Easy One Pan Garlic Parmesan Penne

Need a quick and easy dinner perfect for busy weeknights? Here it is! This oh-so-simple one-pan garlic parmesan penne is made with just a few simple ingredients and comes together in just 20 minutes. The meatless pasta cooks to al dente in a light garlic parmesan sauce that is packed with flavor. You can also add your favorite vegetables or use any kind of dried pasta you have in your pantry.

black bowl of penne pasta with parmesan shards and fork with a bite

One pot pasta recipes: defined

If you’ve been around J+N for a while, you probably know that I love a good one pan pasta recipe (like this super yummy one pan pasta with tomatoes and garlic). You know how easy it is to make pasta but when you can cook the pasta right in the sauce? Game. Changer!

Meet garlic parmesan pasta. It, too, is made in one skillet and is so easy that you are going to add it to your weekly menu rotation.

And that makes you one smart cook.

Why make dinner in one pan?

The question really is why not? Like I said…you’re really smart so you’ve probably deduced that cooking pasta right in the sauce:

Is quick and easy. Sauteeing veggies, adding pasta, some liquid and putting the lid on until it’s all cooked and happy is simple and fast!

Serve in same pan. Add a little garnish and a pretty serving spoon and you’re set!

Easy clean up. One pan means washing only 1 dish. 💃🏻

Ingredient Highlights

ingredients to make parmesan and garlic pasta
6 simple ingredients to make garlic parmesan pasta

Garlic

No tubes or jars. You’ll use a bunch of cloves from a head of garlic and give them all a good chop. There are so few ingredients and fresh is best in this pasta. You can even use roasted garlic for more rich flavor.

Best types of pasta to use in a one skillet recipe

Most any shape pasta will work in a one skillet recipe but these pasta shapes are some of my favorites:

Wedge of parmesan cheese

TIP: use a sharp vegetable peeler to make big shards of parmesan. I love this Rikon straight edge vegetable peeler and it’s only $5! Grate some parmesan as well for a double dose of cheesy flavor!



TIP

No matter what pasta shape you use, follow the cooking time on the package directions but always taste it first!

-Josie + Nina


Veggies

The recipe uses garlic and onions but some other vegetables that would work in this one pan pasta are:

  • a handful or two of baby spinach
  • sauteed mushrooms (cook with onions and remove while the pasta cooks and add back in at the end)
  • red peppers
  • sweet potatoes

Penny $aver

Because this pasta recipe has so few ingredients and cooks in under 15 minutes, you’ll save a bit on your grocery bill!


Dinner in 3 easy steps

Grab your wide deep skillet and assemble all your ingredients because things are going to move quickly!

wooden cutting board with chopped onions and garlic
Chop up onions and garlic
wooden paddle stirring sauteed onions and garlic in a skillet
Saute onions and garlic in a skillet
skillet of cooked penne pasta and broth with a wooden paddle and garlic
Stir in chicken or vegetable broth, pasta and herbs. Cover until pasta is cooked
  1. Chop up onions and garlic and saute the onions for 3 minutes. Then add the garlic, cooking until you smell it -only about 30 seconds (left)!
  2. Add all the herbs and seasoning along with the broth and pasta.
  3. Give it a big stir and put on the lid. Try not to peek because that’s how the pasta cooks!

Pro Tip

Taste the pasta about 2 minutes before it should be done. You want it firm but not undercooked. Add a little more broth and cover to cook for a few more minutes.


Skillet recommendation

black bowl with penne, garlic and parmesan and a fork.

I highly recommend the All Clad deep wide skillet and lid. It’s 12 1/2″ in diameter and holds a lot of pasta in it.

p.s. It’s also great for simmering a big pan of homemade Italian meatballs and sauce.

What to serve with garlic parmesan pasta

Tips for Success

Store

Package up leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Reheat

Place the pasta in a microwave safe bowl and add a little more broth. Cover with plastic wrap and heat in 30 second increments until heated to your preference.

Make ahead

Because this one pan pasta cooks up so quickly, it’s not a make ahead recipe. BONUS: it’s a great recipe to make when guests pop over unexpectedly!


Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!


black bowl of penne pasta with parmesan shards and fork with a bite
5 from 1 vote

Easy One Pan Penne Garlic Pasta with Parmesan

Need a quick and easy dinner perfect for busy weeknights? Here it is! This oh-so-simple one-pan garlic parmesan penne is made with just a few simple ingredients and comes together in just 20 minutes. The meatless pasta cooks to al dente in a light garlic parmesan sauce that is packed with flavor. You can also add your favorite vegetables or use any kind of dried pasta you have in your pantry.
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:20 minutes
Servings 2
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Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large wide skillet fitted with a lid over medium heat. Add chopped onion to the pan l for about 3 minutes Add in garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. stir in herbs and salt
    1 Tablespoon olive oil, ¼ onion chopped, ¼ teaspoon each of thyme and oregano, 2 cloves sliced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pour in chicken broth and pasta and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook according to package directions checking about 2 minutes before it should be done. Dress with parmesan shards and lemon if desired.
    2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 lb penne pasta, fresh parmesan cheese, 1/2 lemon

Notes

Tips for Success:
  • Use a large wide skillet. My favorite is the All-Clad 12 1/2″ Deep Skillet with a lid
  • Adjust the cook time for the pasta based on the pasta of choice and package directions.
  • Resist the urge to lift the skillet lid. You want the pasta to absorb all the liquid in order to cook evenly.
  • Taste the pasta about 2 minutes before it should be done. You want it firm but not undercooked. Add a little more broth and cover to cook for a few more minutes.
Optional Add-ins
  • Cooked chicken breast strips or bites for when protein is needed. My foolproof method for cooking chicken breasts is the perfect recipe plus you can use the broth that is made for the recipe to save a little bit of money!
  • Baby spinach leaves added during the last two minutes of cooking
  • Saute some mushrooms in the skillet and remove them before adding the broth and pasta. This keeps them firm and slightly crispy. Add them in during the last two minutes of cooking.
  • Crushed red pepper for a little heat
Course: Main Course, Pasta, pasta side dish
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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