Creamy One Pot Lemon Pasta - Delicious Easy Recipe

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Jump to RecipeBowl of lemon pasta next to a dutch oven with pasta in it.

This creamy one-pot lemon pasta recipe comes together in minutes and is sure to impress. The bright lemon pairs so perfectly with the rich creamy sauce. Think of this pasta as a quick and easy pasta al limone. It is the perfect recipe for busy weeknights.

One Pot Lemon Pasta Ingredients

One of my favorite things about this lemon pasta recipe is that it is an easy recipe with simple ingredients.

  • Lemon: The main star of this dish is the lemon. You will use the fresh lemon juice and lemon zest of 1 full lemon.
  • Pasta: I love using long pasta in this recipe, such as spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine. You could also use shorter pasta like penne or shells. If you want to make your own pasta you can try making some fresh fettuccine noodles.
  • Heavy Cream: This is the base of the creamy sauce. If you want it to be lighter you could use milk or half and half.
  • Parmesan: Try to use freshly grated parmesan cheese. This melts into the sauce better, but any parmesan should do.
  • Pasta Water: When cooking your pasta, save 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. This will be used later to thin out the sauce. The starchy water helps to emulsify everything in the sauce.
  • Salt and Pepper: Taste and adjust for salt and pepper at the end. You may need to adjust depending on how salty the cheese is and how much pepper you enjoy.
  • Fresh Herbs: If you want to add some green on top try adding some fresh parsley or fresh basil. This is an optional addition.

There are a few variations you can make to the pasta dish if you want to switch it up. You can top the dish with red pepper flakes or fresh arugula to add some extra flavor. If you want to add some protein mix in some cooked shrimp. If you want to add some veggies, add sweet peas or fresh baby spinach. If you want to make this a lemon garlic pasta, cook 3 cloves of minced garlic in some olive oil before adding in the cream.

Bowl of lemon pasta next to 2 lemons.
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Cooking Tips

  • Have everything prepped beforehand. This simple pasta recipe comes together fairly quickly so you want to have everything ready to go.
  • Make sure to save some pasta water when the pasta is done cooking. This starchy water will help thin out your sauce later. Save about 1 cup, you might not need this much but it is good to have it just in case.
  • Don't use the whole lemon to start. Add in some of the lemon juice and then taste to add more. You can always add more lemon but you can't take it out.

What You'll Need

Since this is a one-pot pasta, you will need one large pot or dutch oven. You will also need a spaghetti fork or tongs to toss the pasta. Also, some type of strainer for the pasta.

How to Store Lemon Pasta

This creamy pasta al limone recipe is best served fresh, but you can still have it as leftovers. Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days. When you are ready to warm it up, add a little water to help thin out the sauce.

One bowl of one-pot lemon pasta.

What to Serve with Lemon Pasta

Serve this lemon pasta alongside a large salad or roasted veggies. You could even add some cooked shrimp to the dish. A few side dishes that I think would go with this pasta nicely are:

Other Pasta Recipes You Might Enjoy

Some other easy recipes that feature pasta are:

I hope you enjoy this creamy one pot lemon pasta as much as I do! It is a quick recipe with minimal cleanup that the whole family will love!

Creamy One Pot Lemon Pasta - Delicious Easy Recipe

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  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 12oz fettuccine, or any type of long pasta
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • parsley for serving, optional


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook your pasta according to package instructions. Right before it is done, save a cup of the pasta water. Then drain and set aside.
  2. Add cream and lemon zest to the same pot over medium-low heat. Let it simmer for about 2-3 minutes until it thickens slightly.
  3. Add your cooked pasta to the cream sauce. Slowly add in the parmesan and most of the pasta water. Tossing constantly, you want the parmesan to melt as you add it in. Add in more pasta water to thin out the pasta sauce as needed (You might not need all of it).
  4. Add in 1 tbsp of lemon juice and salt. Taste for and adjust for seasoning.
  5. Serve and top with additional parmesan, parsley, and black pepper.


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