Pantry Pasta in Minutes

Pantry pasta may be created with any items you have in your refrigerator and pantry! A simple recipe basis that may be prepared in around 15 minutes.

What is pantry pasta?

This is what my husband and I call pantry spaghetti since it can be prepared with any stuff we have in the pantry (and fridge). We make sure to maintain the following items on hand at all times so that we are always prepared:

  • spaghetti
  • unseasoned butter
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic
  • lemons
  • Parmesan (typically a slice to grate, but occasionally a container of pre-grated) (usually a wedge to grate, but sometimes a container of pre-grated)

It is the foundation on which we operate, but it is usually a little different depending on what we have and what we feel like doing that day.

What else can you add to pantry pasta?

The possibilities are really limitless since it may be anything your little heart wishes, but here are a few of our favorites:


  • anchovies
  • sardines
  • chicken (particularly shredded chicken) (especially shredded chicken)
  • Italian sausage crumbles
  • shrimp


  • chickpeas
  • beans in black
  • garbanzo beans
  • lima beans


  • spinach
  • kale
  • tomatoes in the shape of cherries
  • onions caramelized
  • peas
  • artichokes
  • mushrooms
  • corn

Herbs and spices

  • chives
  • the green onions
  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • thyme
  • red pepper flakes, crushed
  • chili flakes

How long does pantry pasta take to make?

15 minutes with my basic recipe! But, it is entirely dependent on what else you add to it, since some of the components may need a bit longer preparation.

Do I have to use spaghetti?

Nope! We’ve been known to employ:

  • rigatoni
  • linguine
  • fettuccini
  • penne
  • cavatappi
  • bucatini

To make it more filling, replace the spaghetti with gnocchi.

Contrary to common assumption, gnocchi is a dumpling rather than pasta.

How to make pantry pasta

  1. Cook your pasta to al dente according to package instructions in a large saucepan. The standard rule of thumb for spaghetti is 4 ounces of pasta per person.
  2. 2 cups pasta water, then drain. Set aside 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and the noodles. 1st Reserve
  3. In a big saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the garlic and other ingredients for a few minutes.
  4. Toss the cooked pasta with the leftover pasta water, additional butter, and cheese in a large mixing bowl to coat and incorporate.
  5. Toss in the lemon juice and zest, season with salt and pepper to suit, and serve! I like to top it with a generous amount of freshly grated cheese, black pepper, and herbs.

Best of luck preparing and dining in peace if you have a pet that is especially fond of certain of the components (in our case, seafood and cheese).

Puck loves to show off his height and shout at us so we know he’s open for taste testing. We never took him up on it, but you have to respect his perseverance.

What to serve with pantry pasta

If you want to beef up your supper even more so that guests have additional alternatives, consider adding one of these to the table as well:

  • Simple Cheesy Garlic Bread
  • Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits Duplicate
  • Dinner Rolls with Rosemary and Sea Salt
  • Delicata Squash and Brussels Sprouts Roasted

15-Minute Pantry Pasta

Pin Print

Prep Time: 5mins
Cook Time: 10mins
Total Time: 15mins
Servings: 2servings
    ✓ Read the recipe beginning to end
    ✓ Check oven calibration
    ✓ Check expiration dates
    ✓ Properly measure ingredients
    ✓ Check butter temperature


I call this “pantry pasta” because it can be made with whatever ingredients you have on hand in your fridge and pantry! An easy to customize recipe base that can be ready on the table in about 15 minutes.


  • a big pot
  • Small saucepan
  • grater box


Base pasta recipe

  • 8 ounces dried spaghetti, about 4 ounces each person
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, split
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 clovesgarlic, chopped or sliced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • Sardines may be substituted for 2 ounces of anchovies (1 tin).
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, optional (grated, shredded or shaved)
  • 1 lemon zest, approximately 2 tablespoons
  • 1 lemon juice, approximately 3 tablespoons
  • season with salt and pepper to taste

Optional herb additions

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onions for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Optional veggie additions

  • 1 cup of fresh spinach
  • 4 ounces halved scherry tomatoes


  • 2 cup pasta water, drained. Set aside 1 tablespoon butter and pasta.
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 8 ounces dry spaghetti

    A big saucepan of salted water should be brought to a boil. Return to a boil and simmer, stirring periodically, until the spaghetti is al dente, approximately 8 minutes. 1st Reserve

  • Add oil to a big pot and heat over medium-high for the final few minutes of pasta cooking time. Cook until the garlic is aromatic, approximately 1 minute. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often, after adding the anchovies and red pepper flake.
    1-2 tbsp olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, 2 oz. anchovies, pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    4 cup pasta water, remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and Parmesan cheese; toss continually with tongs until liquid reduces and coats pasta, about 1 to 2 minutes.
    2 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tbsp
    Transfer the cooked pasta to the garlic mixture in the saucepan. Add 1
  • Toss in the lemon juice and zest to mix (and add more reserved pasta water as needed). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    1 lemon zest, 1 lemon juice, salt & pepper
  • or herbs, and have fun!
    1 tbsp. chives, 1 tbsp. green onions for garnish, 1 tbsp. parsley

    Serve immediately, topped with more cheese and

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 689kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 620mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2409IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 4mg
Rate this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *