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Garlic Parmesan Pasta is light and creamy, perfect to serve as a side dish for your favorite protein or as a super simple main dish. This easy recipe is a one pot pasta with tender noodles, a cheesy, creamy garlic sauce and the best part is it’s ready in 20 minutes!

For a simple, easy meal, serve with Baked Boneless Chicken Thighs and Cheesy Garlic Bread.

Creamy Parmesan Garlic One Pan Pasta
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Garlic Parmesan Pasta

This easy recipe is an absolute family favorite. I usually serve Garlic Parmesan Pasta with Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs or Oven Baked Chicken Breasts and some Frozen Vegetables or a quick tossed salad. I’ve also been known to just whip it up for lunch because it’s such a quick recipe.

The garlic pasta sauce is creamy and tastes like an Alfredo Sauce. To lighten it up, I used half skim milk and half heavy cream. You could use any ratio of milk and cream that you like, or even no cream at all. The more cream you use, the richer the sauce will be.

The best part you can have this dish on the table in 20 minutes, depending on how you cook it. I’ve included two methods below. Enjoy!

linguine with creamy garlic sauce in a large skillet

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Uncooked linguine or fettuccine noodles – this is the type of pasta I commonly use. You could really use any pasta you like but you may have to adjust the cooking time.
  • Chicken broth (or stock) – if you don’t have broth handy, water can be used as a substitute. Just be sure to taste and add salt as needed.
  • Salt and pepper – you can also add 1/4-½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning, dried oregano, or basil for additional seasoning.
  • 1 cup milk/cream – use any ratio of milk to cream, or use half and half.
  • Parmesan cheese – freshly grated off the block
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish

Step by Step Instructions

* Be sure to see the recipe card below for the
complete list of ingredients and full instructions *

  1. Saute garlic in a 12-inch skillet. Garlic cooks quickly, so you’ll only want to cook it for about a minute.
  2. Add the pasta, salt, pepper, butter, chicken stock, and milk/cream to the skillet. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. It’s hard to stir long, uncooked noodles, so using tongs works great to help toss them around in the sauce.
  3. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is cooked to al dente. You can also cook the pasta with the lid off at a higher heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes for an even quicker dish.
  4. Turn off the heat and toss the cooked pasta in the sauce. Add Parmesan cheese evenly over the top of the pasta, tossing with tongs to get it well incorporated and melted. Garnish with parsley and serve.
One Pan Garlic Parmesan Pasta cooking in a large skillet
One Pan Garlic Parmesan Pasta being stirred together with tongs

Expert Tips and FAQs

  • When the pasta is cooked there should still be just a little liquid left in the pan. As you stir in the Parmesan cheese this liquid will help to create the creamy sauce.
  • Add the Parmesan gradually and in a thin layer evenly across the top of the pasta, then gently toss to melt and coat the pasta. Do this in batches if necessary to ensure the cheese doesn’t clump as it melts.
  • I will sometimes grate the block of cheese right into the pasta, tossing as I go, to avoid clumping.
  • Always use fresh, grated off-the-block Parmesan. The pre-grated and pre-shredded won’t melt and you’ll end up with a grainy sauce.
  • If your pasta sauce is too thick, just add a few splashes of milk or cream at a time. Toss with each addition until your desired consistency is reached.
  • For an extra creamy sauce, or if you need to thicken your sauce, add a couple ounces of softened cream cheese.
garlic parmesan linguine in a large skillet with parsley

What to serve with Garlic Parmesan Pasta

Storage and Reheating

Storage: Once pasta is cooled and within 2 hours of cooking, store leftover garlic parmesan pasta in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

To reheat: You can reheat your pasta in the microwave or on the stovetop in a skillet (recommended). Before heating, add a splash of milk to help the sauce bind together, and reheat gradually and at a low temperature for best results.

A pot of linguine with garlic parmesan sauce, tongs

More One Pot Pasta Recipes You’ll Love

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Recipe

One Pan Garlic Parmesan Pasta

4.82 from 27 votes
Garlic Parmesan Pasta is a light and creamy side dish or a super simple main dish. Plus it's all made in one pot and ready in 20 minutes!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic about 3-4 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces uncooked linguine noodles
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup warmed milk/cream (I use half nonfat milk and half heavy cream use any ratio of milk-cream and warm for 30 seconds in the microwave.
  • 1/2 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese off the block
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley, for garnish
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Instructions
 

  • In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat olive oil and add garlic. Stir and cook until garlic becomes fragrant and just starts to brown; about 1 minute. Add pasta, salt, pepper, butter, chicken stock and milk/cream. Stir and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until pasta is tender. OR cook and stir constantly for about 10 minutes for a quicker finish.
  • Remove from heat, toss pasta, and gradually stir in Parmesan Cheese. *Pro-tip – I use a microplane and grate right over the pasta.
  • Garnish with fresh minced parsley, if desired.

Notes

This recipe serves 4 people as a side dish and can easily be doubled to serve 4 people as a meal. The ingredients can be doubled, but you may only need to adjust the cooking time slightly.
Use any pasta you like, linguine, fettuccine, rotini. You may need to adjust the cooking time based on the pasta chosen. 
If your sauce is too thick, add a few splashes of warm milk and toss. Add more as needed until desired consistency is reached. 
For a thicker, creamier sauce, add a few ounces of full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. 
Keyword garlic parmesan pasta

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 17gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 606mgPotassium: 354mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 399IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 249mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Kat's Mom says:

    I added some cooked carrot “coins” for some color and nutrition. Also sprinkled on some Italian herbs and served it with Italian sausage links (cooked separately with onion petals). Outside of it being slightly greasy, the pasta was very good. It is excellent with Crystal hot sauce.

    Thanks!

  2. Karen Hintz says:

    This was simply delicious. I made it to go with some flounder filets I’m baking for tonight’s dinner.
    Thanks for a fast and tasty recipe.

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Karen! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Becky says:

    My whole family loves this lighter recipe!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Becky.

  4. Diana says:

    This recipe is astonishingly good for how simple it is! It has become a family favorite!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Diana.

  5. Heather says:

    super simple and easy to make, my kids love this. I made this a few times and sometimes add a small handful of frozen peas.

    1. Kristin says:

      Love the feedback Heather! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Jeanne Nepper says:

    Made it for supper tonight. Delicious! And so easy to make. Definitely making this often.

    1. Kristin says:

      Love the feedback Jeanne! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Emmie76 says:

    I was wondering if this could be done in a slow cooker, and if so, how would I adjust the time to make sure that the pasta comes out ok??

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi – I don’t think this is something I’d try in the slow cooker. Milk is kind of iffy at that heat. It really only takes 20 minutes on the stove.

  8. Jus says:

    Super easy, super awesome! I’ve actually been making this a while now and realized I never left a review. This recipe more than deserves one 🙂

    1. Kristin says:

      Love the feedback Jus! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Sally Roth says:

    I was very surprised at how quick this was to make…and I used fine egg noodles, which cook in 5 minutes…
    And it was so good!

    1. Kristin says:

      Love the feedback Sally! Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Sharon Collins says:

    First time making this.. It was delicious… Thanks for the recipe..

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Sharon! Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Amy says:

    Very good! I am making for the second time in 3 days. So simple and ingredients we always have on hand. Going to teach my kids this one!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Fantastic feedback Amy! Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Blanche says:

    I am reading this recipe and wondering does it ask for 1 cup of milk and 1 cup or cream or just one cup total. Recipe just says 1 cup milk/cream.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Blanche, I explained that in the ingredients list, right after the measurement. You need 1 cup total, and any combo of milk and cream.

  13. Shannon says:

    This is one of our favorites! I double the recipe, but would still like more sauce. What is the best way to make it saucier? More milk/cream and broth? Thanks!

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Shannon, because this is intended to be a one pan meal, it’s tough to adjust for more sauce. I recommend trying our Creamy Homemade Alfredo Sauce. It’s similar in flavor and you could add more garlic if you want.

  14. Janis pugliese says:

    Can you use half n half instead of heavy cream want to make tonight but don’t have the heavy cream?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Yes, you can use any combination of milk/cream and half & half will work.

  15. Marianne says:

    Just finished this recipe and it is lovely and couldn’t have been any easier!! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Marianne! Thanks for stopping by.

  16. Brenda says:

    Sorry-forgot this is 5 stars!!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you so much for the 5 stars Brenda.

  17. Brenda says:

    Made this tonight to go with baked chicken. It was great! My husband loved it! Thank you for a wonderful recipe. ❤️

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Brenda! Thanks for stopping by.

  18. amanda says:

    This recipe is downright INCREDIBLE. I always toss in a different protein/veg combo every time and its ALWAYS a hit! I never comment on recipe sites but I had to for this one. It is amazing!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback! Thank you Amanda!

  19. Victoria Outman says:

    Made this for dinner!! I didn’t have linguine noodles so I used angel hair and a little extra cheese. Its phenomenal

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Victoria.

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