I am definitely not a chef. Seriously, I burned an egg once. My mom, however, can cook like no one else. Her recipes are not only delicious, but they make me feel at home. So, as a homesick college student missing her mom’s recipes, I decided to investigate something of hers that I could make without a fuss in the dorms.

Then I remembered one of my favorites: cream cheese pasta. It’s cheesy, it’s creamy, and it’s so simple and quick that any pasta lover will find it delicious.

All you need is pasta, cream cheese, and something to stir it all together with. The cream cheese melts when you put it on the hot pasta, creating a creamy, delicious sauce that would otherwise take a lot more ingredients (and time) to make.

Since my mom tends to improvise when she cooks, I had to experiment a little bit for measurements and ingredients. She usually uses chive cream cheese, or some kind of flavor, but I used plain. She also likes to add fresh herbs like basil and thyme, but since this is dorm cooking and I don’t have a f*cking garden in my room, I bought dried spices and herbs.

The best part about this recipe is that it’s easily customizable—you can add spinach and mushrooms to make it a bit healthier, or as much or as little cream cheese as you’d like to control the creaminess of the dish. Overall, it’s a yummy, easy recipe to have in your arsenal, whether you add a bunch of stuff to it or you keep it simple. Its still cheesy pasta, and you can’t go wrong with that.

Cream Cheese Pasta

  • Prep Time:5 Minutes
  • Cook Time:15 Minutes
  • Total Time:20 Minutes
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 1 box pasta
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 pinch herbs, like oregano or basil (optional)
  • 3-5 tablespoon pasta water
  • Step 1

    Set the cream cheese out before beginning to cook.

    #SpoonTip: This will allow it to get closer to room temperature, which makes it less likely to seize up when you put it onto the pasta later.

  • Step 2

    Cook the pasta as instructed on the box. It’s usually about 10 minutes. When the pasta is almost done, pop the cream cheese in the microwave for about 5 seconds (again, to prevent any struggle mixing it in).

  • Step 3

    When the pasta is done, drain it except for 3-5 tablespoons of water. Put the cream cheese on top of the pasta, add the water, and begin to stir until its mixed evenly.

  • Step 4

    Once the cream cheese is evenly coating the pasta (it should be melted and not chunky anymore), add whatever fun mix-ins you decided on earlier.

    #SpoonTip: I chose oregano, basil, and garlic powder, so I made sure when I added those that they evenly coated the pasta.

  • Step 5

    Serve and enjoy.

    Photo by Maris Rosenfeld