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Whether you are entertaining a crowd or feeding your own family, Four Cheese Pasta is the perfect comfort food. Velvety cheese sauce, tender pasta, and Italian spices come together for an excellent dish that can be served as a side or a main dish. Fresh ingredients ensure you’ll have a delicious meal on the table in about 45 minutes.   

A post of homemade cheesy pasta.
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Everyone needs a good, simple pasta recipe they can share with loved ones. Four Cheese Pasta is that recipe! With mouthwatering flavor, simple preparation and an adaptable ingredient list, it is sure to be a recipe you pass around. From holidays to weeknight dinner time, this cheesy pasta will not disappoint!

Why I Love This Recipe

  • It’s mouthwatering: With four types of cheese in the sauce, this pasta dish is a true indulgence, offering a rich and luxurious dining experience.
  • Comforting and Satisfying: There’s something inherently comforting about a bowl of creamy pasta, making this dish perfect for cozy nights in or family gatherings.
  • Versatile and Customizable: This is the perfect recipe for a meatless meal and has a lot of filling ingredients, but it also makes an amazing base for an elevated pasta if you choose to add protein.
  • Easy to Make: Despite its gourmet appearance and complex flavors, this Four Cheese Pasta is surprisingly easy to prepare, making it a great option for both novice and experienced cooks alike.

Four Cheese Pasta Ingredients

  • Cavatappi pasta: Also known as corkscrew pasta, the twisty turns of this pasta help it to hold your favorite sauce. You can substitute it for another swirly pasta or use your favorite one. 
  • Sauce base: The base of the sauce is made up of butter, flour and milk which is called a roux. 
  • Cheeses: Monterrey Jack, White Cheddar, Provolone, and Parmesan cheeses are grated into the roux to create a creamy, cheesy sauce. Feel free to substitute your favorite cheeses. 
  • Milk: For a rich flavor, use whole milk to smooth the sauce. I probably wouldn’t use a lower fat than whole, but you can use a higher fat like half and half. 
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt and pepper are each wonderful spices on their own,  but combine them, and you have an amazing Italian seasoning. You can sub Italian seasoning for the basil and oregano, but still add the rest of the seasonings. 
Ingredients needed for four cheese pasta.

How To Make Four Cheese Pasta

Step 1: Prepare the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, but subtract 1 minute from the recommended cooking time. Once cooked, drain the water and set aside. (Remember to reserve ½ cup of pasta water for later use.)

Cooked pasta in a strainer.

Step 2: Mix flour and butter. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and cook for about a minute.

Preparing the roux for the pasta cheese sauce.

Step 3: Whisk in milk. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue cooking until the sauce is smooth, without any lumps, and begins to thicken.

Adding cheese and seasoning to the pasta sauce.

Step 4: Melt in cheeses. Gradually add the grated cheeses one by one, stirring continuously until melted and the sauce is creamy. Then, add the garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until everything is well combined.

Combine cooked cavatappi pasta with cheese sauce.

Step 5: Add pasta. Add the cooked pasta to the cheesy sauce and toss until the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce.

Step 6: Garnish and serve. Serve the creamy and cheesy pasta while it’s still warm, and enjoy!

Top four cheese pasta with grated parmesan.

Expert Tips

  1. Use High-Quality Cheeses: Opt for the best-quality cheeses you can find for the richest and most flavorful sauce.
  2. Cook Pasta Al Dente: Be sure to cook the pasta just until al dente, as it will continue to cook slightly when combined with the hot cheese sauce.
  3. Reserve Pasta Water: Save some of the pasta cooking water before draining, as it can be used to thin out the sauce if needed.
  4. Serve Immediately: This pasta is best enjoyed fresh and warm while the cheeses are gooey and the sauce is saucy! 
  5. Grate your own cheese. Freshly grated cheese melts smoother than pre-shredded cheese because of the addition of anti-caking agents. Good quality cheeses make all the difference.

What to Serve with Four Cheese Pasta

Four Cheese Pasta can be served as a main dish or as a side dish, and is adaptable to many occasions! Here are a few ideas.

  1. Garlic Bread: Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, garlic bread is the perfect side to soak up any leftover cheese sauce.
  2. Green Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing provides a refreshing contrast to the richness of the pasta.
  3. Roasted Vegetables: Serve a medley of roasted vegetables for added color and nutrients.
  4. Grilled Chicken: Add protein to your meal with grilled chicken or thighs.
  5. Air Fried Asparagus: Tender-crisp asparagus spears make a flavorful and nutritious side dish that pairs well with the creamy pasta.

Storing and Reheating

Storing: Bring the pasta to room temperature before refrigerating for 3-4 days in a sealed container.

To reheat: Reheat in a saucepan on the stove with a splash of liquid to revitalize the sauce. Heat until warmed through. 

Freezing: It is possible to freeze the pasta, but just know that it may compromise the texture of the pasta and the sauce. If you freeze it, allow it to cool completely and then seal in an airtight container in the freezer for upto 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat per above instructions.

A spoon lifts a scoop of 4 cheese pasta.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cavatappi pasta? 

Cavatappi is a pasta variety fashioned into spiral shapes reminiscent of corkscrews or helixes. The name comes from the Italian term “cavatappi,” meaning corkscrew. This pasta is often used in creamy pasta dishes because the shape helps the sauce to stick well.

Can I use different types of pasta?

Yes, you can use your favorite pasta! Cavatappi is used for its ability to hold the sauce well. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary, and adjust as needed.

Can I add vegetables or protein?

Of course! Customize your meal by adding vegetables like fresh spinach, steamed broccoli, or sauteed mushrooms. Protein like grilled chicken or shrimp adds additional rich flavors.

A serving of cheesy pasta on a plate.

More Pasta Recipes

Whether enjoyed as a cozy weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing party dish, this indulgent pasta recipe will sure to become a staple in your kitchen with its velvety sauce, rich flavors, and endless customization options.

If you try this recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave a star rating in the comment section below because I love hearing from my readers. Also follow me at Cookin’ With Mima on FACEBOOK |INSTAGRAM |PINTEREST for all of my latest social posts and recipes.

5 from 1 vote

Four Cheese Pasta

Italian seasonings mixed with cavatappi pasta and a rich four-cheese sauce create a timeless classic that promises to delight cheese lovers of all ages.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb cavatappi pasta
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup monterey jack cheese, grated
  • ½ cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 oz provolone cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions 

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, but subtract 1 minute from the recommended cooking time. Once cooked, drain the water and set aside. (Remember to reserve ½ cup of pasta water for later use.)
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and cook for about a minute.
  • Slowly whisk in the milk and continue cooking until the sauce is smooth, without any lumps, and begins to thicken.
  • Gradually add the grated cheeses one by one, stirring continuously until melted and the sauce is creamy. Then, add the garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until everything is well combined.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the cheesy sauce and toss until the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce.
  • Serve the creamy and cheesy pasta while it’s still warm, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use High-Quality Cheeses: Opt for the best-quality cheeses you can find for the richest and most flavorful sauce.
  • Cook Pasta Al Dente: Be sure to cook the pasta just until al dente, as it will continue to cook slightly when combined with the hot cheese sauce.
  • Reserve Pasta Water: Save some of the pasta cooking water before draining, as it can be used to thin out the sauce if needed.
  • Grate your own cheese. Freshly grated cheese melts smoother than pre-shredded cheese because of the addition of anti-caking agents. Good quality cheeses make all the difference.

Nutrition

Calories: 916kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 975mg | Potassium: 595mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1238IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 836mg | Iron: 3mg
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