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Cafeteria Noodles

This old school recipe for Cafeteria Noodles made a comeback thanks to TikTok! It's great as an easy side dish or main dish and kids love it! So buttery, creamy and delicious!


noodles in a white bowl with a gray background.


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noodles being stirred in a pot.


If you love buttered noodles, then this kicked up version is a must try!

This old school cafeteria recipe originated in the south and has recently become popular again on TikTok. I've been in Minnesota my whole life, but we have some very close variations of this recipe floating around in old church cookbooks.

I grew up on cream soups and still use them in my kitchen from time to time. For those of you who are anti canned cream soup, you can give it a try with homemade cream soup. I haven't tested it, but the outcome should be similar.

These noodles are creamy, buttery and delicious! We serve them for a simple lunch, but they're also a great side dish for dinner. You can customize by adding different proteins, steamed vegetables, seasonings, herbs and broth. 

The black pepper and sliced green onions are optional, but the add some freshness and flavor, so I highly recommend adding them.


Keep scrolling for tips, additional easy pasta recipes and more!


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Shopping list:


recipe ingredients displayed on a white background.



Scroll down to the printable recipe card for measurements and instructions!


Recipe tips:


  • Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days. You can reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. The noodles may absorb some of the broth when refrigerated. You may add additional butter and broth when reheating if needed.


noodles in a white bowl with a black spoon.


More easy pasta recipes you may like:



You can add or substitute with these ingredients:


  • use any flavor cream soup (we love cream of broccoli)
  • add cooked ground beef
  • use vegetable broth instead of chicken
  • add your favorite steamed vegetables
  • add minced garlic
  • use beef broth instead of chicken
  • add crushed red pepper
  • add chopped cooked chicken
  • add a packet of onion soup mix instead of better than bouillon 
  • use water instead of broth to cut down on sodium


butter being stirred into a pot of noodles and broth.


Kitchen equipment and supplies you may need:



I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family did!



noodles in a white bowl with a recipe title text overlay.


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