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Tender noodles twirled in a glistening sauce of butter, olive oil and velvety garlic, Garlic Butter Noodles are a childhood favorite – perhaps even the first dish many of us attempted on our own. A simple, comforting pasta that delivers delectable flavor and takes just 20 minutes to prepare. Serve it as a side dish or main course when you’re in need of a quick pick-me-up.
Made with just a handful of simple ingredients that I bet you have on hand, this no-fail garlic butter noodles recipe is so easy, you’ll learn it by heart. It’s rich, creamy, as cheesy as you like, and one of the most reliable recipes you could have in your repertoire.
Ingredients You Need to Make Garlic Butter Noodles
- Pasta: linguine, spaghetti or other long, slender dried pasta or wide egg noodles
- Butter: salted butter or unsalted butter
- Olive Oil: good quality extra-virgin olive oil
- Garlic: fresh garlic cloves
- Parmesan Cheese: or other hard grating cheese like Pecorino Romano or Asiago
- Fresh Parsley: ideally Italian parsley (flat leaf parsley)
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Ample fresh garlic is important, but olive oil and butter are the real stars here. Many iterations of this recipe call for just butter, but I find that using a blend of the two makes a richer, silkier sauce.
Two Key Steps
- Key step number one to getting this recipe just right is cooking your pasta to a proper al dente (firm to the bite) texture. Under- or overcooking the pasta will make a big difference because the dish is so simple. Though this recipe calls for linguine noodles, I know many have a strong preference for whatever shape of pasta they used growing up. Use your favorite variety and be sure to follow the instructions on the box closely for the best result.
- Second key step: don’t burn your garlic. This sauce comes together quickly, so keep a close eye on the garlic and reduce the heat on your stove top right away if it starts to brown. For the most luscious sauce, you want the garlic to be tender and mellow.
Make it a one-dish meal.
Perhaps the best part about this dish is that it’s endlessly customizable. It can easily be bulked up for a more filling dish by adding cooked proteins and fresh or leftover cooked vegetables. Good options are: leftover roasted or seared chicken, steamed broccoli or green beans, frozen peas, spinach, cooked shrimp, or sliced Italian sausage. You can also embellish the dish with your favorite seasonings like Cajun seasoning or an Italian spice blend. Tailor the recipe to make it your own!
Or Serve Alongside
More Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes
How to Store and Reheat
Store Garlic Butter Noodles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, gently stirring until heated through.
How to make Garlic Butter Noodles
This nostalgic family favorite is made of a simple butter-and-oil sauce that delivers every time–which is why it’s such a well-loved staple dish in so many households. Preparation is simple: cook the pasta, make the garlic butter sauce, toss, top with cheese and dig in!
Garlic Butter Noodles
- 12 ounces linguine or other long, slender dried pasta
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 large garlic cloves minced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 ounces parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook linguine according to package directions until firm to the bite (al dente), 9-13 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until sizzling. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant and slightly mellowed, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Once you've drained the pasta, set skillet with the garlic butter mixture over medium heat. Add drained, cooked pasta, 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water and parsley; toss well to coat. Cook and stir until heated through, adding more pasta water if pasta seems too dry; season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl or platter; top with grated parmesan cheese and garnish with more parsley if desired. Serve.
- Use any long, slender pasta you like for this recipe.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.