Cream Cheese Pasta: This linguine covered in cream cheese pasta sauce is the perfect recipe for a busy weeknight dinner! It’s ready in 20 minutes, only calls for 7 simple ingredients, tastes like Alfredo sauce (but with less fuss), and the whole family will love it!
We love pasta recipes around here (shocking, I know), but cream cheese pasta recipes like this one might just be our new favorite pasta dish when it comes to main courses!
When the weather starts to cool off, I start to crave cream cheese recipes. Whether it’s a simple cheese ball served with crackers, a loaded cream cheese dip, or a pasta recipe with a cream cheese sauce like this one!
I’ve highlighted a couple of ingredients with some relevant notes. Aside from this, the ingredients needed are pretty basic.
- Pasta: the linguine noodles in this are the perfect width, for a hearty dish, that wraps around the creamy sauce.
- Butter: We use salted butter for this recipe, and it gives the cream cheese sauce the richness you’re looking for.
- Cream Cheese: We like to use the Philadelphia cream cheese, block style, but any will work.
If you need to swap out an ingredient, here are a few of our suggestions!
- Linguine – if you don’t have linguine on hand, you can use whatever pasta you like! Using another long noodle like spaghetti or spaghettini will give you the most similar finished dish, but you could use a shell noodle, rotini noodle, bowtie pasta, or other short pasta too! We even use egg noodles in our chicken and noodles recipe, and that has a great texture!
- Gluten Free – use your favorite gluten-free pasta instead of wheat noodles to make this yummy pasta recipe gluten free.
- Garlic Pepper Seasoning – if you don’t have garlic pepper seasoning on hand, you can make your own by mixing together 8 teaspoons of garlic powder and 4 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper. You can keep the rest on hand for future recipes and use 1 tablespoon of it in this recipe!
Pasta recipes are so fun because they are super easy to customize! Here are a few fun ideas we have for variations on this easy cream cheese pasta recipe.
- Spicy – the cayenne pepper in this recipe is optional, but if you want some heat add the cayenne and consider adding a pinch of chili flakes as well.
- Parmesan – although this recipe makes the cream cheese pasta sauce without parmesan, cheese lovers know that you can add parmesan to any pasta dish and it only gets better. Feel free to add parmesan into the sauce to your liking, and garnish the pasta with more parmesan!
- Add Your Favorite Protein – if you want to make this pasta dish a bit more hearty, you can add your favorite cooked meat into it! Try mixing in cooked chicken breast, Italian sausage, chopped bacon, or shrimp.
- More Flavor – if you want to add a bit of extra flavor to this recipe, you can swap out 1/2 of the pasta water for chicken broth. You could also add some chopped fresh garlic and a pinch of onion powder to really up the flavor!
- Add Tomatoes – if you’re a fan of tomatoes, you can stir in some chopped cherry tomatoes or even sun-dried tomatoes!
🧑🏻🍳 Instructions for making this easy pasta dish
There are just a few steps to make this spaghetti sauce with cream cheese.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
STEP 1: Boil the Noodles. Boil the linguine pasta al dente, as directed on the box (about 10 minutes) reserving 1 cup of the starchy pasta water (Image 1).
STEP 2: Combine. In a large saute pan or pot, add the hot-cooked pasta, butter, and cream cheese. Cover and let stand for 2 minutes to let the butter and cream cheese soften (Image 2).
STEP 3: Season. Remove the cover and add the garlic pepper seasoning, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, and ½ of the hot pasta water. Stir to combine (Image 3).
TIP: If the pasta is still too thick for your liking add more pasta water a little at a time until smooth and creamy.
STEP 4. Garnish & Serve. Add the chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately. Optionally, you can choose to top your creamy pasta sauce with freshly grated parmesan cheese and more parsley (Image 4). Enjoy!
💭 Top Tip
- How to Avoid Overcooking the Pasta Noodles: When cooking pasta in general, it’s important not to overcook it or it will become mushy. A great tip is to stop the cooking process when it comes to al dente. You can remove the pasta from the hot water, drain and rinse cool/warm water over it to stop the process. When the time to serve, simply run hot water over the pasta again in the colander, to warm it back up!
📋 Expert Tips and FAQs
You can use any type of cheese for pasta! Some of the popular favorites are parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar, etc. However, keep in mind how you’re using the cheese. If it’s for melting, some cheese will melt better than others.
100% you can! Cream cheese melts into a delicious, creamy smooth consistency making it the perfect base for dips and sauces.
Absolutely! If you are looking to thicken up any pasta dish, you can replace the heavy cream called for with cream cheese.
Depending on the type of sauce, the answer will be different. If it’s a tomato based sauce, you can thicken it by simmering it on a low heat for a long period of time (letting some of the liquid evaporate). If it’s a cream based sauce, you can add some flour and water into the sauce and boil it to thicken it, or you can add some extra cheese to the sauce!
🥗 What to serve with this delicious pasta recipe
Of course you could eat this linguine with its cheesy sauce and call it a day, but we’re big believers in side dishes to round out a meal. Here are a few ideas for things you could serve with this pasta recipe.
- garlic bread (and if you want to get really fancy, you could make your own Italian white bread to use – it’s easier than you think)
- a simple green salad like this one (because we could all use a few more leafy greens in our day)
- focaccia bread
- or a delicious salad that’s a bit different, like this old fashioned pea salad
Store any leftover cream cheese pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to reheat the pasta, add a little extra butter and warm it in the microwave (the sauce becomes thicker when it cools, so the extra butter will help thin it out again).
Cream cheese pasta sauce won’t freeze well, so we wouldn’t recommend freezing this pasta dish.
Did you make this? I’d be so grateful if you left a review below to let me know what you thought! Then, the next time you need a quick and easy recipe, come back to Fantabulosity to browse all of my easy recipes!
🍝 More Pasta Recipes
Did your family like this cream cheese pasta recipe? If they did, you’re in luck because we have a lot of easy pasta recipes just like this one on the blog. Next time you’re meal planning, consider adding one of our other creamy pasta recipes like our Instant Pot buffalo chicken pasta, this easy baked feta pasta, or this fan favorite beef stroganoff recipe!
Or, choose from these easy dinner recipes that are some of our favorites:
Cream Cheese Pasta
- 16 ounces linguine uncooked
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 12 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 tablespoon garlic pepper seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Boil the linguine pasta al dente, as directed on the box (about 10 minutes) reserving 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
- In a large saute pan or pot add the hot cooked pasta, butter, and cream cheese. Cover and let stand for 2 minutes to let the butter and cream cheese soften.
- Remove the cover and add the garlic pepper seasoning, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, and ½ of the hot pasta water. Stir to combine, if the pasta is still too thick for your liking add more pasta water a little at a time until smooth and creamy.
- Add the chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately. Optionally, you can choose to top your pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese and more parsley. Enjoy!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.