10-Minute Cream Cheese Pasta

This is the creamy, filling and cozy cream cheese pasta makes everybody happy, perfect for any midweek carb cravings. Plus, it's budget-friendly and ready in a flash!

10-Minute Cream Cheese Pasta

  • 1/2 lb (225 grams) pasta (spaghetti, penne, fusilli...)
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) grated parmesan, plus more to serve
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) cooking water, plus more if needed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chili flakes, or according to taste (optional)

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
  2. Right before draining, reserve a cup of starchy pasta water.
  3. In meanwhile, in a large skillet warm 1 Tbsp of olive oil and gently fry the garlic (plus a good pinch of chili flakes if you like) for 2-3 minutes. Use a low flame, do not let the garlic burn.
  4. Then stir the cream cheese and about 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water. Stir to combine oil, cream cheese, water and create a nice and creamy emulsion. Your pasta sauce is ready.
  5. Drain and add your pasta to the skillet. Stir well to evenly coat the pasta in the sauce, add parmesan and more cooking water as needed for a smooth and creamy consistency.
  6. Serve immediately with a drizzle of good olive oil or extra virgin olive oil, freshly grated parmesan, and freshly ground black pepper (if you don't use chili flakes). Enjoy!

QUANTITIES: the recipe makes 2 large servings or 3 smallish servings.  
SEASONING: the cooking pasta water contains salt, so you're not supposed to add any salt to the cream cheese. However, you might want to taste the cream cheese anyway and adjust to your taste.  
PASTA SHAPE: I love spaghetti, but any pasta will work just fine, short, long, normal or fancy. Use dried not fresh pasta.  
PARMESAN: finely grate your own parmesan, but don't use store-bought sandy parmesan, it will not melt.  
LEFTOVER: it keeps for a couple of days in the fridge. Add a tiny splash of water to loosen up the sauce if needed and reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. Note: I would advise to reheat only a short type of pasta like penne or fusilli rather than spaghetti.