Pasta with butter garlic is one of my favorites among all my easy recipes for spaghetti noodles. This simple dish comes together as quickly as my Ricotta Lemon Pasta and packs as much bold, robust flavor as my fan favorite Green Spaghetti. Tossed in my signature garlic butter pasta sauce, this easy dish will make your recipe book hall of fame—next to my creamy and spicy take on Gigi Hadid Pasta!
Ingredients for Garlic Buttered Pasta
To make the butter garlic pasta sauce, you will need just a few pantry-ready ingredients:
- Unsalted butter: Due to its high-fat content, unsalted European-style butter is my go-to for this recipe, as it will give your pasta extra depth and richness. However, you can use any unsalted butter you prefer to balance out the excess sodium of parmesan cheese.
- Fresh garlic cloves: I recommend using finely minced garlic for your buttery pasta sauce, as it most thoroughly infuses the butter with its flavors. You could also use roasted garlic for a smokier, caramelized taste. In a pinch, garlic powder can be a substitute but if you are after the rich garlicky flavors, I would recommend using fresh garlic cloves in this recipe.
- Kosher Salt and black pepper
- Fresh herbs: Fresh parsley is one of my favorite herbs in this butter garlic sauce for noodles. However, you can bring out similarly bright, garden-fresh flavors to your meal by using other fresh herbs matching your unique recipe.
To make the garlic butter pasta, you will need only two simple ingredients:
- Pasta: I recommend using spaghetti for my garlic butter noodles, as their lean shape can hold more buttery pasta sauce than thicker types. However, you can also make this recipe using another type of pasta, such as linguine, penne, fettuccine, elbow, egg noodles, and angel hair. Additionally, if preferred, gluten-free pasta can also be used.
- Parmesan cheese: Nutty and bold, parmesan cheese is the perfect finishing touch for transforming your plain spaghetti into an elegant, five-star meal.
How to Make Garlic Butter Pasta
This quick pasta dish is a cinch with my easy butter garlic pasta sauce. With a handful of ingredients and only six steps, anyone can quickly whip up this delicious side. Here are the steps:
- Cook the pasta: Fill a large pot with water, mix in a generous helping of salt, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the pasta to the pot of water and cook it according to the package instructions (or until al dente.) Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
- Make the garlic sauce for noodles: While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook it over medium-low heat until it softens (2-3 minutes), stirring frequently. Then, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
- Toss the pasta: Add the buttered pasta sauce to the cooked pasta and toss until combined. If the pasta is sticky, add the reserved pasta water to the mix in 2-tablespoon increments until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Add the parmesan: Sprinkle the buttered spaghetti noodles with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, and toss until combined.
- Serve: Divide the garlic butter spaghetti noodles into serving bowls. Garnish them with more parmesan cheese and parsley, and enjoy!
Storage and Reheating Instructions
With these storage tips, you can save your butter garlic pasta leftovers for an easy lunch or a quick dinner the next day. Here’s how I do it:
- Store: Place the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
- Reheat: When reheating your garlic butter noodles, add a bit of liquid to the mixture to keep your pasta from drying. Then, heat the leftovers in a saucepan for 5-7 minutes or the microwave in 30-second increments.
What to Serve with this Recipe?
Mild yet rich, buttery garlic pasta is a highly versatile side dish. Serve it with a hearty protein, crisp salad, or tender veggie side, and your table will pack a ton of flavor with minimal prep time.
- Chicken: This parmesan garlic butter pasta is my favorite simple pasta side dish for chicken. Prepare an Instagram-ready spread by making this recipe alongside a five-star Chicken Shish Tawook, Whole Roasted Chicken or tender Greek Yoghurt Chicken. For a flawless ingredient pair, you can also serve it alongside Baked Panko Chicken Parmesan, and you’ll have a cheesy meal that comes together in no time.
- Turkey: Light and mild, turkey mains exquisitely balance the buttery richness of spaghetti in butter sauce. Italian seasoned Turkey Meatballs make an excellent pasta topping, while Turkey Tenderloin is a succulent main that only takes 30 minutes to prepare.
- Seafood: Nothing says, “match made in heaven,” like butter garlic pasta with shrimp. Top your buttered noodles with my zesty Shrimp Scampi Recipe or Breaded Fish for a family-friendly pairing perfect for busy weeknights. Or, pair your pasta with Grilled Mahi Mahi for a light, summery pair ideal for outdoor events.
- Salad: Want to add a little fiber to your pasta spread? Balance out the decadence of your pasta with a crisp, garden-fresh salad. You’ll love my easy Caesar Salad Recipe, La Scala Chopped Salad, and Burrata Caprese for light Italian signatures. Or, try out a bright, lemony recipe with my gluten-free and keto-friendly Asparagus Salad.
- Vegetables: When it comes to tasty veggie recipes, the options are endless. Serve your garlic butter parmesan noodles alongside a plate of Oven-Roasted Asparagus or Air-Fried Green Beans for a nutritious green side. If you want a heartier combination, Roasted Portobello Mushrooms and Eggplant Parmesan will satisfy your appetite while serving any vegetarian needs.
- Garlic bread: No one can resist a classic. Toasty and filling, oven-baked Garlic Bread and Air Fryer Garlic Bread are two of my favorite pasta sides. You’ll love dipping these tender slices into your spaghetti’s simple butter pasta sauce.
I recommend preparing two ounces of pasta per person. If serving a larger party, you can quickly multiply this simple recipe to accommodate all your dinner guests.
Absolutely! Pasta in butter sauce—especially garlic butter sauce!—is a classic, easy dish for the whole family. You can either melt butter and drizzle it over your cooked noodles or toss unmelted butter into warm pasta until melted.
There are countless ways to add flavor to plain pasta. You can toss your noodles with a simple sauce, such as my flavorful garlic butter sauce or an olive oil sauce, or you can top your dish with fresh herbs and cheese for a bright, lush meal.
To make this easy pasta recipe with garlic powder, substitute the fresh garlic with one teaspoon of garlic powder.
Yes! For a vegan alternative to my simple garlic butter sauce, use vegan butter and vegan parmesan instead of animal-based products.
Other Easy Pasta Side Dishes You Might Like
Can’t get enough of this easy garlic parmesan butter pasta? For even more quick pasta recipes, these beginner-friendly ideas will fill your table with bright, tender flavors.
If you try this Garlic Butter Pasta recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Garlic Butter Pasta Recipe
For The Pasta:
- 8 ounces spaghetti or any other dried pasta or Gluten free pasta
- Kosher Salt
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
For The Garlic Butter Pasta Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter preferably European-style butter with high fat content
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh parsley – roughly chopped, plus more for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Return the now-drained pasta back to the pot.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the butter garlic pasta sauce. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until fully melted (but not browned.) Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
- Drizzle the pasta with the butter garlic sauce and toss to combine. If the pasta is too sticky, use the reserved pasta water by adding and mixing it in 2-tablespoon increments.
- Sprinkle the buttery pasta with parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley. Toss to combine.
- When ready to serve, divide the pasta into serving bowls and garnish with more parmesan cheese and parsley.
- Yields: This recipe serve 2 ounces of (uncooked) pasta per serving. However, you can multiply it if you are serving a large crowd.
- Keep a close eye on the butter: Watch the garlic closely when sauteeing as it can burn quickly. It is best to monitor it closely as it cooks.
- Store: Place the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.