20 Delicious Creamy Pasta Recipes

Rich and creamy pasta dinners will always have a place in the memories of those of us who grew up eating luscious and gooey bowls of pasta. Filling and decadent, creamy pasta sauces are fairly easy to make and always hit the spot. With many alternatives for finishing the dishes off and a variety of fresh and cooked ingredients, our collection of creamy pastas turns your plain pasta meal into a wonderful, tasty affair.

With a range of pasta shapes, difficulty levels, and cooking times, this list is sure to have something just right for your memorable pasta meal.

  • 01 of 20

    Bacon Pasta Alfredo Casserole

    Bacon Alfredo pasta casserole recipe

    The Spruce

    For an easy, cheesy, make-ahead casserole with just the right amount of smoke, try this bacon alfredo pasta bake. It has all of your favorite pasta Alfredo flavors but in a conveniently portable format, perfect for family dinners or a simple holiday supper. A convenient jar of store-bought Alfredo sauce shines even more with some white cheddar, cream, eggs, baby peas, tangy Parmesan, and decadent slices of bacon.

  • 02 of 20

    Chicken Carbonara

    Chicken carbonara with Parmesan cheese

    The Spruce

    This chicken carbonara is a tasty take on the Italian classic of pasta, cheese, eggs, and bacon. Our decadent pasta adds chicken breast for a kick of protein, while the classic ingredients add richness and depth of flavor. Choose fettuccine or linguini as it has the right heft to really hold onto the most sauce and then pair with a quality Parmesan or pecorino Romano, as their flavor is incomparable.

  • 03 of 20

    Quick Creamy Tomato Pasta

    Easy creamy tomato sauce spaghetti

    The Spruce

    A jarred marinara sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, and cream cheese come together to create a luscious pasta sauce that works just as well for a busy weeknight as a special dinner. Add some ground beef or turkey to bulk it up, or serve alongside garlic bread, a green salad, and a nice glass of wine to make it a meal. Although we chose spaghetti, the recipe works with any short pasta and even stuffed pasta like cheese and spinach ravioli.

  • 04 of 20

    Vegan Creamy Mushroom Pasta

    Vegan mushroom cream sauce

    The Spruce 

    You don't necessarily need dairy to make a scrumptious pasta dish. Our comforting vegan creamy pasta sauce is made using soy milk, vegan margarine, and flour and is enhanced by the earthy flavors of mushrooms. Button, oyster, maitake, cremini, shiitake, or portobello mushrooms all work well. Any pasta shape is great for this sauce, and if you're choosing short pasta like shells or penne, make a baked casserole by mixing the sauce and cooked pasta and topping it with generous amounts of vegan cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted.

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  • 05 of 20

    Creamy Cajun Linguine With Chicken

    Grilled chicken with creamy Cajun sauce and linguine
    The Spruce

    This Southern take on a pasta dish produces a smoky, spicy, and comforting meal. By adding Cajun seasoning and chicken to a simple linguine and cream sauce, the resulting dish is as colorful as it is delicious. Adjust the amount of Cajun seasoning and hot sauce to suit your palate, just don't miss out on this unique version of a creamy pasta dinner. Grill the chicken breasts to give them that char, or sear them up in a skillet indoors.

  • 06 of 20

    Penne Pasta With Creamy Tomato and Meat Sauce

    Penne pasta with creamy tomato and meat sauce

    The Spruce

    Not all creamy and luscious pasta sauces are white. This penne dish tossed with a creamy tomato-based meat sauce has the same spoon-coating texture but with a sprightly acidic bite and enough beef to please the most committed carnivore at your table. Use ziti, orecchiette, or other small-shaped pasta for a wonderful and flavorful meal. If red meat isn't your thing, substitute the lean beef with ground turkey or chicken for an equally delicious meaty and creamy pasta.

  • 07 of 20

    Gorgonzola and Mascarpone Pasta

    Two Cheese Mascarpone Pasta

    The Spruce

    Two kinds of cheese give this vegetarian creamy pasta sauce a velvety consistency and a super-cheesy flavor that stands all on its own. Italians traditionally pair a creamy sauce with long pasta like fettuccine or spaghetti, but this sauce is great for tossing tortellini, ravioli, or other short pasta shapes. The depth of flavor of Gorgonzola and the smooth flavor of mascarpone create the perfect balance for an easy and wonderful sauce.

  • 08 of 20

    Creamy Broccoli Pasta

    Creamy Broccoli Pasta

    The Spruce / Chelsea Ross

    The use of chopped broccoli florets and generous amounts of Parmesan cheese gives this creamy pasta sauce an almost pesto-like consistency. Pair it with grilled chicken, white poached fish, or turkey meatballs for a hearty supper. Or serve it as is with a tossed salad for a lovely vegetarian dish. It comes together quickly, so it's a perfect weeknight meal.

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  • 09 of 20

    Creamy Pasta With Ham and Asparagus

    Creamy pasta with ham and asparagus

    The Spruce

    Make the most of the first asparagus of spring or use up Easter leftovers in a creative way. This creamy asparagus pasta with diced ham is as beautiful as it is tasty. The farfalle (bow tie) shape of pasta holds the creamy sauce in its crevices, while the asparagus gives the dish some crunch. For a vegetarian version, skip the ham or add a plant-based vegetarian ham substitute.

  • 10 of 20

    Tahini Noodles

    Tahini Noodles in a bowl with a fork

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

    For a non-dairy creamy dish with a nutty, slightly salty, umami flavor, tahini pasta is the answer. This sesame seed paste is bold in flavor, and a great ingredient to have at hand in your pantry. We balanced out its rich flavor with lemon juice, ginger, and some crushed red pepper for dimension. Although not a traditional take on pasta, this dish is a wonderful way of incorporating new ingredients into your weekly menu. Add chicken, shrimp, tofu, seitan, or simply some steamed veggies.

  • 11 of 20

    Avocado Pesto Pasta

    Avocado and pesto pasta recipe

    ​The Spruce

    Using avocado in a traditional pesto mixture gives this vegetarian pasta a silky creaminess and a bright green color that makes this dish irresistible. For a vegan variation, use nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan. Additionally, by swapping out traditional noodles for gluten-free pasta you can cater to other dietary needs.

  • 12 of 20

    Low-Fat Spinach Ricotta Pasta

    Low-Fat spinach and ricotta pasta
    The Spruce.

    The Spruce

    Low-fat ricotta cheese makes this creamy sauce satisfying and delicious while adding protein and texture. Either fresh or frozen spinach works—and do try it out with kale or other leafy greens. The fresh basil gives an herby flavor that makes this easy dish a great vegetarian main or a wonderful side to grilled chicken or baked salmon.

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  • 13 of 20

    Pasta With Yogurt and Feta Sauce

    Creamy feta yogurt pasta sauce

    The Spruce

    Using yogurt and feta to create the sauce for this simple pasta dish gives it a creamy, slightly salty tang that keeps things light and fresh while still coating every noodle. It will also thicken up in the fridge, so you can serve leftovers chilled for a totally different presentation. Use high-quality feta and yogurt in this recipe to allow the ingredients to shine.

  • 14 of 20

    Creamy Spaghetti Carbonara

    Creamy spaghetti cabonara

    The Spruce

    Although classic carbonara never adds cream to the sauce and achieves the perfect texture by mixing eggs, cheese, and guanciale (cured pork's cheeks), we also have a twist on the classic in our spaghetti carbonara, which takes the creative liberty of adding cream, a favorite American take on this mouthwatering sauce. Use either bacon or pancetta, add peas for color, but don't skimp on a good amount of pecorino Romano.

  • 15 of 20

    Four Cheese Pasta With Garlic

    Creamy four cheese pasta with garlic

    The Spruce

    With four kinds of cheese, this creamy pasta highlights some of our favorite Italian cheeses. Asiago, pecorino, and Parmesan make a tangy and bold base while cream cheese, olive oil, and garlic bind the creamy sauce. This flavorful dish is a great main with a loaf of crusty bread but also the perfect base for grilled shrimp or chicken.

  • 16 of 20

    Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta

    Pumpkin Alfredo sauce

    The Spruce

    Add a little earthy sweetness to pasta Alfredo by adding pumpkin or any other winter squash you have at hand. Making this creamy sauce is fairly easy, and the wonderful autumn flavors will make this a new favorite. Top with Parmesan or round it out with sage sautéed in butter for a wonderful herby touch.

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  • 17 of 20

    Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

    Chicken cordon bleu pasta

    The Spruce

    For a deconstructed take on chicken cordon bleu, try this decadent pasta dish. The traditional version of this French dish is stuffed with ham and cheese, but our fun and easy recipe makes it similar in taste without too much work—no stuffing required. Make the chicken ahead of time and warm it up in the pasta pan for a faster meal.

  • 18 of 20

    Pesto Salmon Pasta

    Pesto salmon pasta

    The Spruce

    For a quick and easy dinner that tastes like it took a lot of work to make, try this creamy pesto salmon pasta. Store-bought pesto, heavy cream, and sour cream make a tangy and silky sauce, and when combined with salmon, it creates a simply delicious meal. If you're up for some extra work, you can make your own pesto, but your favorite packaged one works perfectly. We use long pasta, but any pasta shape will work.

  • 19 of 20

    Classic Fettucine Alfredo

    Classic fettuccine Alfredo

     The Spruce

    Indulge in a simple fettuccine Alfredo, like the one you would find at your favorite Italian restaurant but from the comfort of your own home. The recipe calls for simple ingredients, so you might already have what's needed in your pantry: cream, butter, Parmesan, and parsley are all that's needed to make this quick and tasty dish.

  • 20 of 20

    Butternut Squash Ravioli With White Wine Sauce

    ​Butternut squash ravioli with white wine sauce

    The Spruce

    For a real showstopper dish that doubles as a fun cooking project, butternut squash ravioli with creamy white wine sauce checks all of the boxes. Using store-bought wonton wrappers makes it quicker, but make your own or use homemade pasta sheets if you really want to go all the way. Filled with a creamy mixture of butternut squash, cream, shallots, and Parmesan, this irresistible dish is worth the effort.