If you find yourself doubting whether you have the time to prepare a cream sauce from scratch, let me assure you that if you can manage to boil water and cook pasta, crafting this Parmesan Cream Sauce is well within your time frame — even before your noodles are ready to be drained.
This isn’t about starting from scratch.
There are no little packets involved.
Certainly, no canned ingredients.
It’s a straightforward process.
And, most importantly, the result is undeniably delicious.
This sauce is bound to win your palate over.
It boasts a smooth, cheesy texture that’s simply delightful.
Let me guide you through the steps of creating my preferred cream sauce. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how swift and straightforward it is.
Rest assured, once you’ve prepared this, the likelihood of returning to store-bought jars or sauce packets will be minimal.
Begin by placing butter and Parmesan cheese in a large skillet over medium heat. I find that using a skillet, as opposed to a saucepan, provides ample space for the sauce to come together seamlessly.
Without delay, pour in half-and-half.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t a low-calorie sauce — it’s about savoring a rich and flavorful experience.
Sprinkle in Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
As the butter and cheese meld into the half-and-half, maintain a continuous stir.
Observe the sauce thickening. Yet, as you introduce the remaining half-and-half, continue stirring.
Incorporate the rest of the half-and-half and whole milk.
Stir and let it simmer until the sauce achieves a creamy consistency, a process that typically takes a few minutes. The more extended simmering period results in a thicker consistency. If it becomes overly thick, add a tablespoon of half-and-half at a time.
Lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
Now, it’s time to gently fold in the shredded Parmesan, followed by the addition of freshly grated Parmesan.
There you have it!
Indulge in the creamy richness of Parmesan Cream Sauce, a delectable concoction of butter, cream, and an abundance of Parmesan cheese. This versatile sauce is your ticket to elevating the flavors of your favorite pasta dishes, and the best part? It’s quick and easy to make, delivering approximately 4 cups of luscious sauce.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cold or room temperature
- 4 tablespoons (real) unsalted butter
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1 1/2 cups half & half, divided
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 cup shredded fresh Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnishing (optional)
Prepare the Base:
In a large skillet over medium heat, combine cream cheese and butter. Pour in 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and add Italian seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder. Whisk until the cream cheese has melted, creating a thick, well-combined mixture.
Whisk in 3/4 cup of half & half, bringing the mixture to a simmer for a few minutes. Consistently whisk as the sauce thickens.
Add the remaining heavy whipping cream and half & half. Continue whisking and simmering until the sauce achieves a creamy consistency. This typically takes a few minutes, and the longer the simmer, the thicker the sauce becomes. If it becomes overly thick, add a tablespoon of half & half at a time.
Reduce the temperature to low. Whisk in the grated Parmesan until fully incorporated. Stir in the shredded Parmesan, ensuring a delightful texture.
Ready to Serve:
Your Parmesan Cream Sauce is now ready to be generously ladled over your favorite pasta. Consider garnishing with fresh parsley for an extra touch of flavor.
Timing is Key:
Initiate the sauce-making process simultaneously with cooking your pasta. This ensures that both elements are ready to serve at the same time.
Storage and Reheating:
Refrigerate any leftover sauce in a closed container for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, use a pot on low heat instead of the microwave to avoid separating the butter in the cream. The sauce may appear very thick when cold, but as it warms up, it regains its creamy consistency. To thin out the sauce during reheating, add 1 tablespoon of half & half (or 2 teaspoons of milk) at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
Embrace the culinary simplicity of Parmesan Cream Sauce, transforming your pasta nights into an experience of pure delight.