Total Time
Prep 2 mins
Cook 10 mins

Pesto or Alfredo? The summery perfection of basil in olive oil or creamy, cheesy, richness? How about both? This simple recipe came about when I didn't have enough of either sauce to coat a big pan of pasta for a potluck dinner. Its a great change from the usual pasta in marinara and, while simple enough for a family meal, is special enough for guests. Its particularly good for potlucks because you KNOW that there are going to be 3-4 pans of pasta in assorted tomato sauces already. ;)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat cream cheese, milk (or milk and cream), and garlic together in a small saucepan. Bring just barely to boiling.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until cream cheese is fully melted into the milk.
  3. Stir in the pesto and reheat to just barely boiling again.
  4. Stir in Parmesan and simmer a few moments until the sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Remove from heat and serve over any pasta.
  6. Note on Pesto: Best made with a pure basil pesto rather than a basil-and-spinach pesto. Homemade or commercial is fine.
  7. Note on Parmesan: I freeze my homemade pesto without the cheese so I use the full 3/4 cup. If your pesto has a generous amount of cheese you will not need as much. Not that plenty of Parmesan is a bad thing. :D.
  8. If you toss this together with pasta, chunks of cooked chicken, and broccoli florets then spread it in a baking pan with plenty of shredded Mozzarella on top you get a terrific casserole.
Most Helpful

So flavorful! I had made Pumpkin Seed, Basil and Miso Pesto, which made about a cup and wanted to try it (first time making pesto). This sounded good, so we're having it over frozen (cooked) ravioli. I tasted the sauce and it's outstanding! I only had 4 oz neufschatel cheese, so I added sour cream for the balance and it's still nice and thick. A keeper for sure.

WI Cheesehead August 24, 2008