Creamy Garlic Shells

You know those tasty little packages of dry pasta you can find in the rice and pasta aisle? You know the ones. They come in a variety of flavors.

I used to buy these a lot when I was in college and living in the dorm. I lived in the most horrid dorm my freshman year of college. It was one of the oldest ones on campus and of course I was assigned to live there. While I had the meal plan, there was only so much cafeteria food I could take so I tried to make my own food whenever I could. I think I lived on veggie burgers, cereal, canned vegetables, and those darn pasta packets. I hated cooking in the dorm kitchen. It always seemed dirty and I didn’t like have to work around other random people. I loved the pasta packets because I could make them in my room.

Although those little packages were quite tasty, have you ever looked at the ingredients? What the heck is all that crap?! Really, it is quite easy to replicate these at home using real ingredients! One of my favorite packets were the creamy garlic shells so I wanted to try to make them from scratch. The best thing about this recipe is that there is no heavy cream! I will tell you that this is really garlicky so don’t make it for a first date.

I made this as a side dish with some baked chicken and veggies, but you could also eat it as a main dish if you wanted. Just toss in some chicken, shrimp, and/or some veggies and you have yourself a great dinner!

Creamy Garlic Shells

Creamy Garlic Shells
Yield: 6 servings

Creamy Garlic Shells

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Creamy Garlic Shells- Ditch the packaged stuff and make your own creamy garlic shells in just a few steps. No heavy cream required!


  • 8 oz. (1/2 lb.) mini shells pasta
  • 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used skim)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley flakes


  1. In a large pot, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Remove the pot from the heat. Drain and set aside.
  2. Put the empty pot back on the burner over medium heat. Add in the olive oil and butter and cook until the butter is melted. Stir in the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute until the flour is cooked and combined with the butter and oil. Pour in the milk and broth and whisk until smooth. Stir in the some salt and pepper and whisk constantly until the mixture is thick and bubbling.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and the parsley flakes. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Pour the cooked pasta into the pot and mix in with the sauce. Serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 11g

Creamy Garlic Shells