The Cozy Cook

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 Chicken Piccata 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?) She even likes this with chicken. (Not chicken nuggets, actual chicken.) Something about pairing this pasta with chicken works for her. Personally, I recommend my chicken piccata or creamy lemon chicken for that!

What’s even better about this, 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.

Ingredients

The bottom of this post also contains recipe card with ingredients and full instructions.

  • Chicken Broth
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan Cheese– Grated into a fine powder from a block.
  • Angel Hair Pasta- See below about substituting spaghetti
  • Half and Half– Can sub whole milk, don’t let it get too hot or it can curdle.
  • Milk- any kind
  • Fresh Parsley, to garnish

Optional Seasoning to add when you add the chicken broth: ¼ tsp of each: [onion powder, oregano, thyme, parsley, pepper.]

Adding Lemon (Optional): 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, mixed in at the end once the pasta is finished and removed from the heat.

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 half and half. Bring the liquid to a gentle 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. If the liquid begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium-low. Once the pasta is done, turn off the heat. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese into the sauce and stir to combine. It will thicken upon standing.

Note: If the consistency becomes thicker than your liking or if you need to loosen up the noodles, add up to 1/2 cup milk, splashes at a time, until your desired consistency is obtained.

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.
  • 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.
  • Warm milk can also be added to the sauce to thin it out a little bit if needed, especially if refrigerating and reheating.

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 half and half, and up to 1/2 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!)

4.97 from 27 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
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half*
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta,, (equal to 1/2 lb.)
  • Fresh Parsley, to garnish

Optional Seasoning to add when you add the chicken broth: ¼ tsp of each: [onion powder, oregano, thyme, parsley, pepper.]

    Instructions

    • Grate the Parmesan cheese and set it aside to allow it to get to room temperature.
    • Melt the 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 half and half, stirring as you do so. Bring to a gentle 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. If the liquid starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium-low. Remove from the heat.
    • 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!
    • Note: If the consistency becomes thicker than your liking or if you need to loosen up the noodles, add up to 1/2 cup milk, splashes at a time, until your desired consistency is obtained.

    Notes

    If you prefer to use regular spaghetti: Add an extra 1/2 cup of chicken broth, an extra 1/2 cup of half and half, and up to 1/2 cup more cheese. Increase the simmering time based on the instructions on the package.

    *Milk can be used instead of half and half, but make sure the base is warm (not hot), when you add it to avoid curdling. Warming the milk in the microwave first will also help prevent curdling. Whole milk works best.
    **Warm milk can also be added to the sauce to thin it out a little bit if needed, especially if refrigerating and reheating.

    Optional Additions

    Nutrition

    Calories: 430kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 627mg, Potassium: 336mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 574IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 244mg, Iron: 1mg

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    74 comments on “Garlic Parmesan Pasta (One Pot!)”

    1. Can I use shredded parmesan instead of grated?

      • That should be just fine, if possible, if should be freshly shredded from a block. Packaged shredded cheese contains cellulose which prevents it from clumping together, but also doesn’t allow it to melt as well.

    2. My family lived this. I added a little chili flakes and shrimp the last 4 min. Served with salad and garlic toast. My family said this is a keeper.

    3. Making this tonight. I am using GF spaghetti so I am going to increase the liquids by 1/2 cup. This recipe looks delicous.

    4. Hi
      Your recipe looks amazing! I’m from Australia so not sure what half and half is? Is it cooking cream blended with milk?
      Thanks 

    5. Would fat free Half and Half curdle in this recipe?

    6. Would linguine work?

      • Hi Mary, the liquid in this recipe is designed for using angel hair, so you’d want to increase the chicken broth for linguine. I haven’t tried this recipe with that before so I’m not sure exactly how much extra you would need!

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