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Parmigiano Cream Sauce. Because Parmigiano doesn't just have to be grated.

Want a quick and easy creamy sauce that works for pasta or seafood? Say hello to this easy Parmigiano Reggiano cream sauce! It’s lusciously silky and bursting with flavor from garlic and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. This tastes like a sauce you’d get at a restaurant: but it takes only 10 minutes to make at home! All you need is a handful of ingredients you might already have on hand. We love making this as a pasta sauce for a quick and easy dinner recipe, but there are lots of other uses too. Ready to get started? It uses just a ingredients you might already have on hand.

Parmigiano Reggiano Cream Sauce Ingredients

(no cream!)

This Parmesan cream sauce uses only a few ingredients. And guess what? There’s no cream in it! Cream is more of a specialty ingredient that we usually don’t stock in our refrigerator. So this recipe is made with milk instead of cream! It comes out perfectly rich and creamy without it. The ingredients for Parmesan cream sauce are:

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter* (double all ingredients to serve with 1 pound pasta)

  • 1 garlic clove, grated

  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour

  • 1 cup 2% milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmigiano Reggiano


  1. Measure out all ingredients in advance; the cooking process happens fast! If serving with pasta, cook 8 ounces pasta while you make the sauce.

  2. In a small or medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the grated garlic and cook 30 seconds until fragrant but not browned.

  3. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute to 90 seconds, until bubbly and golden. Do not overcook it: the flour can turn brown within a few seconds. Keep an eye on it!

  4. Add a splash of milk and whisk it in: the sauce will instantly turn chunky. Constantly whisking, continue to add splashes of milk and whisk them in until the entire quantity is incorporated and the sauce is smooth.

  5. Reduce the heat and whisk until the sauce thickens and no longer tastes like raw flour, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Taste and add a pinch or two more salt if desired.

  6. If serving with pasta, drain the pasta, then add the sauce. Add a splash or two of milk to loosen the sauce and come to just the right creamy consistency. Taste and a few more pinches of salt, if necessary. (The sauce is best freshly made, so we don’t recommend making it in advance).

More ways to use Parmigiano Reggiano Cream Sauce

You can also eat this sauce outside of pasta! There are lots of ways to use a Parmesan cream sauce, like:

  • Seafood: Serve as a sauce with baked salmon or grilled salmon. Or serve with pasta and sauteed shrimp.

  • Vegetables: Drizzle it on vegetables like roasted broccoli, roasted asparagus, or roasted cauliflower.

  • Casseroles or lasagna: Use this sauce as a casserole filling or for the cream sauce layer in a lasagna. (You may want to make a double recipe.)

It’s best freshly made (storage notes)

This Parmesan cream sauce is best freshly made. It takes only 10 minutes to make, so it’s not hard to whip up while your main dish is cooking. This is why we’ve made the recipe below for only 3/4 cup or enough for 8 ounces pasta: it’s best to not have leftovers.

If you do have leftovers, you can save them in the refrigerator. To reuse, heat the sauce on the stovetop and mix with additional milk until it comes back to a creamy consistency. You may need to add a few more pinches of salt too.


Courtesy: lacucinaitaliana, acouplecooks

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