This Easy One Pot Lemon Pasta is the superhero of weeknight dinners, swooping in to save the day in under 20 minutes. Serve it solo or with your trusty sidekicks, and watch as it becomes the comfort food champion everyone at the table is raving about. It’s quick, easy, and bursting with zest – because weeknight dinners should always be fabulous! 

This post is sponsored by Danish Creamery but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

overhead image of a white plate full of lemon pasta topped with fresh herbs, purple flowers, and a lemon wedge

Why You’ll Love this Lemon Pasta

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly weeknight dinner or the perfect recipe for a special occasion, this Lemon Pasta always fits the bill. Crafted with just 8 pantry staples and cooked in a single pot, it’s the easiest, most delicious pasta creation you’ll ever whip up! Here are a few reasons why we’re head over heels for it:

  • The simple ingredients are easy to find and super budget-friendly
  • It requires minimal prep and makes for quick cleanup
  • You can bulk it up with all your favorite proteins, veggies, and toppings. 
  • Leftovers keep well for satisfying lunches and dinners throughout the week. 

Simple Ingredients & Easy Substitutions

You won’t believe how such common ingredients can create the most incredible flavor! Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Butter We chose Danish Creamery Sea Salted European Style Butter for our pasta dish. It boasts an 85% butterfat, which is two to three percent more than traditional butter. This extra butterfat means more cream and less water in your butter, making this sauce super creamy and flavorful. For a dairy-free option, swap it out for a neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point such as avocado oil.
  • Pasta – We can’t resist using long strands of spaghetti, but you can make it with whatever you like best. Feel free to use gluten-free or whole wheat noodles, too. 
  • Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings – For the absolute best flavor we use salt, black pepper, and grated garlic. You can use pre-grated garlic. However, the key to the boldest taste is to include fresh garlic and grate it by hand. Trust us, it’s worth the extra effort! 
  • Lemon – We love a strong lemon taste. So, we include both the juice and the zest of fresh lemon. 
  • Cheese – For a little extra savoriness, we incorporate a bit of Parmesan cheese, but feel free to omit it completely for a vegan recipe. 
a grater, a bock of Parmesan cheese, Danish Creamery butter, and two lemons

How to Make This One Pot Lemon Pasta Recipe

Making this lemon pasta is an absolute breeze. Here’s the simple scoop on what you need to do:

  1. Cook the pasta to al-dente
  2. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. 
  3. Stir in the garlic, salt, and pepper, whisking for 1 minute. 
  4. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and cooked spaghetti
  5. Incorporate the noodles, ¾ cup of pasta water, and Parmesan. 
  6. Stir until the noodles are fully cooked and the cheese is melted.
  7. Garnish with fresh parsley and extra Parmesan cheese.

Cooking Tips

Hold onto your pots and pans, because recipes don’t get much easier – or tastier – than this lemon pasta! But we’ve also got a few tips and tricks up our sleeves that will take this already fantastic dish and totally elevate it.

Don’t Overcook the Noodles. Your noodles will continue to cook when combined with the other ingredients. So, you’ll want to cook them just to al dente. Otherwise, they’ll become mushy and overcooked! 

Save Your Pasta Water. Once pasta has been cooked, the leftover water contains starch that can be added to the noodles to help the lemon sauce stick more easily. 

Use Fresh Parmesan. It might take extra time to grate your own Parmesan but trust us. The flavor is so worth it! 

Common Questions About Lemon Garlic Pasta

How long does lemon pasta last? 

This lemon garlic pasta is best when served right away. However, leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days

When you’re ready to eat, just toss them with a bit of water to loosen the sauce, and warm your pasta in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Can I Freeze Lemon Garlic Pasta? 

Yes, frozen leftovers will stay fresh for up to 4 months. However, if you’re planning on freezing your pasta, we recommend undercooking it just slightly so that it does not become soggy once thawed. Also, we suggest leaving out the Parmesan until you’re ready to serve! 

What should I serve with this lemon pasta recipe? 

This pasta is a meal in itself, packing enough punch to stand on its own! But here’s the beauty – it’s also a fantastic team player. Pair it with your favorite sides, salads, or some crusty bread. Some of our favorite options include cheesy garlic bread, cucumber and tomato salad, Greek salad, and roasted peppers with whipped feta!   

What can I add to this recipe? 

This lemon pasta recipe is super tasty as it is, but you can also spruce it up with add-ins like fresh veggies such as broccoli or spinach, shredded chicken, cooked shrimp, ground beef, or even toasted nuts for a bit of extra crunch. 

More One Pot Pasta Recipes You’ll Love

On the hunt for more comforting dinners that won’t have you juggling a ton of pots and pans? Dive into a collection of our longtime favorite one-pot recipes listed below.

close up image of a plate full of easy one pot lemon pasta
close up image of a bowl of easy one pot lemon pasta

Easy One Pot Lemon Pasta

5 from 1 vote
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 5 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Light and refreshing, this Easy One Pot Lemon Pasta comes together with bold flavors in less than 20 minutes for the ultimate crowd-pleasing dish!

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound cooked spaghetti
  • 1 stick salted Danish creamy butter
  • 2 cloves grated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons juice of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Cook pasta al-dente according to pasta instructions. Drain, and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
    1 pound cooked spaghetti
  • In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir for 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant.
    1 stick salted Danish creamy butter, 2 cloves grated garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and cooked spaghetti. Stir in 3/4 cup reserved pasta water, and parmesan cheese. Toss to coat the pasta. Add more pasta water, if needed.
    3 Tablespoons juice of a lemon, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • Serve with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired.
    3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 856mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 685IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Food Dolls

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is literally one of the easiest meals to make!

    I was skeptical at first thinking the lemon flavor would be too overpowering but you hardly taste it.

    Perfect for a last minute week night quickie.