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Quick and Easy Sour Cream Pasta Sauce

This sour cream pasta sauce is a recipe I fall back on all the time. It is very quick to make, you can use just about any ingredients you have on hand to flavor the sauce, and it is delicious!

Sour cream pasta sauce with farfalle pasta and mushrooms.
Sour cream pasta sauce.

How to make sour cream pasta sauce

This is one of my favorite types of pasta sauce, it is very quick and easy to make. It is just a matter of quickly cooking your pasta sauce ingredients in a frying pan or skillet, then adding the sour cream and a little pasta water until the right consistency is reached.

Once you have done it a few times you will be able to whip up any number of different flavored pasta sauces from the basic recipe.

It is the base of the sauce I make for my creamy bacon and mushroom pasta, as well as my creamy chicken and leek pasta.

Scroll down for the printable recipe card for this sour cream pasta sauce recipe, or read on for all the details.

Key ingredients

Sour cream

I generally use lite sour cream, just to cut down on the calories a little. The flavor of the sauce comes from the other ingredients, so using lite rather than full-fat sour cream doesn’t affect the flavor much.

Flavor ingredients

This is the fun bit! You can use (almost) any ingredients to flavor this sauce however you like. Choose flavors that traditionally go together, or get creative and try something new!

Try ingredients like bacon, capsicum, spinach, chicken (breast or thighs), mushrooms, leeks, chives, tomatoes. You can also throw in some seasonings for extra flavor, try Cajun spice mix, chili flakes, paprika, pesto, or mustard.


I normally use dried pasta if I am making a sour cream pasta sauce, because you can cook the sauce while the pasta cooks. Fresh pasta is delicious, but you will have to cook it when the sauce is almost finished, so factor that into your timings if this is your preferred type of pasta.

Pasta water

When you cook the pasta a lot of the starch ends up in the pasta water. This is ideal for adding a silky texture to your pasta sauce. The starch helps the sauce to coat the pasta instead of sliding straight off. Add it at the end of the cooking until you get the texture just right.


Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Note: if you are using fresh pasta don’t cook it until the sauce is nearly done.

While the pasta is cooking, saute the sauce ingredients in a large frying pan or skillet. Make sure your ingredients are cut into bite-sized chunks so that they will cook quickly.

When the pasta has finished cooking, drain it, but make sure you reserve some of the pasta water. You will probably need around ½ cup per 4 people, depending on how dry the sauteed ingredients are.

Drizzle the cooked pasta with oil. This will stop it from sticking together and help it mix into the sauce more easily.

Add the sour cream to the pan with the sauce ingredients and stir to mix it in. Then add the cooked pasta to the pan and gently toss to combine.

Add the reserved pasta water a little at a time until you get the right consistency for your sauce.

Serve immediately.

Serving ideas

I always love to add toppings to pasta. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Lightly toasted and crushed pine nuts
  • A drizzle of truffle oil
  • Crunchy bacon bits
  • Fresh chopped herbs
  • Salad croutons
  • A drizzle of fresh pesto
Sour cream pasta sauce with farfalle pasta and mushrooms.
Yield: Serves 4

Basic Sour Cream Pasta Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

How to make a quick and easy sour cream pasta sauce.


  • Flavor ingredients [See Notes for examples]
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 12oz uncooked pasta
  • ½ cup reserved pasta water
  • Drizzle olive oil



  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to heat.
  2. Prepare the ingredients you will use to flavour your sauce [see Notes for examples]

Cook pasta

  1. When the water has come to the boil add the dried pasta, and cook according to packet instructions (approx. 10-12 minutes).

Cook sauce (while the pasta is cooking)

  1. Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, and cook the ingredients you will use to flavor your sauce [see Notes for examples].
  2. When the ingredients are cooked through, remove the pan from heat, add the sour cream and stir it through.

Finish dish

  1. Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.
  2. Add pasta and half of the reserved pasta water to the pan with the sauce and stir to combine well. Add more pasta water until the desired consistency for the sauce is reached.
  3. Serve.


Creamy bacon and mushroom sauce

Ingredients: 8oz/ 250g bacon (approx 8 slices) and 12oz/ 340g mushrooms

  • Cut the bacon into ¼-inch pieces, finely slice the mushrooms.
  • Saute the bacon in a hot pan with olive oil until browned, then add the mushrooms and cook until tender.

Creamy shrimp and garlic sauce

Ingredients: 1lb/ 500g shrimp and 6 cloves of garlic (minced)

Creamy tomato pasta sauce

Ingredients: 2-3 cloves garlic (minced), ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste

Creamy mushroom sauce

12oz/ 340g mushrooms, and 3 cloves of minced garlic

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 28mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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Welcome to Love Food Not Cooking!

I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food, whether you lack time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes made using everyday ingredients for delicious meals your family will love!
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