Creamy Spaghetti (1-pot recipe)

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Dreaming of a bowl of creamy spaghetti ready in 15 minutes? This super easy one-pot pasta recipe is for you. It is an economical, versatile, delicious meal perfect for busy weeknights.

Published Sept 2023/updated Jan 30, 2024

Top view of a grey bowl full of creamy spaghetti over a white background.

Friends, this spaghetti with cream cheese is here to satisfy your carb cravings after a long day. The creamy sauce is like a silky blanket covering the noodles, perfect with grated parmesan cheese on top. 

One of the best parts about this pasta recipe is that it’s made with just a handful of ingredients, and everything starts and ends in the same pot.

Easy. Quick. Only ONE POT to wash!

I LOVE it as it’s very similar to my creamy penne pasta, one-pot mac and cheese, and popular cream cheese pasta, but it’s much easier and faster.

Long story short, you’ll cook your spaghetti in a broth infused with garlic and herbs. The liquid-to-pasta ratio is just right so that you’re left with just a small amount of pasta water by the time the spaghetti is cooked.

Next step? Mix in the cream cheese and parmesan and toss to combine. The super starchy pasta water left at the bottom of the pot is enough to emulsify the cheese and create a thick, creamy spaghetti sauce. And you’re good to go!

You could also add anything else you love here. Roasted veggies? Chopped up chicken? Pan-fried salmon. Anything!

Simple but decadent, your bowl of comforting pasta is on the table in minutes. What’s not to love?

Creamy spaghetti for the win tonight!

List of the ingredients

  • Spaghetti
  • Cream cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Italian herb seasoning
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper
  • Chili flakes
The ingredients to make creamy spaghetti are arranged over a white background.

How to make creamy spaghetti in 1 pot

(Note: this is a quick description with step-by-step photos; the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Start by cooking garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes in olive oil until fragrant.
  • Pour in the broth and bring to the boil.
  • Add spaghetti and wait for 30 seconds until it starts to soften; then, using a wooden spoon, push the spaghetti down into the liquid.
Two images showing a white pot with olive oil, herbs and garlic and the same pot with broth and spaghetti.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. This means when you try the spaghetti noodles, they should have a bit of a bite.
  • Turn the heat off, stir in cream cheese and parmesan, and toss until well combined.
Two images showing a white pot full of cooked spaghetti before and after adding cream cheese and parmesan.
Close-up of some delicious creamy spaghetti.

Recipe notes

Creamy Spaghetti ingredients

Spaghetti: Choose premium quality spaghetti, possibly trafilata al bronzo (bronze cut), with a better taste and a rough texture that helps the sauce cling to each noodle. My favorite brands are Garofalo and Rummo.

Olive oil, garlic, herbs, and chili flakes: the recipe starts with a flavor base made with fragrant garlic cooked in olive oil with Italian seasoning and chili. It’s an easy step that adds extra flavor to the broth.

Vegetable broth: Spaghetti can be cooked in low-sodium vegetable broth or salted water. Adjust the quantity of salt accordingly.

Cream cheese: Either a cream cheese block or tub can be used for this recipe. I used Philadelphia, but any nice full-fat cream cheese would do. And if you have any cream cheese leftovers, check out this collection of yummy cream cheese recipes.

Parmesan cheese: aged Parmesan cheese with its nutty flavor is the best, especially if it has been freshly grated so that it will melt well into the sauce. The grated stuff is no comparison.

Optional for serving: Extra salt & pepper before serving if desired, but also a pinch of red pepper flakes, grated parmesan, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and fresh parsley.

Close-up of a bowl full of creamy spaghetti topped with grated parmesan.

Add-ins are welcome!

The options are endless for customizing with tons of different veggies, 

  • Sautéed or roasted veggies. Roasted cherry tomatoes, grilled or roasted zucchini, broccoli, spinach, and more.
  • Add a protein. If you’re not vegetarian, add some grilled chicken, shrimp, pan-fried or smoked salmon, or cooked ground beef.

Serving suggestions 

Storage tips

These creamy spaghetti leftovers are kept well covered in the fridge for about 3 days – but just not as velvety and creamy. To reheat, simply do so in a microwave-safe dish with a splash of milk or water. You can also reheat it on the stovetop with a splash of milk or water.

Close-up of a bowl full of creamy spaghetti topped with parmesan cheese and some chili flakes.

More pasta recipes you’ll love!

Looking for more ideas? You’ll be spoilt for choice with these roundups:

Lastly, I hope you’ll love this creamy spaghetti as much as we do. And if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it. I would love to hear from you!

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One-pot Creamy Spaghetti

Dreaming of a bowl of creamy spaghetti ready in no time? This super easy one-pot recipe ready in less than 15 minutes is for you.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Creamy Spaghetti
Servings: 4
Calories: 417kcal
Author: Katia


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes or cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 3 cups (720 ml) low sodium vegetable broth or water
  • ¾ teaspoon fine salt*
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to serve
  • 8 oz (220 grams) spaghetti
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) cream cheese
  • ¼ cup (approx 30 grams) parmesan cheese, plus more to serve


  • Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, herbs, and chili flakes and cook until fragrant and smells good, about 45 seconds.
  • Pour in the broth, salt, and pepper, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a low simmer (about medium-low).
  • Add pasta and leave for 30 seconds until it starts to soften. Then, using a wooden spoon, start to push it down under the liquid. Stir until it wilts and fit in the pot, cook for about 8-9 minutes or until al dente, stirring frequently. Toward the end of the cooking time, ensure there's still some liquid at the bottom of the pot. If needed, you might want to add a touch of water (remember you need some liquid to emulsify the cheese at the end).
  • When the pasta is done, turn the heat off, stir in the cream cheese and the grated parmesan, and toss until well combined, creamy, and juicy. Taste and make sure you're happy with the seasoning (now it's when you want to stir in your add-ins).
  • Divide the pasta between plates and top with some grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or chili flakes, if desired. Enjoy.


Salt: the recipe calls for ¾ tsp salt if using low-sodium broth. If you use broth that is not low sodium and tastes salty, you might want to taste it and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Creamy spaghetti leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for about 3 days – but not as velvety and creamy. To reheat, simply do so in a microwave-safe dish with a splash of milk or water. You can also reheat on the stovetop with a splash of milk or water.
Nutrition facts: the nutrition values are for one serving and are based on an online nutrition calculator. It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice (extra parmesan cheese on top or a drizzle of olive oil are not included). Please see my disclosure policies.


Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 693mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 632IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 1mg

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