Lemon Spaghetti

Transport your taste buds to Italy with our tantalizing Lemon Spaghetti recipe. Bursting with vibrant citrus flavors and fragrant basil, this dish is a celebration of simplicity and freshness. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a leisurely weekend meal, Lemon Spaghetti is sure to become a family favorite. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover the joy of Italian-inspired cuisine right in your own kitchen!


  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • ⅔ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup lemon juice, fresh is best
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • ⅓ cup basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest


  1. Prepare the Sauce:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice, salt, and black pepper until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Cook the Spaghetti:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain the cooked spaghetti, reserving a cup of pasta water if needed.
  3. Combine Pasta and Sauce:
    • Transfer the drained spaghetti to a large mixing bowl. Pour the prepared lemon sauce over the spaghetti and toss to coat evenly. If the pasta seems dry, add a splash of reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce.
  4. Add Basil and Lemon Zest:
    • Sprinkle the chopped basil and lemon zest over the lemon spaghetti. Gently toss to incorporate, ensuring that the flavors are evenly distributed throughout the dish.
  5. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Divide the lemon spaghetti among serving plates or bowls. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves if desired. Serve immediately and savor the bright, refreshing flavors!

Nutritional Information:

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: N/A
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: N/A (calories may vary depending on serving size and ingredients used)

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Before serving, garnish your lemon spaghetti with additional chopped basil or parsley for a pop of color and freshness.
  2. Pair with Grilled Protein: Serve alongside grilled chicken, shrimp, or fish for a complete and satisfying meal. The citrusy flavors of the spaghetti complement grilled meats and seafood beautifully.
  3. Add a Side Salad: Enhance your meal by serving a crisp green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette on the side. The salad provides a refreshing contrast to the tangy lemon spaghetti.
  4. Serve as a Side Dish: Lemon spaghetti can also be served as a flavorful side dish alongside roasted vegetables, grilled asparagus, or garlic bread.
  5. Sprinkle with Extra Parmesan: For cheese lovers, offer grated Parmesan cheese on the side for sprinkling over individual servings. The extra cheese adds richness and depth of flavor to the dish.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover lemon spaghetti in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of water or broth to prevent the pasta from drying out.
  2. Freezing: While lemon spaghetti can be frozen, the texture may change slightly upon thawing. If freezing, portion the spaghetti into individual servings in freezer-safe containers, leaving room for expansion. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  3. Meal Prep: Consider doubling the recipe and portioning the extra servings into meal prep containers for convenient lunches or dinners throughout the week. Simply reheat in the microwave for a quick and easy meal.


  1. Shrimp Scampi Style: Add sautéed shrimp to the lemon spaghetti for a classic shrimp scampi twist. Cook the shrimp in garlic-infused olive oil until pink and opaque, then toss with the pasta and lemon sauce.
  2. Creamy Lemon Pasta: For a richer variation, stir in a splash of heavy cream or half-and-half to the lemon sauce before tossing with the spaghetti. The creamy texture adds a luxurious touch to the dish.
  3. Vegan Lemon Spaghetti: Replace the Parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast or a vegan Parmesan alternative to make this dish dairy-free and vegan-friendly. Use vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor in the sauce.
  4. Grilled Vegetable Medley: Toss grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes with the lemon spaghetti for a colorful and nutritious twist. The smoky flavor of the grilled veggies pairs beautifully with the citrusy pasta.
  5. Lemon Garlic Chicken: Serve the lemon spaghetti alongside thinly sliced grilled or roasted chicken breasts marinated in lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. The complementary flavors create a cohesive and satisfying meal.
  1. Mediterranean Twist: Incorporate Mediterranean flavors by adding chopped sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese to the spaghetti. Finish with a sprinkle of dried oregano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a taste of the Mediterranean coast.
  2. Lemon Pepper Pasta: For a simple yet flavorful variation, toss the spaghetti with melted butter, lemon zest, and freshly cracked black pepper. The bold pepper flavor complements the brightness of the lemon for a deliciously seasoned dish.
  3. Lemon Arugula Pasta: Add a peppery bite to your spaghetti by mixing in fresh arugula leaves just before serving. The slightly bitter arugula pairs perfectly with the tangy lemon sauce, creating a vibrant and refreshing pasta dish.
  4. Garlic Lover’s Delight: Boost the garlic flavor by sautéing additional minced garlic in olive oil until golden brown, then tossing it with the cooked spaghetti and lemon sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley for a burst of freshness.
  5. Lemon Caprese Pasta: Combine the flavors of a classic Caprese salad with lemon spaghetti by adding halved cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, and torn basil leaves to the pasta. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for a touch of sweetness and acidity.

FAQs :

  1. Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh? Yes, bottled lemon juice can be used as a substitute for fresh lemon juice in this recipe. However, fresh lemon juice will provide the best flavor.
  2. Can I add red pepper flakes for a spicy kick? Absolutely! Feel free to sprinkle red pepper flakes over the lemon spaghetti for a hint of heat.
  3. Can I use gluten-free pasta for this recipe? Yes, gluten-free spaghetti or pasta can be used to make this dish gluten-free. Cook according to package instructions.
  4. Can I omit the Parmesan cheese for a dairy-free version? Yes, you can omit the Parmesan cheese or use a dairy-free alternative to make this dish dairy-free.
  5. Can I add other vegetables to the spaghetti? Certainly! Feel free to add sautéed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, or baby spinach to the lemon spaghetti for extra flavor and nutrients.
  6. Can I make this ahead of time for a party? Lemon spaghetti is best served fresh, but you can prepare the sauce in advance and toss it with freshly cooked pasta just before serving.
  7. Can I use other types of pasta for this recipe? Absolutely! Linguine, fettuccine, or even angel hair pasta can be used instead of spaghetti for this dish.
  8. How can I prevent the spaghetti from sticking together? Be sure to toss the cooked spaghetti with the sauce immediately after draining to prevent it from sticking together. Adding a drizzle of olive oil can also help prevent clumping.
  9. Can I adjust the amount of lemon juice and zest to taste? Yes, feel free to adjust the amount of lemon juice and zest according to your personal preference for a more or less tangy flavor.
  10. Can I make this dish vegetarian? Yes, this dish is vegetarian-friendly. Simply omit the meat or seafood and enjoy the flavorful lemon spaghetti as a standalone dish.

With its zesty lemon sauce, fragrant basil, and savory Parmesan cheese, Lemon Spaghetti is a delightful twist on classic pasta dishes. Whether enjoyed as a light and refreshing summer meal or a comforting winter warmer, this recipe is versatile enough to please any palate. So gather your ingredients, embrace the flavors of Italy, and treat yourself to a taste of sunshine with our Lemon Spaghetti recipe!