definitely made it extra cheesy.

  2. I haven’t made this but I’m really concerned about the Kcal aspect.. do you mean something other than kilocalorie? 191 Kcal is 191000 calories.

  3. I will try it out this weekend! Too much cheese? This recipe has significantly less cheese than a lot of other white sauce pasta!

  4. 5 stars
    So good and super easy! Honestly one of the best creamy cheese sauces I’ve made. I used half Parm half mozzarella (I like mozzarella more 🙂 and it turned out great!

  5. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious!!! Both of my children loved it, which is always a big win! It tasted somewhat like homemade Alfredo. Simple, quick, delicious!

  6. 5 stars
    I was craving creamy pasta tonight and found your recipe. I added 2 slices of chopped bacon and then cooked the garlic in the bacon grease. Added the butter and continued on as written. I had a pack of tortellini in the freezer so I used that vs. spaghetti.
    This was very, very good. Quick, easy and did I mention it’s really good?
    Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be making this again!

  7. 5 stars
    Super Yummy with some basil and spinach! Penne pasta worked great for a nice, warm dinner that I could enjoy.

  8. 5 stars
    This is so good. I had to substitute the Parmesan cheese for the powdered kind but it was delicious.

  9. 5 stars
    made this for dinner tonight, it was absolutely amazing and so simple! wish I would have waited till tomorrow (friday) for a non meat meal! next time I make I would definitely add some chicken!

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