This angel hair pasta recipe is tender noodles coated in garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil, butter and parmesan cheese. Add a fresh tomato topping for a memorable side dish or lighter main course option!

When I’m looking for a hearty side dish to serve alongside meat and vegetables, I turn to homemade Rice-A-Roni, baked mac and cheese, or this simple yet totally satisfying angel hair pasta.

Garlic and Herb Angel Hair Pasta #pasta #garlic #sidedish #dinner #dinneratthezoo Garlic and Herb Angel Hair Pasta #pasta #garlic #sidedish #dinner #dinneratthezoo

Garlic and herb angel hair pasta topped with fresh tomatoes.

Pasta is typically a quick dish to make, especially angel hair pasta. It has the fastest cooking time of almost every other pasta, and it’s delicious too!

This light and delicious pasta is coated in a savory garlic and herb sauce, and goes well with chicken, beef and seafood entrees. It pairs perfectly with sirloin steak or New York strip steak or a nice chicken dish like chicken saltimbocca or chicken scallopini! You can enjoy this pasta with so many main dishes!

What is angel hair pasta used for?

Angel hair pasta, also known as capellini, is a thin, fine pasta with long strands. It’s best used for delicate sauces such as light tomato or cream sauces. It’s often served in simple preparations, and can be substituted for spaghetti in some dishes. I typically serve this pasta as a side dish to complement a heartier main course.

How do you make angel hair pasta with garlic and herbs?

For this recipe, melt butter in a pan along with some olive oil. Cook your pasta according to package directions. Add some garlic to the olive oil mixture, along with an assortment of fresh herbs. Place the cooked pasta in the pan of sauce, then toss to coat. Add some parmesan cheese to the mixture, then top with diced tomatoes and serve.

Melted butter with garlic and olive oil in a pan.

Tips for the perfect pasta

  • Take care not to overcook your pasta! It’s really easy to cook it for too long, and you’ll end up with a mushy texture.
  • You can use any fresh herbs you like in this dish. Some of my favorites include parsley, dill, basil, chives or thyme. I find that this dish tastes best with a combination of herb varieties.
  • No fresh herbs on hand? Add 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning instead.
  • I recommend serving this dish immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can reheat leftovers in the microwave.
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese tastes best in this recipe. The tubs of pre-grated cheese often contain stabilizers and anti caking agents and they don’t taste as good or melt as well.
  • You can make this dish vegan by using 1/4 cup olive oil instead of a mix of oil and butter, and omit the cheese.

Pasta in a pan with garlic and butter.

Angel hair pasta variations

This recipe is delicious as-is, but you can add other ingredients to customize it to your tastes.

  • Protein: Add some protein to make it a main course such as grilled chicken, sauteed shrimp, sliced flank steak or stir in some white beans.
  • Flavorings: You can stir in some kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts or cooked crumbled bacon.
  • Vegetables: Mix in some roasted or sauteed veggies such as artichokes, mushrooms, asparagus, bell peppers, red onions or zucchini.
  • Pasta: No angel hair on hand? Try another variety of pasta such as orzo, small shells or farfalle.

Pasta topped with herbs, cheese, salt and pepper.

Once you taste this pasta, you’ll find yourself making it on a regular basis! It’s quick, versatile and goes well with so many different types of meat and seafood.

Angel hair pasta served with chicken and broccoli.

More delicious pasta recipes

Angel Hair Pasta Video

5 from 21 votes

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Herbs

AuthorSara Welch
Garlic and herb angel hair pasta topped with fresh tomatoes.
This angel hair pasta recipe is tender noodles coated in garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil, butter and parmesan cheese. Add a fresh tomato topping for a memorable side dish or lighter main course option!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Serves 4


  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, dill and/or basil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • additional chopped herbs for garnish optional


  • Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.
  • Place the butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • After the butter has melted, stir in the garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds, stirring constantly.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Add the herbs and parmesan cheese to the pan, along with salt and pepper to taste, then toss to coat the pasta.
  • Top with tomatoes. Sprinkle with additional herbs for garnish if desired, then serve.


Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

Learn more about Sara

Related Posts

Free Bonus

5 Secrets to Meal Planning + Free Toolkit!

Leave a comment

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

Recipe Rating


    1. All of the recipes are printable, there’s a red printer icon under the recipe name in the recipe card.

  1. 5 stars
    Made for my husband and son last night. I doubled the receipie since my son eats like a horse. They loved it. Will make again.

    1. 5 stars
      Made as a side dish for grilled halibut and adored it!
      Especially with a ton of cherry tomato surplus from our garden, added some zucchini also. Very summery!

  2. 5 stars
    Pasta is a real comfort food for us! This recipe was very good and the addition of fresh tomatoes was so spring like.

  3. 5 stars
    So glad I found this delicious recipe and I had the ingredients in the house! During this shutdown I’m always looking for new things to make with what I have at hand. Plenty of time to cook now!

  4. 5 stars
    What’s not to love about a lighter pasta dish! I love that you have kept it light with the addition of fresh tomatoes on top.

  5. 5 stars
    This is perfect for anyone who loves pasta, but not a heavy one. I love that you can top this pasta with so many different items. I think I am going to make this and place some salmon on top.

  6. 5 stars
    So glad I found this! I can always use easy and simple dinner dishes like this for our crazy busy weeknights. Thank you for this delicious recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    This is super lovely. Using angel hair means a very quick cooking time, so definitely the perfect pasta when I’m feeling super hungry and need a quick satisfying meal. 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Oh, I love this meatless pasta recipe. I have never thought to serve pasta without meat… but this is a great idea! Thanks!