Quick Garlic Bread Pasta is made with only 5 ingredients, and tastes just like garlic bread that’s hot from the oven! This is an easy pasta recipe tossed in flavorful garlic butter with crunchy seasoned breadcrumbs. Ready in 20 minutes!
Craving more delicious pasta recipes in a hurry? Try my Creamy Beef Pasta for another fast, family-friendly dinner idea!
I’m all about a quick pasta dinner, and this easy garlic bread pasta recipe is about as quick and flavorful as they come. On weeknights when time is of the essence, I’ll make this savory garlic butter pasta tossed with crunchy breadcrumbs, and everyone goes crazy for it. My kids literally press their fingers against their bowls, trying to pick up every last buttery crumb and the garlicky flavors are just like garlic bread. It’s so simple, but it’s that good.
I created this recipe many years ago for my book, but it has since become a family favorite…mostly because it’s delish, but also because it’s super simple to make. Garlic bread pasta is exactly what it sounds like: a delicious pasta dinner with all the flavors of oven-baked garlic bread. Make it tonight and you’ll be just as obsessed as we are!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Here are just some of the reasons why this pasta recipe is fast becoming a new favorite:
- Simple ingredients, big flavor. It doesn’t get easier than a list of ingredients that you can count on 5 fingers, that come together with tons of garlicky, buttery flavor.
- Ready in no time. Have this pasta recipe ready and on the dinner table in under 20 minutes. Fast, delicious comfort food is the idea.
- Kid-friendly. Basic pasta recipes are always a hit with the kids, and this garlic bread pasta just so happens to satisfy the adults, too. I mean, who can resist a fluffy slice of garlic bread? This recipe channels it into a warm bowl of pasta!
What You’ll Need
You need just 5 ingredients to make the perfect garlic bread pasta. Don’t forget to refer to the recipe card with the full details and ingredient amounts:
- Pasta: I love using Cavatappi pasta in this recipe since the garlic butter and breadcrumbs cling to every curve. Of course, you can use any pasta your heart desires. Good options are penne, bowtie, or you can even make garlic bread spaghetti!
- Breadcrumbs: Use the unseasoned kind, as you’ll season the breadcrumbs as they’re toasted with browned butter.
- Butter: Salted butter for tossing the pasta and also for toasting the breadcrumbs.
- Seasoning: I use a combination of dried parsley and Italian seasoning, along with salt and pepper to bring flavor to the breadcrumbs.
- Garlic: You’ll want to use fresh minced garlic for this recipe. You can adapt the amount of garlic to taste.
How to Make Garlic Bread Pasta
Let’s make some quick-sticks garlic bread pasta:
- Prepare the Pasta: First, boil your pasta according to the directions on the package, then drain.
- Toast the Breadcrumbs: Meanwhile, melt a bit of butter in a skillet, swirling it as it browns. Next, with the pan over low heat, stir in the breadcrumbs and seasoning to coat, then set aside.
- Combine: Finally, make a fast garlic butter sauce by melting butter and garlic together in the microwave, and pour this over the cooked pasta. Toss, add the breadcrumbs and then toss again to coat.
That’s it! Your garlicky pasta is ready to serve. See below for easy ways to turn this simple pasta recipe into a meal.
Tips for Success
Garlic bread pasta is one of those never-fail recipes that I’m sure will be on regular rotation in your house in no time. Here are some additional tips for pasta perfection:
- Adjust the garlic to taste. I found that 3 garlic cloves were just garlicky enough for my family’s taste, but you may prefer more or less. I have a friend who uses 7 cloves! So there’s really no rule here.
- Make sure you brown the butter. Browning the butter brings out a rich, nutty flavor that just isn’t the same as melting it alone. It’s worth the extra time it takes to get it nice and golden. Browned is not the same as burned, however, so keep that butter swirling while it cooks.
- No breadcrumbs? No problem. It’s the perfect excuse to use up that stale bread in the pantry! Tear up day-old crusty bread into chunks and pulse it in a food processor. Then, simply toast the crumbs for a little longer in the browned butter to dry them out and get them crispy.
- Make the garlic butter on the stovetop instead of the microwave. Once you’ve combined the breadcrumbs with the browned butter, you can use the same skillet to melt down your garlic butter. Simply give it a wipe and then add the butter and minced garlic to the pan to melt and cook briefly until fragrant.
Add-Ins and Variation Ideas
This garlic bread pasta is gloriously basic and perfect for customizing. Here are just some of the ways you can adapt this recipe with easy add-ins and variations:
- Cheese: Sprinkle on freshly grated parmesan cheese, or melt shredded cheddar over top for some cheesy garlic bread pasta vibes.
- Garlic and Herb Butter: Stir additional dried herbs and Italian seasoning into the melted butter along with the garlic. Or, chop up fresh parsley, oregano, or basil.
- Chicken: Stir in leftover cooked cubed or shredded chicken, or use a rotisserie chicken from the store.
- Veggies: Stir in tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms, like I do in my Mushroom and Garlic Butter Pasta.
- Seafood: Add cooked shrimp and a squeeze of lemon for a buttery garlic shrimp pasta.
- Chili: Make a kicky garlic and chili pasta by adding crushed red chili flakes into the breadcrumb seasoning.
- Lemon: Toss the buttered breadcrumbs with lemon zest and give the garlic butter a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for lemony garlic pasta.
Since our pasta already tastes just like a loaf of freshly baked garlic bread, I’ll opt for plain Dinner Rolls as a side, and lighten up the meal with a green salad or Air Fryer Asparagus. Or, try more easy serving ideas:
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
This pasta recipe is best served and enjoyed right away. However, you can store any leftover garlic bread pasta airtight in a pinch, and refrigerate it for a day or two. The breadcrumbs in this pasta tend to become soggy over time and the pasta itself gets a little dry, so I wouldn’t recommend storing it for too long before you reheat it.
If I know I’m going to have leftovers, I’ll leave the breadcrumbs off and store them airtight at room temperature. Meanwhile, I’ll refrigerate the cooked garlic butter pasta in an airtight container.
Reheat the pasta in the microwave with a bit of additional butter, and toss everything together so that the crumbs are fresh and crispy.
Can I Freeze Garlic Bread Pasta?
The cooked pasta (without breadcrumbs) can be dressed in garlic butter and kept frozen for up to 3 months. Store it in an airtight, freezer-safe container or freezer bag.
Whenever you’re ready to serve it, thaw the pasta in the fridge and then reheat it, tossing it with a fresh batch of toasted breadcrumbs.
This quick Garlic Bread Pasta recipe needs only 5 ingredients and tastes just like oven-baked garlic bread! Made with tender noodles tossed in a flavorful garlic butter pasta sauce with crunchy seasoned breadcrumbs.
- 1 pound Cavatappi Pasta
- 3/4 cup dried plain breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup, plus 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced (See Tip)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
- While pasta is boiling, in a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, continuing to cook the butter until browned and the color of deep amber, constantly swirling the pan so it doesn’t burn.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the breadcrumbs, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir the breadcrumbs to coat them in the butter and remove them from the heat.
- In a microwave-safe bowl melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter and garlic together.
- Add the garlic butter to the bowl of drained pasta and toss to coat completely. Add the buttered breadcrumbs and toss to coat.
- Serve warm.
You can adjust the amount of garlic to add to this recipe depending on how much garlic you like. I use three large cloves when I make this for my family and it’s just garlicky enough for us, but I have a friend who added up to 7 cloves.
Keywords: garlic butter pasta, garlic pasta, quick pasta recipes
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