Lemon Garlic Pasta Recipe
Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy healthy weeknight dinner recipe or a simple but flavorful date night idea, this Lemon Garlic Pasta is absolutely amazing! The zesty, bright lemon flavors are refreshing and combined with the savory richness of fresh garlic and a perfect hint of buttery depth. Al dente pasta is topped off with grated parmesan, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley, making it feel like a restaurant-level treat while still being super easy to put together. Make this Lemon Garlic Pasta recipe in just 20 minutes!
What You’ll Need
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti – Chickpea pasta, brown rice noodles, or angel hair pasta work great, too!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Minced Garlic
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Lemon Juice/Lemon Zest – Fresh lemons are definitely the way to go!
- Unsalted Butter
- Grated or Shaved Parmesan Cheese
- Chopped Parsley
How to Make Lemon Garlic Pasta
Making this healthy weeknight pasta is SO easy and can be done in just 20-25 minutes! Here’s how to put this Lemon Garlic Pasta together:
- Cook the spaghetti.
- While the spaghetti cooks, toast the minced garlic and crushed red pepper in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Whisk in salt, pepper, lemon juice, and milk.
- Let simmer, then stir in the butter and 1/2 of the parmesan.
- Transfer the cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the pan.
- Coat the pasta in the lemon garlic butter sauce and mix in fresh parmesan, lemon zest, and parsley!
You’ll Also Love: Creamy Brie Pasta Recipe
Feel free to make this lemon pasta recipe your own! You can add any type of protein, vegetable, or different cheese variations. Here are a few ideas for this pasta dish:
- Chicken lemon garlic pasta – I love adding rotisserie chicken or this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken to the recipe!
- Mix in roasted broccoli
- Lemon garlic shrimp pasta – Add this Easy Lemon Garlic Shrimp for delicious shrimp pasta!
- Mix in frozen peas while cooking
- Serve with a side of Roasted Asparagus
How to Store Leftovers
I’m all about the leftovers life, and this recipe is no exception! It refrigerates, freezes, and reheats beautifully. Here are a few tips:
Refrigerator – Store the pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Freezer – Once fully cooled, set in the fridge in an airtight container for 1 hour. Then transfer to the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months!
Reheating – I like to add about 1/2 teaspoon of water to the container before reheating in the microwave. You can also add a little bit of olive oil and more grated cheese!
More Easy Weeknight Pasta Recipes
- Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake
- Spicy Vodka Ham Pasta
- Bucatini Cacio E Pepe
- Healthy Chicken Broccoli Pasta Casserole
- Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
Did you make this recipe? Rate it below and follow along on Instagram for more healthy dinner ideas!
Lemon Garlic Pasta Recipe
- 16 ounces whole wheat spaghetti (or regular)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup milk (at room temperature)
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Prepare all the ingredients in advance so that they are ready to go.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt.
- Add the spaghetti. Allow to cook for 7-9 minutes while you assemble the pasta sauce.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, minced garlic and red pepper flakes.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant and cooked through.
- Whisk in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and milk. Bring to a simmer.
- Once simmering, mix in the butter and 1/4 cup of the grated parmesan. Cook until melted and thickened.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked pasta from the pot to the pasta sauce skillet.
- Mix in 1/2 cup of the leftover pasta water to help thicken the sauce.
- Cooking on medium-low heat, add in the parsley, lemon zest, and remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.
- Toss everything together and allow the sauce to simmer until thickened and coating the pasta.