Angel Hair Pasta is one of the easiest pasta recipes you can throw together in one pot and call dinner!  This creamy 10-minute pasta dish is genius! It’s made with thin pasta noodles, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and cream! Add shrimp or chicken for a hearty main course! 

creamy parmesan garlic angel hair pasta all made in one pan for an easy dinner or side dish

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Pasta recipes make weeknight dinners easy! Try our easy Shrimp Alfredo, Spaghetti Meat Sauce Recipe, or Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno (Copycat)! And if you’re wondering what to make with Angel hair pasta, then make this Lemon Chicken Piccata, or Baked Salmon With Alfredo Sauce, and a side of these Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits!

Angel Hair Pasta

This pasta recipe literally cooks in as quick as making boxed Rice-A-Roni or mac-and-cheese!  Angel hair pasta cooks in minutes so why not just cook it in enough liquid to soak up the pasta water and then add parmesan cheese and cream to make a simple alfredo sauce?! It’s genius I know!

It’s the perfect backup dinner plan if you have no time whatsoever! Grab a box of angel hair pasta and make the crowd and toddlers happy because everyone loves this! It’s so incredibly simple but tastes like an elegant pasta dish you’d order with scallops!

Lower the calories and carbs by switching out to whole wheat angel hair pasta and dress this vegetarian sauce with favorite add-ins! Such as Shrimp scampi, sauteed mushrooms, green herbs, sundried tomatoes, crab meat, or broccoli! There are so many tasty ways to add flavor not just shrimp and chicken.

Capellini vs Angel Hair

Capellini (capelli d’angelo) is a very thin and long type of Italian pasta. The Italian word literally means “little hairs.” Hence, where Angel hair pasta comes from. The closest pasta shape to Angel Hair would be Vermicelli and thin spaghetti. Since angel hair pasta can be within a diameter of 0.78 and 0.92 millimeters, it doesn’t take long to cook (typically 2-6 minutes.)

Cooking with angel hair pasta is quick and easy! The sauce heats right into the noodles, saving the mess for other bowls and dishes! It is one of the BEST angel hair pasta recipes that I have stashed! You just can’t beat the ease of creamy garlic parmesan pasta made in one pot!



What Is Angel Hair Pasta?

Angel hair pasta is another word for Capellini (capelli d’angelo) pasta, which means “little hairs” in Italian. The very long thin strands of pasta cook quickly and are lighter in texture. This is why this pasta dish pairs well with garlic butter sauce or cream.

Can I Make It In The Instant Pot?

Angel hair alfredo pasta can be made in the instant pot too! Here is how;

  • Stir together the broth with all the seasonings right in the instant pot.
  • Break the pasta in half and lay it on top (DO NOT STIR.)
  • Close and seal the lid. Select High Pressure and set for 3 minutes. Depressurize for 10 minutes.
  • Release the pressure and stir in the parmesan cheese and cream!

Note: Add an additional 1/2 cup of water to the broth to ensure the burn signal from turning on. You can also add additional seasoning like 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

How Long To Cook Angel Hair Pasta?

Angel hair pasta takes anywhere from 2-6 minutes to cook. However, some brands may vary depending on the diameter and thickness. Barilla angel hair pasta takes up to 8 minutes to cook, so, it is best to follow the package cooking guide when making this dish.

Ingredients Needed?

The ingredients for this simple pasta recipe are few but very good! To make the best sauce for angel hair use fresh parmesan cheese along with garlic and even herbs. It will make a difference!

ingredients for angel hair pasta: thin pasta, heavy cream, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.

  • Angel Hair pasta- goes by different names. Select thin Italian pasta like Vermicelli or Capellini.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil- is best in a dark glass bottle.
  • Fresh Garlic- press and crush your own garlic, it has a much better flavor.
  • Chicken broth- use bouillon powder with water as a replacement.
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese- is much fresher than pre-grated parmesan cheese.
  • Simple Seasonings- salt and pepper is all you need, however, if you are not using a broth you will need to add more salt. Feel free to stir in 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning.

Pasta Variations:

Depending on how you serve this, parmesan angel hair pasta can be dinner or served as a side dish to chicken or other proteins. Even if you make this as is, it will still feed the crowd well.

  • Spinach and Sausage- wilt 4 oz of spinach and add 8 oz of your favorite sausage.
  • Shrimp scampi- sauteed shrimp in garlic butter sauce and lemon juice with white wine.
  • Mushrooms and Tomato- freshly diced tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms.
  • Herb and butter- add lots of dried herbs, like parsley and oregano to a melted butter sauce. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.
  • Bacon and Chicken- bacon bits or leftover grilled chicken would make great add-ins!
  • Asparagus and Shrimp- steam or oven roast asparagus and add in thaw and ready to use cooked shrimp.
  •  Zucchini and Red Bell Peppers- pan-sear your favorite garden vegetables.
  • Mozzarella and Prosciutto- add fresh mozzarella cheese and Italian ham!
  • Three Cheese Blend- use a blend of Asiago, Reggiano, and fontina cheese.
  • Snap peas and parmesan- you can use regular frozen peas for extra nutrition!


How To Make Angel Hair Pasta Step-By-Step?

Angel hair pasta alfredo is a one-pot dish that does not take long to cook! Here’s how to make it homemade!

  1. First, heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in one tablespoon of olive oil and the crushed garlic. Cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds.)
  2. Then, stir in the chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil.
  3. When the water is at a rolling boil add the angel hair pasta (broken in half.)
  4. Reduce the heat to low-medium heat and simmer the pasta covered for 6 minutes.
  5. When the broth has evaporated and the pasta is al dente remove it from the heat.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  7. Garnish with herbs.
  8. Serve.

 Tip: reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water to adjust the creaminess of your pasta sauce at the end.

What Pasta To Use For Garlic Parmesan Pasta?

Thin angel hair pasta cooks within 6 minutes! If don’t have other types of thin pasta on hand, just add an additional 1/4 cup of water for thicker noodles and follow the cooking time according to their package instructions.

If your pasta looks too watery, remove the lid and boil over high heat until most of the liquid evaporates. Then stir in the cream and parmesan cheese.

Can I Add Shrimp or Chicken?

To make angel hair pasta with shrimp or chicken add 12 oz of cooked frozen shrimp that have been thawed and 12 oz of cooked chicken breast meat. Enhance the flavors by making a shrimp scampi butter sauce and cajun seasoning for the chicken!

Storing Angel Hair Pasta?

This pasta goes fast, but if you have any leftovers they reheat great! Leftover angel hair pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you are reheating creamy chicken angel hair pasta, reheating time will vary.

To reheat pasta: microwave in 30-second intervals until hot. You could also throw them into a buttered pan and heat them covered over medium heat until warm.



Best Tips For Cooking Angel Hair Pasta:

  1. Don’t boil the pasta over a rapid boil. The broth can evaporate too quickly!
  2. For robust flavors add rosemary, oregano, and thyme.
  3. For lighter alfredo sauce use milk. The heavy cream and parmesan make a rich pasta sauce.
  4. Use fresh garlic for angel hair pasta. It will give a fragrant aroma with the olive oil to bring out the best of Italian flavors!
  5. To cook this garlic parmesan pasta with a thicker pasta like spaghetti or Tagliolini add 1/4 cup more of water and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add in cooked shrimp with a squirt of lemon juice for seafood flavors.
  7. Use lots of fresh herbs like basil and parsley to enhance the pasta color.
  8. Grate a block of parmesan cheese for the best flavor!
  9. Freshly pressed garlic gives a high-quality flavor.

What You Need To Make Angel Hair Pasta At Home:

More Pasta Recipes To Try:

How To Cook Angel Hair Pasta:

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Angel Hair Pasta

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
Angel Hair Pasta is one of the easiest pasta recipes you can throw together in one pot and call dinner!  This creamy 10-minute pasta dish is genius! It's made with thin pasta noodles, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and cream! Add shrimp or chicken for a hearty main course! 


  • 1 3.5 Q pan with lid
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 set of measuring cups


  • 8 oz angel hair pasta (broken in half)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth*
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)



  • cooking garlic until fragrant for angel hair pasta
    Cook garlic in oil for 30 seconds over medium-high heat.
  • adding chicken broth to the pan for angel hair pasta
    Stir in the chicken broth, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil.
  • how long to cook angel hair pasta
    Add in the pasta and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over medium-low for 6 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and heavy cream. Garnish with dried parsley and serve.


  • To make chicken broth with chicken bouillon powder: stir together 3 cups of water and 1 tsp of chicken bouillon powder for this recipe. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1ozCalories: 253kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 9gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 606mgPotassium: 169mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 428IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 177mgIron: 1mg


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5 from 4 votes

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    • Shirley A. Mansfield

    Instead of Shrimp I used Chicken Breast for the Fritto Mistro, also added breaded Mushrooms, Onions, and halved Grape Tomatoes. Delicious

    The Creamy Parmasan Garlic Angel Hair Pasta Was Delicious 😋
    Thank You Very Much, Shirley Mansfield 🦋🌻❤️🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      That sounds like a very good idea! Happy you enjoyed the pasta.

    • Tracy

    Delicious. I added a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh basil to the garlic oil. Since I was using fresh angel hair pasta, I used 2 cups of water instead of three worked out perfectly.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Wonderful, Tracy! Thanks for sharing!

    • Ally

    This was sooooo good, when I eat it felt like heaven and I even made another batch, thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe 🥹

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      I’m so happy you’re loving the recipe! Thanks for the feedback!

    • Alina

    We enjoyed these noodles very much Alyona ☺️ Thank you! Since I’m a big garlic lover, I would def add more garlic to my liking 😋😋 otherwise very delicious 🤤

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Thanks, Alina:)

    • Martha

    Can I use half and half instead of heavy cream?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Sure can, Martha!

    • Jennifer

    That was perfect, the recipe worked out exactly as stated. I only wish the pasta wasn’t so stuck together after it sat for a minute but the taste was perfection! Thank you!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Good to hear that, Jennifer! You can add more oil to the frying pan when cooking the garlic and a touch more cream so the noodles don’t stick. Depending, on the brand and how much water evaporates you might need to adjust.

    • Anna

    Looks delish!! So you don’t need to take the water out after the noodles are done cooking?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Nope, the water proportion is just enough to take up the water and cook the pasta.

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