Pasta in a box

The leftover that dares not speak its name. When I told friends that I was putting together a piece on leftover pasta, I was met with blank looks, some incredulity and not a small amount of shiftiness. There were some people who just wouldn’t meet my eyes as they widened theirs in horror at the concept of leftover pasta.
But the thing is, I know different. My friends forget that I am not just the Dinner Doctor, that I am Rachel the Fridge Forager. I can’t help myself and I have seen those Tupperware containers of mysterious geometric shapes and amorphous gunk nestling at the back of fridges. Leftover pasta is not a mythical beast; I know it truly exists. I have seen it.
How many times have you cooked too much pasta? Be honest now. Yes, I know that you know that you are probably supposed to weigh out your pasta. The rule of thumb is a portion of roughly 100g of dried pasta per person. But how many people really do that? Perhaps it’s just a question of the name “leftover”. Maybe what I regard as a leftover, other people regard as “the thing that will be reheated tomorrow”. Assuming you have looked after your pasta properly after cooking it, there is nothing wrong with reheating it the next day. The texture will be slightly different; it will very likely have lost some of its bite, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t perfectly edible and it really would be a shame to waste it.
So first of all, there are some strategies for keeping your cooked pasta in tip-top condition.
When I realise that I have too much pasta, I rinse the leftover pasta under cold water to immediately halt the cooking process and then leave it to drain and to cool. Once it has cooled and shed excess moisture, I tip it into a Ziploc bag or plastic container and put it in the fridge until needed. I know that some people like to add a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil to coat the strands so that the past doesn’t stick as it cools, but I don’t usually bother.
Pasta can easily be reheated by pouring a kettle of boiling water over it or dunking it into a saucepan of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Obviously it also reheats in a microwave really well too.
My favourite ways of using up leftover pasta are to make a frittata, use them in a south-east Asian-style stir-fry or to bake the pasta (particularly tube-shaped pasta such as penne or rigatoni), where it doesn’t matter quite so much if the pasta is slightly over-cooked. I particularly like the way that baked pasta forms a chewy crust. In using up leftover noodles or spaghetti in a stir-fry, they are added at the last minute so that they don’t begin to overcook and disintegrate. Similarly a generous handful of cooked pasta can be added to soups, particularly Italian-style vegetable and bean soups.
Pasta salad is one of those dishes that I can be a bit wary of. Anyone who has ever experienced the kind of food served in a works canteen might have sympathy for my feelings towards pasta salad; it is that horrible feeling of familiarity – the one that says “haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” to yesterday’s leftover lunch. Having said that, when a pasta salad is done well it can be a simple pleasure.

1. Frittata di pasta

Frittata di pasta. Photograph: Rachel Kelly

I always wondered what Italians did with leftover pasta and now I know. For being a thrifty bunch, they have a fabulous way of using up pasta by adding it to frittatas, (including any leftover sauce too).
Serves 3-4
200g cooked spaghetti (or other pasta)
pasta sauce
2 eggs, beaten
25g Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
a small knob of butter
Mix cooked pasta with a little of the pasta sauce. You only need enough sauce to coat the pasta; otherwise it will be too runny when you add the egg. Then add egg and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.

Heat oil and butter in an omelette pan and tip the mixture into the pan.

Press down with back of a wooden spoon to create a flat cake. Fry on each side for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. So when the first side is cooked, flip onto a plate and then slide back into the pan. Continue cooking until done.

Serve immediately, cut into wedges, sprinkled with a little grated Parmesan.
Tips: This is such a forgiving recipe. You can add things such as halved cherry tomatoes, blanched vegetables or even frozen peas. If you don’t have any pasta sauce, then add a handful of grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese or some chopped olives, capers or chunks of cooked sausage.
If I have added too much pasta sauce or there is too great an egg to pasta ratio, then often I just add dried breadcrumbs to the mix. Let it sit to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb some of the liquid, then cook as above.

2. Sesame spring onions and noodles or pasta

Spring onion and sesame noodles. Photograph: Rachel Kelly

At the cusp between winter and spring, I can’t get enough of cheerful spring onions. This uncooked sauce can be put together in less time than it takes to boil and drain the noodles – about five minutes. It also hits all of my thrifty/frugal buttons!

There was a little of last Sunday’s roast chicken left to top the noodles – it is perfect with roast chicken or pork, although I love adding a few Thai fish cakes or perhaps some marinated tofu. But what also makes it a bit of a winner is that it just sings with deep savoury flavours. Maximum taste for minimum effort. Perfect.

3 tbsp vegetable oil (use a neutral one)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp dark soy sauce or ketjap manis
1 tsp light soy sauce
a splash of mirin (or rice or sherry vinegar)
a splash of fish sauce, (optional)
a pinch of sugar
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped on the diagonal (include white and green parts)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
salt (optional)
hoisin sauce (optional)
noodles or spaghetti (or other thin pasta)
Whisk together the oils, soy sauces, vinegar, fish sauce and sugar. Pour over the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Check the seasoning as you may need to add salt, despite the fact that soy sauce is quite salty.
Leave the sauce for about 20 minutes, so that all the flavours get to know each other. You can use immediately, although it’s better left to infuse.

For even more flavour, gently warm up the oils until they are hot but not smoking. Pour over the remaining ingredients to wilt the spring onions. Then stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce and sugar. Set aside.

Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain. Or use yesterday’s leftover pasta. Cold spaghetti is perfectly acceptable, but refresh it first with boiling water, then drain.

Toss the noodles and add a dollop of hoisin sauce. Top with leftover roast meat.

3. Malaysian-style spicy fried noodles (mee goreng)

Malaysian-style fried noodles (mee goreng). Photograph: Rachel Kelly

Since this is a recipe for leftovers, it may lack authenticity. I use whatever I have that needs using up. So for example I used cooked spaghetti in place of noodles, leftover roast pork and some cooked chorizo. What is more important is the sauce that binds it all together; this is a sweet and salty taste of the Far East. It may sound like a lot of tomato ketchup to use, but it really does give you the right sort of flavour.
Serves 3 to 4

vegetable oil
2-3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
cooked noodles or pasta (I used spaghetti)
leftover shredded cabbage
bean sprouts or other crunchy vegetables (carrots or peppers would be good too)
leftover roast meat (I used a mixture of roast pork and some chunks of cooked chorizo sausage)
50g cooked prawns, (optional)
omelette made from 2 eggs, cut into strips
2 tbsp dry sherry (or mirin or shaoxing wine)
4 spring onions, sliced, to serve
thinly sliced fried shallots, to serve (optional)
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (I used Lingham’s but Maggi or Sriracha would be good too)
1 tbsp ketjap manis or dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
salt, to taste
Combine all the salt ingredients together. Taste for seasoning and balance if necessary.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan or wok.

Add the garlic, noodles (or spaghetti), meat, vegetables and prawns. Stir quickly and add about 100ml of water. Stir constantly until the water has evaporated.

Add the sauce and stir until well-combined. The sauce should cling to the noodles (or spaghetti).
Add the sherry and stir until the liquid is absorbed.

Serve with a sprinkling of sliced spring onions and cooked shallots.

4. Tuna pasta salad

Tuna pasta salad with nasturtiums. Photograph: Rachel Kelly

This bright and colourful salad is the very first pasta salad I ever made, nearly 30 years ago. I seem to remember that I found the recipe on the back of a packet of dried pasta! It’s the one I get asked to make most often for parties and barbecues. It also makes a great lunchbox salad as it is pretty robust and will stay fresh in the fridge for a couple of days. The tuna mixture also makes a great sandwich filling.

pasta shells
1 tin of tuna, drained and flaked (about 180g)
3 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
2 tbsp plain yoghurt
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g sweetcorn, (frozen or tinned are fine)
3-4 spring onions, sliced
1 small red pepper, chopped
Combine the mayonnaise with plain yoghurt. Stir through the flaked tuna.

Check the seasoning. (If you have used tuna that is preserved in brine, it is unlikely that you will need any extra salt.)

Add the colourful vegetables and stir to ensure that they are distributed through the salad. Add extra black pepper if you like.

Other ideas for using up pasta:

5. You really should try this amazing Persian soup from Yasmin Khan of The Saffron Tales. It would work perfectly with the odd ends of a packet of noodles or spaghetti, or equally well with cooked pasta. Another reason it caught my eye is the fact that many of the ingredients are store-cupboard ones from lentils to dried herbs and spices.

6. Try Simone of Simones Kitchen’s lovely and fresh-tasting gorgonzola and tomato salad.
7. I love Stacy of Food Lust People Love’s reinterpretation of pasta primavera with peas, yoghurt and feta.
8. Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen’s chilli, pasta, fennel and walnut salad, which is just enough to give some zest on a spring day.
9. Shaheen at Allotment 2 Garden’s incredible roasted squash, red pepper and pasta loaf – a fabulous mixture of roasted vegetables, herbs and macaroni encased in shortcrust pastry.
10. What about Camilla at Fab Food 4 All’s quick and easy bacon, leek and pine nut pasta?
11. Dominic at Belleau Kitchen’s cheesy broccoli and pasta bake
12. Michael Toa’s penne alla vodka also uses up leftover vodka!
13. What about my own macaroni dish, which won Felicity Cloake’s heart and the Readers’ Recipe Swap award? It’s a trip around the Mediterranean using feta, chorizo and dill. It works, I promise you!
14. Pasta salad with a French vinaigrette dressing. One of my favourite pasta salads is one where the pasta is coated with a simple mustardy vinaigrette dressing while the pasta is still hot. I then add chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and red or yellow peppers.
15. I have a guilty secret. I love to make Asian-style soups with noodles, but instead of using noodles, I often use bucatini. This is the pasta that looks a bit like fat spaghetti (or even udon noodles), except it has a hole going all the way through the pasta. When you include it in a soup, the noodle acts as a sort of straw – I know it’s childish but it fills me with glee!

Have we missed anything? Share your favourite tips for using leftover pasta below.

Rachel Kelly is the Guardian home cook of the year 2013. Read more on her website or follow her on Twitter @MarmadukeS.

Interested in finding out more about how you can live better? Take a look at this month’s Live Better Challenge here.

The Live Better Challenge is funded by Unilever; its focus is sustainable living. All content is editorially independent except for pieces labelled advertisement feature. Find out more here.

Here’s Your Recipe!

Pasta for one, in just ten minutes time! This “recipe” requires NO MEASURING, just 5 ingredients, and can easily be scaled to make more servings.

Guys, I’ve had this recipe up my sleeve for what feels like ages. I’m home by myself for lunch just about every day, and I’ve nailed down a few recipes-for-one that I can make really quickly and with pantry staples I already have on hand.

I’ve made a few different versions of this recipe over the years, but I picked up a few tips and tricks while I was in Italy last month, and now I’m *finally* ready to share it with you.

Brace yourselves.

This is my quick and easy pasta recipe with few ingredients for one serving of pasta in just 10 minutes!

My very favorite part of this recipe is that it requires NO MEASURING. This is one of those wonderfully forgiving recipes that doesn’t require that you be particularly specific about anything you’re doing. I’ve included approximate measurements in the explanation below, for those of you that want a little more direction the first time you make it.

This pasta is rich, cheesy, silky, and perfectly al dente. You can make it with just about any dried pasta you have lying around, but I prefer long noodles (for maximum twirling); my favorite is bucatini. I’d never tried this type of pasta before my recent visit to Rome, and now I’ve noticed that they sell it at my local Fred Meyer/Kroger! You can also grab it through Amazon if you’re a Prime junkie like me.

Price: $18.35 ($0.23 / Ounce)

Price Disclaimer

If you can, try to buy the highest quality pasta you can find. Those that are imported from Italy are usually a good bet! The pasta itself really shines in this recipe, so you might as well use the good stuff if you have it.

Alright, here’s how to make this easy pasta for one (with my notes and explanations in italics!):

Bring a few inches of water, and a generous pinch of salt, to a boil in a saucepan. I like to use just enough water to cover the noodles, so the pasta water has a high starch concentration. You’ll utilize the cooking water to finish the pasta, and the starch adds lots of creaminess to the dish.

Once the water is boiling, add a single serving of pasta to the pot. How much pasta for one person, you ask? For long noodles, like spaghetti, fettucine, or bucatini, a handful about the diameter of a quarter (about 1-inch) is just enough pasta for a hearty serving!

Cook the pasta until it is flexible, but not all the way to al dente. Err on the side of under-done; you can always cook it a bit longer in the next step, but it’s awful hard to un-cook pasta.

Place a 10″ saute pan on the stove next to the pot of pasta and set the burner to medium. Add two pats of butter (2 tablespoons) and use a pasta fork to transfer the flexible (but not al dente!) pasta to the saute pan. Pour enough of the pasta cooking water into the saute pan to come about halfway up the noodles (about 1/4 cup). Add a generous pinch of salt and cook the pasta, tossing occasionally, until al dente (or to your liking).

Price: $6.99

Price Disclaimer

Turn off the heat and toss with enough grated Parmesan cheese (or other hard cheese, like Asiago) to absorb the remaining liquid in the pan and form a creamy sauce. I’ve made this with pre-shredded store-brand cheese (but not the grated kind in the cylinder!) as well as with parmigiano reggiano and even grana padano. Pick your poison! If you over-do it and the sauce gets too thick, just drizzle in a bit more of the pasta water and give it a good tossing.

Use a pepper grinder to effectively saturate the pasta in freshly ground black peppercorns. When you feel like you’ve added enough, give it a stir and then add even more.

Taste and add more salt if needed. Transfer to a plate, garnish with more cheese, and start twirling away.

That seemed like a really long explanation for a really basic recipe, so let me sum it up for you: boil pasta, then transfer it to a pan with some of the cooking water, some butter, and some salt. Cook until tender, then toss with cheese and black pepper. DONE.

Some of my other favorite recipes I’ve learned while traveling are my Authentic Greek Tzatziki, my Vegan Postickers, and my Potato Skordalia. Give them a try!

  • Salt
  • Dried pasta
  • Butter
  • Grated Parmesan (or other aged hard cheese)
  • Black pepper


  1. Bring a few inches of water, and a generous pinch of salt, to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Once the water is boiling, grab a handful of long noodles about the diameter of a quarter (about 1-inch) and add it to the pot. Cook the pasta until it is flexible, but not all the way to al dente.
  3. Place a 10″ saute pan on the stove next to the pot of pasta and set the burner to medium. Add two pats of butter (2 tablespoons) and use a pasta fork to transfer the pasta to the saute pan.
  4. Pour enough of the pasta cooking water into the saute pan to come about halfway up the noodles (about 1/4 cup). Add a generous pinch of salt and cook the pasta, tossing occasionally, until al dente (or to your liking).
  5. Turn off the heat and toss with enough grated cheese to absorb the remaining liquid in the pan and form a creamy sauce.
  6. Grind plenty of black pepper onto the top of the pasta.
  7. Taste and add more salt if needed. Transfer to a plate, garnish with more cheese, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information

Yield 1 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 325 Total Fat 14g Saturated Fat 8g Trans Fat 1g Unsaturated Fat 4g Cholesterol 35mg Sodium 765mg Carbohydrates 40g Fiber 3g Sugar 1g Protein 9g Nutrition information has been auto-calculated for your convenience.

Last Updated on September 9, 2019

15 Best Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes

November 4, 2014 posted in round up // 19 Comments ”

From one pot meals to 15 min dishes and slow cooker recipes, these are the easiest pasta dishes ever, perfect for those busy weeknights!

From one pot meals to tex-mex dishes and even dishes made right in the slow cooker, this is your one-stop shop to get the best pasta dishes on your dinner table with just 10 min prep!

1. One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta – The easiest and creamiest pasta made in a single pot – even the pasta gets cooked right in the pan.

2. One Pot Pizza Pasta Bake – Who can ever say no to pasta in pizza-form loaded with mini pepperonis?

3. One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta – A creamy, hearty pasta dish that you can make in just 20 min.

4. One Pot Lemon Orzo Shrimp – All you have to do is dirty one pot. Done and done.

5. Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo – A rich and creamy lightened up alfredo sauce that tastes just as good as the original.

6. One Pot Mexican Skillet Pasta – This Mexican-inspired pasta dish can be made in 30 minutes or less in a single pot. Easy peasy.

7. Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Asparagus – Quick, easy, and chockfull of veggies.

8. Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake – An easy weeknight casserole with chicken, artichokes, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes – and all you need is 10 min prep.

9. Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta – So flavorful, so spicy and so easy to put together.

10. Baked Ravioli – Amazingly cheesy, creamy and comforting.

11. Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce – An easy, no-fuss dish you can make right at home. It’s also cheaper, healthier and quicker than ordering out.

12. Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce – A rich and meaty spaghetti sauce cooked low and slow right in the crockpot.

13. One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole – All the flavors of a cheeseburger in the easiest one pot meal.

14. Spinach Tomato Tortellini – The most unbelievably creamy tortellini you will make in just 15 min. Doesn’t get easier or tastier than that.

15. Spaghetti Carbonara – All you need is 5 ingredients and 15 minutes. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Parmesan and bacon.

20 Easy Pasta Dishes

Greg Dupree

On more than one busy weeknight, you’ve found yourself thanking the genius who invented the beloved plate of pasta. Boil a pot of water, simmer some sauce, and presto! A complete meal in minutes. But you can make it even better with a few add-ins.


  • Gnocchi and Sweet Potatoes With Hazelnuts (shown)
  • Pasta Carbonara
  • Prosciutto Penne With Spinach
  • Lemony Cucumber-and-Herb Pasta Salad
  • Tuna-Orecchiette Salad
  • Whole-Wheat Penne With Marinated Feta and Arugula
  • One-Pot Shrimp 
and Asparagus 
Fra Diavolo
  • Wild Mushroom 
and Spinach 
Stuffed Shells
  • Pasta, Chickpea, and Chicken Soup With Pesto
  • Black Pepper Gnudi With Peas and Mint
  • Edamame Pasta Salad
  • Pasta With Chicken Sausage, Corn, Leeks, and Mushrooms
  • Bucatini With Kale and Ricotta
  • Roasted Eggplant and Olive Pasta Salad
  • Decadent Mac and Cheese ​​​​​​Capellini With Sausage, Spinach, and Jalapeño
  • Linguine With Garlic, Soppressata, and Wilted Arugula
  • Beet Pasta With Hazelnuts and Beet Greens
  • Pasta With Garlicky Yogurt Sauce and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  • Roasted Broccoli-Pesto Pasta
  • Zucchini-Butter Spaghetti

RELATED: How to Reheat Leftover Pasta

Hungry for more? Try these delicious recipes:

  • Kid-Friendly Spaghetti Recipes
  • Easy Pasta Recipes
  • Quick Pasta Recipes
  • Browse All Pasta Recipes

We’re not yet two weeks into 2014, so I think that technically I can squeeze in one more ode to 2013, right?

2013 was a great year, a fabulous year in fact. It was filled with amazing opportunities and new relationships that came my way thanks to this sweet lil’ blog o’ mine. Sing that 3 times fast to the Axl’s Sweet Child O’ Mine and you’ll feel my vibe.

While I’ve already declared my word for 2014, with 365 days to cover there’s certainly room for one more. And most likely a few others too. That’s why I’m adding this one to the hat: Simplify.

One thing I heard over and over from friends and family in 2013 was this: “I was going to call you, but you’re SO BUSY,” or “I was going to ask you to go/stay/play but you’re SO BUSY.”

Was I really THAT busy? TOO busy for my family and friends?

I suppose I made it seem that way. Since it seemed that my standard answer when people asked, “How are you doing?” was some form of, “Things are good, I’m just really busy / I was up late last night finishing things up / Sorry I’m not going to make it, I have to get this done.” It’s no wonder my dance card seemed too full to them. Maybe I played the martyr one time way too many.

2013 was the year for me being a lame friend, family member and hostess.

Which is why I’m adding the word Simplify to my list of words for 2014. Simplify and don’t make things so hard. Simplify and stop making things SEEM so hard.

My friend Courtney wrote a post about this, and she coaches me about it all of the time. I just have to learn to listen. She’s smart that way.

Well Courtney, as my mom the pre-school teacher says, I’ve put on my listening ears and I’m ready. So why not start in the kitchen?

There are plenty of complicated pasta recipes out there, some with sausage, some with shrimp and some that play happily with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. But sometimes the simplest are the most satisfying. My Easy Parmesan Noodles is exactly one of those recipes.

Simple noodles, butter, salt and pepper and creamy parmesan topped with a sprinkling of parsley. This noodle recipe does double duty as a full-blown dinner or a side for chicken, surf or turf.

It’s easy that way.

Get my Easy Parmesan Noodles recipe and the see the rest of my Go Bold with Butter recipes here.

3.73 from 59 votes

Easy Parmesan Buttered Noodles

  • 8 ounces fettuccine noodles
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  1. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling, salted water, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until al dente.
  2. Drain the pasta reserving ½ cup of the cooking water.
  3. Add butter to still warm pot and melt over low heat. Turn off heat and add noodles to pot and toss with butter. Add Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup of cooking liquid at time as needed to moisten. Season with kosher salt and pepper and add parsley. Serve immediately.

This recipe was created in partnership with Go Bold With Butter where I am a paid contributor to their website. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you.

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Quick & Easy Butter Garlic Noodles

June 4, 2015 by Natalie

You’re going to fall in love with this dish! These quick & easy butter garlic noodles are crazy flavorful and come together in under 30 minutes.

In this season of my life, I am looking for quick and easy meal ideas that I don’t have to fight or beg my children to eat! This recipe definitely fits the bill!! I would say it would fall in the same category as my lightened fettuccine alfredo and broccoli white cheddar shells!

The Most Flavorful Noodles

Lately, I’ve been trying to simplify our family dinners. That means anything that requires minimal prep work has shot to the top of my list and if it takes less than 30 minutes, even better!

These butter garlic noodles are quite possibly the easiest noodles I’ve ever made. Not only that, but they’re crazy flavorful and filling. Win-win! We like to serve it with some grilled chicken and zucchini and everyone loves it!!

How to Make Garlic Butter Noodles

All you need is a pound of pasta (any shape will do but I prefer one that will hold sauce well), butter, garlic, salt, pepper and cheese. And then it’s just four easy steps:

  1. While your pasta is boiling, in a medium saucepan heat the butter until melted.
  2. Add 8 cloves of minced garlic and sauté until tender and fragrant.
  3. Add in the salt and pepper and pour over the drained pasta.
  4. Toss with parmesan and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and garnish with some fresh parsley (totally optional).

That’s it. Crazy easy, crazy delicious.

Variations/additions: this recipe is super simple so feel free to add and swap ingredients to make it your own!

  • Basil
  • Baby spinach
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Broccoli
  • Add grilled chicken strips to make it more filling
  • Egg noodles or whole wheat noodles
  • If you want to get extra fancy you could brown some of the butter for a nuttier flavor… I mean, brown butter makes everything 10x more delicious, so you can’t go wrong!


What is the difference between parmesan cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano? Parmesan cheese is an imitation of Parmigiano Reggiano. You can use both in this recipe for a rich flavor profile without using all of your nice expensive cheese.

How to properly mince garlic? Take your head of garlic and press down with the flat part of your hand to loosen the cloves from the head. Take each clove and smash with the flat part of the knife with the flat part of your hand. Remove the outer skin and smash it again. Then dice and mince the garlic into small pieces.

Can you use garlic powder instead? You can use garlic powder in your garlic butter noodles but it won’t carry the same kick and authentic taste.

Storing Info + Side Ideas

I can’t tell you enough how much we love these noodles. My husband kept going back for more and more! So if you have leftovers store them in your refrigerator for up t0 3-5 days in an airtight container!

What to pair with this?

  • Bone-in chicken breast
  • Grilled flank steak
  • Chimichurri chicken

I hope you’ll fall in love with this dish- I know our family did! Pasta, butter, garlic, salt, pepper and cheese… that’s a hard-to-beat combo! Enjoy 🙂


6-8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

You’re going to fall in love with this dish! These quick & easy butter garlic noodles are crazy flavorful and come together in under 30 minutes.


  • 1 lb. pasta (whole wheat or regular)
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter OR 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ c. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1-2 tbsp. freshly parsley, chopped (optional)


  1. In a large stock pot full of salted water, cook pasta according to package’s directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium low heat, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the minced garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes or until translucent and fragrant. Do not brown the garlic! Add the salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
  3. Drain the pasta, return to the large stockpot. Pour the garlic-butter sauce over top, stir to combine. Allow the pasta to rest for 3-4 minutes so that it can absorb some of the sauce. Serve and garnish with cheeses and parsley (if desired).

All images and text ©Life Made Simple.


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