Creamy White Sauce Pasta – A Family Favorite!

There is nothing more comforting than a mouth-watering creamy Pasta Sauce with your favorite Pasta in it.

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Various creams like Dairy Creams, Non-Dairy Creams, and Vegan Milk Creams can be used to make Pasta.

However, which is the right cream to use for making pasta?

Pasta Dishes are made with Half and Half or Fresh Cream as they do not have a very high-fat content and give a perfect balance of flavor and creaminess.

Cream-based Pasta Sauces such as Alfredo, Parmesan, Creamy Truffle, Vodka Sauce, and a few wine-based sauces need heavy cream to impart creaminess.

Adding Cream also mellows the acidity in the Tomato-based Pasta sauce.

Creams to Use in Pasta Sauce

Here’s an overview of the different creams used for Pasta Sauce

Sr.No. Type of Pasta Sauce Most Common Cream Used1.

Bechamel Sauce Fresh Cream 2.

Arrabiata Sauce No Cream is used 3.

Tomato Cream Sauce Fresh Cream or Heavy Cream 4.

Marinara Sauce No Cream is used 5.

Alfredo Sauce Heavy cream 6.

Parmesan Sauce Heavy green 7.

Bolognese Sauce No Cream is used 8.

Creamy Carbonara Sauce Half and Half or Fresh Cream  9.

Truffle Cream Sauce Heavy Cream 10.

Vodka Sauce Heavy Cream 12.

Pesto Sauce No Cream is used 

Let’s dive into the details of various creams used in Pasta dishes.

Can Single Cream be used for Pasta?

Single Cream is a richer version of Milk with a fat content of about 12 to 18% with a runny texture.

It can be added to your coffee or a warm bowl of soup However, it cant be used in cooking as it curdles easily on heating and thus cannot be used in your Pasta dish.

Can Heavy Cream be used for Pasta?

Heavy Cream is also called Country Style Cream.

It has a pretty high-fat content amongst the creams used for cooking.

This is one of the reasons why it is preferred to use in cooking where it has a better certainty of giving a thick creamy texture to your dish.

Heavy Cream is one of the best options available to put in your creamy pasta dishes such as Alfredo Pasta Sauce, Tomato Cream Sauce, Parmesan Sauce, Vodka Sauce, and Truffle Cream Sauce.

It can also be used in combination with any other cream or with milk to adjust the consistency of the sauce required for your Pasta Dish.

Heavy Creams are also used in wine-based Pasta such as Marsala Wine Pasta sauce ( which uses Marsala Wine to add to the creamy base of the dish) or White Wine Cream Sauce.

Suggested Reading: Is Pizza and Pasta Flour the same?

Can Whipping Cream be used for Pasta?

The process of making Heavy Cream and Whipping Cream is the same that is by separating the cream from milk.

They only differ in their fat content in that Heavy Cream has over 36% of fat whereas Whipping Cream has a little lesser fat content of about 30-36%.

Whipping cream can be added to your sauces however it takes l little longer to cook than Heavy Cream.

Thus, if using Whipping Cream cook for a little longer time than what the recipe calls for.

Whipping Cream, however, is better for toppings on desserts for its light, creamy texture obtained after whipping.

Image by lim_bau from Pixabay

Can Sour Cream be used to Cream a Pasta Dish?

The lesser fat content of about 20% in Sour Cream makes it versatile for cooking.

While Crème Fraiche can be boiled, Sour Cream will curdle if heated too high or quickly.

The generally recommended way is to bring the pan off the heat and add it to the Sour Cream.

Suggested Reading: Does Cooked Pasta Go Bad?

Can Crème Fraiche be used for Cream Pasta?

Crème Fraiche can be used to cream Pasta if heavy cream or any other cream isn’t available.

It’s richer than cream so one has to be careful so as not to overdo it.

Cream cheese can be used for Cream Pasta.

Cream cheese can be used for Cream Pasta.

Cream cheese isn’t essentially cream but soft usually mild-tasting fresh cheese made from milk and cream.

Can Half and Half Cream be used for Pasta?

Half and Half as the name suggests consists of one part Light Cream and one part Whole Milk.

Generally, it has 12% fat content and can withstand cooking temperatures thus can be used for your Pasta Sauce.

Suggested Reading: Can I Use Pizza Sauce for Pasta?

It adds the perfect amount of creaminess.

It is a good addition if you want a light creamy Pasta that isn’t too high in calories.

Suggested Reading: What is Cooking Cream for Pasta?

Can Table Cream be used for Pasta?

It can be used for your Pasta dishes if you do not have any other creamers and are too lazy to run to the supermarket to get any.

Table cream must always be heated on a low flame, always simmer, and must never be brought to a boil.

Simmer the cream for not more than 3 minutes.

However, recipes calling for thick creamy Pasta Sauce such as Alfredo Sauce will not do well with a Table cream as a base.

Image by KANGHEE HAN from Pixabay

Can Milk be used to Cream Pasta?

Different types of cheese and dairy impart a creamy texture to the Pasta whereas the butter or the oil gives it richness.

Yes, milk can be used instead of cream to get the creaminess in the dish.

You can use a variety of Milk for Pasta such as Whole Milk, Evaporated Milk, and Full Cream Milk if you do not have any Cream.

Skimmed Milk can be used however it has to be combined with cream or cheese to get the desired texture.

Suggested Reading: Evaporated Milk in Macaroni and Cheese?

Can Goat Milk or Goat Milk Cream be used in Pasta?

Goat Milk can be used in your favorite Pasta recipe.

People who try Goat Milk for the first time are generally shocked to discover that it’s creamy, sweet, and mild – virtually indistinguishable from the best whole Cow Milk that they’ve tasted.

Goat Milk can also be added with Goat Cheese for upping the creaminess of the dish.

Using plant-based milk as a replacement for cream in Pasta is quite common.

Plant-based milk is being used over the world to substitute Milk in Pasta.

People who opt for a vegan lifestyle or cannot tolerate dairy can enjoy Creamy Pasta by using Plant-based Milk.

Image by eladoadam from Pixabay

What is the various Plant-Based Milk that can be used to Cream Pasta?

What is the various Plant-Based Milk that can be used to Cream Pasta?

Silken tofu can be used to cream Pasta.

Silken tofu can be used to cream Pasta.

Pureed silken tofu can replace heavy cream or any other high-fat content cream to impart the creaminess.

Can Vegetables be used to Impart Creaminess to the Pasta?

People who are allergic to one or more “Allergic Food Groups” can absolutely enjoy creamy portions of pasta by adding vegetables such as Cauliflower and Avacado as the base of the Pasta Dish.

Suggested Reading: Does Pasta Contain Egg?

Suggested Reading: Should you put Egg in Mac n Cheese?

Can You Mix Two or More Creams for Pasta?

You can use a mix of two or more creams in your recipe.

Also, you need to be careful so as not to mix two conflicting creams together such as sour cream and cream as you run the risk of curdling it.

Heavy cream and pasta sauces are a match made in heaven – but sometimes, it is just better to substitute them for a healthier option.

To replicate the same creaminess and richness of heavy cream, you can substitute with whole milk, cream cheese, a combination of butter and milk, or just Greek yogurt.

You can also go with vegan options like almond cream, cashew cream, and more!

Read below to learn more about the best substitutes for heavy cream and how to use them in pasta dishes!

Why Substitute Heavy Cream?

Heavy cream (or whipping cream) has a wide variety of culinary uses.

With 36% butterfat, this ingredient will not just add a delicious flavor but also a silky smooth and rich texture to food.

This is why heavy cream is such a good fit for various pasta sauces.

It thickens the sauce just enough to equally coat the pasta without making it taste too “heavy.”

But for all its good qualities, heavy cream is also vilified for its nutritional profile.

A tablespoon of heavy cream can contain as much as 50-70 calories and up to 5-8g of fat!

But this isn’t the only reason why heavy cream doesn’t sit well with others.

Since it’s made from dairy, heavy cream is also not suitable for a lot of people with sensitivities or dietary restrictions.

So, is there any substitute for this otherwise delicious and creamy ingredient?

The short answer is yes, there are several substitutes that you can use instead of regular heavy cream or whipping cream.

However, if the reason you’re substituting it is simply because you forgot you don’t have any in your fridge but you’re already half way through a recipe, here’s a tutorial for making your own heavy cream from wikiHow on YouTube.

How To Choose A Substitute For Heavy Cream In Pasta

Before we list all of our favorite substitutes, let’s first list the things that every substitute needs to have to pass as a viable substitute for heavy cream!

Heavy cream has a fatty and creamy flavor that resembles milk and butter.

This is why dairy products make for the best close substitutes for heavy cream.

Milk products have the best chance of matching the flavor profile of whipping cream due to the presence of milk solids.

Keep in mind that heavy cream is also not sweet since there is no added sugar but it can meld well with several other ingredients.

For lactose intolerance, we recommend going for vegan options like cashew cream or almond cream.

These nut milk and creams offer more or less the same flavor benefits and can add a similar richness to pasta sauces.

If you are doubtful about using vegan options then you would be surprised to know just how many recipes you can find for vegan-friendly pasta sauces made from nut or even seed products!

As mentioned above, heavy cream’s ability to add a creamy texture and thickness to pasta sauces is why it is the preferred choice for many people.

The texture of coconut cream or cream cheese is a great example because even though one is made from dairy and the other is made from blended coconut shavings, they are both able to add more or less the same textural benefits as heavy cream.

The reason why it is easy to replicate heavy cream is because of its paste-like consistency.

As a basic rule of thumb, the thicker or denser the ingredient, the better the substitute it will make for pasta recipes.

Nutrition is a big concern when choosing heavy cream.

If you do not have dietary restrictions and want to keep the nutrition of your pasta recipes at a similar level, then you can also opt for milk-based products like various types of cheese or even Greek yogurt.

Just remember that there are two types of substitutes for heavy cream: some are healthier while others are known to be more or less the same in terms of nutrition – but you should not base your choice on nutrition alone since the other characteristics on our list will have far more weight!

The number of recipes that call for heavy cream is a testament to its sheer versatility; which is why we recommend that you pick a substitute that provides the same convenience as heavy cream.

You wouldn’t want to pick an ingredient that fits just one type of food and is completely incompatible with the other.

For instance, you could go with cream cheese as a substitute, but you won’t get the same benefit from it when it is used in savory dishes or recipes that require a subtle flavor.

In this case, cashew cream would make for a better overall substitute since it can be used in the same way as heavy cream across the board, regardless of whether you use it for sauces, baking, or cooking!

The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes for Pasta

The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes for Pasta

1. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is an excellent substitute for heavy cream because it’s made from a mixture of sweet milk and cream.

This allows cream cheese to not just have the same richness and texture as heavy cream but it can provide a more developed flavor too.

Heavy cream has a neutral flavor with hints of milk and butter – but if you want to take it up a notch then we highly recommend adding cream cheese for pasta!

To substitute it, use 1 tbsp of cream cheese for every 1 tbsp of heavy cream.

What makes cottage cheese so great is its nutrition and its ability to add a milky and creamy flavor.

While it may not offer the same creamy and smooth texture as heavy cream, it can be used in several recipes as a healthier substitute.

Don’t bother heating cottage cheese because it will never fully melt and you will always be left with a few curdled pieces.

But if it’s flavor and health benefits that you are after then there is no better substitute than cottage cheese.

Just top it off over pasta with a light sauce and enjoy!

Use 1 full tbsp of cottage cheese for every 1 tbsp of heavy cream!

Yogurt is loaded with probiotics and can offer the same creamy texture as heavy cream.

Several brands offer creamy and homogenized yogurt and while you can also use any homemade batch of yogurt, we recommend trying the commercial variety first for the best results.

If you don’t mind a slightly runnier consistency then you can use homemade yogurt.

Please note that yogurt will not provide the same flavor as heavy cream but it has the benefit of being able to meld with just about any ingredient – like heavy cream!

To substitute it, use 1 tbsp of whipped yogurt for every 1 tbsp of heavy cream.

Greek yogurt is perhaps the next best alternative to heavy cream.

This means that it can be used in the same manner as heavy cream.

The best thing about this substitute is that it offers the same versatility and better nutrition than heavy cream.

It can be used in multiple recipes and will help make a rich and creamy sauce for pasta recipes too!

5. Full-Fat Milk

Whole milk or full-fat milk has a fat content of about 3.25% which is why it is an excellent substitute for fat-laden heavy cream.

Full-fat milk can be reduced in sauces to make it slightly thicker which will allow you to get a better flavor, and somewhat the texture of heavy cream.

Sure, the sauce will end up being a bit runny, but you can add a bit of corn starch to make it thicker too!

This strategy is excellent for people who are looking for healthier and less dense alternatives to heavy cream and can also come in handy when you are out of cream but have whole milk in the fridge.

of whole milk for every 1 tbsp of heavy cream!

6. Butter and Milk

The simple combination of milk and butter will not only provide a rich flavor but will also add a lot of texture to your pasta recipes!

Milk and butter are the foundations of heavy cream which is why its constituents will make for excellent substitutes too.

Combine 1 tbsp of melted butter with 250ml of milk and then use the mixture as needed for your pasta recipes.

The fat content from the butter and the richness and flavor from the milk will combine to create a heavy cream substitute that can also be nutritionally altered depending on your choice.

Swap out whole milk for skimmed milk and use flour or corn starch to create a thick and less fatty sauce!

Use 1 tbsp of butter and milk mixture for every 1 tbsp of heavy cream.

Then try evaporated milk next time you are out of heavy cream.

By definition, it is just regular milk – but with considerably less water.

Evaporated milk has 60% of its water removed, making it creamier.

Evaporated milk is just as thick and can be used in the same way as heavy cream!

We recommend going for equal portions of evaporated milk for every portion of heavy cream.

Coconut cream is simply blended coconut shavings.

That’s right, you can make your very own batch of coconut cream by blending coconut shavings and water.

When processed at high speeds, the oils in the coconut separate, creating a milk-like mixture.

Coconut milk is made the way but has a bit more water which gives it its runny consistency.

Coconut cream on the other hand is thicker, has a higher fat content, and can be used as a substitute for heavy cream for pasta recipes and general cooking too!

For the best results, use a tbsp full of coconut cream for every 1 tbsp of heavy cream – but you may also have to adjust the quantity of the cream if you do not want a lot of coconut flavor in your pasta sauce.

9. Soy Milk and Olive Oil

Soy milk and olive oil make for an even healthier substitute for heavy cream.

The richness from the soy milk along with the rounded flavor and viscosity of olive oil will mix well with just about any pasta sauce.

Reduce the mixture until you get the right consistency or add any thickener of your choice to make a creamy pasta sauce.

We recommend creating a soy milk and olive oil mixture separately.

Start by mixing 1 cup of soy milk with 2 tbsp of olive oil and then reduce at low heat.

Mix in a bit of corn starch or flour and thicken as needed.

Use 1 tbsp of this mixture for every 1 tbsp of heavy cream in your pasta recipes!

Cashew Cream

Cashew cream is another great vegan alternative to heavy cream.

Made in the same manner as coconut cream, this substitute offers way more flavor and better overall nutrition than heavy cream.

It can be used for any type of pasta recipe and you can even drizzle it over spaghetti for presentation points and flavor!

We recommend keeping a 1:1 ratio for cashew cream when substituting heavy cream!

Almond Cream

Almond cream is perhaps the preferred choice for a lot of health enthusiasts.

Its counterpart, almond milk is just as famous and can be used in any type of cooking or baking recipe.

It can be prepared at home by blending soaked almonds until the mixture resembles milk or cream.

Almond cream is a thicker version of almond milk as it contains considerably less water.

Substitute 1 tbsp of heavy cream with 1 heap-full tbsp of almond cream!

Best Heavy Cream Substitutes for Pasta Sauces

Here is a quick summary of some common pasta sauces that you can make with the substitutes above:

Heavy cream may be the default choice for many when it comes to making pasta but there is a whole range of better tasting and more nutritious substitutes that you can use for sauces, garnishes, and more!

Now that you know the best substitutes for heavy cream in pasta recipes, here are some related questions:

Can you mix different substitutes for heavy cream?

Yes. You can try mixing two to three substitutes for heavy cream for better flavor and richness.

You can even try mixing dairy and vegan alternatives for an interesting texture and flavor too.

Will coconut cream add an overpowering coconut flavor?

Coconut cream tastes like unsweetened coconut which means that if you use it in large quantities, then it could end up changing the flavor of your pasta recipe.

Always use this substitute in moderation and adjust as per your requirement.

Will heavy cream substitutes affect the shelf life of cooked pasta?

No. You will have to store all leftovers in the same way as you would store pasta made using heavy cream!

Alfredo Sauce With Milk (No Heavy Cream)

Cooking Pasta In Sauce – The Best Way

Best Whipped Cream Substitutes

You never need to make box mac and cheese again.

Enter this basic White Sauce Pasta!

The basic cream sauce is so creamy and full of flavor, and get this: it doesn’t even use cream!

It takes just 10 minutes: enough time to make the pasta.

Eat it straight up, as a pasta side dish, or add more raw or cooked veggies to the sauce.

Ingredients for white sauce pasta

You might already have the ingredients for this white sauce pasta in your pantry and fridge.

You’ll be amazed at the big flavor that comes from simple ingredients!

The basic cream sauce uses 2% milk, not heavy cream, and makes the most luscious white sauce you’ll have.

Pasta of any shapeSalted butterGarlicFlourMilkSaltParmesan cheese

Try this White Wine Sauce, made with white wine and cream!

How to make a cream sauce: some tips!

Making a basic cream sauce is a technique that all home cooks should know.

A roux is flour and butter cooked together and used to thicken sauces.

It’s usually made from equal parts of flour and butter.

The cooking process goes quickly, so you don’t want to have to stop to measure an ingredient.

Be careful not to overcook: you don’t want it to brown!Add flour and whisk constantly.

Only cook it until it’s golden.Whisk in the milk gradually.

Add just a little milk, then whisk it in.

Continue adding little bits until the sauce is smooth.

Then cook about 5 minutes until thickened, and add the Parmesan and salt.

You can use any sort of pasta shape for this white sauce pasta!

But we have a few recommendations for what we like best.

Here are our top choices for pasta:

Penne is another natural option.Cavatappi: Cavatappi is a fun corkscrew shape that’s great with white sauce!

Variations: add-in for white sauce pasta!

Here’s the fun part: how to serve white sauce pasta!

It’s just carbs and dairy, so you’re going to want to add some colorful veggies or more protein as a side or in the pasta itself.

Tomatoes: Add sliced cherry tomatoes or chopped ripe tomatoesZucchini: Thinly slice it and add it raw, or saute it (you can add about half the linked recipe)Spinach or Kale: Wilt it down in a pan for a few minutes, then lightly salt it before adding.

*Tip: Or, throw baby spinach or baby kale in the colander and drain the pasta water on top of it: it cooks instantly!Broccoli: Chop broccoli and saute it or pan fry it.Bell peppers: Chop and saute bell peppers with onion, then add.Herbs: Add chopped fresh herbs of any kind.Shrimp: Add Garlic Butter Shrimp for an insanely flavorful main dish.

Or make Creamy Shrimp Pasta!

Want to add nutrients to this white sauce pasta in a side dish?

Here are a few quick side dishes to add:

White beans: Add plant-based protein with these 5-minute Easy Cannellini Beans or Easy White Beans.Sauteed veggies: Try Simple Sauteed Broccoli, Perfect Sauteed Carrots, Peas with Lemon, Sauteed Green Beans or Lemony Steamed Green BeansLeafy greens: Try Best Ever Sauteed Kale, Sauteed Spinach, or Sauteed Rainbow ChardSalad: Try Easy Arugula Salad, Easy Cabbage Salad

This white sauce pasta recipe is…

Creamy White Sauce Pasta

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Print Recipe

This white sauce pasta has an amazing basic cream sauce that everyone will love!

This white sauce pasta has an amazing basic cream sauce that everyone will love!

Boil the pasta until it is just al dente (start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes).

Meanwhile, measure out all ingredients in advance; the cooking process happens fast!

Right after you add the pasta to the pot, start the sauce: In a small or medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

Add the grated garlic and cook 30 seconds until fragrant but not browned.

Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute to 90 seconds, until bubbly and golden.

Add a splash of milk and whisk it in: the sauce will instantly turn chunky.

Constantly whisking, continue to add splashes of milk and whisk them in until the entire quantity is incorporated and the sauce is smooth.

Reduce the heat and whisk until the sauce thickens and no longer tastes like raw flour, about 5 minutes.

Add the salt and Parmesan cheese.

Taste and add a pinch or two more salt if desired.

Drain the pasta, then add the sauce.

Add a splash or two of milk to loosen the sauce and stir until you have the right consistency.

(The sauce is best freshly made, so we don’t recommend making it in advance).

More easy pasta recipes

Love this white sauce pasta?

Here a few more easy pasta recipes you might enjoy:

Cheese Tortellini in Creamy Marinara The best quick dinner recipe!

Serve it up in a creamy marinara sauce flavored with goat cheese and basil.Easy Angel Hair Pasta A quick and airy simple side dish: ready in minutes!Lemon Pasta or Lemon Ricotta Pasta The ideal balance of richness and acidity.Mushroom Pasta with Goat Cheese A quick and easy dinner recipe tastes like it took all day to make!

This one’s a fan favorite.Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta This creamy goat cheese pasta is done in 20 minutes and full of tangy, creamy flavor.

Another fave!Homemade Pasta Marinara This pasta marinara features a homemade sauce and comes together in minutes!

Boost the nutrients with a few handfuls of spinach, and you’ve got dinner.Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Almost like mac and cheese!

Sneak squash into this silky smooth sauce.Baked Rigatoni Pasta All about crowd pleasing flavor!

Bake this popular pasta with garlicky tomato sauce, fresh basil, and gooey mozzarella.

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