This creamy tomato pasta recipe comes together quickly and uses everyday ingredients. You'll love the silky tomato sauce!
Making a creamy tomato pasta sauce from scratch with canned tomatoes is simple! The best part is that it can be ready by the time your pasta has cooked. Perfect for those on-the-go weeknights.
This sauce uses a can of tomato sauce for liquid, and I also add in some tomato paste to punch up that tomato flavor. Garlic, Italian seasoning, butter, and cream complete it. And some freshly grated parmesan cheese takes it over the top!
Like the sound of this recipe? Try my Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta.
Recipe notes & tips:
- Canned tomato brands can vary, and some tomatoes are more acidic than others. My favorite brands are Mutti and DeLallo. If you find the sauce is a little bit too tart, you can add a pinch of sugar to balance the flavors/enhance the sweetness of the tomatoes.
- I've been asked by a few UK readers on Instagram what to use instead of tomato sauce, and passata would be a good equivalent, I believe.
- I don't recommend subbing the cream for half-and-half or something with less fat. The sauce is likely to curdle due to the acidity of the tomatoes.
- You can use whatever pasta you've got on hand (I love penne for this sauce because those little tubes are so nicely coated).
- This sauce will actually work for other things (like over chicken or shrimp, for example), so you could skip the pasta altogether if you want! Or, you could add a bit of cooked chicken/shrimp/your protein of choice to the sauce for a more filling meal.
- You could stir in some spinach or other veggies towards the end of cooking if you want to dress it up a bit.
- I use Italian seasoning in here because it's a great all-purpose herb blend, but you could definitely change the herbs up a bit... some dried oregano or basil would work great. You could even add fresh herbs if you happen to have some.
- Storage: You can keep this sauce in the fridge for a few days or freeze it if you've got some left over. I'd re-warm it on a low heat.
You may also like...
- The Best Penne alla Vodka Recipe
- Creamy Tomato Gnocchi
- Easy Creamy Lemon Pasta
- Easy Pasta Arrabiata Recipe
- Tomato Goat Cheese Pasta
Will you give this creamy tomato pasta a try? Questions? Let me know in the comments below! Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you've made one of my recipes.
Creamy Tomato Pasta
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving, to taste
- Boil a large, salted pot of water for your pasta and cook it al dente according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile (once the pasta starts to cook), add the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it melts, add the garlic and sauté for about a minute, stirring constantly.
- Add in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, cream, and Italian seasoning. Stir until it's nice and smooth. Let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes or until it's thickened to your liking (it should be very gently bubbling, so you may need to turn down the heat).
- Season the sauce with salt & pepper as needed (I'm pretty generous with both). If the sauce is a little too acidic/tangy for your liking, add in a pinch of sugar.
- Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce (add a splash of hot pasta water if the sauce gets too thick). Serve immediately with plenty of parmesan cheese over top.
- I don't recommend subbing the cream with something that has a lower fat content as it's likely to curdle due to the acid in the tomatoes.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Fast, easy, and absolutely delicious! I'm adding this one to my rotation! So good!!!!
That's great to hear!! 🙂 Thanks for your review!
It was so easy and fast to make, everybody loved it at home! One of my favorite pasta sauces so far! Thank you for this incredible recipe 😃
Yay!! 🙂 You're very welcome, Hala!
This recipe was absolutely incredible and also so fast and easy to make! I would highly recommend this recipe if you are looking for a yummy pasta to make:)
Aww thanks so much!! Appreciate your review! 😀
This looks amazing. Can you use a can of diced tomatoes?
Hi! You can definitely experiment, but it will alter the texture a bit and it won't end up as thick.
I did for one of subsequent rounds of cooking this recipe, because I realized I accidentally didn't have canned tomato sauce but I did have canned diced tomatoes. Tasted pretty similar. Works in a pinch if you don't have canned tomato sauce, though I prefer it with canned tomato sauce.
It was so yummy I added in cheese to the sauce and some extra garlic granules, very simple to make as I am in school and enjoying cooking and hope to do it in the future like you
Fabulous!! 🙂 XO
Would this work with tomato soup instead of tomato sauce? I have everything but that!
Hi! You could try... it could end up a bit thicker since tomato soup is typically condensed. I can't say for sure how it'll go, but I think it's worth giving it a try. 🙂 Let me know!
I made this sauce with pomodoro and mozzarella tortellini and substituted the can tomato sauce with cherry tomatoes that I put in the mixer. It was amazing and the sauce was super easy to make and even more tasty to eat! Thank you!
This recipe was SO easy and incredibly tasty! I can’t believe how good and quick it was to make this sauce. Thank you for providing a delicious rainy day meal!
Yay!! I'm so happy to hear that, Steph! Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for taking the time to write me a review. Happy new year!
Made it for Italian night for tonight’s NYE celebration with the family and it was such a hit with both kids and adults! Super easy to make and absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!
Fantastic!! 🙂 I appreciate your review, Lina!
Wendy Malleson says
Sounds delicious, I have been looking for a nice creamy tomato sauce recipe.
Hope you enjoy it, Wendy! 🙂
Basic, but satisfying.
Glad you enjoyed it!! 🙂
Amazing recipe- comes out great every time! 🙂
Thanks so much, Krista!! 🙂 I'm so happy to hear that!
Seriously incredible flavor. We all, 2 young picky kids included, are darn near obsessed. Thank you for the new awesome easy staple dinner for us!
Aww thank you for your sweet comment!! I'm so happy everyone likes it. I know how hard it can be with picky eaters in the family.
This was great! It was really easy to make and everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing!
You're very welcome!! 🙂
My husband and I are in love with this recipe! We add grilled chicken to it and it’s just absolutely amazing. Definitely a family favorite.
I'm so happy to hear that! Thanks for letting me know, Neshialy!
salma hassan says
hello just wondering can i use something other heavy cream?
Hi, you're welcome to experiment, but I haven't tested alternatives, and like I mention in the post, something with lower fat content is likely to change the texture and possibly curdle it.
Kennedy (13yo) says
This was an amazing recipe I made it yesterday and my family loved it thank you
That's fantastic to hear, Kennedy!! I'm so glad you gave it a try. Thanks for writing me a review! 🙂
Yummm! Made this tonight, so simple but delicious! Made some garlic bread and salad to go with it. Thanks for the recipe!!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
You're welcome, Saara! So glad to hear it!
Nallely Morales says
can you use whole wheat pasta?
I made this recipe for my family and they absolutely LOVED it. They said it tasted like pasta from a restaurant and it was so quick and easy to make! Now it has become a staple in our house when we’re craving some comfort food. Definitely recommend!
That makes me happy, thank you!! 🙂 XO
it looks good
It was amazing! I made it with spinach pasta and added some ground beef it was so good.
Ruth Ashelford says
I tried this recipe last night and loved it! Am not a fan of using cream in my cooking, but this really worked. I found this dish comforting. Next time will add more freshly cracked black pepper and maybe some dried chilli seeds to amplify the flavour.!!
Fabulous!! I'm so glad you liked it.
Katie Maier says
This is such a great recipe! For anyone wanting to make it dairy free, I used a full can of coconut cream and it tasted delicious.
Thank you!! Glad you were able to adapt it.
adding a tbs of sour cream near the end of cooking really gives it a creamier texture with another level of flavor.
Natalia Q says
What do you mean by Italian seasoning?
Hi! It's a standard herb blend that you can buy... any major grocery store will sell it in the herbs & spices section. I usually buy McCormick brand, but many brands make it. It's handy because it's well-balanced and you don't need like 5 jars of individual herbs.
Melissa Johnson says
Was craving pasta for lunch and I made this in so little time! It was delicious and simple, I only swapped out the Parmesan for some grated mozzarella for extra creaminess 😍
Fantastic!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Emily! 🙂
Can you make this without pasta sauce?.. I have everything but that!
Do you mean without the tomato sauce? I'm not really sure what you'd replace the tomato sauce with since it uses 14 ounces of it. Do you have crushed tomatoes? That could work. If not, I suppose you could up the tomato paste and cream perhaps, but I'm not really sure what it'll taste like... you'd have to do a bit of experimenting.
Kayla m Burke says
I know the nutrition provided is estimated but is that for one serving or is it 447cal for the whole dish?
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Yes, that amount is per serving. Enjoy the recipe, Kayla!
I made this sauce for gnocchi as a dupe for a local Italian restaurant I used to go to before we moved. It is excellent. Adding some fresh mozzarella, basil, and pine nuts. Thank you! I miss Caffe Molise so much and this is a great craving fix for their tomato cream sauce!
That's awesome!! I'm so happy that worked out. I just love when it's possible to replicate a restaurant favorite. 🙂
DANIELLE LOOKER says
Is this tomato oasta sauce or passatta or tinned tomatoes
Are you in the UK? Then passata would work. I did put the note in the blog post. In Canada/USA tomato sauce is a thing in itself (not ketchup). It's in a can (tin) and it's similar to passata.
Super good! I didn't measure anything i just guessed but it turned out very well. I used milk instead of heavy cream and that was perfect. Thank you!
Carly Blackwell says
Found this recipe when looking for something quick and easy but also with plenty of flavour and this was definitely it.
I have 3 boys and they all love their food. My 5 year old was actually the first one to finish his food and asked for more, my 16 year old took some to school for his lunch the next day so it must have been good haha and my husband and 8 year old son loved it too, as did I. Only alteration I made was to double the ingredients for bigger portions and I added some chorizo in also. We will definitely be making this again, not just for the quick & easiness of the recipe but also because how delicious it actually is.
I have even been sending the link to your website to friends and family to sample your delicious recipes ☺️
That's awesome!! I love when everyone in a home likes a recipe! 🙂 Thanks for your kind review, and I really appreciate you passing my website along to friends/family.
Super tasty with minimal effort! I followed the recipe exactly as written except added some fresh spinach 😊
Wonderful!! 🙂 Thanks, Jess!
This was really easy to make, and super good! I doubled the amount of garlic it called for (because more garlic is always better) and added red pepper flakes, and it came out perfect. I will be adding this to my dinner rotation 🙂
I totally agree on the garlic hehe. So happy it's going in your rotation, Charlotte!
Stephanie D Austin says
Delicious and easy! Wonderful recipe.
Thanks so much!! 🙂
Melissa J Johnson says
My whole family ate this - WIN! We used chickpea pasta to make it a little healthier.
Melissa J Johnson says
Oh and it was SUPER fast - Double win!
SO good! This recipe is so simple and can be whipped up in no time. I added spicy Italian sausage and it was delicious. Will be making this my go-to sauce for weeknight Italian dinners, as it’s now my husband’s favorite sauce that I’ve made.
I'm so glad you liked it! 🙂
Oh my goodness. I cannot wait to make this for friends when we can gather again! This tastes better than anything I've had at a restaurant and it wasn't hard at all! I posted a picture of the final product on instagram and everyone said it looked restaurant quality - can't beat something that tastes great AND looks pretty! I'm a noob in the kitchen so I'm very excited about this recipe and plan to make it over and over again. It does reheat well, too. The possibilities for this are endless... you can add anything your heart desires.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! 🙂 Thanks so much!
Maria Terry says
I made this for dinner last night. It was easy and so flavorful. I was surprised because of so few ingredients. Full disclosure, I added crumbled Italian Sausage and spinach. I topped the serving with sliced grape tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and freshly grated parmesan. Heaven. It's a keeper. While I was searching for this recipe I saw in Instagram I found a few more I need to try.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Sausage makes everything even better haha.
Could someone tell me how well this freezers? Looking to this for school lunches and freezing leftovers.
Hi Sarah! I haven't tested freezing it, so hopefully someone who has will chime in. I think you'll probably be ok, but the sauce may separate a bit (that tends to happen w. creamy sauces), but it should still taste good.
Just made this for lunch and it was delicious! I ended up doubling the recipe so my family and I had plenty of left overs. I also didn’t have tomato paste so I used a little corn starch at the end to thicken it. This recipe is so easy and delicious!!
Fantastic!! I'm so glad you were able to adapt it. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a review. 🙂
I can’t find the can of tomato sauce that is needed for this recipe, is it just tomato pasta sauce?
Hi! Are you in North America? If so, it's in the aisle with other canned tomatoes. It'll literally be labeled as "tomato sauce". If you're not in North America, try tomato passata. It's confusing how tomatoes can be labeled, unfortunately. It's just unflavored and a bit thinner than crushed tomatoes.
Thankyou, I’m from Australia so I bought tomato Passata.
This is an amazing pasta sauce and will definitely become a staple in our home! Next time I’ll add grilled chicken and spinach - the possibilities are endless with this 😉
So happy to hear that. I was pleased with how it turned out, and I'm so glad that readers are feeling the same way about this one. 🙂
Tried this tonight for dinner, so good! Subbed the cream for coconut milk & it worked out perfect. Added some spinach & wow! To die for!
Sarah Cali says
This recipe was so easy and delicious! I added 1 tsp of sugar and it was perfect! Highly recommend for a quick week night meal.
Fantastic! Thanks so much. 😀
This is our family favourite sauce! We used it with minced meat and today tuna. Every Sunday is pasta lunch day. Thank you very much for this creamy pasta sauce.. ❤️
That's wonderful! 🙂 So happy it's a hit. Thanks for reviewing this recipe!
Debbie Vought says
I made this last week. It was delicious! Very easy to make and the leftovers were really good too.
So glad to hear that, Debbie!
Delicious! I had a “happy accident” and bought canned tomatoes instead of canned sauce but it added a nice chunky tomato element! I also added spinach and it was sooo tasty! Will definitely be making this again! Thank you!
Awesome!! You're welcome. So glad it worked with the canned tomatoes.
I made this exactly as written, and it was delicious. My kids ate it right up. Thanks for another terrific recipe!
You're very welcome!! 🙂
Kelley Wilkens says
This is so delicious! So simple, so quick and easy to make and so yummy. I was so tired today and had to make dinner and remembered I pinned this recipe. I was so happy I had everything on hand to make it. My perfect type of recipe to make, quick, easy and tastes so, so, so good. Thank you Natasha! Now when can we expect a cookbook from you... 🙂
Wonderful!! I'm really happy you enjoyed it. 🙂 As far as the cookbook goes, not for a while. It's like a year+ of work, and it doesn't pay too well unless you are quite famous, so I'd rather focus on growing the blog and social following more before I look into that. But never say never. It's definitely something that I would consider doing in the future.
I really liked this sauce. So easy and a cheap meal! Next time I plan to try it with a dash of crushed red pepper to add some spice.
I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for commenting, Megan. Great idea re: the red pepper flakes!