Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce

Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce

About once per month, we try to do “pantry week” meaning we don’t buy any new groceries and use up things we find in the refrigerator or pantry. This helps save money because we aren’t buying more food, and it keeps us from wasting food that might otherwise go bad if not eaten.

A lot of our meals during pantry week tend to be pasta of some type since we usually have pasta on hand, and it doesn’t require meat. Typically, we only buy enough meat for exactly the meals we are making, so don’t have extra in the freezer. The only exception is when the grocery shopping is sometimes done on the day they restock, so we find good sales on meat.

Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce

We’ve also been trying to use any of the foods we grow in the garden as we harvest, so since we had some fresh arugula, we added that to this meal. If you don’t have arugula or don’t like it, you could also sub in spinach leaves. We didn’t get many of our leafy greens to grow this season which has left us limited in our choices.

Justin cooked this meal one night while I was visiting my family in Florida and he always forgets to take the instructional photos. But he does do an excellent job of making sure to get those final photos for me, so I’ll give him a pass this time!

Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce

Step by Step

Start by cooking your pasta according to the directions. Justin used ziti noodles since that’s what we had extra of in the pantry, but this sauce would work well with almost any type of noodle.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat, then add the minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the white wine and turn the heat up to medium. Let the wine cook for about 5 minutes, or until it is reduced by about one-third. The garlic should be soft, but you don’t want it to get brown.

Remove the pan from the heat and add in the butter and cream. Return the pan to the heat and continuously stir until it starts to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat again and add the lemon juice, dill, and arugula. Stir until the arugula is wilted, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the sauce over the cooked pasta noodles. Garnish with dill and/or sliced green onions.

Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce
Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce

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Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce

Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 2 servings


  • 1 cup pasta noodles
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1 bunch arugula or spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta noodles according to the package directions
  • In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low and add the minced garlic
  • Stir frequently, cooking for about 5 minutes
  • Add the white wine
  • Increase the heat to medium and cook about 5 minutes, making sure the garlic does not get brown, until the wine is reduced by one-third
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and cream
  • Return the pan to the heat and stir constantly until it begins to bubble
  • Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, dill, and arugula, stirring until the arugula has wilted
  • Add salt and pepper as needed, to taste
  • Serve the sauce over the cooked pasta noodles
Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce

13 thoughts on “Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce

  1. I haven’t had ziti noodles in ages and I love switching it up and trying something I won’t normally when it comes to noodles. This sounds so yummy, I love anything lemon!

  2. The pasta addict in me tells me to make that recipe tonight for dinner. I hope it looks as pretty as yours.

  3. Pasta with lemon sauce is one of my fave ways to cook and eat pasta! I used to work at an italian restaurant and we made this all the time! Yum!

  4. Ha! I just made a lemon butter sauce for dinner tonight… It’s such a good idea to go through the fridge and pantry and save some money (I’m all for that!) thanks for the recipe ; )

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