Main Dishes

Quick Pasta Toss

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Quick Pasta Toss is an easy recipe for those times when you need a meal in a hurry with minimal ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. This pantry pasta is perfect to pair with your favorite protein.

overhead view pantry pasta in white bowl with napkin and forks

Have you ever just had one of those evenings when you have no idea what you are going to cook for dinner. You search the refrigerator and freezer and find no options or do not have any time to thaw out meat in order to prepare a dish for the family. Or perhaps you just have not had a chance to make it to the grocery store and your cabinets and pantry are looking a little bare. Well if that is the case then a quick and easy pasta toss may be ideal for you.

This recipe is so simple that anyone can do it and not mess it up.

I have listed the ingredients, with basic measurements because it really depends on the portions that you need for this dish, it can be made for large or multiple people and servings or just for a single person. Trust me you can eyeball the ingredients and not mess it up, it truly is to your own unique taste. This is my go-to meal when I need something fast and filling because I always have spaghetti or some other pasta on hand.

This is truly a pantry pasta recipe because you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry. The recipe calls for grated Parmesan cheese, you can use freshly grated or the kind that is in the container. I have tried it with both and either works just fine. I love using fresh parsley and because I always have it on hand, but you can substitute it for dried parsley instead. Again, you truly cannot mess this recipe up.

What ingredients are needed for this pantry pasta recipe?

ingredients for the quick pasta toss in small bowls

  1. Spaghetti or any pasta
  2. Olive oil
  3. Garlic
  4. Red pepper flakes
  5. Fresh parsley
  6. Parmesan cheese

How to make this easy pasta recipe:

Bring salted water to a boil and add in the pasta. Cook according to package directions or until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside, but reserve the pasta water to add to the sauce.

spaghetti in water in a pot on the stovetop

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in garlic cooking for about 1 minute, stirring frequently. When garlic becomes fragrant, add in the red pepper flakes and chopped parsley.

garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, and olive oil in a skillet

Add in the cooked pasta and gently toss in the olive oil mixture until evenly coated. Slowly pour in the reserved pasta water to your desired level of thickness. For a thinner sauce, add more liquid, for a thicker sauce, add only a small amount of water.

cooked pasta added to skillet with sauce

Add the grated Parmesan cheese and toss to evenly distribute.

grated parmesan cheese added to cooked spaghetti in skillet

Serve immediately while still warm. Top with some additional parsley and grated Parmesan cheese if you prefer.

close up side view of pasta in a bowl

What to serve with this pasta recipe?

  • Serve some sauteed, baked, or grilled chicken with this recipe.
  • Toss in some seasoned and cooked shrimp to this pasta along with the Parmesan cheese and toss everything together.
  • Add your favorite baked fish recipe on the side of this pasta dish. I love pairing this recipe with a piece of baked salmon.
  • Enjoy this recipe on its own with some additional vegetables. Try adding some sliced grape tomatoes or steamed broccoli.
pasta in a white bowl topped with chopped fresh parsley

Quick Pasta Toss

Quick Pasta Toss is an easy recipe for those times when you need a meal in a hurry with minimal ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. This pantry pasta is perfect to pair with your favorite protein.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta toss
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 276kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces cooked spaghetti or your favorite pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Bring salted water to a boil and add in the pasta. Cook according to package directions or until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside, but reserve the pasta water to add to the sauce.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in garlic cooking for about 1 minute, stirring frequently. When garlic becomes fragrant, add in the red pepper flakes and chopped parsley.
  • Add in the cooked pasta and gently toss in the olive oil mixture until evenly coated. Slowly pour in the reserved pasta water to your desired level of thickness. For a thinner sauce, add more liquid, for a thicker sauce, add only a small amount of water.
  • Add the grated Parmesan cheese and toss to evenly distribute. Serve immediately while warm.

Notes

May use 1 tablespoon dried parsley instead of fresh. 
May use freshly grated or packaged Parmesan cheese. 

Nutrition

Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 519IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @simplylakita on Instagram and hashtag it #simplylakita!

fork over bowl with pasta on it

Need more pasta recipes? Try these:

Have any comments, questions, or other delicious ways to use this Quick Pasta Toss? Please share them in the comments below!


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