5 ingredients or less, easy, mental health meals, one pan meals, pasta

Easy One-Pan Buttered Pasta

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Nothing embodies “easy weeknight dinner” more than a simple buttered pasta. This recipe expands on that concept in order to make the easiest and quickest meal possible, while adding some nutritious ingredients to make it more complete. 

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Core Ingredients

Pasta- Any pasta shape can be used in this versatile recipe. Whichever one you go with be sure to boil it according to the “al dente” instructions on the box. This is usually 1 to 2 minutes short of the full cooking time. The pasta will finish cooking in the butter sauce

Butter- The star of the show. Try to use a good quality butter for best effect. Both unsalted and salted butter work, as additional salt will be added to taste near the end.

Water- The boiling liquid for the pasta is a crucial ingredient to turn the butter into a creamy sauce. The starch from the pasta helps bind the water to the fat, making a smooth a luxurious sauce with just two ingredients.

Optional Ingredients

Parmesan cheese- Need I say anything? Parmesan cheese is a fantastic way to up the flavor of this dish. Be sure to hold off on the salt until after the cheese is added so you don’t end up overseasoning.

Spinach- It’s healthy, and its flavor works well in this dish. You can use fresh spinach too, but nothing beats the convenience of frozen spinach.

Chicken- The protein source of this dish. Feel free to cook your own proteins to pair with this recipe, but a cheap rotisserie chicken was made for a dish like this.

Easy One-Pan Buttered Pasta



Prep timeminutes
Cooking time




  • 5 oz dried spaghetti

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

  • ½ cup frozen spinach

  • ½ cup rotisserie chicken

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Fill a wide pan with enough water to cover the pasta, about 3-4 cups. Bring to a boil and add a big pinch of salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the brand’s instructions. Once al dente, pour out most of the water, leaving about a third of a cup of pasta water in the pan.
  • Add the butter and stir vigorously to combine the butter with the pasta water. Once the butter is fully melted and incorporated into the sauce, taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Grate in parmesan cheese. Add the spinach and rotisserie chicken. Stir on low heat until the spinach is defrosted and the chicken is warm, about 3-4 minutes.

Recipe Video

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