Garlic Butter Pasta

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 20 min.


4 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
This garlic butter pasta goes nicely with any entree. Guests always leave a spot for it on their plates. It's great hot or served cold with fresh herbs from my garden. —Stephanie Moon, Boise, Idaho.
Garlic Butter Pasta Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 cups uncooked small pasta shells, alphabet pasta or ring macaroni
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook garlic in butter over medium-low heat until mixture is fragrant, 4-5 minutes; remove from heat. Drain pasta; add to garlic butter. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper; toss to coat.
Garlic Butter Pasta Tips

What's the best type of pasta for garlic butter sauce?

For garlic butter sauce, we recommend using these pasta shapes: Small pasta shells, alphabet noodles or ring macaroni.

Should you use salted or unsalted butter for garlic butter pasta sauce?

You can use salted or unsalted butter for this pasta sauce. It truly comes down to your personal preference! Learn about the difference between salted and unsalted butter.

How do you thicken a garlic butter pasta sauce?

To thicken garlic butter pasta sauce, add a little bit more butter. Or, try using one of these other sauce thickeners.

How do you avoid burning garlic butter sauce?

When making the garlic butter sauce, be sure to keep the heat low, constantly stirring the minced garlic so it doesn't sit too long in contact with the bottom of the pan. Garlic that is burnt or overcooked can taste bitter and unpleasant, so constant stirring should safeguard against that. It should also keep the butter solids from overheating and burning.

What else can you add to garlic butter pasta?

We recommend adding fresh herbs, like parsley, on top of your garlic butter pasta. And plenty of cheese, of course!

How do you reheat garlic butter pasta?

Garlic butter pasta can be reheated in the microwave or in an oven-safe casserole dish in a low temperature oven. To make the pasta nice and creamy again, consider adding just a little bit more butter or a splash of olive oil before reheating. Here are more tips on how to reheat pasta for best results.

What can you serve with garlic butter pasta?

Garlic butter pasta makes a beautiful meal with a simple Italian salad and grilled chicken breast.

How long can you store garlic butter sauce?

Garlic butter sauce (without the pasta added) can be kept in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Christina Herbst, Taste of Home Social Media Editor, and Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 401 calories, 25g fat (15g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 425mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 2g fiber), 8g protein.