White Sauce Pasta

4.85 from 26 votes

Creamy and cheesy White Sauce Pasta is the ultimate comfort food! Packed with veggies, this is also a great way to sneak in veggies for picky eaters!

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Creamy white sauce pasta with veggies is one of my favorite pasta recipes. It’s cheesy and oh so good! Packed with veggies, this is a great way to make kids eat their veggies! I like to serve it with a side of garlic bread for that perfect comforting meal.

bowl of white sauce pasta with veggies

This is one of those pasta recipes that I learnt very early when I started cooking (along with basic dal). When I was younger white sauce pasta used to my favorite. And since I didn’t know how to make it and mom never made it either, I would always look for occasions so that we could eat out and I could order my favorite white sauce pasta.

So when I started cooking, I knew I had to learn to make a good homemade white sauce pasta loaded with veggies. This isn’t health food but I make this when we want to eat a nice cozy bowl of pasta. It’s also great to make when you have friends over for dinner or even during holidays! My brothers and sisters love this pasta a lot, so whenever I go to India, I make this on repeat. I add tons of cheese when I make for them because they love it that way.

This white sauce is also known as béchamel sauce and has it’s origin in French cuisine.

Classic béchamel sauce is made with butter, flour and milk. For this pasta, I add little cream and little cheese to make it extra creamy, so you can say that this sauce is kind of a mix between alfredo and béchamel. But you can totally skip the cream and cheese and stick with milk only to make the classic version.

A bowl of this pasta on a cold day, it doesn’t get more comforting than this!

This White Sauce Pasta

  • is cheesy and creamy.
  • filled with veggies like peppers, broccoli.
  • great way to make kids eat veggies!
  • great for date nights, just pair with a homemade garlic bread for a complete meal.
  • also good to pack in lunch boxes.

Ingredients

There are 2 main parts to this recipe- the veggies and the sauce and of course there’s the pasta.

ingredients for white sauce pasta arranged on a board

Pasta: I like using penne pasta probably because that’s how I always had it in India but you can definitely use other pasta shapes. Macaroni and Rigatoni will also work well. I personally don’t like using spaghetti.

Veggies: You can use any veggies that you like in this pasta, the day I made this pasta, I had peppers and broccoli at home and that’s what I used in the recipe along with onion and sweet corn. I also use tons of garlic because garlic just goes so well in this pasta.

Milk: I like using whole milk but 2% would also work. Adding cream makes it richer.

Seasonings: I have added dried Italian seasoning and dried oregano, you can use herbs like basil and thyme as well. Add more or less of the seasoning and adjust to taste.

How to Make White Sauce Pasta

We start with making the classic white sauce with butter, flour and milk. The important thing here is to use a whisk when you add in the milk and whisk continuously until all the flour and milk is mixed well together.

I high recommend using a whisk else you might get lumps in your sauce and that’s no fun!

Once you have made the base, you add in the seasonings and cheese (if you like!) and then toss in the veggies and you are done.

I like sauteing my veggies before adding them to the sauce. I only slightly cook them in some butter, this way they remain crunchy and retain their color and crunch when added to the sauce.

The prep work for this pasta takes a bit of time since there’s some chopping involved but once you have got everything chopped and ready to go, it comes together pretty quickly.

To make this pasta less creamy: use milk only (no heavy cream) and skip the cheese!

If you want a more saucy pasta: reduce the quantity of pasta to 100 grams (1 cup).

Step by Step Method

1-Boil 150 grams of pasta according to instructions on the package. I used regular penne pasta which was supposed to be boiled for 9 to 11 minutes. and drain. Make sure you don’t overcook your pasta, you want it al-dente. Note: use only 1 cup pasta if you like more sauce in your pasta. While the pasta is boiling chop all the veggies.

2- Once the pasta is boiled, drain it using a colander and set aside.

3- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan on medium heat. Add all the veggies –

  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, sliced
  • 3/4 cup small broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn (frozen corn which I added to hot water for 5 minutes before using).

4- Cook the veggies for 2 minutes. They should remain crunchy. You can use other veggies like carrots, peas as well.

step by step picture collage of making white sauce pasta at home

5- Once done, remove veggies onto a plate.

6- To another pan or you can use the same pan, now add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter.

7- Once the butter melts, add the 5-6 chopped garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

8- Then add in 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of flour.

step by step picture collage of making white sauce pasta at home

9- Whisk the flour continuously, using a wire whisk for around 30 to 60 seconds. You don’t have to brown the flour much.

10- Then add in 2 cups of milk. You can also add 1/4 cup heavy cream here or use additional 1/4 cup milk.

11- Mix everything using a whisk so that there are no lumps formed.

12- Add in the seasonings:

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
step by step picture collage of making white sauce pasta at home

13- Mix in everything and let the sauce simmer.

14- Sauce will thicken as it simmers and in 4 to 5 minutes it will coat the back of the spoon. Turn heat to lowest.

15- Add in the veggies and the boiled pasta.

16- Toss until the pasta and veggies are coated with the sauce. Taste test and adjust the seasonings at this point. Serve warm!

step by step picture collage of making white sauce pasta at home

Tips & Notes

  • Add veggies of choice. I often add green peppers, carrots and peas. Even mushrooms would go well.
  • You can add some parmesan cheese before serving.
  • Skip cream and cheese to keep this simple. I often make it that way and it comes out just as good. Adding some cream and cheese just makes it extra rich.
  • This pasta is best served immediately. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator. Re-heat in microwave on in a pan on medium heat.
  • Make sure you don’t overcook your pasta. Follow the instructions of the package to make it al-dente.
  • Amount of seasoning and type of seasoning used can be adjusted to preference.

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in December 2018.

red pot with pasta with veggies in a white sauce

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White Sauce Pasta

4.85 from 26 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 3
Creamy and cheesy White Sauce Pasta is the ultimate comfort food! Packed with veggies, this is also a great way to sneak in veggies for picky eaters!

Ingredients 

  • 150 grams penne pasta 1.5 cups or use 100 grams pasta for more saucy pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 small red onion diced or chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper sliced
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn frozen, I add this to hot water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe
  • 3/4 cup broccoli florets optional, small florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoon all purpose flour also known as maida
  • 2 cups milk room temperature, I used whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream optional, you can also use just use milk, cream makes it more creamier
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • salt to taste, around 1/2 teaspoon
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese optional, you can use mozzarella or cheddar, cheese makes it richer

Instructions 

  • Boil the pasta according to instructions on the package. I used regular penne pasta which was supposed to be boiled for 9 to 11 minutes. and drain. Make sure you don't overcook your pasta, you want it al-dente. Note: use only 1 cup pasta if you like more sauce in your pasta. While the pasta is boiling chop all the veggies.
    Once the pasta is boiled, drain it using a colander and set aside.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan on medium heat. Add all the veggies – onion, red pepper, broccoli florets and sweet corn. You can use other veggies like carrots, peas as well.
    Cook the veggies for 2 minutes and then remove on a plate.
  • To another pan or you can use the same pan, now add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Once the butter melts, add the 5-6 chopped garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Then add in the flour. Whisk the flour continuously, using a wire whisk for around 30 to 60 seconds. You don't have to brown the flour much.
  • Then add in the milk. You can also add 1/4 cup heavy cream here or use additional 1/4 cup milk. Mix everything using a wire whisk so that there are no lumps formed.
  • Add in the seasonings: Italian seasonings, dried oregano, red chili flakes, salt and black pepper. Mix in everything and let the sauce simmer.
  • Sauce will thicken as it simmers and in 4 to 5 minutes it will coat the back of the spoon. Turn heat to lowest.
  • Add in the veggies and the boiled pasta back into the pan. Toss until the pasta and veggies are coated with the sauce. Taste test and adjust the seasonings at this point. Serve warm!

Notes

  • Add veggies of choice. I often add green peppers, carrots and peas. Even mushrooms would go well.
  • You can add some parmesan cheese before serving.
  • Skip cream and cheese to keep this simple. I often make it that way and it comes out just as good. Adding some cream and cheese just makes it extra rich.
  • This pasta is best served immediately. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator. Re-heat in microwave on in a pan on medium heat.
  • Make sure you don’t overcook your pasta. Follow the instructions of the package to make it al-dente.
  • Amount of seasoning and type of seasoning used can be adjusted to preference.

Nutrition

Calories: 638kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 86mg, Sodium: 154mg, Potassium: 525mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 2120IU, Vitamin C: 72mg, Calcium: 211mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi, I’m Manali!

Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!


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Recipe Rating




65 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love white sauce pasta so much that I had found a way to have white sauce pasta without any kitchen facility when I was in hostel using only electric kettle . Now when I’m home now I will make pasta in real way.. Your recipe looks great and easy I’ll start making pasta following this recipe.

  2. Very good recipe and super easy. My wife is very happy with the meal I cooked. We’re trying slowly to move to a more vegetarian lifestyle. I’m glad I discovered your page, I’ll definitely be bookmarking it. Thanks

  3. Hi, when after whisking maida, adding milk and later after adding cheese, my sauce broke into minute clumps. What could be the reason? (I did not add heavy cream, i added 2 cups milk)

    1. could be the temperature difference, if milk was cold and pan too hot. Try brining the milk to room temperature and then add.

  4. 5 stars
    Manali,

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I really appreciated the level of detail you put into the details of this recipe, as well as the multiple ways you presented the process of making this dish. It made it really simple for a novice chef like me to follow. This was the first time I ever made my own sauce, and while I was nervous, your instructions were clear and easy to follow.

    My Dad and I really enjoyed this dish for dinner, and it turned out to be a perfect comfort meal on this rainy night in Philly. I will definitely save this recipe to make again.

    Thank you so much!

    Lauren

  5. 5 stars
    This is an amazing recipe! I love the sauce. I was never a fan of the jar white sauce, so I didn’t really like white sauce pasta growing up, but this was a real game-changer!

  6. Hey hi. This recipe of yours has been posted by Chef Saswati Mangaraj on Instagram as her own creation. Kindly check. Thanks

  7. 5 stars
    Came out excellent! I added spinach, parmesan and asiago cheese and stuck with the rest of your recipe. Too good!! Thank you ???

  8. I made this dish at home and ate it very tasty and the White Sauce Pasta Recipe is one of my favorite pasta recipes.

    1. you can but it will really thicken up. So while re-heating you will have to add more milk to thin it out. Also since there’s dairy in it, won’t last for too long, I would keep it the fridge for max of 2-3 days.

  9. 5 stars
    Hi! Manali, I made the sauce today for my mince penne pasta dish & must say it made all the difference to my pasta and had me saying ‘Ooooh! It’s sooo good’ Thankyou . Gonna try so more recipes with your sauce. Ciao for now. Mike

  10. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe. I have tried so many white sauce recipes and although the taste is fine when I reheat it the next day the sauce either separates or has a ton of oil that sits on top. I hate it. But this sauce does not do that. Perfect everytime reheats just fine. I made this 4 times already. My son likes his simple with shrimp so I make like a shrimp fettuccine one for him I make brocolli on the side but when I make it for myself all the veggies in the recipe go inside. Wish I could attach a picture of the shrimp one I made last night. It was yummy!

  11. 5 stars
    This is the first meal I cooked ever for my boyfriend. Loved it! Really quick and good for beginners makes you feel like a pro!

    Keep posting!

    1. hey it’s mentioned in the recipe “To the same pan, now add olive oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Once the butter melts, add the chopped garlic and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.”

  12. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe! I tried white sauce pasta for the 1st time & made it with a lot of veggies & mung sprouts – came out wonderfully! Everyone loved it at my home 🙂

    Lots of gratitude

  13. Thanks for sharing! I love it when I find easy recipes for something I want to have at that moment. I did make a few changes, I replaced the milk and cream with laban/buttermilk, cherry tomatoes for red peppers, Edam for the the processed cheese and Parmesan, and finally last minute save home made Italian seasoning. I could have used a bit more herbs, but personally the taste test did more than pass. I’m giving this page a star on my browser.

    I’m sure my highly critical family will appreciate it as well. 😉

  14. 5 stars
    I live abroad and has instant access to pasta for eating out. But the taste is different and quite bland and usually dream away of enjoying delicious white sauce pasta. Today was different – the dream came true !. Thank you for posting this amazing recipe. I know for sure I will be making this again. Thank you Manali !

      1. 5 stars
        The recipe is pretty good and love the flavour I added a little bit of mushroom and olives

    1. Will the pasta taste as amazing as it looks if I add soy milk and a vegan cream. Or just some vegan milk. Please let me know.
      Thanks. ?