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When you’re craving something scrumptious but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, Buttered Noodles are your go-to dish. We’re talking about tender pasta wrapped in a velvety blanket of melted butter, a touch of garlic, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. In just one pot, you’ll create a dish that’s comfort food at its finest.

Explore a few of our quick and delightful single serving pasta dishes: creamy Pasta Carbonara, herby Pesto Pasta, zesty Pasta al Limone, and classic Spaghetti and Meatballs. Each is a flavorful and easy choice.

Why You’ll Love This Buttered Noodles Recipe

  • Simplicity: No intricate steps or complex ingredients, making it perfect for quick meals or a late-night snack.
  • Versatility: This recipe can be customized to your liking, suiting varied palates and dietary restrictions.
  • Minimal Ingredients: You only need four basic ingredients: pasta (or spaghetti), garlic, butter, and parmesan cheese.
  • Recipe Doubles Well: This single serving of buttered noodles will make an excellent main dish but can also be a wonderful side dish to serve along with Meatloaf or chicken recipes like Chicken Margherita. If you’d like to make extra, just double the ingredient amounts.

Ingredients

buttered noodles ingredients on a wooden cutting board in a kitchen.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this buttered noodles recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Pasta: For this single serving recipe, you’ll need 2 ounces of dry pasta. While spaghetti is the go-to, feel free to swap it out with your favorite—elbow macaroni, fettuccine, or even egg noodles work great. If you’re measuring without a scale, here’s a quick guide: 2 ounces of spaghetti is roughly a bunch with a 3/4-inch diameter, while for elbow macaroni, it’s about 1/2 cup. Opt for whole grain or chickpea pasta for a healthful twist. Consider using leftover pasta in Chicken Tetrazzini or Caprese Pasta.
  • Butter: Salted butter brings a rich, creamy texture and adds depth of flavor. If you’re watching your sodium intake or just prefer more control over seasoning, go with unsalted butter. You can also switch to olive oil or another cooking oil if you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative. Adjust seasoning by adding more salt or Parmesan, as needed.
  • Garlic: To elevate the flavor profile, we’re adding 1 or 2 cloves of freshly minced garlic. If you’re a garlic aficionado, feel free to add more to suit your taste. Should you run out of fresh garlic, garlic powder makes an easy and quick substitute.
  • Parmesan Cheese: For that beautiful melt and an added layer of flavor, freshly grated Parmesan cheese is the way to go. Pre-packaged or jarred variants are convenient but might not melt as seamlessly into your dish.

Scroll down to get the complete recipe details and prepare yourself for an indulgent single serving meal that’s sure to hit the spot.

Recipe Variations

Ready to add a twist to the classic buttered noodles? Here are some variations to spice things up!

  • Spicy: Add a dash of red pepper flakes.
  • Cheesy: Mix in some shredded cheddar or Gruyère.
  • Zesty: Squeeze a bit of lemon juice for a citrus kick.
  • Creamy: Stir in a dollop of cream cheese or crème fraîche.

Remember, the beauty of this recipe lies in its flexibility. Don’t shy away from trying out new combinations and making this dish uniquely yours!

Pasta twirled on a fork from a bowl of pasta topped with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
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How To Make Buttered Noodles For One

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make the best buttered noodles. See the 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 the cooked pasta aside.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to set aside a small amount of pasta water before draining your cooked pasta. This starchy liquid is a culinary secret weapon, enhancing both the flavor and texture of your sauce. By incorporating it into your butter sauce, you achieve a thicker, silkier consistency that elevates your dish to restaurant quality.

noodles cooking in a pot of boiling water.
  1. Heat the butter in the same saucepan; add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
garlic cooking in butter in a small saucepan.
  1. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cooked pasta and the pasta water. Stir until the pasta is completely coated with butter.
adding pasta water to cooked pasta in a pot.
  1. Add the Parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pro Tip: If you are looking for a vegan version of this recipe, you can substitute vegan butter or olive oil for the butter and omit the Parmesan cheese.

adding parmesan cheese to a bowl of pasta.
  1. Transfer to a bowl, add additional Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
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.

Expert Tips

  • Do not use a pot that is too small. For optimal results, choose a saucepan spacious enough to allow the pasta to expand and move freely during cooking; a 2-quart saucepan should do the trick. Adding pasta to boiling water decreases the temperature momentarily, and a larger pot aids in regaining the boil swiftly.
  • Flavoring your pasta begins with salting the water. A guideline often shared is to “salt the water like the sea” – an effective approach despite the pasta not absorbing all the salt. For a single serving, I recommend a salt quantity between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Patience is key in cooking pasta. Ensure the water reaches a full, rolling boil before adding your noodles. If the pasta is introduced too early, it could end up in a lukewarm environment that results in sticky, gummy noodles.
  • To avoid clumping or sticking to the pot’s bottom, give your pasta an immediate stir upon adding it into the pot and remember to stir occasionally throughout the cooking process.
  • Once your pasta is cooked to your satisfaction, drain it without rinsing. Rinsing lowers the pasta temperature and washes off the starch that helps the sauce adhere to the noodles, both of which are undesirable, especially if you prefer your meal hot.

Serving Suggestions

Looking to amp up your buttered noodles? Let’s get creative with some serving ideas!

  • Herbs: Add freshly chopped parsley or basil for a pop of color and flavor.
  • Protein: Stir in some cooked chicken or tofu cubes for added sustenance.
  • Veggies: Toss in some sautéed spinach or cherry tomatoes for a veggie boost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add a protein to these buttered noodles?

Absolutely! Consider any of these simple recipes that can be cooked while you cook the noodles:
Poached Chicken
Broiled Chicken Breast
Baked Shrimp

Can I add vegetables to buttered noodles?

Yes, you can add cooked veggies of your choice for a healthier twist.

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Absolutely! The dish is versatile, so feel free to use your favorite pasta.

Expert Tip: Measuring Pasta Without a Scale – No kitchen scale? No problem. To measure 2 ounces of spaghetti, aim for a bunch with a diameter of about three-quarters of an inch (or approximately 2 centimeters). If you’re using elbow macaroni or similar-sized pasta, 2 ounces equates to roughly 1/2 cup. Opting for buttered egg noodles? In that case, 2 ounces of dry egg noodles would be about 1 cup.

Can I double this buttered noodles recipe?

Yes, you can easily double or triple this recipe to make it for more people. 

How can I make vegan buttered noodles?

Use vegan butter and a vegan cheese substitute like nutritional yeast.

How do I store leftover buttered noodles?

Unfortunately, this dish is best enjoyed fresh, but if needed, store in an airtight container and reheat gently.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

For information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this easy “buttered noodles for one” recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Buttered Noodles For One

5 from 21 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Easy buttered noodles made with grated Parmesan cheese, garlic, and plenty of butter. It's the ultimate pasta pleasure!

Ingredients 
 

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt to salt the water, plus more to taste
  • 2 ounces dry spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 clove garlic ,sliced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • black pepper , to taste

Instructions 

  • Bring a medium sized pot of water with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt to a boil over high heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
  • Place the pasta in a bowl. Melt the butter in the same saucepan; add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for 1 minute, until the garlic begins to brown slightly. Remove from heat.
  • Add the cooked pasta and the pasta water to the pan. Using tongs 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.

Notes

How To Cook Perfect Pasta
    • Do not use a pot that is too small. For optimal results, choose a saucepan spacious enough to allow the pasta to expand and move freely during cooking; a 2-quart saucepan should do the trick. Adding pasta to boiling water decreases the temperature momentarily, and a larger pot aids in regaining the boil swiftly.
    • Flavoring your pasta begins with salting the water. A guideline often shared is to “salt the water like the sea” – an effective approach despite the pasta not absorbing all the salt. For a single serving, I recommend a salt quantity between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon.
    • Patience is key in cooking pasta. Ensure the water reaches a full, rolling boil before adding your noodles. If the pasta is introduced too early, it could end up in a lukewarm environment that results in sticky, gummy noodles.
    • To avoid clumping or sticking to the pot’s bottom, give your pasta an immediate stir upon adding it into the pot and remember to stir occasionally throughout the cooking process.
    • Once your pasta is cooked to your satisfaction, drain it without rinsing. Rinsing lowers the pasta temperature and washes off the starch that helps the sauce adhere to the noodles, both of which are undesirable, especially if you prefer your meal hot.

Nutrition

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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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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18 Comments

  1. I have made the chicken caprese with buttered egg noodles for my dinner with vanilla ice cream for dessert. It was truly a wonderful meal. I have started enjoying cooking again. I had fallen into the takeaway trap as a single retired man. Thank you and your husband for what you do!

    1. You are most welcome, Keith. I’m so happy to know you are enjoying our recipes and find them helpful.

  2. I made this tonight for dinner and it was so delicious. I just might have to make it again tomorrow. Thanks for a great recipe.

  3. delicious!…i had this tonight for dinner…i grated some lemon zest to top and it was so very good!…thank you!

  4. Can you use minced garlic from a jar and how much? Having to have garlic hanging around is a big waste in my kitchen.. I tend not to use recipes that call for a clove

    1. Yes, using jarred garlic is perfectly okay. Use 1/2 teaspoon but definitely add more if you love garlic as I do.