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Buttered Noodles For One

Buttered noodles are the ultimate pasta pleasure! Cooked pasta tossed with melted butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Simple yet so satisfying!

Spaghetti noodles topped with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley in a bowl next to a fork on a metal tray

It's easy to make these delicious buttered noodles in under 30 minutes! Pasta is always a simple and super satisfying meal, especially when you're hungry and want to get dinner on the table in a hurry. Yes, pasta always comes to the rescue and a package is almost always in my pantry for this very reason.

If you believe that a good pasta needs a hearty sauce, think again. Simple melted butter, a few pieces of crispy cooked garlic, and a spoonful or two of salty grated Parmesan cheese is all it takes to elevate this pantry staple into a wonderfully indulgent meal. Yes, buttered noodles are a real pleasure - almost like dessert for dinner.

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This buttered noodles recipe features warm cooked pasta that is mixed with melted butter and garlic, Parmesan cheese, and just a little bit of salt and black pepper. This simple dish is so incredibly delicious and takes just minutes to make.

Buttered noodles make an excellent main dish but can also be a wonderful side dish to serve along with meatloaf or chicken.

This single serving buttered noodles recipe calls for using about 2 ounces of dry pasta. You can use any type of pasta you have. If you don't have a kitchen scale, two ounces of spaghetti is about three-quarters of an inch in diameter (about 2 centimeters).

If you use elbow macaroni or a dry pasta of similar size, 2 ounces is about 1/2 cup.

Pasta twirled on a fork from a bowl of pasta topped with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley

How To Make Buttered Noodles

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pasta water; drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a medium sized skillet; add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cooked pasta and the pasta water. Stir until the the pasta is completely coated with the butter. Add the Parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Add additional butter, Parmesan, salt and pepper to suit your tastes.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients left over from this buttered noodles recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

What To Serve With Buttered Noodles

An overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti noodles topped with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley next to a fork, a block of parmesan, and a cheese grater all on a metal tray

How To Cook Perfect Pasta

  • Do not use a pot that is too small. You want to use a pot that leaves plenty of room for the pasta to expand as it cooks. The noodles need to be able to move freely. When pasta is added to the boiling water, it brings the temperature down - you want the water to come back to a boil quickly. For this buttered noodles recipe, I use a 2-quart saucepan.
  • Remember to salt the water. Many years ago, I was told to "salt the water like the sea", and it's a good rule to follow. The pasta doesn't actually absorb all the salt, it just helps to flavor the noodles a bit. When making a single serving of noodles, I add between 1/4 and 1/2 of a teaspoon of salt to the water.
  • Do not add the pasta to the water until the water comes to a full, rolling boil. If you add the pasta too soon, the pasta sits in water that is not hot enough and the noodles get gummy and sticky.
  • Stir the pasta as soon as you put it into the pot. This prevents the pasta noodles from sticking together or from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Always stir occasionally during the cooking process.
  • Drain but don't rinse the pasta. Rinsing will bring the temperature of the pasta down which you don't want, especially if you want to eat it hot. Also, rinsing the pasta removes the starch which helps the buttery sauce cling to the noodles.

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buttered noodles in a bowl.

Buttered Noodles For One

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: pasta
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 358kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 2 ounces dry spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic ,sliced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta. Cook for 5 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium sized pan over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the garlic begins to brown slightly. Remove from heat.
  • Add the pasta and the pasta water to the pan. Using a tong or a fork toss the pasta with the butter until the noodles are well coated. Add Parmesan and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 257mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 436IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 111mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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