Creamy Gemelli Pasta is garlicky, cheesy, deliciously creamy, and so comforting! It’s a family favorite of ours because hands down everyone loves it, and it’s ready in just 20 minutes!
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It’s hard to go wrong with a good creamy pasta dish in our house!
Especially one that is an easy recipe with a short cooking time so we can make it for a busy weeknight meal.
This Garlic Parmesan Orzo Pasta is one of our favorites, so I knew this Gemelli pasta dish with its amazing garlic flavor was bound to be a hit too!
With tender pasta coated in a rich and creamy garlic sauce, the Parmesan cheese adds an amazing salty and cheesy flavor that you can’t miss.
Check out some of my favorite Easy Pasta Recipes for even more ideas.
- Pasta: I used Gemelli pasta for this dish, but you can use your favorite kind.
- Cream: heavy cream works best for creating a thick and creamy pasta sauce, but you can substitute it for a lighter cream if you don’t mind a thinner sauce.
- Cream Cheese: full fat cream cheese will give the sauce a rich creaminess, you can use a lower-fat version if you prefer, or even a flavored cream cheese if you like.
- Garlic: freshly minced garlic cloves will give this dish a fragrant garlic flavor that is perfect for a creamy sauce and pasta!
- Cheese: use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the best salty cheesy flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper can be used to taste to season this dish, adding a bit of peppery spice.
How to Make Creamy Gemelli Pasta
This creamy Gemelli recipe is quick and easy to make. Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.
- Cook pasta. Cook and drain pasta, saving some of the pasta water. Remove pasta from the pot.
- Make sauce. Add the cream, cream cheese, garlic, and Parmesan to the pot and cook.
- Mix pasta and sauce. Add pasta back into the pot and mix with the sauce, adding the pasta water gradually.
- Serve. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper as needed after tasting.
Creamy Gemelli Pasta FAQs
Any type of pasta will work in this recipe, but I chose Gemelli, which has a twisted spiral pasta shape. Penne, Macaroni, Fusili, or Radiatori pasta would be good substitutes if you’re wanting a similar pasta shape, but any pasta will work since we are simply cooking it to al dente!
Store this dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow the pasta to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. You may need additional water or milk if it’s too thick.
Yes! You can freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Freezing this dish works better if you use full-fat cream and cream cheese.
Tips and Notes
- Cream Cheese. Cream cheese will help to thicken the sauce so that it coats the pasta well. You can swap in flavored cream cheese or light cream cheese here. You may want to adjust the added seasonings if using flavored cream cheese.
- Herbs. Add some fresh herbs into the sauce, or garnish with fresh herbs for the perfect finishing touch. Fresh basil, fresh rosemary, fresh dill, or fresh parsley would work well.
- Cheese. I love using Parmesan cheese with creamy pasta dishes, as it’s got such a great salty savory flavor. You can use any cheese you like with pasta though, like asiago, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, or mascarpone will work well.
- Garlic. Using 3 garlic coves will add a big garlic flavor. You can reduce it to 2 or even 1 if you prefer a very mild garlic flavor.
- Dutch oven. If you make this recipe in your Dutch oven, you can add extra cheese on top and broil it so it lightly browns on top before serving. Just make sure the pasta sauce has a bit more liquid so it doesn’t dry out too much.
Creamy Gemelli Pasta Variations
- Add some veggies. Sauté onions (use yellow or red onions), chopped bell pepper, or wild mushrooms, and add them to the dish for extra color, flavor, and nutrients. You can even add in raw chopped onion or chopped sun-dried tomatoes for extra flavor.
- Spice it up. Add some heat by adding some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the sauce.
- Meat. Add some ground beef or tuna to the dish for added protein.
This creamy Gemelli pasta recipe is a delicious one-pot meal that is filling enough on its own!
However, I like to serve this pasta with sides to make it go a bit further and give some more variety to our meal.
Some vegetable side dishes would be great to add some more nutrients and color. A simple green salad would work well or try my Easy Broccoli Salad for something a bit heartier. Roasted Green Beans or these Roasted Vegetables would also work well.
More Easy Pasta Recipes to Try
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Creamy Garlic Gemelli Pasta
- 350 grams Gemelli pasta ¾ lb
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 3 cloves freshly minced garlic or 2 if you prefer milder garlic flavor
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper as needed
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions.
- Reserving 1 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta, and remove it from the pot.
- Add the cream, cream cheese, garlic, and Parmesan to the pot. Cook the mixture and stir just until the cream cheese is melted. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the pasta back into the pot with the sauce, and gradually add in the cup of the reserved pasta water until the sauce comes together to the desired consistency. It will continue to thicken, so don’t toss the pasta water too soon! You might want to add more later on.
- Season with additional salt and freshly cracked black pepper as needed after tasting.
- Store: Store this dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow the pasta to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. You may need additional water if it’s too thick.
- Freeze: Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Freezing this dish works better if you use full-fat cream and cream cheese.
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