Ready in just 20 minutes, this light and creamy lemon pasta recipe is the perfect simple dinner that everyone will love!
Homemade creamy lemon pasta
Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal or a fancy pasta recipe to serve guests at your next dinner party, lemon pasta is a welcome addition to any menu.
Try it with grilled asparagus in the summer or roasted brussels sprouts in the winter.
We make the thick lemon cream sauce at least once a month. It is rich, velvety, and perfect over steamed vegetables and proteins, as well as pasta and grains.
Want more lemon? Make Lemon Sorbet or Dole Whip
Lemon pasta sauce ingredients
You need just seven ingredients for the bright lemon pasta dish, known as pasta al limone in Italian.
These ingredients include milk of choice or nondairy creamer or heavy cream, lemon juice and optional lemon zest, minced garlic, butter or oil, cornstarch or flour, a little salt, and optional Parmesan or nutritional yeast.
If you are a garlic lover, feel free to double the amount of garlic or drizzle a little garlic oil over the top of the finished main dish before serving it.
For vegan lemon pasta, use olive oil or dairy free butter, plant based milk or cream, and dairy free Parmesan cheese or the nutritional yeast option. Many types of noodles are egg free, but it’s a good idea to read the ingredient label on the box to be sure.
The healthy dinner recipe can be wheat free and gluten free if you substitute brown rice noodles, garbanzo bean pasta, quinoa spaghetti, or other gluten free pastas.
For dessert, try this Keto Cheesecake
Watch the easy lemon pasta recipe video, above
What kind of pasta?
The recipe works with pretty much any noodle shape, including rotini, linguine, pappardelle, capellini (also called angel hair), or fettuccine.
For true lemon lovers, Trader Joe’s makes an actual lemon pasta. Their organic lemon torchietti pasta is flavored with lemon oil and turmeric for color.
This time, I decided to make lemon spaghetti. Penne is another great choice, because the tube shaped noodles capture extra creamy lemon sauce inside their hollow centers.
If you are on a low carb keto diet or simply wish to try something different, the lemony cream sauce is also great over spaghetti squash, steamed or roasted vegetables, shirataki noodles, roasted chickpeas, brown or white rice, or grilled artichokes.
How to make pasta al limone
If you will be serving the lemon sauce over pasta, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
Whisk the cornstarch into the milk or heavy cream until it is completely dissolved. Add this mixture to a nonstick pan, along with all of the other lemon sauce ingredients.
Whisk the sauce over low medium heat, slowly bringing it to a boil in the pan. Stir occasionally at first, then frequently once it begins to thicken.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to the package directions. Once the noodles are al dente, drain them fully but do not rinse. Set the pot of pasta aside.
Turn off the heat under the pan, and season the homemade lemon pasta sauce with pepper if desired. Taste, and add additional salt if desired as well.
Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta or over any other savory foods you wish.
Leftover lemon sauce will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight covered container for up to five or six days. It can technically be frozen but will not have the same creamy texture once thawed.
How do you serve the healthy lemon pasta recipe?
Many people like to serve lemon pepper pasta with roasted chicken, shrimp, tuna fish, salmon, lobster, or sausage.
To keep mine vegetarian, I prefer adding roasted brussels sprouts or broccoli, grilled zucchini or asparagus, or sautéed spinach or kale. I will also sometimes add white beans or fried tofu for more protein.
Sometimes I will even add finely diced walnuts or chopped pistachios.
The pasta makes a wonderful main course when paired with a side of sautéed mushrooms and a simple salad with cherry tomatoes and Italian dressing.
Serve the pasta with one of these Cauliflower Recipes
The pasta recipe was adapted from my Vegan Alfredo Pasta.
- 2 cups milk of choice, nondairy creamer, or heavy cream
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, and optional zest of one lemon
- 3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch, or 5 tbsp flour (or try this Cauliflower Alfredo Recipe)
- 3 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- optional parmesan or nutritional yeast as desired
- 8 oz pasta, or whatever you wish to go with the sauce
The creamy sauce will only have a slight lemon taste without the zest, so be sure to include it if you want a pronounced lemon flavor.Whisk the cornstarch into the milk until completely dissolved. Whisk in all remaining ingredients. Slowly bring to a boil over low-medium heat. Stir occasionally at first, then constantly once it starts to thicken. Turn off the heat, and season as desired. Pour over pasta, roasted vegetables, or whatever you wish.View Nutrition Facts
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