White Sauce Pasta

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

bowl of white sauce pasta with veggies
Manali
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!
4.81 from 21 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 3
Calories 638 kcal

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: 638kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 16gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 154mgPotassium: 525mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 2120IUVitamin C: 72mgCalcium: 211mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

58 thoughts on “White Sauce Pasta

  1. 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

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