This from-scratch, easy, creamy Tuscan pasta sauce is delicious served over pasta and comes together in less than 20 minutes!

One of our favorite meals in the history of ever, this creamy, flavorful pasta sauce is a home run. Not just because everyone agrees it’s amazing, but because it makes weeknight dinners easy and fast!

Creamy pasta sauce with parmesan cheese and basil on bowtie pasta.

Easy Creamy Alfredo Sauce

This creamy tuscan pasta sauce is based off the ever-popular homemade alfredo sauce recipe…with a few key changes to give it a Tuscan flair:

  • adding dried basil to the cream cheese/butter sauce and fresh basil for serving (can skip the dried basil altogether and add lots of chopped fresh basil to the sauce near the end of cooking)
  • stirring in chopped sun-dried tomatoes

I use an entire 8-ounce jar of sun-dried tomatoes for this recipe. Drain them, rinse them, chop them! They add amazing flavor to this pasta sauce!

Making tuscan pasta sauce with cream cheese, garlic, butter basil, sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

Freshly Grated Parmesan

The Parmesan cheese helps thicken the sauce. It’s really important to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a smooth and creamy sauce.

Pre-shredded Parmesan won’t melt very well and most likely will result in a clumpy, grainy pasta sauce.

Pro Tip: for an even thicker sauce, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour to the butter/cream cheese mixture. Just remember to whisk vigorously to minimize lumps!

Jumble of bowtie pasta noodles with pasta sauce, parmesan cheese and basil.

How to Serve Tuscan Pasta Sauce

We always serve this creamy, dreamy tuscan pasta sauce over bowtie pasta. But almost any pasta shape will work well here!

Highly recommended: sprinkling extra Parmesan cheese and fresh basil over each serving (diced, fresh tomatoes are delicious, too!). YUM.

Other rave reviews on this easy creamy Tuscan pasta sauce:

Alli says: This is very, very good. I have made it multiple times for company and everyone loves it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Krystyna writes: Just made this, and it was delicious! It took no time at all, but tastes like I spent hours in the kitchen. Going to make this again! Thanks! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Shannon says: I’ve wanted to make this for so long and the stars aligned tonight (we had all the ingredients including fresh basil, yum!). If my husband licking his plate doesn’t indicate that we can’t get enough of the creamy garlicky sauce, then I don’t know what will! It was a hit. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fork spearing several bowtie pasta pieces with creamy pasta sauce.

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Fork with bowtie pasta and creamy sun-dried tomato pasta sauce.

Creamy Tuscan Pasta Sauce

4.75 stars (67 ratings)


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press (about a tablespoon)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 (8-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups milk (preferably not skim)
  • 1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving, if desired
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  • In a medium pot or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, taking care not to let the garlic burn.
  • Stir in the dried basil. Add the cream cheese, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. It will look curdled at first, but with constant whisking for 2-3 minutes, it should come together to form a smooth, creamy paste. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Over medium heat, add the milk gradually, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking quickly and constantly until each addition is incorporated fully into the sauce.
  • Stir in the Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is the desired consistency, 5-10 minutes. Serve over hot, cooked noodles.


Cream Cheese + Milk:  you can use reduced fat cream cheese and lowfat milk; the sauce is creamier with full fat cream cheese and 2% or above milk. 
Basil: if you have fresh basil, scrap the dried basil and add in about 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil at the end of cooking (or do a combination of dried and fresh for maximum basil flavor).
Thicker Sauce: if you want the sauce slightly thicker, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour to the melted butter and whisk vigorously to prevent lumps. 
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 442kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 964mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 20g

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Recipe originally posted April 2013; updated February 2023 with new photos, recipe notes, etc.

Cooked bowtie pasta topped with creamy tuscan sauce.