Easy Garlic Butter Noodles Recipe

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Craving a bowl of hot, creamy, and irresistibly flavorful noodles? Look no further than garlic-butter noodles! This simple pasta dish comes together in just 20 minutes and hits all the right notes with its rich, buttery garlic sauce coating al dente noodles.

It’s the ultimate comfort food that even novice cooks can master.

An Easy Weeknight Meal

Part of what makes garlic butter noodles so brilliant is how quickly they come together.

With just 10 minutes of active prep time and 10 minutes of cooking time, you can have a hot and satisfying meal on the table in under 30 minutes. That makes it the ideal weeknight dinner when you want something fast, filling, and full of flavor.

The ingredient list is simple too. All you need are noodles, butter, garlic, Parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon, salt, and pepper. Pantry staples like these mean you likely have everything on hand. No special shopping trips are required!


Creamy Garlic Butter Noodles Recipe

Customize it your way.

One of the great things about this garlic butter noodle recipe is how versatile it is.

There are so many ways to adapt it to suit your personal tastes and what you have in your fridge or pantry.

Some tasty mix-ins and add-ons include:

  • Diced chicken, shrimp, or sausage
  • Sauteed or roasted vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.
  • Baby spinach or kale
  • Grated carrot
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Scallions
  • Basil, cilantro, or other fresh herbs
  • Crumbled bacon or pancetta

You can also swap out the pasta shape for whatever you prefer. Linguine, spaghetti, farfalle, elbow macaroni, and other noodle varieties all work excellently in this dish. Get creative and make it your own!

Tips and tricks

  • Use unsalted butter for the richest flavor.
  • Cook the garlic gently to mellow its bite without burning.
  • Save extra minced garlic to freeze for later use.
  • No need to rinse pasta after cooking; go straight to the sauce.
  • Add more Parmesan for a cheesier dish.
  • Serve with crusty bread to soak up the creamy sauce.
  • Garnish with extra lemon zest, parsley, or red pepper flakes.


Quick and Easy Garlic Butter Noodles

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about making garlic butter noodles:

What type of noodles should I use?

Linguine, spaghetti, fettuccine, rigatoni, and penne all work well. Choose whatever shape you prefer! Short pasta cuts like farfalle or rotini hold the sauce nicely too.

Can I make this with whole-wheat or gluten-free pasta?

Absolutely! The instructions are the same no matter what type of pasta you use. Just be sure to still save some of the starchy cooking water for the sauce.

What if I don’t have fresh parsley or lemon?

Dried parsley will still provide flavor; just use about 1 teaspoon. You can omit the lemon altogether or use lemon pepper seasoning instead for a citrus kick.

Do I really need pasta water for the sauce?

Yes, the starchy pasta water helps the sauce cling to the noodles and create a silky texture. For the best results, reserve about 1/2 cup before draining.

Can I prepare the garlic butter sauce ahead of time?

You can make just the garlic butter (before adding the pasta) up to 3 days in advance. Gently reheat before tossing with the pasta and other ingredients.

Can I freeze any leftovers?

Definitely! Allow the noodles to cool completely, then transfer them to zip-top bags or airtight containers. Reheat directly from frozen by placing the container in boiling water for a few minutes before serving.


Garlic Butter Noodles Recipe

Garlic Butter Noodles

This easy garlic butter noodle recipe is ready in just 20 minutes! Al dente pasta is tossed with a rich, buttery garlic sauce, Parmesan, and parsley for the ultimate comforting weeknight dinner.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Servings 4


  • 1 pound of spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, or noodles of choice
  • 6 tablespoons of butter, divided
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.
  • While the pasta is cooking, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley until smooth and creamy.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the garlic-butter sauce. Toss to coat the noodles, adding the reserved pasta water a tablespoon at a time to thin out the sauce as needed.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Garnish with more Parmesan before serving warm.


  • Use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor, like imported Parmesan and European-style butter with a high butterfat content.
  • If the sauce seems too thick once tossed with the pasta, add a splash or two more of the starchy pasta water to thin it out and help it coat the noodles.
  • For vegetarians, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth in the variations.
  • This dish tastes best served freshly made, but you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. The pasta will soak up more of the sauce as it sits.
  • Look for spaghetti made from rice, quinoa, or lentils for a gluten-free version.
  • For nut-free diets, substitute almond milk or coconut milk for the cashews in the creamy variation.

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