Kimchi Alfredo Pasta

I’ve combined some of my favorite ingredients and flavors by adding a Korean twist to a classic Italian dish. This kimchi alfredo pasta is a delicious East meets West fusion of the creamy Alfredo sauce and the tangy kimchi. What you’re left with is a decadent pasta dish that’s ideal for anyone looking to jazz up their dinner routine!

Why you’ll love this recipe

Who knew that adding kimchi to alfredo pasta can create a delicious fusion that’s hard to resist? This dish is perfect for those who enjoy the rich and creamy flavors of traditional Alfredo pasta but crave an extra layer of flavor. The tanginess of the kimchi cuts through the richness of the sauce without overwhelming it to produce a unique and indulgent treat. 

I incorporated zucchini and mushrooms into the dish to lighten up the dish to counteract the bold and complex flavors, because balance – am I right? However, you can use any assortment of vegetables you like including broccoli, peas, squash, and more!  The best thing about this recipe is that it only takes 25 minutes to prepare, so it makes for a quick lunch or dinner!

If you’re a fan of fusion foods or you’re simply looking for something new to try, this recipe is the one!

How do I prepare Kimchi Alfredo Pasta?

To enjoy this delicious dish, simply follow the easy step-by-step recipe below:

Step 1: Cook the pasta

In a pot of salted boiling water, add dried spaghetti (or your choice of pasta) and cook to al dente according to the package instructions.

Step 2: Saute onions and mushrooms

While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Next, toss in the onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Once the onions are translucent and fragrant, add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.

Step 3: Add butter, garlic, and kimchi

Push the onions and mushrooms to one side of the pan and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add garlic and kimchi and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Mix everything in the pan until they’re well combined.

Step 4: Add heavy cream and zucchini

Pour in the heavy cream with the zucchini and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it is soft and tender.

Step 5: Add the cooked pasta and parmesan

Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the pan, making sure to mix well with the sauce. Finish it off with grated parmesan and mix again.

Step 6: Plate, garnish, and serve

Transfer the pasta to a plate and garnish with sliced scallions and more parmesan. Serve and enjoy!

Cooking Tips for Kimchi Alfredo Pasta

To help make the process of making Kimchi Alfredo Pasta feel like a breeze, here are a few cooking tips to keep in mind:

  • For best results and flavor, use well-fermented kimchi. This means the kimchi is extra tangy and will add significant flavor compared to unfermented or fresh kimchi like Geotjeori Kimchi
  • While I added zucchini and mushrooms to the pasta, feel free to use any type of vegetables or proteins you prefer including bacon, broccoli, peas, squash, spinach, and more. 
  • Be sure not to overcook the pasta as it will continue to cook when added to the pan with the sauce!
  • Balance is key in this dish so taste as you go. If you find that the kimchi flavors aren’t coming through in the sauce, add some more! If you find that the kimchi flavors are too pronounced, add a touch more cream.
  • If you find that the sauce is too thick, add a splash of pasta water to loosen up the sauce.  

Kimchi Alfredo Pasta Ingredients & Substitutions

Dried spaghetti: feel free to use any brand of dried spaghetti you like. You can also switch it with other types of pasta, such as linguine, fettuccine, or spaghettini. 

Onion: onion is added to build the flavors of the sauce. 

Button mushrooms:
button mushrooms add an earthy and meaty texture to the kimchi alfredo pasta. But you can also switch it for other types of mushrooms, including cremini, portobello, or oyster mushrooms.

Garlic cloves: garlic cloves enhance the flavors of the pasta sauce and complement well with the onion. Feel free to add more garlic, but not less!

Kimchi: kimchi is the secret ingredient that adds a spicy and tangy twist to the alfredo pasta. Feel free to use any brand of kimchi or try making my Cabbage Kimchi in advance!

Zucchini: adding zucchini to the dish is a sneaky way of getting your veggies in. You can replace it with other vegetables, like broccoli, peas, yellow squash, or spinach.

Butter: butter adds a rich flavor and aroma to the kimchi and garlic. In a pinch, you can also use margarine.

Heavy cream:
heavy cream is the base of the pasta sauce that makes it luscious and delectable. If you’re looking for a lighter alternative, substitute heavy cream with half and half or milk. If using milk, add a teaspoon of flour to thicken the sauce. If you want to make this vegan-friendly, use coconut cream or cashew cream instead.

Grated parmesan: grated parmesan adds rich, sharp, and bold flavors to round out the dish’s flavors. I highly recommend grating the parmesan yourself instead of using pre-grated parmesan cheese. Freshly grated cheese has a creamier and fresher taste compared to pre-grated cheese which typically contains preservatives and additives. 

Scallions: scallions add a brilliant pop of color and freshness to the pasta. You can also substitute it with chives, parsley, or perilla leaves. 

Kimchi Alfredo Pasta Ingredient Additions & Variations

If you want to experiment with other ingredients to level up your Kimchi Alfredo Pasta, here are a few suggestions that I think would work deliciously!

  1. Sausage – sausage adds a salty and umami flavor to the pasta. Just make sure to cook it first and remove it before tossing it back into the dish at the end. If you want to level up its spice, you can also use spicy sausages.
  1. Bacon – adding bacon is a surefire way to turn this delicious pasta into an addicting one! The smoky and savory flavors of the bacon are perfect complements to the creamy alfredo sauce and tangy kimchi. 
  1. Broccoli – if you want to add more veggies to your pasta, broccoli is a scrumptious addition. Make sure to steam them for a few minutes before adding them to the pasta.
  1. Spinach – spinach is a great addition if you enjoy leafy greens in your pasta. I’ve made this kimchi alfredo pasta with spinach many times and it worked beautifully in this dish every time Just add them to the pan with the spaghetti and allow them to wilt before serving the pasta.
  1. Chicken – if you want to add more protein while keeping it traditional, chicken is a great option. Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and your favorite spices then sear the chicken until fully cooked. Serve them sliced on top of your kimchi alfredo pasta and enjoy!
  1. Shrimp – shrimp is a classic addition to alfredo pasta and this one is no exception! I recommend seasoning the shrimp with salt and pepper and then searing it with olive oil. You can toss the shrimp directly into the pasta or serve them on top. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this dish vegetarian-friendly?

Yes, absolutely! Simply use vegetarian kimchi, which is made without fish sauce and/or shrimp paste. If you want to make this pasta dish vegan-friendly, substitute butter with olive oil, heavy cream with coconut cream or cashew cream, kimchi with vegetarian kimchi, and parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast.

How spicy is this kimchi alfredo pasta?

While spice level tolerance differs from person to person, the spiciness really depends on the kimchi you use. In my experience, kimchi is typically moderate in spice level and the cream in the pasta helps to mellow out the spiciness quite significantly. It should have a subtle kick of heat which is similar to dried red chili flakes. If you want to make the dish spicier, add a few pinches of gochugaru or Korean red chili flakes. 

What proteins can I add to this dish?

Yes, of course! Some proteins that would make great additions to this pasta dish include grilled chicken, shrimp, bacon, and even sausage! 

What is kimchi made of?

Kimchi can be made in various ways however, traditionally, it’s usually made of napa cabbage mixed with a blend of gochugaru (or Korean red chili flakes), salt, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, and scallions. The sauce or paste is then smothered over the napa cabbage leaves and fermented for at least 3 days. The longer it ferments, the more sour and tangy it will be.

Can I store Kimchi Alfredo Pasta?

While this kimchi Alfredo pasta is best enjoyed fresh, you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container. I recommend keeping the sauce and pasta in separate containers which should keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, heat the sauce in a pan then add the cooked pasta over low heat until it’s warm. If the sauce appears dry, you can add a splash of heavy cream to revive its consistency.

Looking for more easy and delicious Korean-inspired recipes?

1. Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwichif you want to elevate this comfort food staple, you’re going to love this recipe. The spicy, sweet, and salty flavors of the kimchi pair extremely well with the gooey melted cheese – you’ll want to put this in your weekly rotation!

2. Perilla Pastaif you’re looking for another pasta recipe inspiration, you have to try this perilla pasta recipe! Instead of using basil, I’ve used perilla leave to make a minty, spicy, and subtly sweet pesto. 

3. Korean Fish Cake Soupyou no longer have to wander the streets of Korea to get a taste of this popular street food when you can easily recreate it at home. It’s light, refreshing, and umami-packed and feels like a warm cozy hug. 

4. Korean Seafood Pancakeyou can find this classic favorite in Korean restaurants as an appetizer but now you can easily recreate it at home and even better. 

5. Yubuchobap also known as Korean inari sushi, these bite-sized pockets of deliciousness are one of those dishes that once you start, you can’t stop eating. Served with seasoned rice stuffed in tofu pockets and served with delectable toppings like marinated raw salmon, mentaiko mayo, pickled cucumbers, and more!

Kimchi Alfredo Pasta

Servings 2 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 5 oz dried spaghetti or your choice of pasta
  • 1/4 onion diced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup kimchi chopped
  • 1/4 cup zucchini chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • scallions for garnish


  • In a pot of salted boiling water, add dried spaghetti (or your choice of pasta) and cook according to the package instructions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Toss in the onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Push the onions and mushrooms to one side of the pan and add butter. Once the butter has melted, add garlic and kimchi and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Mix everything together in the pan until well combined.
  • Pour in heavy cream along with the zucchini and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it is soft and tender.
  • Finish it off with grated parmesan and mix together.
  • Garnish with sliced scallions and more parmesan.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion, Italian, Korean

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Jecca Chantilly © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.