This dreamy and creamy one pot garlic parmesan pasta is made with just one pot and ready to serve in just 30 minutes. No need to clean a bunch of dishes with this one, but be sure to leave room for seconds, because this recipe is drool-worthy, guaranteed!
Pasta is perfect for any season, any time of day, and day of the week, especially when it's a one pot dinner.
As with all my pasta recipes, like my creamy spinach pasta (recipe), or my easy vegetable pasta bake (recipe), they're full of flavor, easy to prepare and make ahead of time. Trust me when I say, this garlic parmesan pasta version is one of the books.
What are the ingredients for this recipe?
This recipe doesn't get any easier than a few ingredients from the fridge and from the pantry.
- Pasta - short pasta like mezzi rigatoni, penne, or even rotini works great for this dish.
- Parmesan cheese - this will act as the parmesan in the sauce itself, and also as an additional garnish
- Whole milk or half and half
- Chicken Stock - helps give the sauce flavor and with thickening the sauce itself
See the recipe card below for specifics and ingredient quantities.
How do I make this recipe?
This recipe is made in just one pot, a few simple steps and directions, and you're eating in just 30 minutes!
Start by bringing a large pot of water to boil and cook your penne or rigatoni al dente. Strain and set aside. In the same pot, melt the butter and add the garlic, sauté until fragrant. Pour in the chicken stock, heavy cream, and bring to a rolling boil. Whisk the sauce until it thickens, add back in the pasta and stir to coat.
Pour in the parmesan and stir to combine. Continue to stir the pasta on a low flame until the pasta and sauce fully combine and thickens. Add more parmesan as desired. Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper and salt. Serve as desired with a garnish of extra parmesan
HINT: Ladle the pasta into the sauce rather than fully straining the pasta. This allows some of the pasta water to stay on the pasta and adds delicious flavor and starch to the sauce itself, letting the sauce thicken even more.
Pasta Swaps and Substitutions
I would be remiss if I didn't offer you some substitution and swap options for this recipe, so that you can fully enjoy it, regardless of any dietary needs.
- Pasta - instead of using durum or regular flour penne, you can easily use gluten free penne.
- Cheese - swap the regular parmesan for dairy-free.
- Milk - feel free to use almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk for this dish.
- Stock - want to keep it vegetarian? Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
One of the benefits of making a pasta recipe is that there are a bunch of ways to vary how you serve and make this dish. Here's a few ideas:
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes to the pasta as you mix in the ricotta and marinara.
- Veggies - add some spinach, broccoli, or peas if you want to make this a veggie-friendly recipe.
- Meat - you can add in some ground beef or ground turkey to this dish for some added protein.
Kitchen Equipment and Tools
For this recipe, we'll need pretty standard tools and kitchen equipment when it comes to making the pasta and baking it. One of the tools I highly recommend using is a spider skimmer or spatula. This spatula is circular, and has tiny holes in it. I find it's a lot easier to make pasta recipes when it calls for straining and baking pasta to just use the spider spatula and move the pasta from the water and pot directly to the dish. Less mess and less things to dirty.
Otherwise, here's other common tools you'll need:
- Strainer - if you're not using the spider skimmer/spatula
- Large pot
- Wooden spoon
How do I store this recipe? Can I freeze it?
All leftovers can be placed in a tightly sealed tupperware and placed directly in the fridge. This recipe is also freeze friendly, so if you want to make this dish for another day, simply prep the veggies and pasta, place into a tupperware and into the freezer it goes. When ready, you can defrost the pasta, top with the cheese and bake according to instructions.
Don't forget to season the sauce with salt and pepper as you stir! This gives the recipe balance.
Hungry for More?
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta
- 1 large pot
- 1 strainer
- 1 spider skimmer or spatulat optional
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 pkg short pasta
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoon butter unsalted
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup whole milk or half and half
- ½ cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook your penne or rigatoni al dente. Strain and set aside.
- In the same pot, melt the butter and add the garlic, sauté until fragrant.
- Pour in the chicken stock, heavy cream, and bring to a rolling boil. Whisk the sauce until it thickens, add back in the pasta and stir to coat.
- Pour in the parmesan and stir to combine.
- Continue to stir the pasta on a low flame until the pasta and sauce fully combine and thickens. Add more parmesan as desired.
- Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper and salt. Serve as desired with a garnish of extra parmesan.