Creamy Penne Pasta

5 from 3 votes

Creamy penne pasta makes the best easy dinner! This delicious penne recipe is always a family favorite.

creamy penne pasta on a wooden spoon
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Why we love this penne pasta

  • Easy to make: This recipe is made with basic pantry ingredients and is perfect for a last minute meal when you need something fast.
  • Great as a side dish or main dish: Serve it alone or pair it with a protein and a veggie, this dish is delicious by itself or as a side to your meal.
  • Kid friendly: my kids love this dish and will happily eat seconds. It’s great for picky eaters and the whole family will love it!
creamy penne pasta on a wooden spoon

Ingredients needed to make creamy penne pasta

  • penne pasta
  • unsalted butter
  • garlic: fresh minced garlic adds a great flavor to this dish
  • all-purpose flour: to thicken the sauce
  • vegetable broth: or chicken broth, whatever you have on hand!
  • heavy cream: to make the sauce ultra creamy
  • parmesan cheese: grate it yourself or buy the grated tubs at the store
  • salt and pepper: to taste
ingredients needed to make creamy penne pasta

This is one of the best simple penne pasta recipes and it is made with ingredients that you probably already have on hand!

How to make this penne pasta

Step 1: Cook the penne pasta to al dente according to package directions.

Step 2: While the penne is cooking, get started on making the sauce. Start by melting butter in a skillet. Add the minced garlic and cook for around 1 minute.

Step 3: Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute. This easy roux will help to thicken the cream sauce.

Step 4: Stir in the vegetable broth and heavy cream until thickened (around 5 minutes), stirring often. Do not let it boil as this will burn the sauce.

Step 5: Stir in the parmesan cheese until melted.

Step 6: Stir in the cooked penne pasta. Salt the pasta to taste and you are ready to serve!

How to serve penne pasta

  • As a main dish: This creamy penne pasta makes a great meatless meal. Serve it with a side salad and garlic bread or rolls for a delicious dinner.
  • As a side dish: Pair this pasta with cooked chicken, tofu, shrimp, or your protein of choice. Serve it with an easy veggie side dish like air fryer broccoli or roasted frozen cauliflower.
creamy penne pasta in a skillet

Penne Pasta FAQs

How do I store leftover penne pasta?

Leftover pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Keep in mind that cheese sauce thickens when cooled, so you may need to add a splash of broth or cream when reheating.

What is creamy pasta sauce made of?

Creamy pasta sauce is made of a butter and flour roux, heavy cream, broth, and parmesan cheese.

Can I substitute milk for the heavy cream?

The sauce will not be as thick if you do not use heavy cream. We do not recommend using whole milk in place of cream.

creamy penne pasta in a skillet

More Recipes You’ll love

creamy penne pasta on a wooden spoon
creamy penne pasta on a wooden spoon
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creamy penne pasta on a wooden spoon
5 from 3 votes

Creamy Penne Pasta

By: Joy Shull
This creamy penne pasta makes the best easy main dish or side dish for busy weeknight dinners!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 8 oz uncooked penne
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Cook the penne pasta to al dente according to the package directions
  • Melt the butter and garlic in a skillet
  • Add the flour and whisk constantly, for 1 minute
  • Stir in the vegetable broth and heavy cream, until thickened (around 5 minutes), stirring often. Do not let it boil as this will burn the sauce
  • Stir in the parmesan cheese until melted
  • Stir in the cooked penne pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 467mg, Potassium: 201mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 846IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 152mg, Iron: 1mg
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