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Dreaming of a bowl of creamy spaghetti ready 15 minutes? This super easy one-pot pasta recipe is for you.
An economical, versatile, delicious meal perfect for busy weeknights.
Friends, this comforting pasta is here to satisfy your carb cravings after a long day. The creamy sauce is like a silky blanket that covers the noodles and is perfect with grated parmesan on top.
One of the best parts about this absolutely delicious creamy spaghetti is that it’s made with just a handful of ingredients and the entire recipe starts and ends in the very same pot.
Easy. Quick. Only ONE POT to wash!
This creamy spaghetti recipe is very similar to my creamy penne pasta, one-pot mac and cheese, and popular cream cheese pasta, but cooking spaghetti in just one pot is genius as it makes everything easier and faster.
Long story short, you’ll cook your spaghetti in the pot with broth infused with garlic and dried herbs. The liquid to pasta ratio is just-right so that by the time the spaghetti is cooked, you’re left with just a small amount of pasta water.
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 cheeses and create a thick, creamy spaghetti sauce. You’re done!
You could also add anything else you love here. Roasted veggies? Chopped up chicken? Pan-fried salmon. Anything!
Simple but decadent at the same time, 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
- Cream cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Italian herb seasoning
- Salt & pepper
- Chili flakes
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 out by cooking up garlic, herbs, chilli 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.
- Reduce to heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. This means, when you try the noodles, they should have a little bit of a bite to them.
- Turn the heat off, stir in cream cheese and parmesan, toss until well combined.
- Taste, adjust the seasoning if desired, and serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. A side of warm focaccia, pesto garlic bread or black pepper focaccia is always a good idea if you want to go all out! : )
Creamy Spaghetti ingredients
Spaghetti: Chose premium quality spaghetti, possibly trafilata al bronzo (bronze cut), which has 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 chilli flakes: the recipe starts with a flavor base made with fragrant garlic cooked in olive oil with herbs and chilli. It’s an easy step that adds extra flavor to the broth.
Vegetable broth: spaghetti is cooked in low sodium vegetable broth for more flavor, but you can use chicken broth or even water if you wish. However, make sure to adjust the quantity of salt accordingly if using water or a broth that tastes quite salty on its own.
Cream cheese: Either cream cheese block and 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 chili flakes, grated parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Delicious with garlic crostini or this focaccia on the side!
Add-ins are welcome!
The options are endless for customizing with tons of different veggies,
- Sautéed or roasted veggies. Cherry tomatoes, grilled or roasted zucchini, broccoli, spinach, and more.
- Add a protein. If you’re not vegetarian try adding some grilled chicken, shrimp or pan-fried or smoked salmon.
- What about a light and fresh side like my carrot salad, cucumber salad or lettuce salad?
- If you wish to add plant-based protein to the meal, a chickpea salad, cannellini bean salad, or a white bean salad would make a balanced meatless meal.
This creamy spaghetti leftovers keep 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 on the stovetop with a splash of milk or water.
More pasta recipes you’ll love!
Looking for more ideas? You’ll be spoilt for choice with these roundups:
- 15+ One-pot pasta recipes
- 15 Dreamy creamy pasta recipes
- 13 Super quick pastas
- 35+ Vegan pasta recipes
- 13 Italian pasta recipes
- 12 Penne pasta recipes
- 30+ Meatless pasta ideas
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!
One-pot Creamy Spaghetti
- 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 chilli flakes and cook until fragrant and smells good, about 45 seconds.
- Pour in the broth, salt, pepper, bring to the boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer (about medium-low).
- Add pasta, 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, make sure there's still some liquid at the bottom of the pot, you might want to add a touch of water if needed (keep in mind 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 combine, 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 chilli flakes, if desired. Enjoy.