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Easy One Pot Lemon Pasta

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Quick to make and full of refreshing flavor, this Easy One Pot Lemon Pasta is a satisfying weeknight dinner you can have on the table in less than 20 minutes. Serve it on its own or with your favorite sides for a comfort food recipe no one can resist! 

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. Made with just 8 pantry staples and cooked in one pot, it’s the easiest most delicious pasta you’ll ever create! Here are just a few reasons why we love 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. 

How to Make This One Pot Lemon Pasta Recipe

  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

Recipes don’t get much easier than this lemon pasta. However, we have a few tips and tricks that will make it even better! 

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 under-cooking 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? 

One of our favorite things about this pasta is that it’s filling enough to be a complete dish! However, it also pairs well with all your favorite sides, salads, and breads. 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

Looking for more comforting dinners you can make with ease? Check out some of our longtime favorite one pot recipes! 

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

Easy One Pot Lemon Pasta

Food Dolls
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!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
15 mins
Course dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 5
Calories 369 kcal

Ingredients
  

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

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta al-dente according to pasta instructions. Drain, and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir for 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant.
  • 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.
  • Serve with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | 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
Keyword easy one pot meal, easy one pot pasta, lemon, lemon garlic, one pot pasta
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