Garlic Parmesan Pasta (One Pot Pasta)

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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

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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If you’ve made this recipe, please come back and leave us a star rating or a comment below. Or, tag us on social media @yellowblissroad or #yellowblissroad for a chance to be featured.

One Pan Garlic Parmesan Pasta

4.83 from 23 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 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 386kcal

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

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. 

Nutrition

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

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. Love love love this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing. I make this all the time and my daughter loves it. So easy and quick. I use almond milk. Going to try adding chicken and broccoli next time.

  2. can I cook this a day in advance and serve it cold or at room temperature? I want to serve it to a very large crowd?

  3. This recipe is delicious. I cooked boneless skinless chicken breast in the pot first then added fresh broccoli florets after the noodles came to a boil.

    Thank you for the great recipe!!

  4. My son and I love this dish!! Any ideas on how to adjust the recipe to use homemade noodles? I know they use much less cook time, and I wouldn’t want the dish to be have too much liquid. Thanks!

    1. Did you try this with homemade noodles? I’m wondering the same thing. I plan to add the noodles a few minutes before I’m ready for the dish, but not sure about liquid adjustments.

  5. I made this dish, as we are in a 5th wheel for a month, and anything easy sounds wonderful. The thought of making pasta without boiling, straining, and into yet another dish, etc, was something i could not pass up. i did it as it was written, plus threw in a few fresh green beans before i put in the pasta, and then chopped up some left over meat balls, cuz i had them, and was looking for a one meal dish. Wonderful as written, plus i can see the option for lots of variations. Thanks for a recipe i will use over and over…best, Danie

  6. This has become my go-to for chicken fettuccini….yes, I add chicken every time. We love it….thank you so much for sharing!

  7. I just made this for dinner at the last minute for the first time. It was amazingly good! I used campanelle shaped pasta since that’s what I owned and boiled it for 13 minutes and threw in a small amount of dried parsley. I also used lactose-free 2% milk. Wow, was it good! This is going to become a staple in my house. I’m so excited I found this recipe on Pinterest. My ultra picky 11 year old ate literally one noodle as a taste and even admitted to liking it which is a big deal. This is something I always have the ingredients for too. Thank you!

  8. I LOVE this recipe! I’ve made it about a dozen times now, always turns out great! I’ll make it as is or with chicken or shrimp or mushrooms! It’s become a fast favorite!

  9. The first time I made this recipe I followed it exactly except I used linguine noodles instead of fettuccine. I was a little unsatisfied because the noodles were kind of mushy and all stuck together. This time, I reduced the broth to 1 1/2 cups and reduced the cooking time to 15 minutes. It was perfect! So, if you are using smaller noodles such as linguine or spaghetti you will want to reduce the liquid and the cooking time. The noodles were tender but still firm and the sauce clung to the noodles.
    You can also mix up this recipe by adding whatever veggies you want to the pan when you simmer it. I added in minced onion with the garlic, and threw in some asparagus I had in my fridge when I added the noodles. It added a wonderful depth of flavor and variety of texture.

  10. I made this tonight. We added some shredded rotisserie chicken we had! Do you know what the calorie count is on this recipe? Thanks!!!

  11. in the first part of the instructions you say to cover while cooking but in the second part you don’t mention it. Do you cover it while cooking? Excited to try this! Thanks!

  12. I just made this tonight and it is delicious. It definitely does not need cream. I used 1% milk and it tasted like it was made with heavy cream. Yum. It was perfect comfort food for a cold, cold winter day.

  13. Would you add raw chicken to this recipe? If so, when? Before the garlic? Or after? Want to make this tonight for my family. Can’t wait to try something different!

    1. Definitely cook the chicken before adding it to the pasta. I haven’t tried it, but you could probably do it similar to the way other one pans on the site are cooked.

      1. I made this tonight, but i tweaked it a little. i used half & half in place of milk, browned two cut up boneless skinless chicken breasts before the garlic and when it came to simmering i added a bag of frozen broccoli florets

        1. I’m glad you left this comment! I was wondering a out adding chicken as well. Making this tonight for the first time.

          1. Raw chicken tends to leave behind the coagulated blood. Also, any juices that run out of the chicken or moisture from frozen veggies should be take into account. It might just be several tablespoons, but you’ll want to make the adjustment as not not to overcook waiting for the thickening. Also, the browning of the chicken is both delish and pleasing to the eye. And since you’ll be adding it to the pasta, you don’t need to cook it quite all the way through(unless adding it the VERY end.) Tenders cut into pieces is quick and easy. Plus the yummy bits it leaves behind will add flavor one the liquid deglazrs the pan. Good luck fellow foodies!

    1. I used Better Than Bouillon Vegetable base which you mix with water to make a vegetable broth. it turned out great! I thought it was even better than when I made it with chicken broth.

  14. We had this for dinner tonight and my oh my was it easy, delicious, and quick ! My husband and daughter absoTOOTly loved it ! :] Thank you for sharing this yummy goodness!