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This creamy tomato pasta recipe comes together quickly and uses everyday ingredients. You’ll love the silky tomato sauce!

You may also like my Easy Pink Sauce Pasta or Best Penne alla Vodka Recipe.

creamy tomato pasta in a white bowl

Why you’ll love it

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. It’s 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. Add some freshly grated parmesan cheese to take it over the top!

What you’ll need

  • Pasta – you can use whatever pasta you’ve got on hand. I love penne for this sauce because those little tubes are so nicely coated.
  • Butter – for sautéing
  • Garlic – adds savory goodness
  • Tomato paste – for concentrated tomato flavor
  • Tomato sauce – I’ve been asked by a few UK readers what to use instead of tomato sauce, and passata would be a good equivalent
  • Heavy cream – to make the sauce luxuriously creamy
  • Italian seasoning – it’s a great all-purpose herb blend
ingredients for creamy tomato pasta in prep bowls

Helpful tip

  • 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. 

How to make creamy tomato pasta

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

sauteing onion in a skillet and making sauce for creamy tomato pasta

Cook the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet. Sauté the garlic for a minute. Stir in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, cream, and Italian seasoning until smooth.

adding penne pasta to a skillet with creamy tomato sauce

Let the sauce gently bubble until thickened to your liking. Season generously with salt & pepper. Add a pinch of sugar if desired. Toss with the drained pasta, and top with parmesan cheese if using.

Substitutions and variations

  • 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 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.
  • You could stir in some spinach or other veggies towards the end of cooking if you want to dress it up a bit.
creamy tomato pasta in a skillet (tossed with penne)

What to serve with creamy tomato pasta

  • Pair it with a salad to round out the meal. Try my 10 Minute Caesar Dressing or this homemade Italian Dressing.
  • Go all out and make some Cheesy Garlic Bread to go with it.
  • 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.

Leftovers and storage

  • You can keep this sauce in the fridge for a few days, or freeze it for up to 3 months if you’ve got some left over.
  • I’d re-warm it over a low heat in a saucepan. 
creamy tomato pasta close-up

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 in a white bowl
4.90 from 98 votes

Creamy Tomato Pasta

This creamy tomato pasta recipe comes together quickly and uses everyday ingredients. You'll love the silky tomato sauce! 
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14 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.


Calories: 447kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 76mg, Sodium: 654mg, Potassium: 569mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1383IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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  1. 5 stars
    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!!

  2. Hi,
    I can’t find the can of tomato sauce that is needed for this recipe, is it just tomato pasta sauce?


    1. 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.

  3. 5 stars
    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 😉
    Thank you!!

    1. 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. 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      Tried this tonight for dinner, so good! Subbed the cream for coconut milk & it worked out perfect. Added some spinach & wow! To die for!

  4. 5 stars
    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.

  5. 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.. ❤️

  6. 5 stars
    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!

  7. 5 stars
    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… 🙂

    1. 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.

  8. 5 stars
    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.

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for commenting, Megan. Great idea re: the red pepper flakes!