One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles

4.85 from 65 votes
122 Comments

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These One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles are as easy as they are delicious! No creams or large amounts of butter, making this meal a winner all-around!

Fork spinning Creamy Garlic Noodles.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Creamy Garlic Noodles
  2. Best Noodles to Use
  3. Add Chicken for a Full Meal
  4. Adding Vegetables
  5. More Add-In Possibilities
  6. Tips For Making Garlic Noodles
  7. What to Serve with Creamy Garlic Noodles
  8. Frequently Asked Questions about Creamy Garlic Noodles
  9. More Easy Noodle Recipes
  10. How to Make One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles
  11. One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles Recipe

These one pot (well, technically one “pan”) creamy garlic noodles are a HUGE hit with my whole family. We have made them at least once a month for the last several months using all sorts of variations. My kids are crazy about this easy pasta recipe and request it all the time (and I am happy to oblige because it’s SO easy)! This creamy garlic pasta recipe doesn’t use heavy cream or large amounts of butter, but it tastes JUST as good as recipes that do. Cooking the noodles in the chicken broth and milk is like magic. The recipe starts with UNcooked noodles so no draining, and only ONE POT to clean! A total win-win.

Ingredients for One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles including Parmesan cheese, chicken broth, butter, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, milk and linguine.


Ingredients in Creamy Garlic Noodles

This yummy pasta dish has a very fettucine alfredo texture and flavor, without all the heavy whipping cream. Here’s what you need:

  • Butter – just a few tablespoons, divided.
  • Garlic – four or five cloves, minced. For a stronger garlic flavor you can even use a dash of garlic powder or garlic salt in the sauce mixture.
  • Chicken broth – about 28 ounces or just under four cups.
  • Milk – Start with two and a half cups and add more if needed to thin out the sauce.
  • Linguini – Cook pasta until al dente, or with a little bite to it, before adding to the sauce. You can use any cooked pasta you like for this dish: penne pasta, spaghetti noodles fettucine, anything you have on hand.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper – to taste
  • Basil – one teaspoon fresh basil but you can use dried if you have that too.
  • Parmesan cheese – I like using fresh grated parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano), you can also use the powdered kind if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Broccoli (optional)- about four cups. This is totally optional, and you can add other veggies too!
  • Chicken breasts (optional) – two chicken breasts, grilled and cut into strips You can also cook the chicken directly in the pot. See below for more instructions.
Pot with milk, butter, linguine, basil, salt and pepper for One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles.

Best Noodles to Use

For this garlic noodles recipe, we like to use linguini noodles. They are thick enough to absorb the sauce without getting too heavy. You could also use spaghetti noodles, fettuccini noodles, or even egg noodles. Bowtie pasta or rotini would be fun to try as well. Try to avoid anything thinner than spaghetti, like angel hair pasta. The noodles will cook way too fast and then get clumpy. No matter what noodle you use, keep checking it until it’s cooked through. You can’t really go by package directions because it is being simmered at a lower heat. 

Tongs serving noodles on a plate for One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles.

Add Chicken for a Full Meal

To make this a full meal, just add a little chicken. I love adding grilled chicken but you can add baked, shredded, or pan-fried. To keep it a true “one pot” meal, pan frying the chicken is the way to go. 

  1. First, season the chicken with Italian seasoning and cook it up in the same skillet you want to cook the noodles in (before cooking the noodles).
  2. Then, sauté the chicken until it is cooked most of the way through and remove from the pan, place on a plate, and cover. Wipe the pan out (be careful because the pan will be hot) and make the noodles as per the recipe below.
  3. Lastly, add the chicken after a few minutes into the noodles simmering and follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
Overhead shot of Creamy Garlic Noodles in a pot

Adding Vegetables

If you want to add vegetables, toss them in 10 minutes or so before serving. You can add veggies like broccoli, peas, asparagus, red peppers, sliced zucchini, etc. You can make these noodles as a full meal or as an easy side dish — totally up to you!

Plate of One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles with a fork twirled with noodles.

More Add-In Possibilities

This versatile dish can be switched up a million different ways, with just the tweak of a couple ingredients. Try adding some of these next time you need an easy side dish or main course:

Tongs stirring One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles.

Tips For Making Garlic Noodles

  • Keep it to a simmer – If you cook these on too high of a heat, the noodles will cook too fast and won’t absorb the liquid as well.
  • Add liquid – If you noodles look like they are getting too thick, just keep adding a splash or milk of broth to keep the consistency.
  • Add other flavors – Boost the flavor by adding Cajun seasoning, oregano, Italian seasoning, or lemon pepper.
  • Reheating leftovers – Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When reheating leftovers, add a splash of milk a little at a time until you reach your desired creamy consistency.

What to Serve with Creamy Garlic Noodles

While this one pot supper certainly stands on its own, you can add a side of garlic bread and any number of salads. A simple green salad or a fruit salad pairs perfectly with this creamy, rich dish. Here are some more tasty side dish ideas:

One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles garnished with fresh parmesan and parsley.

Frequently Asked Questions about Creamy Garlic Noodles

How do you keep pasta creamy?

For this recipe the answer is simple: add a splash of milk. You’ll be amazed at how a little milk will loosen a thick sauce and make it super creamy once again. You could also add a little heavy cream.

What to add to a bland, creamy pasta?

If you find you need a little more kick or flavor to this dish, add some fresh parsley, some lemon zest or black pepper. If you want to add a little spiciness, you can add some Cajun seasoning like Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.

Does boiling pasta in milk make it creamier?

Yes, using milk makes the noodles creamier. Plus because you don’t drain the pasta in this dish, the starch remains, giving the sauce an extra creamy texture.

READ NEXT:35+ Quick and Easy to Follow Dinner Ideas

More Easy Noodle Recipes

Who doesn’t love noodle recipes? Especially when they are easy! All of these noodle recipes can be made in about 30 minutes or less! Try some of these scrumptious noodle dishes:

How to Make One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles

Tongs serving noodles on a plate for One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles.

One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles

4.85 from 65 votes
These One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles are as easy as they are delicious! No creams or large amounts of butter, making this meal a winner all-around!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6

Video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large, 5-6 quart skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. If you don't have a large skillet, a stock-pot works well, too. Add garlic and cook for about a minute.
    Pot with butter and garlic for One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles.
  • Add chicken broth, milk, remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter, pasta noodles, salt and pepper, and basil. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
    Pot with milk, butter, linguine, basil, salt and pepper for One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer stirring occasionally for 16-20 minutes or until noodles have cooked through. If you are wanting to add broccoli, add it after about 10 minutes into the simmering process.
    Pot cooking linguine noodles for One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles.
  • Stir in Parmesan when noodles are finished cooking and add a little milk if necessary if necessary to reach your desired consistency.
    Pot with cooked linguine noodles for One Pot Creamy Garlic Noodles.

Notes

  • Keep noodles to a simmer – If you cook these on too high of a heat, the noodles will cook too fast and won’t absorb the liquid as well.
  • Add liquid – If you noodles look like they are getting too thick, just keep adding a splash or milk of broth to keep the consistency.
  • Add other flavors – Boost the flavor by adding Cajun seasoning, oregano, Italian seasoning, or lemon pepper.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 664kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 44gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1162mgPotassium: 1214mgFiber: 7gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1660IUVitamin C: 151.6mgCalcium: 530mgIron: 2.9mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Why would you use Kraft jar par cheese instead of fresh grated? I made mine with fresh grated and it was delish. Saw your note regarding you using fresh grated but some people follow picture suggestions. Readers please try this recipe with fresh not canned par cheese. Nothing against Kraft products but….. Just saying……

  2. 5 stars
    This is an amazing recipe! I love it!💗😋 My friends are picky eaters and they ate it up right away.

  3. 5 stars
    So easy and worked perfectly the first time. Even my pickiest eater liked it. That was huge! Thank you!