You'll love this Lemon Butter Pasta Recipe! With a lemon butter pasta sauce, perfectly cooked spaghetti, and plenty of cheese, each bite of this easy pasta dish is so delicious!
Lemon garlic butter sauce has always been one of my favorite ways to eat pasta. Who doesn't love lemon, garlic, and butter?!
My version of this pasta al limone doesn't have any heavy cream. Instead, it has a flavorful lemon sauce that comes together with the juice and zest of fresh lemons. It's so delicious and doesn't need any cream added!
The trick to get a creamy sauce without adding cream is by adding pasta water to the cooked hot pasta in the sauce. Tossing everything together with the pasta water creates a delicious silky, creamy sauce.
This pasta dish is perfect for busy weeknights but is fancy feeling enough for a special occasion or date night! It takes minimal effort but gives you maximum flavor in each bite.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Delicious - This Lemon Butter Sauce recipe is so delicious. Each bite is packed with flavor that your family will truly love! It's really a perfect dish for the whole family. Great for entertaining too!
Approachable - This recipe is approachable and is easy to make. You only need a few kitchen tools to make this great recipe. The best part of this pasta recipe is easy enough to make for a weeknight, but also fancy-feeling enough to make for a date night!
Kid Friendly - This is a great recipe for adults and children!
Here are the simple ingredients you will need for this lemon butter garlic pasta sauce recipe:
- Spaghetti - Any pasta shape cooked til al dente will be delicious with this recipe. Use the best quality pasta you can find!
- Olive Oil
- Unsalted Butter
- Garlic - miced
- Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes - for a little bit of a kick
- Lemon Juice - fresh lemon juice is preferred
- Lemon Zest - don't skip this!
- Parmesan Cheese - grated
- Italian Parsley - fresh parsley gives this dish a burst of freshness!
Let's make this simple pasta recipe together!
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Check the package instructions if you're not sure how long to cook. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain. Set spaghetti aside.
While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add lemon juice and lemon zest to the large pan. Reduce heat to low.
Add cooked pasta and reserved starchy pasta water. Toss until evenly coated with sauce. Top with grated parmesan and Italian parsley and serve.
Expert Tips and Tricks
Here are some expert tips to make this delicious recipe perfect.
Reserve Pasta Water - Don't skip reserving pasta water! This step is crucial and helps bring the garlic lemon butter pasta sauce together with the pasta.
Complete the Meal - Complete the meal with an arugula salad and a glass of white wine!
Utilize Leftovers - Use leftovers for meal prep. Add grilled chicken and a handful of spinach or arugula for a delicious prepared lunch for the entire family!
Here is some kitchen equipment you will need for this recipe. You can find all of these products on Amazon.
Large Skillet - You'll want a high quality large skillet with enough room to make the sauce and add the pasta.
Pasta Bowl - I love serving pasta in good quality pasta bowls. They're perfect for a variety of dishes, so they're super versatile!
Spaghetti Noodles - Buying quality pasta online is so easy. This spaghetti is super high quality and you can have it delivered straight to your house!
Here are some common recipe substitutions and variations for this easy recipe.
Pasta Shape - Substitute the pasta shape. Angel hair pasta, linguine, or any other type of pasta will work in this recipe. You can also use gluten free pasta or whole wheat pasta in this recipe.
Add Protein - Add chicken or shrimp for extra protein and extra flavor! Or, use our chicken limone recipe and pair both together!
Add Cream - You can add cream to this lemon garlic pasta to make it a more creamy pasta. Add ½ cup of cream to the sauce before you add to the pasta and mix well.
What To Serve With
Here are some suggestion on what to serve this garlic lemon pasta with:
- Chicken Limone
- Spinach Stuffed Salmon
- Lemon Pepper Shrimp
- Pan Fried Sea Bass
- Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- Simple Charcuterie Board
- Lemon Goat Cheese Tart
- Peach Panzanella Salad
Frequently Asked Questions
This lemon butter sauce has lemon juice and zest, olive oil, butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and parsley. It's super flavorful!
Pasta al limone is a delicious and easy pasta dish that contains lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and butter for a bright and lemony pasta.
The best way to reheat this lemon pasta recipe is to heat in a skillet with a little olive oil over low heat until warm.
Recipe Storage and Reheating
Here are storage and reheating instructions for this recipe.
Refrigerator Storage: Store in an airtight continuer and eat leftovers within 4-5 days.
Freezer Storage: Freeze in a freezer-safe, airtight container and keep for up to 3 months. When you're ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator and reheat as instructed below.
Reheating Instructions: The best way to reheat this recipe is to heat in a skillet with a little olive oil over low heat until warm.
Other Recipes to Try
Check out some of our other delicious weeknight dinners!
Lemon Butter Pasta
- 1 lb Spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain. Set spaghetti aside.
- While spaghetti is cooking, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add lemon juice and lemon zest to the pan. Reduce heat to low.
- Add cooked spaghetti and reserved pasta water. Toss until evenly coated with sauce. Top with grated parmesan and Italian parsley and serve.