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Baked Cream Cheese Pasta

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Baked Cream Cheese Pasta is pure pasta heaven!

Roasted tomatoes, cream cheese, fresh spinach, and basil tossed in pasta come together for a rich, hearty, and delicious meal.

Baked Creeam Cheese Pasta

The Viral Tik Tok Baked Feta Pasta Recipe

I know I’m a little late on the viral tik tok pasta trend, but have you had the chance to try the tik tok baked feta pasta recipe? It definitely went viral for a reason.

I’m not actually a fan of feta cheese (or any type of stinky cheese, really), but I knew I could easily make my own take on the recipe using cream cheese instead of feta. (After all, who doesn’t like cream cheese?)

I’ve created a few pasta recipes and other savory dishes, using cream cheese, (like this Creamy Chicken Stew, Green Chile Chicken Tacos, Green Chile & Cream Cheese Enchilada Casserole, and this Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta), so I knew this substitution would work really well.

a scoop of baked cream cheese pasta.

Baked Cream Cheese Pasta

And let me tell you, this Baked Cream Cheese Pasta dish is absolutely delicious!

If you’re looking for a simple and delicious dinner recipe that is sure to impress your friends and family, then you should definitely try this Cream Cheese Pasta recipe. It’s super easy to make, requires minimal prep work, and only a few simple ingredients.

The key ingredients in this recipe are cream cheese and fresh cherry tomatoes, which are tossed with olive oil and baked in the oven. As the tomatoes burst open from the heat, they release their sweet and savory flavors, creating a deliciously rich sauce that pairs perfectly with the mild flavor of the pasta.

To complement all of these amazing flavors, this recipe also includes a bit of spinach for color, Italian spices, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes for an extra kick. If you’re looking for a quick and completely satisfying meal, this Baked Cream Cheese Pasta is a perfect choice!

Why You Should Make This Baked Cream Cheese Pasta Recipe

  • Rich and creamy. The addition of cream cheese makes this dish really rich and creamy, making the tomato sauce sort of like a rose-type sauce.
  • Comes together quickly. This baked pasta recipe requires little prep.
  • Pure comfort food. As the weather gets colder, we all start to crave rich and hearty food. This recipe fits the bill.

This baked pasta dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner when you just need to get something hearty and satisfying on the table. It’s sure to please even the fussy eater amongst you.

Ingredients in the Baked Cream Cheese Pasta + Tips

Ingredients at a glance, scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full ingredient list and amounts.

baked cream cheese pasta ingredients
  • Grape/cherry tomatoes | Any kind of small tomato will work in this recipe.
  • Olive oil | I prefer to use extra light-tasting olive oil when I cook, but any variety will work.
  • Cream cheese| I used an 8 oz block of cream cheese in this recipe. I find block cream cheese works the best. You could substitute low-fat cream cheese to lighten the dish up a bit, but don’t use fat-free.
  • Dry pasta | I used farfalle pasta in this recipe, but rigatoni, penne, elbows, or Gemelli (just about any short pasta) all work great.
  • Baby spinach | I mostly added the spinach to give the dish a bit more color (and nutrition), but you could leave it out if you aren’t a spinach fan. I do prefer using baby spinach in this recipe as it wilts down nicely.
  • Italian spices | You need a mix of dried Italian spices; oregano, basil, and thyme. I use this Italian herb grinder from McCormick.
  • Pasta water | Make sure to reserve about a cup of pasta cooking water. The cooking water adds a bit of salty flavor and helps bind and thicken the sauce. the starch water combines with the olive oil and cream cheese to make the sauce extra silky and creamy.
  • Red Pepper Flakes | Red pepper flakes add a bit of spice which is a nice complement to the richness of the pasta, but it is optional.
  • Salt and pepper | Don’t skimp on salting the pasta water!
  • Optional: Pre-cooked Chicken| Adding a few handfuls of rotisserie or any pre-cooked chicken adds protein for a well-rounded meal.
  • Optional Fresh basil | Fresh basil is the perfect garnish for this pasta dish, the basil gives a nice pop of brightness. Just make sure to use fresh basil; dried does not give the same pop.

How to Make Baked Cream Cheese Pasta

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the block of cream cheese in the center of a baking dish. Add the tomatoes to the dish, around the cream cheese. Drizzle the cream cheese and tomatoes with olive oil, Italian spices, and salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to shrivel and release their juices. how to make baked cream cheese pasta
  3. Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve a cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. reserve a cup of pasta water for the baked cream cheese pasta
  4. Return the pasta to the pot (or add it to the baking dish – whichever works best for stirring everything together) and add in the spinach, stirring it around until the spinach starts to wilt. (If adding optional pre-cooked chicken, now is the time to add it to the pot.) Add the tomato and cream cheese mixture to the pasta and stir until everything is combined and coated with the cream cheese. how to make baked cream cheese pasta
  5. Add pasta water a quarter cup at a time until desired creaminess is reached. (I used almost the entire cup of water.) Taste, add salt and pepper as needed, and optional red pepper flakes for a bit of kick.
  6. Serve warm, garnished with optional fresh basil.
baked cream cheese pasta up close.

Baked Cream Cheese Pasta Tips

  • Make sure to cook the pasta to just al dente, so it is not too soft.
  • Spray the baking pan with some olive oil spray, so the tomatoes don’t stick.
  • I suggest a pasta shape with curves, hollows, and scoopable shapes to fully hold all of the delicious creamy sauce. Farfalle, rigatoni, penne, elbows, fettuccini,or gemelli all work great.
  • Don’t skimp on the olive oil, it is part of the reason the sauce is so rich and delicious.
  • For easy cleanup, I usually bake the tomatoes, and cream cheese on a foil-lined baking sheet, then toss everything together in the same pot I used to cook the pasta.
  • Don’t let the pasta get cold after you drain it! Its heat (and the reserved hot pasta water) is what helps the cream cheese become the rich creamy sauce and also helps wilt the spinach.

Baked Pasta Variations

  • Leave out the spinach or sub in another vegetable.
  • Change up the cheese. (See suggestions below.)
  • Want to make this dish, but don’t have fresh tomatoes? I have also made it using canned diced tomatoes, it was very good, although fresh tomatoes are definitely the best.
  • Add in reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Change up the protein by adding in sausage, ham, leftover turkey, or shrimp.
  • Want to make this dish low-carb? Use spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

Storage suggestions

Store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 months, however, you can expect the texture not to be the same once defrosted.

Baked Cream Cheese Pasta is a pasta dish made with roasted tomatoes, spinach, and basil tossed a rich, creamy, cream cheese sauce.

FAQs

What kind of cream cheese is best for this baked pasta recipe?

The best kind of cream to use in this recipe is unflavored block cream cheese. It gives the pasta a nice creamy flavor and rich texture.

Can I use a different type of pasta in this recipe?

Any type of pasta will work, but I recommend you use a small/short shape as they provide more “nooks and crannies for the sauce to cling. Short pasta types also make serving much easier. Be sure to cook the pasta al dente, so it doesn’t get too soft and soggy.

What does the pasta water do?

Pasta water adds flavor and helps “glue” the pasta and sauce together; it will also help thicken the sauce and emulsify it into a silky, creamy sauce. Make sure to keep a cup or so when you drain the pasta.

Can I use a different kind of cheese in this pasta bake?

The famous Tik Tok video calls for feta cheese, so we know that works well. You could try using queso fresco, ricotta, or goat cheese. I have not tested these substitutions, but I think they would work.

a fork holding a bite of the baked cream cheese pasta.

More baked pastas to try:

Did You Try This Baked Pasta Dish?

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!

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baked cream cheese pasta recipe

Baked Cream Cheese Pasta

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: oven

Description

Baked Cream Cheese Pasta is a pasta dish made with roasted tomatoes, spinach, and basil tossed in a rich, creamy, cream cheese sauce.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pints grape/cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 oz. block of cream cheese
  • 10 oz. dry pasta
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian spices (I like this Italian herb grinder from McCormick)
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp or more crushed red pepper flakes
  • Optional: 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the block of cream cheese in the center of a baking dish. Add the tomatoes to the dish, around the cream cheese.
  3. Drizzle the cream cheese and tomatoes with olive oil, and add salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to shrivel and release their juices. 
  4. Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve a cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
  5. Return the pasta to the pot and add in the spinach, stirring it around until the spinach starts to wilt. (If adding optional pre-cooked chicken, now is the time to add it to the pot.)
  6. Add the tomato and cream cheese mixture to the pasta and stir until everything is combined and coated with the cream cheese.
  7. Add pasta water a quarter cup at a time until desired creaminess is reached. (I used almost the entire cup of water.)
  8. Taste, add salt and pepper as needed, and optional red pepper flakes for a bit of kick.
  9. Serve warm, garnished with optional fresh basil.

Notes

  • For less mess, I usually add the block of cream cheese and tomatoes to a foil-lined baking sheet. I just used the white casserole dish today for the photos.
  •  If you can get your hands on a bit of fresh basil, it adds the perfect little pop of brightness to the pasta.
  • Nutrition calculated without the chicken.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 502
  • Fat: 32
  • Carbohydrates: 41
  • Protein: 10

Keywords: baked cream cheese pasta

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One Comment

  1. OMG, this recipe was superb! Everyone gobbled it up.