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Whip up the zestiest Lemon Pasta with our foolproof recipe! Perfect for brightening up your dinner table with a creamy, tangy twist. Ready in 15 minutes, it’s a fresh take on Italian cuisine right in your kitchen. 

lemon pasta on a plate with golden cutlery
Table of Contents

Lemon Pasta, or Pasta al Limone, is the perfect mix of citrus zest and comforting pasta. The creamy lemon sauce delivers a lightness that’s just right for warm summer days. It’s a culinary experience that awakens the senses and conjures up a piece of Italy on your plate.

So, what makes this pasta stand out? It’s the seamless blend of simple, yet high-quality ingredients. The acidity of the lemon elevates the pasta to a whole new level of flavor. Cream and Parmesan add a delightful richness. It’s no surprise that this dish is a favorite in many Italian homes.

pasta al limone on a plate next to a lemon

In this blog post, you’ll learn how to easily prepare this creamy Lemon Pasta recipe, so you can enjoy this Italian classic at home. All you need is a handful of ingredients and about 15 minutes until this pasta dish is ready to serve!

Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

  • Pasta – Spaghetti is classic and probably the most well-known choice for Lemon Pasta. But Fettuccine, Linguine, Pappardelle, Tagliatelle, or Angel Hair Pasta are also excellent because they hold the sauce well and provide a pleasant texture.
  • Lemon – Since you’ll be using the zest and the juice, opt for organic lemons if possible.
  • Cream – For the necessary creaminess! You can use heavy cream or a version with less fat. I even like to use oat or soy cream as an alternative.
  • Parmesan – For that distinctive cheesy taste. Use finely grated Parmesan cheese, as it melts more quickly.
  • Olive Oil – Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil or butter, if you prefer.
  • Salt & Black Pepper – To taste.
Lemon Pasta Recipe Ingredients

Visual Step-by-Step Instructions

This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a cooking beginner!

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve some pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta through a sieve.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add lemon zest and sauté for 2 minutes on low heat. Add fresh lemon juice and let it reduce for another 3 minutes. Add cream, Parmesan, and a splash of pasta cooking water. Stir over low to medium heat until the cheese has melted.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the lemon sauce for one minute, stirring constantly. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you like, garnish the Lemon Pasta with chopped fresh parsley.
Lemon Pasta Recipe Step 1-4

Variations

Lemon Pasta, or as we affectionately call it, Spaghetti al Limone, is so versatile that you can let your creativity run wild. 🍋🍝 Here are some recipe variations that you can try. Have fun experimenting!

  • Garlic – If you love garlic, you can sauté a finely sliced clove with the olive oil for a lemon garlic pasta version.
  • Chili – A finely chopped chili can be fried in the olive oil as well. A pinch of red pepper flakes adds a spicy kick.
  • Nuts – For an extra bit of crunch, sprinkle some toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds on top. They add a pleasant texture and extra flavor to the dish.
  • Vegetables – Fresh spinach, peas, broccoli, zucchini, or even asparagus can add a fresh, crisp element. Simply stir into the pasta just before serving.
  • Ricotta – A dollop of fresh Ricotta on top of the finished pasta adds extra creaminess and a touch of luxury.
  • Lemon Basil Pasta – For a herbal upgrade, add a handful of freshly chopped basil. The combination of lemon and basil is simply divine!
  • Vegan – Substitute the cream with a plant-based alternative like coconut milk or soy cream, and replace Parmesan with a vegan cheese alternative.
  • Gluten-Free – Use gluten-free pasta!
spaghetti with creamy lemon sauce on a plate

Storage Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan with a little water.

More Quick Pasta Recipes

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📖 Recipe

pasta al limone auf einem teller neben einer zitrone

Lemon Pasta – Pasta Al Limone

Whip up the zestiest Lemon Pasta with our foolproof recipe! Perfect for brightening up your dinner table with a creamy, tangy twist. Ready in 15 minutes, it's a fresh take on Italian cuisine right in your kitchen. 
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 1 vote

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :10 minutes
Total Time :15 minutes
Servings : 2
Calories : 510kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 7 oz Spaghetti oder pasta of choice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon juice and grated zest
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve some pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta through a sieve.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add lemon zest and sauté for 2 minutes on low heat. Add lemon juice and let it reduce for another 3 minutes. Add cream, Parmesan, and a splash of pasta cooking water. Stir over low to medium heat until the cheese has melted.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the lemon sauce for one minute, stirring constantly. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Lemon: If you prefer a milder lemon flavor, just use half a lemon!
Garlic lovers can sauté one sliced garlic clove along with the lemon zest.
Leftovers: You can keep any remaining pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheating: Warm it up in a pan with a splash of water.

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Nutrition

Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 373mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 275mg | Iron: 2mg

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