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Lemon Garlic Pasta offers simplicity and bold flavors, with its zesty lemon and robust garlic infusion. Ready in under 30 minutes, it’s perfect for a light dinner or a flavorful side dish.

Add more pasta dishes to your rotation, with my Chicken Broccoli Pasta and Creamy Bow Tie Pasta!

Pasta in a skillet with lemon and basil.
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Why I Love This Lemon Pasta Recipe

  • Vibrant Flavors – Zesty lemon and robust garlic play center stage and this simple Lemon Garlic Pasta over the top. The noodles, garlic, and lemon all simmer together in one pot, infusing the pasta with flavor.
  • Simple Preparation – The noodles, garlic, and lemon all simmer together in one big pan for super easy cleanup.
  • Ready in Minutes – Taking less than 10 minutes to cook and just a few minutes of prep, you can have this pasta on the table in under 20 minutes.
  • Versatile – This dish is fantastic any time! It’s a nice light dinner for summer and a great late-night meal when you’re starving and just want something hot and fresh and quick. But it makes a great side dish, too!

About the Ingredients

  • Linguine – While you can use any type of pasta you like, cook times may vary slightly.
  • Butter – To add richness to the finished sauce, I used butter instead of oil. You can swap in olive oil if you prefer but the flavors will change.
  • Fresh Garlic – Fresh is absolutely a must the best for the most robust flavor.
  • Lemon – 1 medium sized lemon will yield enough lemon zest and juice, but you are welcome to add more if you like.
  • Fresh Herbs – Like basil or parsley, or both.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated for the best result.

How To Make Lemon Garlic Pasta

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

***Note – This recipe moves quickly so it’s recommended to have all the ingredients ready to go before you start, like in small prep dishes.

Garlic and melted butter in a skillet.

Saute garlic – Melt some of the butter in a large skillet and saute garlic for 30 seconds. Be careful not to cook it too long as garlic burns quickly.

Uncooked linguine noodles, butter, lemon zest, water and pepper in a large skillet.

Add other ingredients – Add linguine, remaining butter, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper to the skillet, then pour in the water.

Cooked linguine in a skillet with grated parmesan and fresh parsley and basil.

Cook pasta – Boil over medium-high heat then reduce to medium. Continue to cook, moving the pasta around gently with tongs, until all of the water is evaporated and the pasta is cooked to al dente. A little liquid left behind is totally fine – it will help form the sauce in the next step.

Tossed linguine with fresh herbs and cheese.

Add cheese and herbs – Remove from heat and stir in fresh Parmesan Cheese and herbs.

Bowl of linguine with lemon and basil.

Serve – Divide into bowl and garnish with more Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh parsley and fresh cracked black pepper. A quick squeeze of lemon juice is optional but really brightens the final dish.


Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in a skillet on the stove over medium heat, adding a splash of water, and warm it for a few minutes until heated through.


  • Pasta – Different types of pasta, spaghetti, rotini, etc. will require different cooking times. Check the box for the recommended time and go with that.
  • Adding Veggies – You can definitely add vegetables to this dish, like broccoli, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, or mushrooms, but I recommend steaming or cooking them separately and adding them to the finished dish.
  • Proteins – Same goes for proteins. This pasta certainly makes a delicious base for lots of add-ins but given the short cook time, any additions should be cooked separately. It especially pairs well with chicken, shrimp, or salmon.
  • Spice – Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to heat things up.
Linguine pasta in a skillet, twirled around a pair of tongs.

Expert Tips

  • Use fresh ingredients whenever possible, especially with recipe such as this one where there are only a few. Fresh cheese, fresh garlic, and fresh lemon juice will produce the best pasta dish!
  • While you can keep and reheat the leftovers, I highly recommend enjoying while fresh and hot.
  • Don’t worry if there’s still liquid in the skillet once the pasta is fully cooked. This is where the magic happens – Once you toss with the cheese and herbs that starchy pasta water will form a beautiful sauce that coats the pasta.
  • Add the squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end – it will brighten up the whole dish. You’ll love it, I promise!

Your Next Pasta Dish to Try


Lemon Garlic Pasta

5 from 6 votes
Lemon Garlic Pasta cooks all in one pan for pasta infused with zesty lemon and robust garlic. This light meal is ready in under 20 minutes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 pound Linguine, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic or 4 cloves finely chopped
  • Juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs like parsley or basil
  • 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups water
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  • Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and cook garlic for 30 seconds to a minute, just until fragrant (careful, as it burns quickly).
  • Add water, linguine, remaining butter, lemon juice and zest and salt and pepper to the skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to medium. Continue to cook pasta until nearly all water is evaporated, stirring often to keep pasta from sticking, about 8-9 minutes. (If pasta needs more cooking time, add a little more hot water).
  • Remove from heat and stir in about ¾ cup cup shredded Parmesan Cheese and fresh herbs.
  • Divide into bowls and garnish with remaining Parmesan, freshly cracked black pepper and a quick squeeze of lemon juice (option).


Using a pound of linguine will get you 4-6 servings, depending on whether you’re serving as a main dish or a side dish. 
Use any long cut pasta here, just watch for perfect texture as you cook.
Keyword lemon garlic pasta, one pot pasta


Calories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 12gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 256mgPotassium: 149mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 359IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 168mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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5 from 6 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Sam says:

    This meal is in our regular rotation and we love it. Even our 2 year old loves it. The only change I make is 2c water and 2c chicken broth (rather than 4c water). So good!

  2. James says:

    They come together quickly and easily

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you for your feedback James.

  3. Aliceanne Davidson says:

    All I can say is outstanding! I did change it slightly by using all chicken broth rather than water. I also added asparagus at the end with the Parmesan. Totally delicious! I did squeeze additional lemon juice when serving. Will be making again and again. Thank you for sharing!❤️

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Aliceanne! Thanks for the awesome feedback.

  4. Gabriel says:

    This looks great! Love the idea of making everything in the same pot – easier to clean and less work. I’ll have to give it a try. Pinning! btw thanks for hosting such a great linky on Wed!

  5. Dot says:

    Delicious! I love the one pot!

    1. Kristin says:


  6. Theresa says:

    Came out great! Served it as a side with grilled salmon filet. Everyone loved it!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Theresa.

  7. Rimmy says:

    This was very delicious. It tastes so lovely and light. I will make this again, but as a side dish with chicken and vegetables.

  8. kenneth jordan says:

    enjoyed the lemon garlic pasta, but the link to the other recipes only takes you to a jpeg

    1. Kristin says:

      Glad you enjoyed the pasta! It’s a favorite at our house. I fixed the link, thanks for letting me know.

  9. L. Perry says:

    Thank you for this! I can’t believe it lived up to it’s hype. I mean, an inexpensive one-pot meal that’s ready in 20 minutes?!? Whole family loved it. Will be a go-to meal from now on. I did add extra lemon juice, because my family loves the taste of lemon, and some pre-cooked chicken for some protein.

  10. Judy says:

    Yum, this was great with grilled shrimp. Used half chicken broth and half milk, so creamy and then added peas at the end. Everyone asked for the recipe

  11. Susan says:

    OMG Kristin! I made this (one-pan lemon garlic pasta) tonight and I was a bit skeptical about the one pan method, thinking it may come out too starchy; how WRONG I was! This was FANTASTIC!!! I prepped everything (lemon juice/rind, grated parm, etc.) before I was ready to make it; under 30 mins from stove to table and my husband LOVED it! I was out of fresh parsley, but I had fresh baby spinach, so cut it into thin strips and added it off the heat with the parm! DELISH!!!! And cleanup took less than 5 mins; everything in the dishwasher and no messy stovetop!!! Thanks so very much!

    1. Kristin says:

      Great idea to add the spinach. Sounds like a delicious dinner – so glad you both enjoyed it!!

  12. Deborah L. Eddy says:

    I made this dish as a side today. It was fantastic! We loved it. Little time consuming to prepare but worth it.

  13. Beth says:

    O! M! G! Just made this with fresh spaghetti. I used about half of the water, and a little extra garlic + red pepper flakes. It’s beautiful! Cannot wait to eat this later with some grilled scallops. Thank you!

  14. Hugo says:

    Tried this recipe just the way you recommended it, at the end I added shrimp (grilled). It was awesomely delicious.
    Great recipe, will definetely cook this again.


  15. Anne Graham says:

    I’m about to make this and am adding shrimp. I know I won’t get a reply in time, but any thoughts for people who may want to add shrimp, salmon (ooo that sounds goood) or anything else?

    1. Kristin says:

      I would cook fish separately from the pasta, if you want to add that. Chicken, you could dice raw and toss in with the pasta as it cooks. You might need to add a little more liquid.

  16. Michelle says:

    I saw your recipe at the VERY last moment when I found out we had guests coming that were vegan. “Amazing”, “Out of this world”, and best one….”I don’t know who gave you this recipe, but you should thank them 100x over!”!!! THANK YOU x 100!!

    1. Michelle says:

      A quick not: I exchanged the butter and parm for non-animal based alternates!

    2. Kristin says:

      So glad to hear Michelle! Thanks for your comment.

  17. Amanda says:

    I made this with broccoli and goat cheese. It was so amazing. I’m so happy I found this

    1. Kristin says:

      That sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Alyssa says:

    Just finished making this dinner and we LOVED it! It’s so light and summer-y! Added more garlic and shrimp and that was just the thing! So easy to make, and so good. Definitely making this again soon!

  19. Bonnie says:

    Not in the mood to cook ,but decided how bad could this be?Not bad at all!Used fettuccine noodles and cut the water in half with chicken broth.Very quick and tasty.Have thought this is a great base if you wanted to add vegetables,add asparagus,or a combination of zucchini and tomatoes.