This Garlic Parsley Pasta is a delicious, easy-to-make dish perfect for any occasion. Whether you're looking for a quick meal after a long day at work or something special to serve as a side at a dinner party, this recipe will deliver.
Not only is it full of flavor, but it's also quick and easy. You'll have a delicious meal with just a few simple ingredients in no time.
You can serve it as a main with a side salad or as a side to some chicken breasts or a seared steak. Mix it up and add some veg or add your favorite protein.
This is a simple pasta recipe! But it is so delicious! It is one of my go-to dishes when I need something to eat, and I don't have time to think. Pasta, butter, olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper are all you will need to create a fantastic dinner! You can add some cheese or chili, they'll be amazing, but as written, it is delish!
Why You'll Love This Garlic Parsley Pasta
- It is a quick and easy dinner idea.
- It works as a main or a side dish.
- You'll already have most of the ingredients at home.
- It is easy to adapt to suit what you have available.
These notes are here to help make this recipe a success; they cover some but not all ingredients; for a complete ingredient list, check out the recipe card below.
Pasta: I always use long pasta noodles for this recipe, but it will work with any shape you like. `Egg pasta is especially lovely with this simple sauce.
Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter. Just adjust the seasoning of your final dish accordingly.
Garlic: There are 6 cloves in this garlic parsley pasta; it mellows as it cooks in the butter. But as I always say, garlic should be measured by the heart, so add more or less as you prefer.
Parsley: The parsley here is an ingredient rather than a garnish, so you really do need to use fresh parsley. I prefer Italian flat-leaf parsley, but you can use curly parsley, but half the quantity.
We've tested this recipe at least 3 times to ensure it works well for you, have a look at our tips for getting the best dish you can!
- Place the water onto boil for the pasta before you prepare any other ingredients. This is the longest step (unless you have an electric kettle).
- Please don't skip the salting of the pasta water; it makes so much difference to the taste of the finished dish.
- If you thinly slice the garlic, it is less likely to burn than minced garlic.
- Before you drain the pasta, reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid. This helps combine the simple sauce and allows it to coat the pasta.
- After you have drained the pasta, it is mixed with the sauce and some reserved cooking water. This step gives you a dish where each strand of pasta is coated in sauced rather than just having a pool of sauce at the bottom of the bowl.
These are all just suggestions and things that have worked in our test kitchen, but it is your dinner, so adapt it to suit your family. That is the beauty of cooking; we can all create our own delicious meals.
- Add Protein: Add meat or seafood to the pasta. If you have leftover cooked chicken, pork shrimp, steak, or salmon, add them to the garlic parsley butter sauce before adding it to the pasta. Or if you are cooking your protein to add to the pasta, cook it in the skillet before you start the sauce, and set it aside, tented with foil. You can add it back when you mix the pasta and sauce.
- Add Vegetables: Vegetables like asparagus, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, or beans are all delicious additions. Blanch them in the pasta cooking water for 2 minutes, then add to the finished dish when you mix the sauce and pasta.
- Cheese: Top your finished pasta with parmesan or creamy goat cheese. Or add some chopped baby mozzarella balls or some crumbled ricotta.
- Pangratatto: Adding toasted breadcrumbs to pasta gives it a crunchy, crispy texture. I'll be posting a variety of pangratatto recipes soon.
We will often make this garlic parsley pasta as a main and just add a couple of quick and easy sides to complete the dinner:
- Simple Green Salad
- Garlic Green Beans
- Chili Sugar Snaps
- Kale and Bacon
- Tomato Salad
- Fig, Ricotta and Prosciutto salad
But pasta makes a great side, so you can serve it along side these mains:
- One Pan Garlic Butter Chicken
- One Pan Creamy Garlic Chicken
- Italian Chicken Breasts
- Seared Lemon Paprika Garlic Butter Scallops
- Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes
Wine suggestions: I would choose a crisp sparkling wine like a Prosecco. Or pick a dry white like Vermentino, Albariño, or a young Marsanne.
Or a French rose is perfect for balancing the garlic in the sauce.
If you make this Garlic Parsley Pasta, don't forget to come back and comment. You can also tag me on social media @sprinklesandsprouts
Any questions about the recipe? Use the comments section below.
Garlic Parsley Pasta
For the Pasta
- 12 oz pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt
For the sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- salt and black pepper
Cook the pasta
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, add the salt and pasta.1 tablespoon salt12 oz pasta
- Cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the packet suggests.
- Reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta. Return it to the pan.
While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce
- Melt the butter over low heat in a small skillet.3 tablespoons butter
- Add the garlic to the butter and cook it over very low heat for 4-5 minutes. Don't let the garlic color.6 cloves garlic
- Add the olive oil and parsley to the butter and remove from the heat.3 tablespoons olive oil3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Pour the garlic parsley sauce over the pasta with ⅔ cup of the cooking water; use tongs to twist and mix the pasta into the sauce.
- Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes until everything is well coated, and the pasta is cooked to your liking. Add more pasta cooking water if needed.
- Season to taste and serve.salt and black pepper
Wow! This is such a simple recipe but it packs so much flavor! I made a batch of homemade fresh pasta and added some chopped chives along with the parsley. It was satisfying enough to be our whole meal. Nothing else needed.
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts says
I bet the chives added a great flavor 🙂
Amanda Dixon says
We had some friends over last night. I made this pasta, and it was perfect! Since it was a weekday, I wanted something that was quick and easy but still tasted gourmet. Totally fit the bill. I'll definitely keep this recipe handy.
I would never have thought to make parsley the star of the show, but she was a star nonetheless! This pasta was easy and delicious! I served it with leftover roasted chicken for an easy meal.
So simple and delicious! I used linguine because that's what I had and it turned out perfectly. The pasta water makes all the difference!
Love how easy this recipe is. It's delicious and perfect for busy nights when you need to throw to something together quickly.
JENNIFER R OSBORN says
Ok, you're too good at recipe developing. This pasta turned out wonderfully as do all your other dishes I've made.
And now? I'm getting a little too much junk in my trunk from these great recipes!
Now this may be the simplest pasta recipe I've seen in ages. Adding it to my "it's 5:30 and I don't have anything prepped for dinner" list!
I am a pasta lover, this pasta with garlic and parsley was a hit! Simple, easy and delicious! I added a little red pepper for a spicy touch.
This is a delicious and easy pasta recipe. My family loved it. Thank you.
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts says
Oh I am so happy you enjoyed it, it is a quick favourite of mine!