Quick 5 Ingredient Garlic Butter Spaghetti

Garlic Butter Spaghetti in a white deep walled pasta bowl on a white background

Garlic Butter, Cheese, Spaghetti. Does anything sound more comforting than this right now?!


All you need is 5 common ingredients and 15 minutes from start to finish to cook this dish. Listen up, this one is a goodun’.


In short, this is a creamy garlicky pasta that hits all of those satisfying pasta cravings you’re most likely having right now. The sauce is simple, it’s fresh garlic cooked in a generous amount of butter which is then emulsified (combined) with salty pasta water to create a sauce. It’s then finished with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a little more salty pasta water to bring it all together. 


To cook this dish requires a little work with the frying pan whilst the pasta boils away in a large saucepan. It’s a great way to learn some essential pasta cooking techniques which can be transferable across so many of your favourite classic pasta dishes. Think Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe and Butter Sage – the skills used in this dish are completely transferable. 

Garlic Butter Spaghetti in a non-stick frying pan with a wooden spoon

For those of you who are new to cooking, or are not a confident chef do not worry! We have your back. It may seem daunting to some of you to use a frying pan, with the fear of over or undercooking lingering in the back of the mind.


The trick to a successful dish is preparation. Prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking, you don’t want to be chopping garlic whilst cooking and potentially burning butter – yes, butter can burn! If you prepare everything first, and have all the ingredients to hand when at the stove, you can put all your focus into the frying aspect of the dish.


Win win. 


We have put together a short video documenting just how to make this dish – and instead of making it on our portable stove, we’ve opted for the real deal, the gas hob, so you can see the dish being made in a typical environment. If you have any questions drop us an email or a comment, DM us on Facebook or Instagram and we will reply as soon as we can. 

Garlic Butter Spaghetti in a white deep walled pasta bowl on a white background twisted with silver fork
Garlic Butter Spaghetti in a white deep walled pasta bowl on a white background on a silver fork

If you love the sound of this, you’ll love our Garlic Bread Recipe. It’s a match made in heaven. See post below.

15 minute garlic bread half a loaf on a chopping board

15 Minute Garlic Bread

This is Fork and Twist’s classic Garlic baguette. Think of it like the £1 garlic bread you can buy from the supermarket, but better. After

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Garlic Butter Spaghetti Video Tutorial

The Garlic Butter Spaghetti Recipe

Garlic Butter Spaghetti in a white deep walled pasta bowl on a white background

Quick 5 Ingredient Garlic Butter Spaghetti

Al dente spaghetti with a creamy, garlic butter sauce with finely grated parmesan and freshly chopped parsely.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 people
Calories 700 kcal


  • Frying Pan
  • Large Saucepan
  • Tongs
  • Ladle
  • Wooden Spoon / Spatula


  • 150 g Spaghetti 75g per person
  • 100 g Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 Small Bunch of Parsely, roughly chopped
  • 30 g Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
  • Salt



  • This is a fast dish to cook. You need to prepare all the ingredients first. Boil a full kettle, weigh the Pasta & Butter, grate the Garlic and Parmesan and chop the Parsely.


  • Get a large saucepan on a high heat and add kettle water 3/4 full. Generously salt. Taste the water, it should taste quite salty. If it doesn't add more salt until it does.
    Top Tip - It's important this water is salty as it will season our sauce at the end.
  • When the water is boiling add the Spaghetti. Allow it to soften slightly before trying to submerg it.
    Top Tip - Keep an eye on it and make sure it's not sticking together whilst cooking. Use tongs to stir them / wiggle them.
  • As soon as the pasta goes in, get the frying pan on a medium heat. Add ther butter and let it melt. Stir with a wooden spoon to help this along.
  • When the butter is fully melted and the garlic and cook for ab out 1-2 mintues.
    Top Tip - Don't let the garlic brown otherwise it can go slightly bitter. If in doubt, turn the heat to low and if you see it strarting to brown add some water to stop it.
  • After 1-2 minutes add two big ladles of the salty pasta water. Use the wooden spoon to bring it together with the garlic butter. Allow this to simmer until the pasta is almsot done.
  • When the pasta is 1/2 minutes away from being done add the pasta straight from the pot into the frying pan.
    Top Tip - Use tongs to add the pasta, don't worry about extra water being added, it will boil away. Keep the pasta water to one side ready to be used.
  • Cook the pasta in the pan with the buttery water until the pasta has a glossy shimmmer and there is little water left and more of a sauce is resembled.
  • Take the pan off the heat. Add the Parmesan and a couple table spoons of pasta water and stir vigorously with the wooden spoon to create a sauce. Do this until the sauce is smooth and silky. Add more pasta water 1 tbsp art a time until the desired saucyness is achieved. Taste it, and season with salt if deemed necessary.
  • Stir through the chopped parsely and serve in deep pasta bowls.
    Top Tip - Use the tongs and a ladle to create a lovely swirl to your pasta presentation (see video)
  • Top with more cheese and tuck in!


  1. Prepare all the ingredients first so they are ready to go in the pan. This dish is cooked in about 15 minutes, so it pays to be prepared. 
  2. Make sure you generously salt the pasta water as this seasons our dish. Low salt will mean you may need to add more salt at the end. 
  3. The sauce is made using a butter and pasta water "emulsion". This means they come together to form a sauce with a good consistency. The starch in the pasta water helps achieve this. 
  4. Don't burn the garlic. If in doubt use a high heat and add water if it looks like it's starting to brown. Better off being pateint with it.
  5. To tell if the pasta is ready to be added to the pan, set a 10 minute timer. After this taste a piece. The inside of the pasta should have a small white ring. This means it's good to go - if the ring is quite large, it's not ready. Let it cook for another minute or two. It all depends on the pasta you're using, 
  6. When adding the cheese, take it off the heat. This will prevent the cheese from becoming too hot and potential not melting smoothly. 
Keyword Butter, Garlic, Herbs, Pasta
Nice to meet you!

Nice to meet you!

I'm James. A full time technical analyst and part time home cook. I live in London, England and run the Fork & Twist website. I'm passionate about good food and I'm so happy you're checking out one of my recipes.