Creamy Blue Cheese Pasta Recipe with Lemon and Walnuts

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I’m officially obsessed with this quick and easy Blue Cheese Pasta recipe. It’s creamy and vibrant, and super flavourful. A perfectly indulgent dinner for one.

A plate of creamy blue cheese pasta.
“The Blue Zinger” in all its glory.

I love blue cheese. Especially when it has a fresh and acidic counterpart. On a cheese board, I’ll always load up my cracker with blue cheese and chutney. It’s the intense creaminess next to the acidic tang that I love so much. This blue cheese pasta gets its tang from fresh lemon. Not just a little squeeze of lemon either. A whole lemon, zest and juice. That’s what makes this pasta so intensely satisfying.

What you’ll need to make this Blue Cheese Pasta Recipe

Dried pasta – I prefer a short shape for this. Something like bowties (Farfalle) or corkscrews (Cavatappi) are great. I’m using Cascatelli because it’s awesome and I happen to have some on hand!

a bowl of dried cascatelli pasta

Blue cheese – Use a really creamy one. I like Gorgonzola for this personally. It’s got the right amount of funk and insane creaminess.

Walnuts – I’ve always been a huge fan of walnuts in pasta. It’s so delightful to get an occasional crunch among all this creamy richness.

Garlic – The garlic adds a background note of complexity to this pasta, and it makes it indisputably savoury. 

Dried chilli flakes – I tend to use regular dried chilli flakes because I love the kick they provide. You could also take a milder approach and use Aleppo chilli flakes which are a bit milder and fruitier. 

Lemon – We’re using the whole thing. Zest and juice.

Olive oil – For frying the walnuts and starting that sauce off right.

Salt – For the pasta water, but not too much. The blue cheese will add a lot of salt to this dish.

Walnuts, garlic, lemon, chili flakes, and blue cheese prepared on a cutting board.
All the ingredients are ready to go!

How to make this Creamy Blue Cheese Pasta Recipe

  1. Start by filling a medium-sized pot with water and bringing it to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water – but not too much as blue cheese tends to be salty.
     
  2. Add the pasta to the water and set a timer according to the time it says on the box.
     
  3. While the pasta cooks, mince the garlic, chop the walnuts, zest the lemon and cut the lemon in half.
     
  4. Drain the pasta, remembering to keep the pasta water. We’ll be using that in a minute.
     
  5. In a frying pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and the walnuts. Stir the walnuts around in the olive oil for approximately 1 minute until they start to smell a bit nutty. Add the garlic, lemon zest, and dried chilli flakes.
     
  6. Immediately add the pasta and the blue cheese to the pan, along with a big splash of the pasta cooking water. Continue to stir and break up the blue cheese so it melts into the pasta water and forms a sauce.
     
  7. Continue to cook the pasta in the sauce until the sauce clings nicely to the pasta.

    A pan of blue cheese pasta, simmering.
     
  8. Pour the pasta into your favourite bowl and squeeze the lemon over the top. Enjoy!
A plate of blue cheese pasta.

Success tips

These tips for success will help you make the best Blue Cheese Pasta

  1. I know I’m always harping on about heavily seasoning your pasta water, but ignore that advice for this recipe. Just add a pinch of salt to the cooking water (up to 1 teaspoon for 2 litres of water) otherwise you risk ending up with an overly salty dish. Let the blue cheese handle the seasoning on this one!
     
  2. Prepare all the ingredients and have them ready before you start cooking the sauce. This sauce comes together in just a few minutes, so it’s important to have everything lined up, ready to go in the pan. Especially the pasta water to stop the frying process.
     
  3. Always buy high-quality pasta. Some of the cheaper bargain bags of pasta are quite crappy. A high-quality pasta will be quite thick which will help it hold up to any sauce much better. When shopping for pasta, look for the words “Bronze cut” on the box. This indicates that it was extruded with a bronze die, which creates a rough texture to the outside of the noodle, helping the sauce to cling.

What goes well with this Blue Cheese Pasta Recipe?

This pasta is quite rich, so it’s really nice to pair it with a crunchy leafy salad. A glass of red wine won’t hurt either 🙂

Speaking of salad: if you want to make more exciting ones, Grab my Salad Dressing Guide!

Storage, freezing, and reheating tips

This creamy blue cheese pasta is best eaten right away. I wouldn’t recommend making it ahead, freezing, or reheating it at all. This recipe serves one. Make it when you want to eat it!

That being said, it is a fairly generous serving and you could stretch it into 2 servings—especially with a salad on the side. In that case, keep the pasta you don’t eat in the fridge, and eat it cold or at room temperature.

It’s really good cold!

Frequently asked questions

Can I use gluten-free pasta for this?

Sure! Just be careful when you’re tossing the pasta with the sauce, as gluten-free pasta tends to fall apart more easily. 

Does it have to be walnuts? 

Walnuts are a natural choice here, but if you don’t like walnuts, pecans would also be good. If you’re allergic to nuts, I’d suggest leaving them out completely and adding in a vegetable instead. Sliced brussels sprouts would be awesome. Fry them for a couple of minutes before adding the other ingredients to the sauce.

I hope you love this as much as I do!

This Blue Cheese Pasta is my idea of sheer heaven. Give me a plate of this, some good shows on TV, and a glass of wine – and nothing can bring me down. I hope you enjoy it too! Be sure to tag me @howtomakedinner if you take pictures!

Looking for more pasta recipes? 

If this type of recipe is your thing, here are a few others you might like:

A plate of creamy blue cheese pasta.

Creamy Blue Cheese Pasta Recipe with Lemon and Walnuts

I'm officially obsessed with this quick and easy Blue Cheese Pasta recipe. It's creamy, and vibrant, and super flavourful. A perfectly indulgent dinner for one.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 1 person
Calories 922 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 100 grams dried pasta
  • 60 grams blue cheese
  • 35 grams walnuts
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • .5 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt (for the pasta water)

Instructions
 

  • Fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water – but not too much as blue cheese tends to be salty.
  • Add the pasta to the water. You can use any shape you like, but I prefer a short pasta shape like bowties or corkscrews. (Or Cascatelli if you can find it!)
  • While the pasta cooks, mince the garlic, chop the walnuts, zest the lemon and cut the lemon in half.
  • Drain the pasta, remembering to keep the pasta water. We'll be using that in a minute.
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and the walnuts. Stir the walnuts around in the olive oil for approximately 1 minute until they start to smell a bit nutty. Add the garlic, lemon zest, and dried chili flakes.
  • Immediately add the pasta and the blue cheese to the pan, along with a splash of the pasta cooking water. Continue to stir and break up the blue cheese so it melts into the pasta water and forms a sauce.
  • Continue to cook the pasta in the sauce until the sauce clings nicely to the pasta.
  • Pour the pasta into your favourite bowl and squeeze the lemon over the top. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 922kcalCarbohydrates: 82.5gProtein: 34.4gFat: 54gSaturated Fat: 14.6gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 1000mgPotassium: 401mgFiber: 6.2gSugar: 3.2gCalcium: 351mgIron: 1mg
Keyword pasta, vegetarian
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