Crispy Spaghetti Nests


An easy snack using leftover spaghetti
that's completely customizable



In my “5 Spaghetti Dinners from Around the World” series, this household specialty came across my submissions. I’m excited to share this cheesy, filling, South African-inspired pasta dish with you. Crispy spaghetti nests were a true treat, and I loved the story behind their creation.

Lineke from South Africa was kind enough to share this very personal recipe with us. Although crispy spaghetti nests aren’t a local South African dish, Lineke’s mom created this dish as a special treat for her daughter to cheer her up when she felt down. These crunchy, flavorful pasta rounds never fail to brighten Lineke’s day so she wanted to share them.

I absolutely loved the idea of this dish, and it came together beautifully. Though adults often warn children not to play with their food, I think there’s something to be said about being creative with food, and crispy spaghetti nests proves my point! Once you make your egg, cheese, and spaghetti mixture, you throw a bit in a pan and fry it in melted butter. The eggs cover the individual spaghetti strands and bind them together, creating nests. You’ll fry the nests on both sides, but be delicate when flipping them.

This dish is super accessible, flexible, and easy to make. You can use whatever herbs you like, leftover or fresh spaghetti, and other add-ins like fried bacon bits or sun dried tomatoes. I think you could even dip the nests in sauces.

Ultimately, this dish brought a smile to my face. It was simple, fun, unique, and delicious. Lineke would love for you to experience the uncommon taste of crispy pasta, and I agree that it’s a wonderful food.

Watch the Video

Crispy Spaghetti Nests


  • 2 cups leftover cooked spaghetti
  • 1 ½ cups grated yellow or cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3 Tbsp fresh herbs of your choice (or 1 Tbsp of dried herbs)
  • salt to taste
  • butter  as needed


  • Mix together the first five ingredients, trying to make sure all the spaghetti gets egg on it. It is okay if some of the spaghetti strands stick together. Just make sure the eggs and cheese gets everywhere.
  • Spin some of the mixture on a fork to create the nest shape. Heat a pan with butter to melt it. 
  • Place the nested spaghetti in a pan on high heat with the butter already melted. 
  • Press down with a spatula so the cheese can melt the spaghetti together. Flip and fry on the other side. 
  • Adding more butter for frying is better as it gets more crispy pieces. Serve hot as is or with some fried bacon bits or sundried tomatoes!
Course: Lunch, Snack
Region: Africa
Keyword: Kid Friendly


You May Also Like


Introduce yourself to Kenyan cuisine with these simple and fragrant fried doughnuts


While it may look simple, this dish is nothing like you’ve ever experienced