How to make brown butter garlic angel hair pasta?

The nutty flavor of brown butter adds a little flair to this simple, easy dish. Toss some grilled chicken (or fish) and veggies over it for a complete meal, or serve it as a simple side. It’s plain enough that the pickiest of child eaters will still eat it, and delicious enough that the grown ups will all be happy too. This has been a go-to side dish for years. It works with practically anything, and we can easily swing it into a whole meal which makes this one a keeper.

You can totally do this without browning the butter, but that brown butter adds such a nice touch, it’s worth the extra few minutes of effort. The garlic cloves infuse the butter with garlic flavor which is just so dang tasty. We love the sediments left in the bottom of the pan after making brown butter. With the garlic, we can’t help but clean off the bottom of the pan with a piece of crusty bread. Stop telling yourself “don’t fill up on bread!” You won’t be able to resist.


:heavy_check_mark:1 pound angel hair pasta
:heavy_check_mark:1/2 cup unsalted butter
:heavy_check_mark:2 garlic cloves peeled and halved
:heavy_check_mark:1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
:heavy_check_mark:optional minced chives or parsley, for garnish


  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in garlic cloves. Continue cooking over medium heat until butter foams, giving the pan a good occasional swirl. Once butter foams keep a close eye on it. The color will change from yellow to tan and then to brown. Once it reaches brown, remove it from the heat immediately and pour over the cooked pasta, discarding the garlic cloves.
  3. Stir in parmesan cheese until melted. Serve hot with some minced chives or parsley.

*Change up the flavors in this dish by garnishing it with a little tarragon. I absolutely love tarragon and when I have it, it’s fun to use it to switch things up a bit and add a little “gourmet” feel to such a simple dish.