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Garlic Parmesan Pasta (One Pot!)

This creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta is easy to make at home in one pot! Angel hair pasta cooks in a flavorful buttery cream sauce in just 10 minutes. Pair this with chicken, steak, or shrimp for a delicious meal that your family will love!

 Serve this with Creamy Garlic Shrimp or Creamy Lemon Chicken and a side of my Garlic Bread with Cheese!

A skillet filled with creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta topped with Parsley

Garlic Parmesan Pasta

This recipe is a GEM in our house. Even my super picky four year old loves this pasta. (I mean what kid can really say no to buttery pasta noodles?)

If you’re looking for something great to pair this with, I recommend my chicken piccata or creamy lemon chicken for that! 

What’s great about this meal is that it takes 20 minutes from beginning to end, prep work and all. Set a timer, I kid you not! Nothing beats a 30 minute meal (or less) that you can rely on.

How to Make it

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, cook for one minute. Then add the chicken broth

A skillet with garlic and butter with chicken broth to make Garlic Parmesan Pasta

Stir in the milk. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the pasta. 

A skillet with cream and pasta being added to make Garlic Parmesan Pasta

You will eventually be able to twist the pasta into the pan as it heats up. Kitchen tongs work well for this.

Angel hair pasta being added to cream sauce for Garlic Parmesan Pasta

Let the pasta cook for 4-5 minutes. Once the pasta is done, reduce heat to low.  Add 1 tbsp butter and toss to coat. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese into the sauce and stir to combine. It will thicken upon standing.

Finishing creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta in a skillet.

The Trick to Extra Creamy Sauce

  • Purchase a block of high-quality Parmesan cheese. Always shred the cheese yourself, it will taste and melt much better.  I use Belgioioso Parmesan cheese. Note that cheese that is very aged will not melt as well. 
  • Turn off the heat before adding the cheese, if the base is too hot, the dairy will separate and you’ll have a grainy consistency instead of creamy.
  • Add the cheese gradually as opposed to all at once. Stir it continuously as it’s added.

Using Spaghetti Instead of Angel Hair

If you prefer to use regular spaghetti: Add an extra 1/2 cup of chicken broth, an extra 1/2 cup of milk, and up to 1/3 cup more cheese. You’ll need about 12-15 minutes of cooking time, refer to the package for guidance on how much time is needed to cook the pasta.


What to Serve with Garlic Parmesan Pasta

Storing Leftovers

  • Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • You can also freeze it and store it for up to 3 months.

Garlic Parmesan Pasta in a skillet topped with parsley.

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Garlic Parmesan Pasta in a skillet with kitchen tongs topped with parsley.

Garlic Parmesan Pasta (One Pot!)

4.95 from 96 ratings
This creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta is easy to make at home in one pot! Angel hair pasta cooks in a flavorful buttery cream sauce in just 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta
  • Fresh Parsley, to garnish

Optional seasonings: ¼ tsp of each: onion powder, oregano, thyme, parsley, pepper.

    Instructions

    • Note: Angel hair cooks very quickly. Refer to the time on package and set a timer to avoid overcooking, as overcooked noodles become clumpy.
    • Grate the Parmesan cheese and set it aside to allow it to get to room temperature.
    • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
    • Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Add the chicken broth and optional seasoning mix. Slowly add the milk, stirring as you do so. Bring to a boil.
    • Add the pasta noodles. You can break them in half for a better fit, or allow them to heat and use kitchen tongs to twist them into the skillet as they soften.
    • Let the pasta simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the noodles don't stick together. Reduce heat to low.
    • Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the warm pasta and toss to coat.
    • Gradually sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese, stirring as you do so, until smooth and well-combined. Note: The sauce will be thin at first but will thicken nicely upon standing. The pasta will continue to absorb more of the sauce as well.
    • Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with Garlic Bread with Cheese!

    Notes

    Pro Tips:
    • Make sure the liquid is boiling when the pasta is added for the right consistency.
    • The video shows this being made with half and half. I tend to use milk now, as the sauce ends up thickening up just a tad more than I would like with half and half, but I have successfully made it with either one! 🙂 
    • Purchase a block of high-quality Parmesan cheese. Always shred the cheese yourself, it will taste and melt much better.  I use Belgioioso Parmesan cheese. Note that cheese that is very aged will not melt as well. 
    • Turn off the heat before adding the cheese, if the base is too hot, the dairy will separate and you'll have a grainy consistency instead of creamy.
    • Add the cheese gradually as opposed to all at once. Stir it continuously as it's added.
    • Adding Chicken: If you'd like to add chicken to this, try my Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken! It's like an amped up version of this recipe!

    If you prefer to use regular spaghetti: Add an extra 1/2 cup of chicken broth, an extra 1/2 cup of milk, and up to 1/3 cup more cheese. You'll need about 12-15 minutes of cooking time, refer to the package for guidance on how much time is needed to cook the pasta.

    Serve this with:

    Nutritional information is an estimate and is per serving. There are 4 servings in this recipe.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 382kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 735mg, Potassium: 327mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 461IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 244mg, Iron: 1mg
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    272 comments on “Garlic Parmesan Pasta (One Pot!)”

    1. Will Almond milk work?  I tried making this and it didn’t thicken. I mistakenly bought whipping cream vs half and half. I didn’t use milk either because we only drink almond milk. I’ll try again. I also reread the recipe and realized the broth wasn’t boiling completely before I added pasta. Ugh!!  I was looking forward to this dish. 

      Mistakes Melanie. 

      • Hi Melanie! I’m thinking that part of the reason that this didn’t thicken fully was due to a full boil not being reached, it likely didn’t reduce enough. However using whipping cream should have made it thicker so I’m a little puzzled about that. It makes me hesitant to suggest that you use almond milk, as that’s a lot thinner than what you used. I would go with half and half next time, and make sure the liquid is boiling for the pasta to cook properly. ❤️

    2. Thanx for the tips

    3. Could I use skim milk and Margarine? 

    4. Very good, and so easy!

    5. I have made this recipe twice – once as written and another tonight with some improvisation. Both times it turned out fantastic. Tonight, I used up a mixed box of leftover penne noodles and shells. I followed the added note and upped the chicken broth and milk by a half cup each. I only needed to add an extra half cup of chicken broth to finish off the noodles. I had a little less than a half cup of Parmesan cheese, but it still wound up great! This is my number one go to when I am craving garlic Parm noodles!

    6. I made and when the water and milk came to a boil, it curdled the milk. I thought it might have been bad milk so I started over with a fresh gallon and it did the same thing. Any ideas as to why this is happening? 

      • Hi Whitney- I’m curious why you’re using water as the recipe calls for chicken broth? As far as the curdling, dairy curdles when it goes from very cold to very hot. Make sure you’re adding it slowly, stirring continuously, and that the pot isn’t already super hot when you add it. You can also temper it (warm it up) in the microwave first to avoid that temperature shock! 🙂

        • I am sorry, I meant to say chicken broth. And I was adding the milk slowly. It is happening post coming to a boil. I might have to try it again and make sure the pan isn’t too hot before adding. Thank you. 

        • Hi Whitney! Perhaps try to boil it a little less aggressively? And as you said, make sure the milk is fresh! 🙂 You’ll get it!

    7. The comments were turned off on Pinterest so I came to the source because I had to rave about how fantastic this recipe was! Not only is it one pot and super easy to make but it is delicious, everyone came back for seconds!

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