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This garlic butter noodles recipe is fast, easy, and bursting with flavor! This crowd pleasing pasta comes together in 20 minutes.

Garlic Butter Noodles
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Here’s one of those “back pocket” recipes to bookmark for when you’re short on time: Garlic Butter Noodles! This easy pasta uses mostly pantry ingredients and is quick and simple to whip up in just 20 minutes. Take a bite from this pile of warm, buttery pasta and it’s pure bliss! This one works for both kids and adults: it’s both sophisticated and elegant yet at the same time buttery and savory (as long as your kid loves garlic, which ours does in spades!).

6 ingredients in garlic butter noodles

OK, let’s say you have just minutes to whip up dinner and you’re low on grocery ingredients. Maybe it’s the end of the week, you’re just back from traveling, or you haven’t had time to think about dinner. Garlic butter noodles to the rescue! This recipe has just 6 ingredients (plus salt) and comes together in 20 minutes. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Garlic
  • Salted butter
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Lemon zest (optional)
  • Fresh or dried parsley
  • Kosher salt

If you don’t have any fresh ingredients, dried parsley flakes work in a pinch! Lemon zest adds a fresh punch to the flavor, but it’s not required if you don’t have a lemon on hand. Tip: Lemons stored in the refrigerator can last up to 1 month!

Garlic butter noodles

How to cook pasta to al dente

The best way to make garlic noodles that taste incredible? Cook the pasta to al dente! Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian. Most chefs agree that al dente is when pasta is tender with a small white speck inside when you bite into a piece. Here are a few tips for the perfect al dente pasta:

  • Boil the pasta a few minutes less than indicated on the package instructions. Often the package makes for overcooked pasta.
  • Start taste testing early. Start taste testing and stop cooking when the pasta is just tender but you can still see a small white speck inside.

Tips for garlic butter noodles

Garlic butter noodles are simple to put together, with only a few things to note about the method! Here are a few tips for this recipe:

  • Mince the garlic very finely. It brings a pungent and irresistible flavor to this pasta. Don’t know the best way? Here’s how to mince garlic quickly and efficiently!
  • Remove the garlic from the heat after sauteing. You’ll sauté the garlic with the butter, then set it aside until the noodles are done. Don’t leave it on the heat, or it will continue to cook and may become too browned!
  • Save out the pasta water! When you’re draining the pasta, don’t forget to save out a bit of the water. This starchy liquid helps to make the buttery pan sauce.

Notes on serving size

This garlic butter noodles uses 8 ounces pasta for the recipe, which is enough for 4 modest servings. However if you eat this pasta as a main dish, you may find it makes more like 2 to 3 servings. As a side dish, it can work for 4 to even 6 servings.

If you’re making it as a main dish, feel free to double the recipe if desired. To make it easy, click the 2X recipe button below!

Leftovers and storage info

These garlic butter noodles taste the best the day they are made, fresh from the skillet! We don’t suggest making them ahead, but you can store leftovers and enjoy them for a few days.

Store leftovers for up to 3 days refrigerated. Reheat on the stovetop until they are warm, adding a few more pinches of salt (often pasta loses its saltiness during storage).

Garlic butter noodles

More easy recipes

This garlic butter noodles recipe is quick and simple, starring a short list of ingredients and a speedy cooking technique! Here are a few more fast recipes for when you need a quick fix:

This garlic butter noodles recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta. For vegan, use vegan butter.

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Garlic Butter Noodles

Easy Garlic Butter Noodles

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This garlic butter noodles recipe is fast, easy, and bursting with flavor! This crowd pleasing pasta comes together in 20 minutes.


  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley (use dried in a pinch)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for pasta water and to taste


  1. Start a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil until al dente (check a few minutes before the package instructions indicate). Reserve about ½ cup pasta water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Toss with a little olive oil if the sauce is not yet ready.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant and garlic just starts to turn golden. Remove from the heat before garlic browns (watch carefully because it can brown quickly!). Reserve until the pasta is ready.
  3. In the skillet, toss the drained pasta, grated Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, parsley, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and just enough pasta water until saucy (start with 2 to 3 tablespoons). Taste again and add a few more pinches of salt if desired. Enjoy warm. Leftovers store up to 3 days refrigerated; re-warm in a skillet and add a few pinches of salt if desired.
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Hikmat says:

    Wow seeing this website can change my diet and it’s tasty

  2. Elegant notions says:

    Garlic butter noodles are always delicious to eat when it Comes to taste and you want to make some easy food in less time it fills your belly quickly your research related to the recipe is commendable and it tells all the calories and nutritions it involves which everyone should know to track their health on daily basis definately give it a try…

  3. Nancy Cansler says:

    Are your recipes diabetic friendly?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We aren’t able to provide nutritional advice, sorry!