White Pasta Sauce is creamy and delicious! This recipe is made with milk instead of heavy cream and is perfect for pastas but can be used on vegetables, meat and casserole dishes too. Ready in only 10 minutes, it's better and healthier than store bought pasta sauce.
I know that if I make pasta, my kids will eat it. When I'm too tired to even think about mealtime battles, I default to pasta. They could and would eat it every night, but are pretty particular about the sauce.
While we can never go wrong with spaghetti sauce, we all need a change every now and then.
A white cream sauce with milk is the perfect alternative. Made with basic pantry and fridge ingredients, this sauce recipe is super creamy and tasty.
It's incredibly easy and takes only about 10 minutes. Not only is it quick, it's healthier than recipes made with heavy whipping cream and those bought from the store. There is a minimal preparation, aside from mincing the garlic cloves.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Milk: you can use skim, 1%, 2%, whole milk, or evaporated milk. Keep in mind that the higher the fat content, the richer the sauce will be. So whole milk will have a richer and thicker outcome than when using skim milk. I have not tried this with non-dairy milks.
- Flour: use all purpose flour rather than specialty flours.
- Minced garlic
- Salt + pepper
- Parmesan cheese: use grated Parmesan instead of shredded, as grated incorporates better into the milk mixture. If using shredded, make sure it's freshly shredded and not packaged shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in preservatives that make it harder to melt without it turning rubbery or stringy.
It's as healthy as the ingredients that go into it. So if you stick with the recipe as written and do not substitute or add variations, the recipe is not entirely unhealthy. The pasta does add carbs and the cheese adds fat, so be careful if you're on a keto or weight-loss diet.
Follow these easy steps to make a quick, creamy white pasta sauce.
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the flour and continue stirring constantly for 1 more minute. This will create a roux, which looks like a white paste. Make sure the burner is on medium and not high here. Roux burns easily.
- Slowly add the milk, stirring as you pour. Keep stirring after all the milk is in the pan, until the sauce thickens a bit. Thickening usually takes a minute or two.
- Once thickened, add the salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Whisk constantly while the cheese melts.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes once the cheese has melted. Remove the pan from the heat right away when done. Toss with cooked pasta.
It's also delicious on roasted vegetables, chicken and fish.
This recipe makes 2 cups of sauce, which is enough for about 12 ounces of pasta. It can be doubled, tripled, or halved. Keep all ingredient ratios proportionate.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CREAMY PASTA:
To make pasta in a creamy sauce a full meal, you can:
Add vegetables: add chopped spinach, kale, cherry/grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus.
Add spices: make it spicy with a dash of red pepper flakes, cayenne powder, or even scotch bonnet powder. Fresh diced jalapeños can also be added.
White Pasta Sauce
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add flour and stir constantly for about 30 seconds until a paste forms (called a roux).
- Slowly add the milk, being careful not to burn the roux. Whisk constantly until it becomes thick, about 1 minute.
- Add salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Simmer for 5 minutes once the cheese melts, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat immediately and add to cooked chicken, pasta, fish, or vegetables.
This sauce is most delicious on pasta, but is fantastic drizzled over chicken, vegetables or baked salmon and shrimp.
It's also great mixed into rice dishes, especially when used in creamy casseroles.
Fridge: store in a mason jar or airtight container for up to 2 days.
Freezer: store in plastic freezer safe bag for around 6 months. However, cream sauce is best used fresh on the same day. The freezer will cause texture changes.
I do hope you enjoy this recipe and will let me know what you thought in the comments below.
MORE EASY PASTA RECIPES