One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

$4.22 recipe / $1.06 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.78 from 103 votes
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Y’all know I love one pot pasta meals, and I know a lot of you do too. They’re quick, easy, and pack a lot of flavor into only one little dish that needs to be cleaned at the end. Creamy one pot pastas, in particular, have become my go-to comfort food. This time I paired the tangy flavor of sun dried tomatoes with garlic and Parmesan for a simple but indulgent One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta.

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta in a deep skillet with tongs, a bowl with garlic and dry pasta on the side

Changes to the Original Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe:

Many readers were having trouble with the original recipe, so I reformulated it a bit based on my experience creating one pot pastas since this recipe was originally posted (it’s now based on my One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta). In particular, many people were having trouble with their milk curdling or the sauce not coming out smooth. Here is what I changed to create better and more consistent results:

  • The milk is now added after the pasta simmers so the high heat and acidity from the tomatoes will not cause curdling.
  • A small amount of cream cheese is added to the sauce to help stabilize and emulsify the Parmesan into the sauce. 
  • I also added a healthy dose of dried basil for a little more flavor!

Can I Substitute the Cream Cheese?

Cream cheese is great and keeping milk based sauces smooth and to help cheese melt smoothly without clumpig. If you just can’t stand cream cheese, you can replace half of the milk with heavy cream. This reduces the water content in the sauce, which will help the Parmesan emulsify properly.

Can I Add Meat?

Yes, this recipe is extremely flexible and can be made with or without meat. If you’d like to add chicken, you can dice up the chicken and sauté it in the skillet with the garlic in the beginning, or simply add sliced grilled chicken to the finished pasta. Italian sausage might also be great with this sun dried tomato pasta. Simply brown it in the skillet in the beginning with the garlic. Bacon would also be quite tasty. Brown the bacon in the skillet before the garlic, and drain off the excess fat before continuing with the recipe.

Tips for Cooking One Pot Pastas:

Getting one pot pastas just right can take some practice, so if you find you’re having trouble, here are a few tips:

  • Stir every few minutes to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot, or to itself.
  • After the pot has been brought to a boil, turn the heat down to low, or just above low, so the liquid is still simmering. If the liquid is not simmering, the pasta will not cook. The temperature setting can vary depending on your stove top and cookware.
  • Use heavy cookware. Skillets and pots that are thin on the bottom don’t heat evenly and do not yield good results with the one pot cooking method because some areas of the pot will be simmering, while other areas are not.
  • Keep the lid in place at all times when not stirring. This holds in the steam and helps the pasta cook more evenly.
  • Watch the pasta. One pot pastas are a little like riding a bike. You have to observe and adjust as you go. If the liquid is almost all absorbed before the pasta is tender, add a little more water. If the pasta is almost tender, but there is still a lot of liquid, allow it to simmer without a lid for the last couple of minutes.

Close up of tongs picking up a clump of creamy pasta from the skillet

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One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

4.78 from 103 votes
This incredibly fast and easy Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta cooks in 30 minutes and uses just one pot. The perfect quick and satisfying weeknight dinner! 
Overhead view of creamy pasta twirled around the tongs in the skillet.
Servings 4
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes


  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes ($1.66)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.26)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 8 oz. fettuccine ($0.67)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • 2 cups chicken broth* ($0.26)
  • 2 oz. cream cheese ($0.30)
  • 1 cups whole milk ($0.37)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan ($0.44)


  • Chop the sun dried tomatoes into small bite-sized pieces.
  • Add the butter and garlic to a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or until it is very fragrant.
  • Add the fettuccine, sun dried tomatoes, dried basil, some freshly cracked pepper, and the chicken broth to the skillet. If needed, break the fettuccine in half to make sure it lays flat in the skillet and is submerged in broth.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and bring the broth to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, give the pasta a good stir, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to low or the lowest setting that maintains a simmer.
  • Let the pasta simmer in the broth for 7-10 minutes, or until most of the broth is absorbed and the pasta is tender, stirring every couple of minutes and always replacing the lid.
  • Keeping the heat on low, cut the cream cheese into chunks and stir it into the pasta. Once the cream cheese has melted, add the milk and stir until a smooth sauce forms. Finally, add the grated Parmesan over top and stir until it has melted into the sauce. Serve with extra freshly cracked pepper, if desired.

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*I use Better Than Bouillon soup base to make my broth.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 387.6kcalCarbohydrates: 51.9gProtein: 13.5gFat: 14.68gSodium: 651.33mgFiber: 2.75g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Scroll down for the step by step Photos!

Overhead view of creamy pasta twirled around the tongs in the skillet.

Try These Other Creamy One Pot Pasta Recipes:

How to Make Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta – Step by Step Photos

chopped sun dried tomatoes on a cutting board

Chop about ½ cup sun dried tomatoes into small bite-sized pieces. You want a little bit in every bite, instead of a few larger pieces throughout. I used dried, non-oil packed sun dried tomatoes for this recipe because I find them easier to work with and the leftovers easier to store (no refrigeration needed).

Butter and Garlic in a skillet

Add 2 Tbsp butter and two minced cloves of garlic to a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute, or just until the garlic is a little softened and becomes really fragrant.

tomatoes, basil, pasta, and broth added to the skillet

Add the chopped sun dried tomatoes, ½ tsp dried basil, some freshly cracked pepper, 8oz. fettuccine, and 2 cups chicken broth to the skillet. If your skillet or Dutch oven is not wide enough for the pasta to lay flat and submerged in the broth, you’ll want to break the pasta in half so it fits (I ended up breaking mine in half just after this photo).

Cooked pasta in the skillet, tongs pulling the pasta aside to show the sauce in the bottom of the skillet

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and bring the broth up to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, give the pasta a good stir, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to low, or the lowest temperature that maintains a simmer. Continue to simmer the pasta for 7-10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes (always replacing the lid), or until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. If the pasta dries out while it cooks, add a little more water. There should be a little bit of thick saucy liquid left in the skillet once the pasta is cooked.

Cream cheese added to the pasta in the skillet

Cut 2 oz. cream cheese into chunks, then stir it into the pasta until it has melted (still over low heat). Adding the cream cheese before the milk helps stabilize the sauce and prevent curdling.

Milk being poured into the skillet full of pasta

Once the cream cheese has melted into the pasta, add 1 cup milk and stir to combine.

Grated Parmesan being sprinkled over the skillet

Finally, sprinkle ¼ cup grated Parmesan over the pasta, and stir until it has melted into the sauce (the pasta is still over low heat).

Finished creamy sun dried tomato pasta in the skillet

And now you have a deliciously creamy and slightly tangy sun dried tomato pasta in cream sauce!

Overhead view of the finished sun dried tomato pasta, dry pasta, sun dried tomatoes, and garlic on the side of the skillet

Season the pasta with more freshly cracked pepper, if desired, and serve!

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  1. We didn’t have quite enough broth (we doubled the recipe + extra parmesan & cream cheese) so we added water and some chicken bouillon. Not sure if it changed anything in anyway, but it worked great! We also used fresh basil instead of dried because we didn’t have any dried basil. We then cooked up some chicken spiced with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, and cayenne to add into it after it was all done and gosh it was seriously delicious! I actually just finished the last bit of it off & I swear it was even better the 3rd day than it was the 1st or 2nd (which is funny cuz i saw a few comments saying it won’t hold well as left overs but I disagree. It might be a bit thicker & stuff but it was DELICIOUS)??? maybe because the spices and flavors really had a chance to meld even more?

  2. I made a batch of this that should’ve served four. My wife (5’0”, 110 lbs) ate three servings in one sitting! This is probably my favorite meal in all of Budget Bytes. This meal will NOT disappoint!

  3. This looks amazing! How long will this be good for after you make it? Trying to figure out if I could make a batch of this on Sunday and then take leftovers with me to work throughout the week.

    1. Hi, there! While I’m not absolutely sure how this would turn out as leftovers, I hesitate to say it would be an excellent choice for meal prep. Typically, I find that cream-based pasta dishes don’t really hold up well. Over time, the dairy and oil in the sauce will separate, and all the dairy seems to disappear into the pasta and leaves behind a puddle of oil in the bottom of the dish. One idea would be to cook the pasta and sauce separately (also, adding less liquid to account for not cooking the pasta in the sauce) and store them separately. ~ Marion :)

    2. Trust me, it won’t last as leftovers. This dish is amazing and will be finished before you set the table.

  4. I don’t care for sun-dried tomatoes, so I left them out and added about a quarter of a cup of pesto to this at the end, and it was delicious. The sauce was a little thin so I added a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch, which tightened it right up.

  5. Can I use canned diced tomatoes instead of sun dried? I don’t have any sun dried ATM.

    1. Canned diced tomatoes will introduce a lot of liquid into the sauce and the acidic liquid could cause the creamy sauce to curdle… so it would be risky!

  6. I’ve made this twice. Me and my boyfriend loved it. First time I made it by following the recipe exactly, the other using quinoa instead of pasta. It is amazing with pasta but is PHENOMENAL with quinoa. Great recipe!

  7. Love this recipe! Makes for a quick and yummy weeknight dinner. I like adding frozen spinach to mine for some more nutrition.

    1. There is a lot of dairy in this one so unfortunately, it would take a lot of testing before I could offer suggestions for making it vegan.

    2. This was a great recipe! I ended up tweaking it to work with what I had in my cabinet. I used a jar of sun dried tomatoes (8.5 ounces), shredded Parmesan cheese and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth (my daughter is vegetarian). It turned out great! My SUPER picky, vegetarian daughter said it was her new favorite meal. It did end up quite thick, but that was on me as I ‘eyeballed’ my measurements, but it was a quick fix just by adding a bit more broth. Next time I think I’ll grill some chicken and/or shrimp skewers to throw on top for the meat-eaters in our family. Overall it was incredibly easy and tasty. Thank you for the scrumptious dinner idea!