Easy Lemon Pasta

Overhead shot of Bowl of Lemon Spaghetti with serving spoon

Lemon Pasta is deliciously tangy and creamy, plus it comes together in under 15 minutes! It’s a quick and easy dinner that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Want a recipe for the perfect dish to serve at your next dinner party?

This Lemon Pasta is just what you’re looking for!


  • It’s an easy recipe that only takes 15 minutes!
  • It’s a crowd pleaser and vegetarian-friendly.
  • It’s super affordable – you can make this lemon pasta for less than $15.

And because this recipe is so easy and so affordable, that leaves plenty of room in the budget for wine and plenty of time for enjoying your guests and drinking said wine.

My favorite wine for pairing with this Lemon Pasta is Chardonnay – It’s creamy, with notes of citrus, just like this pasta!

In particular, I’ve fallen in love with J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay. This particular Chardonnay isn’t overly oaked, but it’s still buttery with the most amazing aromas of citrus, baking spices and honey. It was absolutely delicious paired with the Lemon Pasta.

Erin reaching for bottle of Chardonnay.

Here’s a few tips for making this Lemon Pasta extra delicious:

  • Generously salt your pasta cooking water. This ensures that your pasta is flavored right from the beginning. Use one tablespoon of salt for every six cups of water. We’re also going to be using that pasta cooking water to flavor our sauce.
  • Cook your pasta just short of al dente. I like to cook my pasta for about a minute less than the package directions call for. This is because the pasta will continue to cook as it’s tossed with the lemon cream sauce, and we don’t want it becoming mushy. I cooked my spaghetti for 8 minutes.
  • Save your pasta cooking liquid. That starchy water is perfect for loosening up the lemon cream sauce as it’s tossed with the pasta.
  • Don’t skimp on the basil. I used a hefty 1/2 cup of basil in this recipe. It adds a delicious flavor. I really pack the basil down into the measuring cup to be sure that I’m using enough.

Overhead shot of table with dinner plated.What should you serve with Lemon Pasta?

I hope that you love this Lemon Pasta as much as I do. And as perfect as it is for a dinner party, it’s also equally amazing to enjoy it while you’re in PJ’s enjoying an episode of the Real Housewives and a chilled glass of J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay… You may even have the ingredients on hand already to make it. No need for a special occasion – any day of the week is perfect for Lemon Pasta.

Overhead shot of Bowl of Lemon Spaghetti with serving spoon

Lemon Pasta

Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy, lemon, pasta, quick, spaghetti
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erin

Lemon Pasta is deliciously tangy and creamy, plus it comes together in under 15 minutes!



  • 1 pound spaghetti or other pasta of your choosing
  • Salt
  • 3 lemons zested and juiced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water (1 tablespoon of salt for every 6 cups of water) until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. 

  2. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return drained spaghetti to the pot.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice, oil, heavy cream, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes in a bowl to combine. Add ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water and whisk to combine.

  4. Add lemon sauce to spaghetti in pot; toss until pasta is evenly coated with sauce. Add remaining cooking liquid, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Garnish with lemon zest, chopped basil and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

I like to cook my pasta about a minute less than the package directions call for. This ensures that your pasta remains al dente as it's tossed with with the lemon cream sauce and heated through. 

If you loved this Lemon Pasta recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish are share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings. 

Wine Pairing with Lemon Pasta: 

  • Chardonnay is a perfect match with the creamy, tangy sauce and the nutty parmesan cheese in this recipe.


Side view of lemon pasta.

I teamed up with J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines to bring you this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Looking for more easy pasta recipes? Be sure to try these too: 

Half & Half Linguini with Zucchini Noodles, Herbs & Fried Capers

Overhead shot of dish of zucchini noodles with fresh herbs on a black plate.

Gnocchi with Blue Cheese and Frizzled Prosciutto

Skillet filled with gnocchi topped with blue cheese and frizzled prosciutto.

30-Minute BLT Pasta 

Make this BLT Pasta for a budget-friendly date night dinner at home. All the ingredients, including a bottle of wine, come in at under $30!


  1. Waz

    Lemon pasta is the best! So simple and delicious, especially with a glass of Chardonnay. I’ll have to make a version of this recipe soon!


  2. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam

    I’m a sucker for citrus, and I like lemon in both sweet (lemon bars!) and savory (green beans!) dishes. I’ve never made spaghetti like this though!


  3. Hawnuh Lee

    This looks absolutely divine! And so simple! Love these flavors together and your photos are lovely 🙂


  4. Create/Enjoy

    Drop dead gorgeous photos! I love the lemon idea and roasted broccoli is the best!


  5. Jenni LeBaron

    I totally agree that Chardonnay is the perfect pairing for this delicious lemon pasta dish! I love how simple and flavorful the ingredients are. This looks like a great way to ring in the last few days of summer!


  6. Karly

    So simple to make and so delicious too! Thanks for sharing!


  7. EA The Spicy RD

    Beautiful pasta recipe, and a delicious excuse to use the lemons off of my tree! Love your side dish suggestions too~they all sound so delicious!


  8. Renee | The Good Hearted Woman

    I just love simple meals like this: full of flavor and easy to throw together. Thanks for the pairing notes as well!


    1. Erin

      Of course Renee – Cheers!


  9. Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper

    I love these shots! Especially the tablescape ones. Beautiful! J Lohr is a favorite as well 🙂


    1. Erin

      Thank you so much Lindsay!


  10. Village Bakery

    Awesome recipe, Erin. Made this last night and the wife loved it – Joe


    1. Erin

      Thanks Joe – So happy to hear that!


  11. Cristina M Ramirez

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I sauteed onions, garlic, and asparagus to add to pasta with grilled chicken…so good!


  12. Maria

    This was sooo good. I added some garlic salt and some Italian seasoning because I love me some garlic. Thank you for this recipe. Super quick and simple dinner!


    1. Erin

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it Maria!


  13. Karen

    We made this tonight and let me tell you it was amazing!! My husband lived it!! So simple too!!


    1. Erin

      I’m so happy it was a hit in your house Karen!


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