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Creamy lemon pasta served in a white bowl.

Creamy Lemon Pasta

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  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 large servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Creamy Lemon Pasta is a vegetarian-friendly recipe made with just a handful of easy ingredients. Ready to serve in under 30 minutes!


Units Scale
  • 8 ounces of pasta
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, cut into 1 tablespoon chunks and divided
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup of finely grated parmesan
  • Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of flour to thicken sauce


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. You want it to be *slightly* undercooked as it will cook a little more in the skillet with the sauce. Be sure to save ½ cup of the pasta water.
  2. When the pasta has 5 minutes left, start the sauce. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Whisk in the lemon zest and cream and continue to whisk until the liquid comes to a gentle simmer.
  3. Add the remaining butter in, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring continuously until all of the butter is added and melted. If your pasta is not yet done, remove the sauce from the heat.
  4. Once the pasta is done, return the sauce skillet to the heat over medium and whisk in ½ cup of the pasta water. Then transfer the pasta to the skillet with the sauce and stir to coat.
  5. Mix in the parmesan until it’s fully melted. Finally, add in the lemon juice and stir to combine. The sauce should be a little on the thinner side but it thickens quickly as it begins to cool. However, if you think it’s too thin, you can sprinkle on a teaspoon of flour and stir to mix.
  6. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!


  • To store. Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. We do not recommend freezing this pasta dish.
  • To reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven or large pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat, splashing in cream, almond milk, regular milk or water as needed to loosen the sauce. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American