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Creamy Lemon Pasta

This Creamy Lemon Pasta is a bright and delicious dish that can be ready in less than 1 hour!  Creamy, lemony and so easy to make.

If you’re looking for something for dinner that everyone will love, is easy to whip up and SO flavourful, add this Creamy Lemon Pasta recipe to your dinner rotation.

a close up of a bowl of Creamy Lemon Pasta garnished with fresh dill. in the background is a green napkin

A New Family Favourite

This Creamy Lemon Pasta recipe has made it’s way into our regular dinner rotation and I’m not mad about it!  Everyone absolutely loves it which makes me so happy…it can be hard to find dinner recipes that everyone at the table likes.

a top down view of a bowl of Creamy Lemon Pasta garnished with fresh dill. in the background is a green napkin, lemons and a bowl of steamed broccolini

The MOST delicious fresh ingredients.

You just can’t go wrong when you’re combining pasta, cream, fresh lemon and parmesan cheese.  Seriously, these ingredients really are a match made in pasta dinner heaven.

a top down view of a bowl of Creamy Lemon Pasta garnished with fresh dill. in the background is a green napkin, lemons and a bowl of steamed broccolini

Make it dinner or even a side dish.

The recipe below is for a full dinner serving (serves 8), but if you wanted to serve it as a side dish, feel free to cut the recipe in half.  Often times I will even make the full recipe and serve it with my favourite Lemon Garlic Turkey (or Chicken)…I don’t mind having leftovers for lunch the next day.

a close up of a bowl of Creamy Lemon Pasta garnished with fresh dill. in the background is a green napkin and three lemons

Recipe Tips:

  • Pasta:  Use any pasta that you like.  Spaghetti, fettuccini, rigatoni, penne, angel hair…
  • Cream:  Make sure to use half and half cream or heavy cream.  Any lower fat content milk may curdle with the addition of the lemon juice.
  • Butter:  I use salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, consider adding about 1/8 tsp extra salt to the dish.
  • Parmesan: I prefer to use a hunk of Parmesan that you grate on your own because it’s so flavourful, but I have also used regular pre-grated Parmesan and it works great too.
  • Lemons:  This recipe uses both lemon zest and lemon juice.  I like to add the zest and lemon juice from 2 lemons, but it is pretty lemony, so that’s why in the recipe below I have only listed the zest from 2 lemons, and juice from only 1 lemon (instead of 2).
  • Pasta Water:  What if I forget to save the drained pasta water? No worries!  Feel free to substitute it with chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Serving Suggestions:  This lemon pasta is wonderful served with any steamed or roasted green vegetable like broccoli, broccolini, asparagus or green beans.  It’s also amazing served alongside this Lemon Garlic Turkey (or Chicken) recipe…just leave out the orzo and serve this Creamy Lemon Pasta instead.
  • Leftovers.  If you end up with leftovers, this dish is delicious reheated the next day too!
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Creamy Lemon Pasta


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 450 g dry spaghetti pasta (about 1 lb)
  • 1 cup pasta water (Save this from the water when you drain the pasta. See tips above.)
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half cream
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3/4 cup butter (cut into cubes)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Boil a generously salted pot of water for the spaghetti pasta. Cook it al dente, you want the pasta to have a bit of a bite to it because it will cook more later when it simmers in the cream sauce.
  2. While the pasta is boiling you can start making the cream sauce.
  3. NOTE: When the pasta is done, pour off about 1 cup of the pasta water and set it aside to use later. Then drain the remaining water and set the pasta aside until the cream sauce is ready for it.
  4. To make the lemon cream sauce, add the cream to a large skillet, then stir in the lemon zest. Let simmer over low-medium heat for a few minutes.
  5. Then stir in the chunks of butter until they melt. Whisk over heat until the butter is melted and combined into the cream.
  6. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
  7. Then add the cooked and drained pasta to the cream sauce, and toss until coated.
  8. Add the 1 cup of pasta water and the lemon juice, and mix.
  9. Simmer over low heat for a couple of minutes.
  10. Serve immediately.

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Have a delicious day!

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