Get ready for a burst of flavor with our One-Pot Lemon Garlic Parmesan Pasta! It’s a delightful fusion of light, refreshing notes that effortlessly come together. Despite the simplicity of the ingredients, the taste is nothing short of extraordinary. We’ve added a touch of green goodness to keep it fresh, ensuring it remains both comforting and delicious. Brace yourself for a dish that’s not just easy; it’s a to-die-for delight!

a spoon lifting a scoop of lemon garlic pasta from a pot

What is one pot pasta?

If you have been making our recipes for a while, then you are probably familiar with one-pot pasta dishes like our crack chicken pasta and this Cheddar cheese herb chicken. If not, get ready for your life to change for the better. Single-pot pasta has been game-changing — it’s a busy weeknight staple in our house.

One-pot pasta is the easiest, most delicious pasta dish you will ever make. You are basically just cooking all of the ingredients along with the pasta noodles in one single dish. This makes the pasta more flavorful, and it also makes cooking way less time-consuming.

overhead of lemon garlic pasta with spinach and parmesan cheese

The benefit of making one pot pasta

We’re head over heels for one-pot pasta! It’s the kitchen superhero we never knew we needed – making flavorful, fuss-free meals with minimal cleanup. In fact, we have assembled a list of some of our favorites right here! This particular time-saving recipe is incredible. It only dirties one dish to clean after you have cooked.

If you’re like us, that is music to your ears! We love a simple recipe that packs in the flavor AND keeps our kitchen sink easier to manage. With everything cooking in a single pot, your post-dinner cleanup is a breeze.

While the easy cleanup is definitely one of the best parts of one-pot pasta, it is not the only benefit. The flavor you get from cooking the pasta with all the ingredients is just so good!!

Instead of boiling the pasta in water, we cook it straight in the broth along with salt and garlic to develop the sauce. This adds an extra layer to the taste profile of this dish because the noodles absorb the flavors that it is cooking in.

overhead image of a pot of lemon garlic pasta with a wooden spoon sticking out

How to make one pot lemon garlic pasta

  1. Pour the pasta of your choice into a deep pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Sprinkle in salt and chopped garlic, followed by broth. Heat up the pot on the stovetop and bring it up to a boil. Cover and cook the pasta for about 10-12 minutes or until pasta is al-dente.
  3. When cooked, squeeze in the juice from one lemon. After adding lemon juice, add in lemon zest and give it a quick mix.
  4. Pour in heavy cream, spinach, and chopped parsley. Give everything a mix and allow the spinach to wilt from the heat of the pasta.
  5. Sprinkle on shredded parmesan and mix it one more time.
  6. Serve with a lemon wedge, fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of parm!
close up overhead image of lemon garlic pasta on wooden spoon

Variations you can make to this recipe

The beauty of this dish lies in its versatility – it’s a canvas waiting for your creative touch. Whether you’re making a tweak to accommodate a food allergy or feeling adventurous and want to add extra components, the possibilities are endless. With easy variations, you simply can’t go wrong.

Here are some easy changes you can make to this recipe:

  • You can easily turn this into a gluten free pasta recipe by swapping in your favorite gluten-free pasta. We recommend to follow the instructions for the cook time on the box of gluten free pasta you use. Wheat pasta is a bit more hearty than gluten free pasta, so the noodles may break apart if you cook them for too long.
  • If you are following a dairy-free diet but love this recipe, you can absolutely make this dairy free! You can either omit the heavy cream and shredded parmesan cheese altogether, or switch them out for a dairy-free alternative. Oat creamer has the most mild flavor of plant-based milks, and has a similar texture to heavy cream. There are also plenty of dairy free substitutes for parmesan you can use!
  • To easily make this recipe healthier, you can add in more veggies! We find that broccoli and artichokes compliment the acidity of this lemony pasta recipe. Eggplant and zucchini are two other vegetables that pair well with lemon garlic pasta, and would taste incredible in this!
  • If you are not a fan of spinach you can switch up the greens. Swiss chard or arugula are delicious alternatives to spinach that will taste great alongside the rest of the ingredients in this dish. You can also remove the spinach and not replace it with another leafy green if you prefer.

How to store leftover one pot lemon garlic pasta

If you have leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. We recommend reheating on the stove top with a splash of water. But the microwave works well too! The extra bit of water prevents the pasta noodles from drying out during the process of reheating.

We don’t recommend freezing this pasta recipe because the sauce is so light it doesn’t defrost and reheat as well as some of our creamier pasta recipes.

pasta shells, spinach, and Parmesan in a pot to make one pot lemon garlic pasta

One Pot Lemon Garlic Parmesan Pasta

5 from 14 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
This one pot pasta dish is light and refreshing, and beyond easy to make. The ingredients are simple, but the taste is to-die-for! Serve it with a side of chicken, shrimp, or keep it meatless!

Ingredients  

  • 16 ounces shellbow pasta or pasta shells
  • 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper more or less to taste
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsely
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shavings

Instructions 

  • Pour the pasta into a deep pot or dutch oven.
    16 ounces shellbow pasta or pasta shells
  • Sprinkle in salt, pepper, and chopped garlic, followed by broth. Heat up the pot on the stovetop and bring it up to a boil. Cover and cook the pasta for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is al-dente.
    4 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt
  • When cooked, squeeze in the juice from one lemon, zest and give it a quick mix.
    juice of 1/2 lemon, Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • Pour in heavy cream, spinach and chopped parsley. Give everything a mix and allow the spinach to wilt from the heat of the pasta.
    1 cup heavy cream, 3 cups fresh baby spinach, 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsely
  • Sprinkle on shredded parmesan and mix it one more time.
    1/2 cup parmesan cheese shavings
  • Serve with a lemon wedge, fresh parsley and a sprinkle of parm!
    1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 1324mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2884IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 241mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

5 from 14 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




30 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was super fast and delicious … served it with a rotisserie chicken from Costco … I also sliced cherry tomatoes and sprinkled them on top of the pasta …. So good

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! It’s so creamy with just the right amount of cheesy goodness and a perfect touch of lemon! My family loved it! We will be making this again, for sure!

  3. Hi there! Can’t wait to try this tomorrow. Quick question: will the recipe still work as written if I substitute angel hair pasta? Sometimes I’m just in a twirl-a- noodle kind of mood!

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m very new at tracking calories, but is 500 Calories what’s in the whole meal, or is it 500 calories per each individual bowl eaten? What is the serving size for a single person? How do I measure the serving size out, just 1 cup per bowl? Sorry if this is confusing.

    1. 500 calories per serving! A serving size is 1/6th of the recipe, probably around 1 cup. For the most accurate serving size, you could weigh the entire dish on a food scale, and divide that by 6! Or, just eyeball it. 😊

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa

  5. 5 stars
    Sooooooo amazing!!!!! I did use the juice from a hole lemon not just half 😝 also used the frozen Tyson chicken slices

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made this before, and it’s just so dang good! Light and fresh. 👌🏼 Question: is there a way to do this in the slow cooker? What timeframe might you recommend? Thanks!

    1. So glad to hear! Personally, we have not tried this in the slow cooker. We recommend setting it on high for 1.5-2 hours or until pasta is cooked!

  7. 5 stars
    Love this! Get compliments on each time I make it. Have you ever added chicken in with this? Or make chicken on the side?

  8. 5 stars
    This is TRULY one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in a while. Not only was it so easy to throw together, but it is SO FRESH! Love the lemon and the parm gives in the perfect cheesiness! Can’t wait to try more recipes.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and added grilled shrimp. It was easy to make and the flavor was amazing! Definitely will make again!

  10. Made this for my one year old daughter only I substitute the pasta with chickpea pasta, for protein purposes and changed up the heavy cream to a milk and butter ratio I found online (because I never carry heavy cream in the house)! We love it! Very fresh and tastefully done! Thank you ladies for sharing

  11. 5 stars
    I made this for my family for dinner, it was so amazing! My dad is on a low-carb diet, but me, my mom and brother all loved it! Sidenote – I used half-and-half instead of cream and lime juice instead of lemon and juice and it worked just fine, highly recommend! Thanks for the recipe,

    -Torie