21 Creamy Pasta Recipes That Are Like a Hug in a Bowl
These creamy pasta recipes are fancy enough to serve at a dinner party, but healthy enough for daily noshing. From Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Carbonara to Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto to our deliciously creamy chicken pasta recipes, there’s something for vegans, gluten-free dieters and everyone in between!
Creamy Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms
Sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms cook quickly and cling to the pasta in our fall version of pasta primavera. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut prep time. Serve with a tossed salad.
Creamy Lemon Pasta with Shrimp
Yogurt makes a fine substitute for cream in the sauce for this easy pasta recipe. Just warm the yogurt (do not boil) and add some pasta-cooking water to thin it out. Lemon and fresh basil brighten up the whole-wheat pasta and complement the shrimp in this quick dinner recipe.
Cauliflower Pasta Carbonara
Pureed cauliflower makes a delicious and creamy low-calorie sauce for pasta. Tossed with crispy bacon and convenient frozen peas, this is a healthy egg-free version of spaghetti carbonara.
One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta
This chicken Parmesan pasta uses the one-pot pasta method to cook your noodles, chicken and sauce all in one skillet for a fast and easy dinner with minimal cleanup. Finish the dish under the broiler to achieve a delicious melted cheese crust.
Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pasta & Shrimp
Cut some carbs and use spiralized zucchini in place of noodles in this zesty pesto pasta dish recipe. Top with Cajun-seasoned shrimp to complete this quick and easy dinner.
Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Carbonara
Carbonara, traditionally bathed in eggs, gets a vegan makeover using roasted and pureed butternut squash instead to make it ultra-creamy. A topping of ground almonds, garlic and sage gives it texture and an herby, savory flavor in place of the cheese and bacon.
Creamy Cavatelli Pasta with Braised Pork, Shishito Peppers & Basil
Mayonnaise adds great tang and texture to this easy pasta recipe—who knew? Black garlic, which is fermented, offers a sweeter, more mellow flavor than fresh. Find it at well-stocked supermarkets or substitute cloves of roasted garlic.
Linguine with Creamy Mushrooms
This easy pasta recipe is an excuse to buy wild mushrooms, available at many grocery stores these days. Or if you prefer white buttons, those will work well too. The creamy linguine is ready in 40 minutes, so it's quick enough for an easy weeknight recipe but it feels fancy enough for entertaining.
Creamy Chicken & Celeriac Noodles
With a little help from a spiralizer, celeriac is transformed into fettuccine "pasta." Tossed with spinach, chicken and a luscious Parmesan cream sauce, lower-carb pasta never tasted so good. You get a bigger portion of celeriac "noodles" and still save more than 100 calories over 1 cup of regular pasta.
Quick Stovetop Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Precut butternut squash in your grocery store's produce section makes this healthy mac and cheese recipe come together in a flash. For extra flavor, try smoked Gouda cheese.
Ground Beef & Pasta Skillet
Sneak extra vegetables into your child's day (and yours too!) with this easy one-skillet pasta recipe. Finely chop mushrooms to resemble the texture of ground beef and stir them into a classic meat sauce for an extra-healthy twist on a dinnertime favorite.
One-Pot Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts
Taking a minute to sizzle some garlic in olive oil is a simple way to pep up the cheese sauce for this easy homemade mac and cheese, and the flavor plays well with the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in this family-friendly pasta dish.
Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Everyone will love this Mexican-inspired pasta salad recipe. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.
Sweet Potato Carbonara with Spinach & Mushrooms
Loaded with veggies, this spiralized sweet potato vegetable noodles recipe—our healthy take on a traditional carbonara recipe—achieves superfood status with the addition of spinach and mushrooms. Look for large, straight sweet potatoes to make the longest veggie noodles.
Linguine with Creamy White Clam Sauce
Ripe tomato and fresh basil give this quick recipe tons of flavor. Serve this healthy pasta dinner with crusty garlic bread and steamed green beans.
Spaghetti Carbonara with Peas
Our healthy spaghetti carbonara recipe is lower in calories and fat than a traditional spaghetti carbonara recipe, plus it boasts 9 more grams of fiber per serving from whole-wheat pasta. For the best flavor, use Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The eggs in the sauce are not fully cooked; if you're concerned about consuming undercooked eggs, use pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs in this spaghetti carbonara recipe.
Sweet Potato Carbonara with Kale
In this healthy carbonara recipe, “spiralized” sweet potato noodles take the place of traditional pasta. Kale is added for fiber, flavor and crunch, but any dark leafy green, such as spinach, chard or collards, would also be a nice addition.
Pressure Cooker Mac & Cheese
Make a healthier version of classic macaroni and cheese with this recipe that adds broccoli for a nutritional boost and an easy way to eat more vegetables. Using an electric pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot, gets dinner on the table in just 30 minutes.
Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo
Unbelievably rich and creamy, this easy vegan Alfredo is bound to become a favorite. Be sure to check the ingredient list on your unsweetened almond milk, as some contain vanilla flavoring even if they aren't labeled as such. For this recipe, you'll want almond milk without any vanilla.
Creamy Mustard Chicken
In this healthy, creamy mustard chicken recipe, thin-sliced chicken breasts (sometimes labeled chicken cutlets) cook quickly and are delicious smothered in a velvety, light mustard sauce and garnished with fresh chopped sage. If you can't find chicken cutlets, cut boneless, skinless chicken breast into 4-ounce pieces and place between pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with a meat mallet, rolling pin or heavy skillet until flattened to about ½ inch thick.
Quick Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Peas
Fresh basil and green peas give this healthy mac and cheese recipe a pretty green hue. We like the buttery, nutty flavor of fontina, but provolone, Gruyère or Gouda could be used as a substitute.