★★★★★

Lemon Garlic Pasta

Lemon Garlic Pasta is an easy recipe that’s ready in 30 minutes! Serve this flavorful pasta as a side dish or main course topped with chicken or fish.

Love pasta? Our Creamy Italian Chicken Pasta is another delicious dish to add to your meal rotation. Pesto Pasta is another popular choice for the family dinner table.

Lemon garlic pasta in a big white serving bowl.

Why Make Lemon Pasta

I’m on the hunt for easy, delicious recipes that both vegetarians and carnivores enjoy. Today’s Lemon Garlic Pasta did NOT disappoint.

  • This pasta has a creamy sauce, almost like an alfredo.
  • It’s made with plenty of garlic–4 whole cloves!
  • A generous squeeze of lemon juice brightens up the flavors.

It is enjoyable on it’s own, or serve it with some grilled chicken tenders. We love it with Parmesan Crusted Tilapia too.

This also would make a great side dish for your holiday ham dinner! Or pair with a Thanksgiving turkey for a feast anytime of year.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make lemon garlic pasta.
  • Pasta – We used angel hair but any shape of pasta can be used.
  • Garlic – This recipe uses fresh garlic cloves for ultimate garlicky flavor.
  • Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed is best. You will need two whole lemons to get enough juice for this recipe. Use our easy guide on how to zest a lemon (and juice a lemon) for best practices.
  • Vegetable broth and Heavy Cream come together to form the base for the creamy sauce.
  • Parmesan cheese – The tanginess of the cheese enhances the lemon flavor and adds even more richness to the sauce.
  • Red pepper flakes – A little spice gives the creamy hearty pasta dish an additional dimension of flavor that makes it even better!

Pasta Tips and Tricks

Step by step photos showing how to make lemon pasta.
  • Use a big skillet to make the sauce in. Then, when the pasta is done cooking, you can pop it all into the skillet and serve from there! My favorite skillet is a 12-inch Stainless Steel version, so fantastic for so many recipes!
  • If you don’t have vegetable stock (and you’re not a vegetarian), chicken stock works great in this recipe as well!
  • Use a good parmesan cheese, preferably shredded (not grated). The tanginess of the cheese really shines in this pasta dish.
  • To add more or less “heat” adjust the amount of red pepper flakes. My family likes just a pinch, but if you enjoy things a bit spicier, add more!
  • When I’m out of fresh garlic, I always have a jar of chopped garlic in my refrigerator. Perfect in a recipe like this one. If you’re using the garlic from a jar, you’ll need about 2 teaspoons to equal 4 cloves of fresh garlic.
Pasta in a lemon garlic alfredo sauce served in a white bowl.

Recipe FAQs

How do I store leftover pasta?

Lemon Garlic Pasta should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy reheated within 3 -4 days.

What’s the best way to reheat pasta with a creamy sauce?

If you’ve ever reheated creamy pasta before, you may have discovered the sauce can develop a sticky or gluey texture when reheated.
Thankfully there’s an easy way to prevent this!
Sprinkle 1 -2 tbs of water over the pasta in a microwave safe dish. Cover with a paper towel and reheat until warmed through. Give it a good stir and enjoy.

Is this lemon garlic pasta vegetarian?

Yes, this pasta recipe is vegetarian, although not vegan because it contains lots of dairy! If you choose to add chicken or fish, the lemon garlic pasta would no longer be suitable for vegetarians.

Lemon garlic pasta in a bowl.

More Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: serves 6

Lemon Garlic Pasta

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Lemon Garlic Pasta is an easy recipe that's ready in 30 minutes! Serve this flavorful pasta as a side dish or main course topped with chicken or fish.

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound angel hair pasta, cooked
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 lemons, juiced (about ⅓ cup)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In large skillet on low heat, add oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Heat for several minutes, add lemon juice, vegetable broth and heavy cream. Allow to heat thoroughly, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add parmesan cheese and allow to melt.
  3. Add cooked pasta, mix sauce thoroughly to coat the pasta. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use a big skillet to make the sauce in. Then, when the pasta is done cooking, you can pop it all into the skillet and serve from there! My favorite skillet is a 12-inch Stainless Steel version, so fantastic for so many recipes!
  • If you don't have vegetable stock (and you're not a vegetarian), chicken stock works great in this recipe as well!
  • Use a good parmesan cheese, preferably shredded (not grated). The tanginess of the cheese really shines in this pasta dish.
  • To add more or less "heat" adjust the amount of red pepper flakes. My family likes just a pinch, but if you enjoy things a bit spicier, add more!
  • When I'm out of fresh garlic, I always have a jar of chopped garlic in my refrigerator. Perfect in a recipe like this one. If you're using the garlic from a jar, you'll need about 2 teaspoons to equal 4 cloves of fresh garlic.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    6

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 406mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Creamy Lemon Garlic Pasta makes a delicious main course or side dish for any meal!

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    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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    Posted on March 29, 2018

    Comments & Reviews

    1. This was fantastically delicious! After lightly browning the garlic, the infused flavor into the oil made for a very flavorful combination. After reading the comments, I believe the problem with the curdling is that the cream mix needed to simmer on low-medium heat for the full 15 minutes with frequent stirring to allow the ingredients to fully merge. 5 stars for a unique and “sunny” dish

    2. Parmesan somehow ended up being forgotten at the grocery store. I only have half a cup on hand. Do you think for the other half cup, I’d be safe substituting with grated parmessian or shredded mozzarella? It’s what I have on hand…

    3. This was absolutely DELICIOUS! Restaurant-quality. However, this should be renamed “Cheesey pasta”. If you’re looking for a fresh, light, lemony pasta, this is NOT the recipe. The cream and the lemon combine to form glorified sour milk, otherwise known as cheese. It smells repulsive when cooking but ultimately it tastes amazing.

      8/10.

    4. Followed the recipe twice and all it did was curdle. That’s what happens when you add an acid to a cream. How does this work for you?!

      1. This is what’s supposed to happen. The cream and lemon combine to form cheese, and when you add even more cheese at the end, your pasta becomes cheesy spaghetti. Definitely not “lemon garlic pasta”, BUT it tastes PHENOMENAL. Absolutely delicious. The whole family loved it.

      2. Hi. I added the chicken broth and the lemon to the pan with the garlic first. Let that combine, then added in the whipping cream. It did not curdle at all. Maybe it’s the order the ingredients are put in the pot? I’m not sure.

    5. Aimee, I just made this for dinner with some baked chicken.  It was so delicious!  We couldn’t stop eating.  Thank you for what is now going to be my favorite weeknight dinner!  Thank you!  

      1. So glad you loved it. It’s so versatile. We add veggies and chicken all the time 🙂

    6. I have made this before and it was DELICIOUS! However, since then we learned that my hubs has Crohn’s and has to forgo dairy. If I used an almond or coconut milk, how can I make it thicker? Thanks! 

      1. I made this and the flavor was great but it was so runny and not a thick sauce. What happened?

    7. This was amazing and easy to make! The flavors from the lemon and garlic and a little bit of heat were perfect. It was absolutely delicious!

      I plan to make for a large party as one of my entrees, however I’m a bit concerned the angel hair pasta will get sticky and clump in the chafing rack — but still want to serve this dish. Any recommendations are welcomed! I would ideally like to make the sauce the night before and prepare the pasta that day.  I think I will make extra sauce to have on hand  in case I  need to heat up and combine with pasta as the party continues. 
      Thank you for a wonderful recipe!  

    8. I make this as a quick lunch, but I don’t always have heavy cream so I will use canned milk and a wee tuoch of cornstarch for a bit of thickener. But I am a garlaholic, for each 4 ounces of pasta I will use a large clove of garlic. I would love to find out how to make a garlic dessert and I do believe my life would be complete. I keep a quart jar of the chopped garlic. I roast 2-3 whole heads weekly and use 2 fresh heads per week also. I tell ya I use it in everything, if vampires attack, well my family will live unphased lol.

      1. OMG this was the best comment to read all day. I’ll see what I can do about a garlic dessert…I think my husband would love that as well 🙂

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