5 from 1 vote

Easy Creme Fraiche Pasta (Ultra Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Sauce)

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This decadent, rich and creamy creme fraiche pasta couldn’t be easier. Made in under 15 minutes.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
£1.09
Makes: 5
mains
Italian
Freezable

This indulgent, rich and creamy creme fraiche pasta is incredibly simple to make, ready in under 15 minutes. There’s one particular ingredient that takes this dish to the next level…

Rigatoni pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce with wilted spinach and a wooden spoon.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Fast – Whipped up in under 15 minutes, this creme fraiche pasta recipe makes for a perfect vegetarian weeknight dinner. 

Comforting –  I love using creme fraiche as the creamy element to so many dishes. It has a subtle tang/acidity to it that balances the rich and creamy overtones of a comforting recipe, without being too heavy/rich. 

Family Favorite –  You can easily customise the added veg within this recipe to suit your children’s preferences. 

Secret ingredient – When researching cream sauces for pasta, I was looking at a way to differentiate this recipe with other creme fraiche pastas. Sun-dried tomatoes are always a winning combo when paired with a creamy sauce, so they quickly became a must with this pasta with creme fraiche. 

If you love creamy pasta, you’ll need to try my; High Protein Cottage Cheese Pasta, One Pan Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta or Creamy Chorizo Pasta.

Why use creme fraiche?

What is creme fraiche?
Crème fraîche is a thick, creamy dairy product made by adding a fermenting agent to heavy cream. It has a rich, tangy flavor and a velvety texture, similar to sour cream but less tangy and more subtle in taste.

Why use it?
You might notice that when using cream or rich ingredients, we often pair it with an acidic ingredient to balance the richness (like lemon juice or white wine vinegar). With creme fraiche though, it already has a mild tang to it which balances the fat/flavour perfectly. For this reason, you could omit the lemon juice from this recipe. 

Is creme fraiche just sour cream?
No – creme fraiche isn’t as tangy or acidic. It’s more subtle and is also thicker in texture. 

Ingredients

Ingredients to make creme fraiche pasta laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Creme fraiche – I use standard creme fraiche for this recipe for the creamiest sauce, but you could definitely use reduced fat as we use pecorino to thicken the creamy sauce too. 

Sun-dried tomatoes – I love the flavour and texture that’s created after frying them off for a few minutes. They caramelise almost to the point where it feels like a delicious bacon substitute. 

Pecorino – A salty, decadent, umami-packed cheese that pairs perfectly with a pasta cream sauce. 

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

Top with crispy bacon bits – I opted for a vegetarian easy cream sauce for pasta, but you could deffo add bacon into step 1 if you’re missing it! 

Try a different pasta – Pasta shells would also work fabulously with this recipe to scoop up the creamy sauce. 

Use peas, asparagus, or broccoli – As mentioned above, you can customise this creme fraiche pasta sauce by adding your family’s favourite veg or use up whatever you have laying around in the fridge. 

Add chili flakes – A welcome addition of heat to contrast with the creamy sauce (if you can take it!)

How to make this easy creme fraiche pasta

  1. Start by slicing the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes into bite size pieces (Image 1).
  2. Then add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and oil into a frying pan over a high heat (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with sliced mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes on chopping a board and the second with these added to a frying pan.

3. Leave to brown for 4 minutes, then stir and continue to fry for a further 4 minutes. When your mushrooms have browned and the sun-dried tomatoes are getting crispy, remove a third to have as a garnish. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic and lemon zest and fry for 2 minutes (Image 3).

4. During this time, add the rigatoni to heavily salted boiling water. Set your timer to the packet time minus 2 minutes (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with sliced mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes frying in a pan and stirred with a wooden spoon and the second with pasta submerged in water in a saucepan.

5. Then add the creme fraiche and spinach to the pan (Image 5).

6. Once heated through, slowly add two ladles of pasta water whilst continuously stirring. Season with salt and lots of pepper, then add the spinach and stir together until the spinach has wilted (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with wilted spinach in a pan with creamy sauce  and the second with the spinach wilted and stirred witha wooden spoon.

7. Transfer the al dente pasta into the sauce with a few ladles of pasta water. Add the pecorino at this stage and stir to combine, cook over a low heat (Image 7).

8. Add more pasta water, stir to combine and cook off as necessary until you have a thick and creamy sauce (this should only take a minute or two). Season with lots of pepper and top with the reserved mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. Enjoy! (Image 8).

2 step by step photos, the first with cooked rigatoni pasta added to the sauce in a pan and the second with everything mixed together.

Pair this creme fraiche pasta with one of these tasty side dishes; Air fryer Zucchini Fries, Shredded Chicken and Sauteed Broccoli

Rigatoni pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce with wilted spinach and a wooden spoon in a large pan on a pink background.

How to keep creme fraiche from splitting

The reason that creme fraiche splits is that you’re adding a liquid into a fat. When doing this, you need to emulsify the liquid so that it doesn’t split. 

To do this, we add the creme fraiche into the pan first which will bring up the temperature of the creme fraiche, tempering it. Next, slowly add the pasta water whilst continuously stirring. This will ensure that it combines with the fat slowly, preventing the split.

Splitting usually occurs when you add cold creme fraiche, straight into a pan filled with a liquid.

Tips for the best result

  • Use a low heat so the creme fraiche does not split.
  • Add the pasta water slowly whilst continuously stirring to prevent the sauce from splitting.
  • Use full fat creme fraiche for a velvety texture.
  • Season with salt and pepper in stages to maximise depth of flavour. 

Satisfy creamy pasta cravings with these other recipes ; The Best Ground Turkey Pasta, Sausage and Fennel Pasta and Creamy Bacon Pasta

Leftover Storage and Reheat Instructions

Refrigerate – Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Freezer – If you want to meal prep and freeze this recipe, I would suggest making the sauce and freezing that separately. Then when you’re ready to eat the creme fraiche pasta, you defrost the sauce in the fridge overnight, then cook a few portions of pasta and combine. 

Reheat – Add a serving of pasta into a microwave safe dish. Add 1 tbsp of just boiled water into the dish then cook in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir to loosen the sauce, then cook for another minute in the microwave. 

FAQs

Can this recipe be made ahead of time?

As this creme fraiche pasta only takes 15 minutes to make, I prefer to enjoy it when served immediately. If you want to meal prep it – you can however follow the instructions above. 

Can you eat creme fraiche if it separates?

Yes! There is no harm in the separation other than it looks less appetizing than usual. 

What is the U.S. equivalent of creme fraiche?

Some say that sour cream is the equivalent, however I think that a sour cream pasta sauce would be too tart. I would use cream cheese as a substitute to make this creamy pasta sauce.  

Explore More Recipes

If you tried this Easy Creme Fraiche Pasta recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

 

Easy Creme Fraiche Pasta

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5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
£1.09
mains
Italian
Freezable
Servings: 5
This decadent, rich and creamy creme fraiche pasta couldn’t be easier. Made in under 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 250 g mushrooms, thinly sliced (£0.75)
  • 60 g sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced (£2.00/4)=(£0.50)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (£0.39)
  • 300 ml creme fraiche (£0.89)
  • 500 g rigatoni (£0.75)
  • 150 g spinach (£1.00/2)=(£0.50)
  • Zest of half a lemon (£0.30)
  • 50 g pecorino, finely grated (£1.35)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato oil from jar
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  • Start by adding the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and oil into a frying pan over a high heat. Leave to brown for 4 minutes, then stir and continue to fry for a further 4 minutes.
  • During this time, add the rigatoni to heavily salted boiling water. Set your timer to the packet time minus 2 minutes.
  • When your mushrooms have browned and the sun-dried tomatoes are getting crispy, remove a third to have as a garnish. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic and lemon zest.
  • Fry for 2 minutes, then add the creme fraiche. Once heated through, slowly add two ladles of pasta water whilst continuously stirring. Season with salt and lots of pepper, then add the spinach.
  • Once the spinach has wilted, transfer the al dente pasta into the sauce with a few ladles of pasta water. Add the pecorino at this stage and stir to combine, cook over a low heat.
  • Add pasta water or cook off as necessary until you have a thick and creamy sauce (this should only take a minute or two). Season with lots of pepper and top with the reserved mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use low heat to prevent the crème fraîche from splitting.
  • Add pasta water slowly while stirring continuously to maintain sauce consistency.
  • Use full-fat crème fraîche and season gradually with salt and pepper for a velvety texture and depth of flavor.

Nutrition

Servings: 5 servings
Fat: 25g
Calories: 646kcal
Carbohydrates: 80g
Protein: 20g
5 from 1 vote

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Comments

  1. Olivia Jones | 1 month ago

    Never thought to use crème fraiche but this recipe turned out to be a family favorite! I added some crispy bacon pieces and dinner was a big success! Thank you5 stars

    1. Mimi Harrison | 4 weeks ago

      Ooooo I love the bacon addition! Thanks for the lovely message Olivia 🙂

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