Creamy Lemon Pasta on a square white plate with a salad and glass of water in the background (with logo overlay)

Quick and Easy Creamy Lemon Pasta

Have dinner on the table for the family in less than 30 minutes with this delicious creamy pasta with a kick of lemon for added flavor.

Jump to Recipe

Lemon has been a staple in our house lately. Both of the boys really enjoy the flavor of lemon. They always want to eat a piece of the lemon or suck the juice out whenever they see one. That’s why we knew that creamy lemon pasta would be a great dinner for our family.

Whenever we are out to eat, they ask for lemon in their water. I don’t think a lot of servers believe them. They tend to bring the lemon slices in a separate bowl.

Because of their love for lemon, we have been trying to make more dishes with lemon flavor the whole family likes so they will eat them without an argument. It works about half the time! But, they both are usually willing to try something new at least when we make it. Which is all I ask of them.

We like having some pasta dishes for busy nights since it doesn’t take long to make. And we can make it when we forget to thaw any meat for dinner which is perfect for busy weeknights. I prefer pasta with creamy sauce (if it isn’t regular red pasta sauce), so I like to add some heavy cream to pasta when we make it.

Simple Ingredients

Water

Plain and simple. Enough water to boil the fettuccine noodles for the recipe. 

Fettuccine Noodles

I made this pasta al limone recipe with fettuccine noodles, but you could use spaghetti, linguine, angel hair pasta, or any of the long noodles. I’m not sure how it would work with others such as elbow, bowtie, or egg noodles.

Olive Oil

The oil is used to cook the lemon zest to bring out the flavor, and the green onion. I prefer to cook with olive oil, but you can substitute it for almost any other cooking oil. 

Lemon

Always use fresh lemons when you can for the most flavor. 1 lemon should give you the amount of fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice you need for this recipe. For those who want to have a fresh lemon taste, use 2 lemons for the creamy lemon sauce. 

Salt

Just a little bit of salt goes a long way in this creamy lemon pasta recipe. Add a pinch to help enhance the other flavors. 

Honey

​The honey is added for some sweetness to offset the tang of lemons just enough. It also helps to thicken the sauce. 

Green Onion

The green onion is a delicious addition to the pasta. You could also use fresh chives or diced pearl onions in place of the green onions. 

Heavy Whipping Cream

The lemon cream sauce is made creamy by adding heavy cream. This will thicken the sauce and give it a creamy texture. If you don’t have heavy cream try substituting it with Greek yogurt or coconut cream for the same texture. 

Parmesan Cheese

Adding a full cup of shredded parmesan cheese will not only thicken the creamy lemon pasta sauce but will add a delicious gooey cheesy flavor to the meal. 

Black Pepper

A little black pepper goes a long way in adding a last kick of flavor to the pasta dish. 

Add-Ins and Garnish Options

Even though my family loves this as-is, there are always ways to change a recipe to make it fit your family’s preferences. 

  • Garnish the dish with some fresh herbs such as fresh parsley or basil
  • Make this creamy lemon chicken pasta by adding some cooked chicken cut into bite-sized pieces to make this an easy dinner or main course
  • Give it a kick by adding some red pepper flakes, cayenne powder, or chili powder
  • Garlic always goes well with lemon so add some fresh garlic when you add the green onions

Creamy Lemon Pasta Step by Step

Ingredients

  • 4 qts water
  • 1 lb fettuccine noodles
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juiced and zested)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 green onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Preparation

Cook the pasta as directed in a large pot of water until it is al dente. When it’s done, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid for use in the sauce.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil and add the lemon zest.

Add the salt, honey, and green onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened.

Whisk in the cream and let it simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t scald.

Drain the noodles (reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid) and fold the lemon juice in until the pasta absorbs the juice.

Stir the parmesan cheese and reserved starchy pasta water into the cream sauce.

Add the al dente pasta to the cream sauce and toss to coat the pasta with the sauce.

Divide the pasta and garnish with pepper and lemon zest.

Creamy Lemon Pasta with a slice of lemon on a white plate with a grey napkin underneath and a salad and glass of water in the background on a white marble surface (vertical)

Creamy Lemon Pasta Leftovers

Storage: Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

Reheating: For the best results, reheat the pasta in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through. If it is dry, add a little water, milk, or chicken broth as it cooks. 

Recipe

Originally Published On: April 25, 2019

Last Updated On: May 31, 2024

Creamy Lemon Pasta on a square white plate with a salad and glass of water in the background

Creamy Lemon Pasta

Have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with this delicious creamy pasta with a bit of lemon for extra flavor.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course:
Main Dish
Cuisine:
American
Diet
Vegetarian
Keyword:
heavy cream
|
lemon
|
pasta
Dietary Needs:
Egg-Free
|
Nut-Free
Servings: 4
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients

  • 4 qts water
  • 1 lb fettuccine noodles
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juiced and zested)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 green onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta as directed until it is al dente
  • When it’s done, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid for use in the sauce
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil and add the lemon zest
  • Add the salt, honey, and green onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened
  • Whisk in the cream and let it simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t scald
  • Stir in the parmesan cheese and reserved cooking liquid into the cream sauce
  • Drain the noodles (reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid) and fold the lemon juice in until the pasta absorbs the juice
  • Add the pasta to the cream sauce and toss to coat the pasta with the sauce
  • Divide the pasta and garnish with pepper and lemon zest
Click the buttons below to share and print this recipe
Pin Recipe Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Lemon Pasta
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 875 Calories from Fat 423
% Daily Value*
Fat 47g72%
Saturated Fat 21g105%
Cholesterol 193mg64%
Sodium 931mg39%
Potassium 381mg11%
Carbohydrates 88g29%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 1170IU23%
Vitamin C 18.2mg22%
Calcium 410mg41%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

Recipes with Lemon Flavor

28 thoughts on “Quick and Easy Creamy Lemon Pasta”

  1. I am not much of a creamy pasta person! Not sure why but I just never have been My husband however wants to try this asap!

  2. Amanda @ All Day Active Life

    What a great spring time recipe! I like that you mix the noodles right in while it’s cooking. I’ve made something similar in the past, but you pour the sauce over the noodles, and it doesn’t seem to coat very well. Definitely will try this out!

    1. That’s interesting. I think I would like it better with the sauce poured over. I guess it’s because I’m not a heavy sauce girl, so a little goes a long way for me.

      1. Patranila I can understand that too! I like the noodles to be covered, so usually put them in the sauce at the end. But you could easily make the sauce and pour it over the noodles, too!

  3. Haha. I didn’t knew till today that we can add lemon to pasta. I love lemon and the little zesty tang it adds to thinks. Now, I can’t wait to try this. It looks so delicious.

  4. 5 stars
    I did not know that a combination of lemon and pasta can look so delicious. Never before I thought of mixing these two things together. Now I would love to try it.

  5. Pasta recipes are always my favorite! I have a lemon pasta recipe that I love that is very different from this one. I can’t wait to try this creamier version!

  6. I am a huge lover of all things lemon, so this is totally something I will make. It sounds delicious! Love that you’ve been looking for lemon recipes because your boys love it too!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating