Easy Lemon Pasta

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.
Ingredients for lemon pasta laid on baking tray

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.

Easy Pasta Recipes: 

Wine Pairing with Lemon Pasta: 

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

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. 

For more great Platings & Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Overhead shot of lemon pasta in white bowl topped with basil leaves.

Lemon Pasta

Lemon Pasta is deliciously tangy and creamy, plus it comes together in under 15 minutes!
3.98 from 138 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people


  • 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


  • 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. 
  • Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return drained spaghetti to the pot.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Garnish with lemon zest, chopped basil and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


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. 
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 141mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 1mg
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. 

54 thoughts on “Easy Lemon Pasta”

    • 3 stars
      So I made this and the lemon was way too overpowering. I probably wouldn’t use the zest of three lemons. I would scale back to using the zest from only one in the future.

    • OMG so good! I par-boiled clean shrimp, drained (make sure NO shell or tails remain) Then I toss them into the pasta for 2 minutes prior to draining the pot. They cook up quick and they’re a delicious addition to this amazing pasta. In the springtime I may just toss in frozen peas. The lemon & basil goes super well with shrimp & peas.

    • 3 stars
      Very lemony to the point the husband said it was too much. I think one lemon and one lemon zest would be more than enough. We called it lemonade pasta. Lol it was fun to try. Easy to make.

  1. 5 stars
    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!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I sauteed onions, garlic, and asparagus to add to pasta with grilled chicken…so good!

  3. 5 stars
    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!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for a spontaneous dinner party with my friends as I had all of the ingredients on hand. So easy to make and super delicious! My friends and I all loved the dish. 10/10 would make again.

  5. 5 stars
    I did it for my wife who is a snob. She loved it and had seconds. Thanks chef! We loved this dish. The only change I made was one less lemon. You rock. 5 stars!

  6. Awesome! Lemon Pasta is my favorite food. It’s great to be able to cook it right at home, it’s really not as difficult as I thought, thanks for your detailed instructions. Best regards!

  7. 3 stars
    The first bite was so good. Sadly the lemon was very strong and by the time my serving was done I was over-satiated with lemon. So, if you are a lemon LOVER then you will probably really like this.

  8. 2 stars
    Much too lemony for my family. I love acidity and I still found this a little too intense. Next time I might cut it down to two or one lemons. It was super fast to make and was fairly easy as well! Just cut the lemon down or cook the sauce a little longer to cook down the acidity.

  9. 5 stars
    Looks great! The recipe is quite simple and easy to prepare, added to the menu for this weekend. Hope to enjoy the best Lemon Pasta with my family. Thanks and have a nice day!

    • Thanks for the feedback! I’m going to test this recipe again using actual measurements of lemon juice vs. lemons and will revise the recipe. I think this is important size lemons can vary so much in size.

  10. 5 stars
    I loved this. I had forgotten to get the heavy cream so I threw in a big old dollop of sour cream and it worked really well. Love the chopped basil flavor!

  11. 5 stars
    Easy Lemon Pasta is awesome! I just finished it last night and the result was unexpected, my wife and daughter both liked it, which made me happy. Thanks for your recipe

  12. 1 star
    Why do you feel the need to add alcohol to everything? Ever consider some people are alcoholic and can’t just have a “glass of wine”?

    • Ever consider that you come across as rude?
      And your issue with alcohol shouldn’t be added to a recipe rating. Not kind or fair to the author who spent a lot of time and effort to provide us this info for free.

    • There is no wine in the recipe. It is just a suggested pairing. Given the name of the website, I don’t know why this is a surprise to you. If you can’t/don’t want to drink alcohol with it, then don’t.

  13. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Easy to make and so flavorful. I added grilled shrimp and peas. Delicious. I love all your recipes. Perfect!

  14. 5 stars
    This is going to be a short review as I’m eating this amazing pasta dish as I write. It was so simple and full of flavor. I did have to add more red pepper flakes but aside from that, I followed the recipe exact. I was able to pick some fresh basil from my outdoor garden and that was better than the crush basil in a bottle. Amazing, easy and delicious dish. Thank you. It’s on my Pintrest Pasta board so I don’t lose it. 🙂

  15. 5 stars
    Imake this, but instead of the fatening cream, i use a 2% fat greek yogurt.And of course, a little less lemon zest. Thank you!

  16. 5 stars
    This is now a staple dish in our house. We both fell in love with this recipe. We like spice so we add a little more red pepper. But each person has different taste buds so point is it’s amazing and you can make slight alterations where needed to fit your palette.


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