Basil Parmesan Pasta Sauce Recipe

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"As a busy home health nurse, I'm committed to preparing meals that are quick and nutritious," shares Susan Houser of Anchorage, Alaska. "I came up with this rich and creamy sauce that is lower in fat than traditional white sauce. Dinner guests never believe it is made with fat-free milk."
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Hot cooked spaghetti or linguine

Nutritional Facts

One serving (1/2 cup) equals 132 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 4 mg cholesterol, 554 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, 0.55 g fiber, 6 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 fat, 1 fat-free milk.


  1. In a nonstick skillet, saute garlic in oil until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until blended (mixture will be thick). Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; gradually stir in Parmesan cheese and basil until cheese is melted. Serve over pasta. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Basil Parmesan Pasta Sauce in Light & Tasty February/March 2004, p8

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Reviewed Aug. 24, 2015

"Great and fast yummy!"

Reviewed Feb. 9, 2011

"This was a good base, but i had to make A LOT of modifications to this recipe. I added a lot more parmesan, basil, and salt, and the flavor was still very light. To offset this, i added oregano and just a tiny bit of ground nutmeg. When i finished, i had a cheap, easy, and vegetarian meal before me. I tried the recipe with garden rotini and liked it."

Reviewed Jan. 6, 2011

"Very bland tasting...I added more garlic, basil, and whatnots, but it still was quite bland. Maybe next time I'll try adding more cheese...

Thanks for the recipe!"

Reviewed Apr. 19, 2009 Edited Apr. 21, 2009

"This was awesome paired with Potato Gnocchi. I added some crumbled up spicy Italian sausage and increased the garlic to 3 cloves to give it a bit more garlic flavor."

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