Creamy lemon pepper pasta is a simple, quick, and versatile meal for any time of year. It's packed with flavor even though it only uses a handful of spices from your pantry. Adding a lemon pepper sauce to any pasta will leave your mouth watering for more. All you need are some fresh ingredients, and you'll be adding this to your list of favorite pasta recipes.
This simple pasta dish can be enjoyed with various types of meat and protein, including Crispy Chicken Cutlets or Chinese Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings. Add any side or dish to complete the lemon pepper spaghetti, and you have a meal everyone will love. Keep reading to see how quick and easy this tasty recipe is.
Why this Recipe Works
Quick and Easy: Lemon pepper pasta is the perfect weeknight meal to make when you are in a pinch. It cooks up very quickly and there are minimal steps to follow.
Few Ingredients: This recipe only calls for a few ingredients, making it super simple. Since it doesn't have many ingredients, you can easily serve it with many other dishes.
Family Favorite: This is sure to be a family favorite because of the simple yet bold flavor and how easy it is to make.
Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
- Linguine: I used linguine pasta, but you can use other types of pasta like penne or spaghetti. Use your favorite pasta shape to create this simple dish.
- Butter and Olive Oil: Use 2 Tablespoons of butter and 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil to start the base of your pasta sauce.
- Garlic Cloves: Crush 2 to 3 garlic cloves for a nice flavor in your pasta sauce. I use a mortar and pestle to crush my garlic, but minced garlic works just as well.
- Spices: Red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper will add a nice zing to your creamy pasta sauce. Freshly crushed black pepper will give your pasta sauce more flavor if you have access to that. Adjust the number of red pepper flakes used based on your tolerance for heat.
- Chicken Stock and Heavy Cream: Use these ingredients to make the bulk of your pasta sauce. The heavy cream thickens the sauce and the chicken stock gives you a nice amount of sauce to coat the pasta. Use ready-made chicken stock, chicken broth, or homemade stock. I use either chicken stock or a bouillon cube for delicious flavor.
- Fresh Lemons: Remove the zest and set it aside for a garnish later. Fresh lemon juice will provide a delicious flavor for your pasta sauce.
- Grated Parmesan: I prefer to use freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, but feel free to use packaged and pre-grated cheese.
How to Make Lemon Pepper Pasta
- Boil Your Water: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. I like to salt the water generously.
- Cook Pasta: Follow the instructions to cook pasta until al dente on medium heat.
- Set Water Aside: Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water before draining your pasta noodles.
- Make Your Sauce: I like to make my sauce while the pasta is cooking. To do this, add olive oil and butter to a large skillet on medium-high heat.
- Melt Butter: Once the butter is melted, add the crushed garlic cloves, and saute them for about 15 seconds.
- Add Seasonings: Mix in your red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt. Stir the seasonings around for 2-3 minutes.
- Add Chicken Stock and Heavy Cream: Pour in your chicken stock and heavy cream. Whisk evenly and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Whisk in Lemon and Parmesan Cheese: Add in your lemon juice and grated parmesan cheese. Season the mixture with additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Mix Pasta and Sauce: Transfer your drained pasta to the finished sauce and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. If the sauce is a bit thick, add some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out.
- Garnish: Add fresh parsley, lemon zest, and shaved parmesan for a fancy garnish and extra lemon flavor.
Helpful Recipe Tips
This simple recipe is easy to throw together for dinner any night of the week. The lemon sauce is a delightful homemade sauce everyone will enjoy.
Versatile Recipe: Enjoy this recipe on its own or serve it with various side dishes or main courses. Everyone will love it served with Crispy Breaded Chicken Cutlets, Chinese Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings, or Dragon Chicken.
Use the Best Quality Ingredients: Since so few ingredients go into this recipe, it's important to use fresh herbs and spices for the best flavor.
Lemon Pepper Pasta FAQs
Both cooked and fresh pasta can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days. Always check your pasta for spoiling before serving it as leftovers.
Traditional lemon pepper sauce is made of butter, lemon pepper seasoning, honey, hot sauce or spices, and lemon juice. It is typically topped with lemon zest and parmesan cheese and enjoyed as a main dish. It's full of bright flavors, sure to satisfy all taste buds.
This simple dish is extremely healthy! If you want to make it healthier, substitute the butter for additional olive oil. The butter adds great flavor but isn't necessary. Serve with organic chicken breasts, and you have a creamy lemon pepper chicken meal to enjoy.
If you aren't sure what to serve this delicious pasta with, try some of my other recipes. This pasta goes great with Crispy Breaded Chicken Cutlets, Chinese Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings, Mozzarella Chicken, or Dragon Chicken.
More Delicious Recipes
Creamy Lemon Pepper Pasta
- 1/2 pound linguine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 lemon remove zest, and juiced
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- Optional garnish: Chopped parsley lemon zest, black pepper, shaved parmesan
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions for al dente pasta.
- Before draining the cooked pasta, reserve 3/4 cup of pasta water.
- While the pasta is boiling, you can start making the sauce.
- In a skillet, add the olive and butter.
- When the butter is melted, add the crushed garlic cloves, and saute for 15 seconds.
- Add the red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt. Stir for 2-3 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock and heavy cream. Whisk and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Whisk in the lemon juice, and grated parmesan cheese. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Transfer the pasta to the sauce, and cook for 1-2 minutes. You can add a little bit of the reserved pasta, if the sauce needs thinning out.
- Garnish with fresh parsley, lemon zest, and shaved parmesan.