Easy Alfredo Penne Pasta

This easy Alfredo Penne Pasta comes together in just a few steps in less than 20 minutes! Serve the creamy pasta on its own or with chicken, shrimp or salmon.

Alfredo penne pasta sits in a large pasta pan. It is sprinkled with Parmesan cheese for serving.

Quick and easy meals are an easy go-to dinner. Alfredo penne pasta is a great choice for the whole family any day of the week. Prepare a homemade alfredo sauce with a few staple ingredients and serve with penne pasta.

This is a classic recipe that combines an easy homemade cream sauce with penne pasta. Prepare this impressive dish in your own kitchen. It’s perfect on it’s own or serve with a main protein or side dish.

LOVE easy pasta dinners? Try spinach and ricotta pasta, tomato and basil pasta or tomato basil tortellini skillet. All of these pasta dishes are ready in under 30 minutes!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Easy – Penne alfredo is great for busy weeknights because it comes together in less than 20 minutes.
  • Family Friendly – Kids and adults love this dish. It’s a delicious dinner that is creamy, cheesy and packed with flavor.
  • Versatile Dish – Serve alfredo penne pasta anytime. It tastes great as a quick easy dinner or even with a fancy meal like Steak and Lobster.

Ingredients You Need

You will need all of the classic Alfredo pasta ingredients for this recipe. You probably already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen.

All of the ingredients you need for alfredo penne pasta in bowls on a white countertop including penne pasta, parmesan cheese, butter, milk, heavy cream, garlic, italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Penne Pasta: Although another type of noodle would still work great, penne pasta is a great choice for alfredo sauce. You can substitute with gluten free pasta, if desired. Other types of pasta that work great with this sauce include macaroni, linguine, angel hair or fettuccine.
  • Heavy Cream: This gives the creamy cheesy sauce the rich, decadent texture and flavor. You can substitute with half and half but the sauce will not be as thick.
  • Milk: You will need whole milk for the best flavor and consistency.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly shredded or grated Parmesan cheese for the best texture and flavor.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter is best so that you can separately season the pasta with salt.
  • Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic.
  • Flour: Standard all purpose flour is necessary to thicken the sauce.
  • Seasonings: You will also need Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Garnish: Fresh parsley is the perfect garnish for this pasta. You can substitute with fresh basil, if desired.

How to Make Alfredo Penne Pasta

This penne pasta with creamy alfredo sauce comes together in a few simple steps. Please refer to the recipe card below for exact measurements and full instructions.

Melting the butter on the stove in a pasta pan before stirring in the flour, then adding the heavy cream and milk.
  1. Prepare the pasta: Boil the pasta according to the package instructions, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain the rest and set pasta aside. (You can cook the pasta while you prepare the sauce or before preparing the sauce.)
  2. Make the sauce: In a Dutch oven or large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook for one additional minute, until thick and pasty. Gradually pour in the milk and heavy creamy, stirring between additions. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a light simmer and cook until it begins to thicken. Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
Stirring in the seasonings and the Parmesan cheese into the sauce in the pasta pan to create the Alfredo sauce.

3. Combine the sauce and the pasta: Stir the cooked penne pasta and reserved pasta water into the creamy sauce, then toss well to combine.

Garnish the pasta with freshly chopped parsley. You can also sprinkle red pepper flakes on top if you want some heat.

The cooked penne pasta is added to the pan with the alfredo sauce. It is mixed together with tongs before serving.

Recipe Tips

  • Cook the sauce on medium to medium-low heat. This allows the sauce the thicken and the cheese to gradually melt. If you see bubbles, turn down the heat.
  • Don’t forget to reserve the pasta water to add to the pasta. Adding starchy pasta water to alfredo sauce allows the cooked pasta to bind to the alfredo sauce. It also helps to thicken the pasta sauce.
  • Add protein: Make a complete meal by adding grilled chicken, seared scallops or cooked shrimp to this dish. Chopped ham, rotisserie chicken or cooked bacon is also a great addition. Add grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken to easily make chicken alfredo pasta.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To freeze, allow the pasta to cool completely. Then store in a freezer safe container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight. Once the Alfredo pasta is thawed, reheat leftovers in a skillet over medium heat with 1/4 cup of chicken broth. The broth helps to loosen up the pasta noodles and create a thinner sauce. Alternatively, you can reheat the leftovers in the microwave until heated through.

Alfredo penne pasta in a large pasta pan ready for serving. Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese is on top with freshly chopped parsley.

Serving Suggestions

Alfredo pasta tastes great with a variety of dishes. We love to serve it on its own or with a side of vegetables, salad or garlic bread. It also tastes great with a protein layered on top or served on the side.

Serve it with any of your favorite dishes. A few of our favorite easy dinner recipes for serving are below.

If you’re looking for a versatile Alfredo pasta dinner then I know you’ll love this one! This easy pasta recipe is a hit every single time.

Did you try this Alfredo Penne Pasta recipe? Leave a recipe rating and review below!

Alfredo penne pasta in a large pasta pan ready for serving. Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese is on top with freshly chopped parsley.

Easy Alfredo Penne Pasta

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
This easy creamy alfredo pasta is ready in less than 20 minutes!
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients 

  • 16 ounces penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2/3 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  • Boil the pasta according to package instructions for al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, rinse and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or large skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic, sautéing for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, until thick and pasty.
  • Gradually pour in the milk and heavy cream, stirring between additions. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a light simmer and cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
  • Stir in the cooked penne and reserved pasta water, then toss well to combine.

Notes

STORAGE: Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For best results, reheat the pasta in a skillet with 1/2 cup of broth. You can also reheat in the microwave, if desired. 
SUBSTITUTIONS: You can substitute the pasta for gluten free pasta. 

Nutrition

Calories: 743kcal, Carbohydrates: 96g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 79mg, Sodium: 609mg, Potassium: 461mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 988IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 370mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Ashley C.
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

2 comments on “Easy Alfredo Penne Pasta”

  1. When I saw you shared this recipe, I knew I had to try it, as my daughter loves alfredo. It was another hit! Thanks for your great recipes.

  2. This was the perfect dinner to make after a busy day. Easy and so delicious! This will stay on rotation!

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