Easy buttered noodles with butter, parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs are one of our favorite dishes to make. See our tricks for making them the best!
Related: Here’s another easy pasta recipe, our quick orzo pasta with parmesan and tomatoes
How to Make the Best Buttered Noodles
Now you might be reading this and saying to yourself, isn’t buttered noodles just cooked noodles and melted butter? Well, they could be, but when you stir noodles into a mixture of starchy pasta water, butter, and parmesan, they taste SO much better.
Remember the fettuccine alfredo recipe that we just shared? Here’s what we said:
“Instead of cream, our recipe relies on the combination of butter, parmesan cheese, and starchy pasta water. The starch in the pasta water thickens the butter and cheese into a velvety smooth sauce that coats the noodles.”
That’s true for fettuccine alfredo, and it’s true for this buttered pasta. Thanks to the combination of butter, cheese, and starchy pasta water, the noodles become lightly coated in a velvety, buttery sauce.
As for the noodles, I love using egg noodles — just like the ones we use in chicken noodle soup. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t replace them with other pasta shapes. Spaghetti, linguini or curly shapes of pasta are perfect for catching the sauce.
For another cheesy pasta recipe, try our creamy stovetop mac and cheese.
We call for parmesan cheese. It’s salty and flavorful in the sauce. If you don’t have any on hand, swap it for other tasty cheeses like sharp cheddar or Gruyere.
You could even stir in some creamy cheese like goat or mascarpone cheese to make the pasta extra creamy.
For more easy pasta recipes, take a look at these:
- This Easy Baked Spaghetti made with ground beef, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and a hidden layer of creamy pesto sauce in the middle.
- Swap butter and cream for avocado and make our Easy Avocado Pasta. It gets rave reviews.
- These Easy Lasagna Roll Ups with fresh vegetables, a light tomato sauce, and cheese are a must make. Make them now or prep and freeze for later.
- Thanks to orzo and a few fresh ingredients, you can make this Easy Orzo Pasta in under 20 minutes. There’s tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and lots of garlic.
Easy Parmesan Buttered Noodles
Easy buttered noodles with butter, parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs. Use parmesan cheese or swap it for other flavorful cheeses like sharp cheddar or Gruyere. Stirring in a little goat cheese or mascarpone cheese adds even more creaminess to the sauce.
You Will Need
8 ounces egg noodles or pasta of choice
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
2 tablespoons butter
Handful chopped or torn herbs like basil, parsley or chives
Fresh ground black pepper for serving
1Bring water to a boil in a medium pot (we use 6 to 8 cups of water). Add 1/2 tablespoon of salt and the noodles.
2Cook, stirring once or twice, for 2 minutes less than the suggested cooking time on the package. The pasta will finish cooking when making the sauce. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water then drain pasta and return it to the pot.
3Add parmesan, butter, a 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the noodles. Set the pot over low heat. Use tongs to toss the noodles, butter, and cheese around the pan for one minute. Take the pan off of the heat then cover with a lid. Leave for one minute.
4Uncover the pot, toss the noodles a few more times in the sauce. If the pasta looks dry, add a splash more pasta water. If it seems wet, don’t worry, the pasta absorbs some the extra moisture as it cools. Stir in herbs, taste, and adjust with additional salt. Serve with more parmesan and fresh ground black pepper on top.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- To make garlic buttered noodles, mince one (or more) cloves of garlic. Add the garlic and 2 tablespoons of butter to a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until fragrant and the butter is bubbling around the garlic. Use this garlic-flavored butter in place of the butter called for in the recipe above.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.