White Sauce Pasta (Bechamel Sauce Pasta)

5 from 5 votes

Make this creamy White Sauce Pasta (Bechamel Sauce Pasta) from scratch in 30 minutes. It makes for a perfect lazy dinner and is popular among kids (vegetarian).

White Sauce Pasta served in a bowl.
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About White Sauce Pasta

White Sauce Pasta (Bechamel Sauce Pasta) is a creamy pasta dish where cooked pasta is coated with a rich and cheesy white sauce. This recipe comes together in 30 minutes and tastes like the one in restaurants.

Bechamel Sauce is one of the simplest Mother sauces from French cuisine, and this easy recipe uses it to make something so comforting and delicious.

I made a vegetarian version of this pasta dish, but you can add chicken, shrimp, or any other meat you like.

My white sauce pasta recipes serve 4 people, but you can easily scale the recipe per your requirements.

Here are some more easy pasta recipes

Ingredients

White sauce pasta ingredients 1
White sauce pasta ingredients 2
White sauce pasta ingredients 3

Pasta – I have used penne pasta, but you can use any variation, such as spaghetti, macaroni, fusilli, fettuccine, or any other pasta you choose. You can also make stuffed ravioli using this sauce as the base.

Vegetables – I have added onions, mushrooms, mixed bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots, but you can add more veggies such as zucchini, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, sun-dried tomatoes, green peas, baby corn, spinach, kale, etc.

Add cooked chicken, shrimp, diced ham, or any other meat along with the veggies. You can also skip the veggies and use non-veg protein. 

Whole Milk, Unsweetened Heavy Cream, Cheddar Cheese, and All-Purpose Flour – For the creamy white pasta sauce recipe, you will need these 4 ingredients. Together, they will give the pasta the perfect velvety texture.

I have used shredded white cheddar cheese, but you can pump up the recipe and use cheese varieties such as mozzarella, gouda, emmental, parmesan, or even a mix of a few. 

If you live in India, processed cheese of any brand like Amul or Brittania works fine.

Spices – I have used freshly cracked black pepper, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes. You can also use mixed Italian seasoning or dried herbs like basil and parsley.

Adjust the amount of these seasonings as per your taste and preference. If you like it to be spicier, increase the red pepper flakes.

How To Make White Sauce Pasta

Cook The Pasta

Heat 5-6 cups of water in a large pot over high heat.

Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt to it.

Reduce the heat to medium.

Add 10 oz (300 g) of uncooked pasta to the pot and cook for 8-9 minutes or until the pasta is just cooked, stirring a few times while cooking.

Note – To check if the pasta is cooked properly, lift a pasta shape from the boiling water using a slotted spoon. Cut the pasta in half using a knife and check the center. The pasta should not have a white ring or spot and be opaque if cooked properly.

Do not overcook the pasta; otherwise, the final dish will become mushy.

Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the remaining.

Keep the cooked pasta aside.

Make The White Sauce

Start by heating 2 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted) in a large skillet over medium heat.

Butter heating in a pan.

Once the butter is melted and slightly hot, add 1 teaspoon minced garlic and ¼ cup finely chopped onions and cook for a minute, stirring frequently.

Onion and garlic added to the pan.

Add

  • ½ cup sliced carrots
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup broccoli florets
  • ½ cup cubed mixed bell peppers

to the skillet and saute for a minute.

Veggies added to the pan.

Now add 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour and cook for a minute, stirring continuously. This butter and flour mixture is called ROUX.

Flour added to the pan.
Roasted flour.

Set the heat to low.

Pour 1 and ½ cups of warm whole milk (full-fat milk) and whisk well using a wire whisk.

Milk added to the pan.
Milk whisked well.

Add

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cook the sauce on low heat until it thickens, stirring continuously.

Salt, oregano, pepper and red pepper flakes added to the pan.
Mixed well.

Stir in ¼ cup unsweetened heavy cream and ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese and cook until the cheese melts.

Heavy cream and cheese added to the pan.

Add Pasta To The Sauce

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet along with 1 cup of the water in which it was cooked and mix well.

Note – If you plan to serve the pasta even an hour after making it, add another cup of milk to the sauce, as the pasta thickens considerably once it starts to cool down.

Cooked pasta and pasta water added to the pan.
Mixed well.

Cook on medium heat for a minute.

Add roughly torn basil and mix well.

Basil added to the pan.

Check for salt and pepper and add more if needed.

Garnish with red pepper flakes and dried oregano, and serve hot.

Ready white sauce pasta.

Pro Tips By Neha

Make sure you cook the pasta Al dente. It will be mushy and sticky if overcooked and won’t taste great when mixed with the sauce.

Serve it hot. This pasta thickens when cooled down, so keep the extra sauce in the paste while cooking.

Load it with veggies of your choice. It is also a great way to use the leftover veggies in the fridge.

Always reheat the pasta by adding milk or broth to maintain the creamy and saucy texture. You can also reserve some water from cooking the pasta and use it to thin it down.

All-purpose flour makes the best creamy sauce, but you can add half whole wheat flour for a healthier version.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is white sauce different from Alfredo sauce?

White sauce is made with equal parts butter and all-purpose flour with milk added, while Alfredo sauce is made with grated parmesan, butter, and some pasta water. 
There is no flour or ROUX in the Alfredo sauce.

Can I mix red and white sauce for pasta?

Yes, you can mix red sauce and white sauce for the pasta, popularly called pink sauce. After the white sauce is ready, add ½ cup of red sauce to the pan and keep the remaining process the same to make pink sauce pasta. 

Is white sauce pasta healthy?

No, I do not consider white sauce pasta healthy. It has a lot of butter, cream, cheese, and flour, which are not good for the body if consumed daily. Anything that’s taken in moderation and occasionally is totally fine.

How to make it less creamy?

Use milk and cheese to make it less creamy and avoid adding heavy cream.

Variations

Vegan – To make a vegan version, you can use almond milk or soy milk instead of regular milk and cream. Also, substitute the butter with olive oil. Skip adding the cheese or use vegan cheese.

Gluten-Free – If you want a gluten-free option, substitute a few ingredients in this recipe. Firstly, use gluten-free pasta instead of whole wheat or all-purpose flour. Then, instead of all-purpose flour, you can use rice flour or any other gluten-free flour for the sauce.

Serving Suggestions

For a comforting dinner, pair this delectable, creamy, smooth white sauce pasta with Garlic Knots and you’re done for the day.

Serve this Bechamel sauce pasta with garlic bread, dinner rolls, bruschetta, or open toast on the side. You can serve it as a side dish with your Italian meal. 

Some sides, such as parmesan asparagus, roasted green beans, and roasted broccoli, are also great to serve with this creamy pasta.

Storage Suggestions

This white sauce pasta dish is best served immediately. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

The pasta thickens quite a lot while storing, so when you are ready to serve it again, add some warm milk or broth and reheat on the stove over low heat until warmed through.

If you want to meal prep this dish, cook the pasta, white sauce, and vegetables separately. Store the cooked pasta, sauce, and vegetables in separate air-tight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. When ready to eat, reheat the pasta and vegetables separately on the stove over low heat until warmed through. Then, add everything to a pan with the white sauce and stir until combined. Serve immediately.

If you are planning to freeze it, then keep the pasta undercooked a bit. It will become mushy after thawing and reheating if you cook it fully. To reheat, thaw the pasta in the refrigerator and reheat it when you want to serve it.

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Make this creamy White Sauce Pasta (Bechamel Sauce Pasta) from scratch in just 30 minutes. It makes for a perfect lazy dinner and is really popular among kids.
5 from 5 votes

White Sauce Pasta Recipe (Bechamel Sauce Pasta)

Make this creamy White Sauce Pasta (Bechamel Sauce Pasta) from scratch in just 30 minutes. It makes for a perfect lazy dinner and is really popular among kids.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • Large Skillet

Ingredients 

  • 10 ounces uncooked penne pasta (300 g)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onions
  • ½ cup sliced carrots
  • ½ cup broccoli florets
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup cubed mixed bell peppers (cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 and ½ cup warm whole milk (full-fat milk)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup unsweetened heavy cream
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • a handful fresh basil (roughly torn)
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Instructions 

Cook The Pasta

  • Heat 5-6 cups of water in a large pot over high heat.
  • Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt to it.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add uncooked pasta to the pot and cook for 8-9 minutes or until the pasta is just cooked, stirring a few times while cooking.
  • Note – To check if the pasta is cooked properly, lift a pasta shape from the boiling water using a slotted spoon. Cut the pasta in half using a knife and check the center. The pasta should not have a white ring or spot in it or be opaque in appearance if it is cooked properly.
  • Do not overcook the pasta otherwise, the final dish will become mushy.
  • Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the remaining.
  • Keep the cooked pasta aside.

Make The White Sauce

  • Start by heating butter in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Once the butter is melted and slightly hot, add garlic and onions and cook for a minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and bell peppers to the skillet and saute for a minute.
  • Now add all-purpose flour and cook for a minute, stirring continuously. This butter and flour mixture is called ROUX.
  • Set the heat to low.
  • Pour the warm milk and whisk well using a wire whisk.
  • Add salt, black pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes, and cook the sauce on low heat until it starts to thicken, stirring continuously.
  • Stir in heavy cream and cheddar cheese and cook until the cheese melts.

Add Pasta To The Sauce

  • Add the cooked pasta along with 1 cup of the water in which it was cooked to the skillet and mix well.
  • Note – If you are planning to serve the pasta even an hour after making it, then add another cup of milk to the sauce as the pasta thickens considerably once it starts to cool down.
  • Cook on medium heat for a minute.
  • Add roughly torn basil and mix well.
  • Check for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
  • Garnish with red pepper flakes, and dried oregano, and serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can use any pasta of your choice. Just make sure that you don’t overcook it. Ideally, it should be cooked Al-Dente, but I like my pasta just a notch more cooked than Al Dente.
You can also choose pasta made with whole wheat or other grains for a healthier version.
Do not miss the garlic! It adds a beautiful flavor to the pasta. Also, add seasonings such as red pepper flakes, oregano, and black pepper according to your taste. 
Always use whole milk. It adds to the richness and creaminess of the pasta. If you like your pasta extra creamy, reduce the quantity of milk, and increase the quantity of heavy cream. 
You can also add chicken, shrimp, diced ham, or any other meat along with the veggies. You can even skip the veggies and just use the non-veg protein. 

Nutrition

Calories: 440kcal, Carbohydrates: 61g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 419mg, Potassium: 389mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 3852IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 132mg, Iron: 1mg
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2 Comments

    1. Hi Andrea, I live in India. We get Amul cream here. You can use any that is easily available to you.