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Cream cheese pasta in a dark gray bowl, garnished with grated parmesan and basil leaves.
5 from 13 votes

Cream cheese pasta (Philly Pasta)

Easy, cheesy and comforting! This easy Philly spaghetti is ready in the time that it takes to cook the pasta, and comes with a silky smooth sauce thanks to a simple pasta sauce hack that every Italian knows!  
Servings: 2
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


  • 80 g pasta - Any long pasta – spaghetti or tagliatelle. Adjust quantities to your preference.
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 15 g butter
  • 100 g cream cheese
  • 20 g grated parmesan - 1/3 cup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • salt and pepper to season.


  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan on the stove over a medium heat.
  • Boil a kettle full of water for the pasta. Pour into a large saucepan, season with a teaspoon of salt, and add the pasta. Cook according to packet instruction until al dente.
  • Chop or crush the garlic clove, and cook in the oil and butter until fragrant. You don't want it to start turning brown. Add the cream cheese and stir in until melted.
  • When the pasta is nearly cooked, scoop out at least half a cup of pasta water and reserve.
  • Add about a third of a cup of pasta water to the cream cheese and stir in. Keep the sauce at a simmer.
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain well – give it a good shake – and add it to the cream cheese sauce. Add half the grated cheese, and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir together well, to coat the pasta in the sauce.
  • If needed, add more pasta water to the sauce. The sauce will thicken as it cools, so make it slightly runnier than you think it needs to be.
  • Serve, sprinkling with the rest of the grated parmesan. Eat immediately.


I always weigh my pasta, as I find it far too easy to cook too much. Adjust the serving of pasta to your needs. 
For variety, you could add:
  • small pieces of ham or bacon – cook with the garlic.
  • mushrooms – slice and fry with the garlic. 
  • leftover roast chicken, sausage – cook with the garlic.
  • sausage, salami or chorizo – cook with the garlic.
  • roasted vegetables – add with the cream cheese.
  • sun dried tomatoes – add with the cream cheese. 
  • peas & corn – cook along with the pasta.
  • blue cheese – add in with the cream cheese. 
  • chopped leafy herbs – add just before serving.
  • chilli flakes – for some chilli flavour with a little heat.
You can make this dish ahead and reheat – slightly undercook the pasta and add a glug of water or milk when reheating. 
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.
Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 1532mg | Potassium: 173mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 1mg