A warm bowl of Buttered Noodles is cozy, comfy, and as no-frills as it gets. Buttery egg noodles are a delicious and simple meal all on their own, but they also make an outstanding foundation for something a bit fancier, like Stroganoff, stews, or crispy breaded chicken.
How to make buttered noodles:
- First, heat a big pot of salted water on the stove. I use one tablespoon of salt for every 4 quarts of water. Add the uncooked noodles only after the water comes to a full, rolling boil. Different noodles require different cooking times. Egg noodles, for example, cook quickly, while heartier shapes and sizes take longer. (This is one of my favorite recipes with egg noodles!) Check the cooking instructions on the package, just to be sure. As soon as the noodle is tender, soft, but still has a little bite, you should be ready to drain off the water.
- To do that, pour the pasta into a colander set over the kitchen sink to drain. Return the cooked noodles back to the hot pot, and stir in the butter until melted and the noodles are evenly coated.
- At this point, season to taste with salt and pepper and call it a day. Or take the noodles in another direction altogether with some fun ideas below.
Tips for the best buttered noodles in the world:
- Choose quality ingredients. Simple recipes like this one mean that you can really taste everything, so make each one count, right down to good butter and salt.
- Use any pasta you got. Whatever shape your heart desires—even gluten-free pasta made with corn or quinoa. Fusilli, angel hair, penne, bow-tie, spaghetti, fettucine, orecchiette,
- Work quickly. The heat of the pot melts the butter, and coats the noodles, so try not to let the noodles cool down before they hit the butter. It will keep them from sticking together.
- Don’t skimp. I love to use lots of butter, and lots of Parmesan cheese. If the noodles still look a little dry, add more butter! You can make up for it with extra vegetables later.
Serve Buttered Noodles with:Don’t stop here. Noodles are classic comfort food, so they’re a perfect side with anything from meatloaf to homemade chili.
- Breaded chicken cutlets. Dinner is already done when you learn how to bread perfect chicken cutlets (and freeze them, to have for later!)
- Hearty winter stews. Guinness Stew, or a really wonderful Venison Stew.
- Meatballs. Better-than-IKEA-Swedish Meatballs, Turkey Meatballs, or Slow Cooker Meatloaf Meatballs.
- Pasta sauces. This Quick Tomato Sauce, or a Homemade Meat Sauce that people love.
- Roasted vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, or slow roasted tomatoes.
- Leftovers. Enliven leftovers or stretch a meal with a big pot of hot noodles in butter sauce.
Fun flavors to add to buttered noodles:
- Seasoning blends. Try a dusting of Italian Seasoning to the buttered noodles.
- Herbs and spices. Finely chopped parsley or a pinch of red chili flakes might be a great flavor combo. Or a little minced garlic. Or chopped chives.
- Sesame oil. A drizzle of sesame oil mixed into the noodles might be delicious with leftover Chinese carryout.
- Olive oil noodles. You don’t have to use butter. You can use a good quality EVOO, too, to make vegan buttered noodles.
- Cheese. Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese is a natural fit any kind of noodles.
- Citrus zest. A tiny amount of fresh lemon zest, especially when served with a lemony entrée, would be wonderful.
- Compound butter. Use a flavored butter, like olive butter or herb butter to melt into the noodles.
Buttered Noodles Recipe
- 16 ounces egg noodles
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) or less to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- grated Parmesan cheese optional (see notes)
- Minced fresh parsley for garnish, optional
- In a large pot over high heat, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well.
- Off heat, add butter to pot. Add drained noodles and toss until butter is melted and noodles are evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper). Garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley if desired.