Lemon Pepper Pasta | Delicious and budget-friendly, this lemon pepper pasta is bright and zesty, and super easy to make. This 20-minute meal combines comforting pasta with tangy lemon zest and juice, spicy fresh cracked black pepper, and zippy garlic. Add spinach to this easy pasta dinner for some easy added nutrients.
Lemon pepper pasta sauce is an easy weeknight meal, that comes together quickly. While your pasta boils you can make the simple pan sauce and once the noodles are drained you are almost ready to serve. Just give everything a quick mix serve with extra grated cheese, a drizzle of the sauce, and more ground black pepper.
The lemon zest and juice in this recipes gives the pasta a nice freshness. Some grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese brings it all together and freshly ground black pepper gives a mild heat.
See the recipe card for exact amounts.
This pasta dish comes together so quickly! While the pasta cooks you can make the sauce and you just mix everything together and serve!
Cook your pasta to al dente, following the package instructions.
When the pasta is ready, keep 1 cup of water aside and then drain the noodles.
While the pasta cooks, make the sauce by heating olive oil over medium in a skillet. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so.
Add the pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir and heat through.
Add the sauce to the noodles.
Add the spinach and cheese to the noodles and stir. Add the pasta water while stirring, using as much as you want. I use the whole cup usually. Let it sit a minute to thicken up.
Serve the noodles on a plate or in a bowl and drizzle extra lemon pepper sauce on top.
Scatter extra grated cheese on top for serving. Grate more black pepper overtop.
Add extra lemon wedges on the side for squeezing on top.
Tips for making Lemon Pepper Pasta
What noodles can you use for Lemon Pepper Pasta?
I like spaghettini for this recipes but you could also use another long pasta shape like fettucine, linguine, or spaghetti. You could also try a short pasta shape like bowties, or gemelli.
Can I add protein or vegetables to this dish?
Yes, this dish is so simple and it's really easy to customize. Add grilled chicken or shrimp on the side or toss in some sautéed mushrooms, kale, green peas, asparagus, or green beans.
What to serve with Lemon Pepper Pasta
Pair this easy pasta dish with a simple vegetable side dish like Roasted Broccoli + Carrots, or Roasted Green Beans. Try some bread on the side with my Easy Baked Garlic Bread, or a Pull Apart Cheesy Garlic Bread. For protein, try my Stuffed Jalapeno Popper Chicken, or keep it vegetarian with Lentil Balls.
For another easy pasta dish, try my Creamy 5 Ingredient Hummus Pasta.
Store the leftovers in the fridge in a container with a lid. Reheat in the microwave or in a skillet with a bit of water.
Lemon pepper sauce from scratch is made with lemon juice, lemon zest, pasta water, fresh garlic, and ground black pepper.
Lemon Pepper Pasta
- Prep: Make sure everything is prepped and ready to go, the sauce takes only 2 minutes to put together.
- Cook the pasta: Boil a pot of water for the pasta and cook it to al dente, according to the package instructions.
- Save the water: When the pasta has a few minutes left to cook, reserve one cup of the cooking water, and start heating the oil in a skillet over medium heat.Once cooked, drain the pasta and set aside.
- Make the sauce: Add the garlic to the oil and cook, stirring, for about a minute or until fragrant, being careful not to let it get too brown. Add the pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir.
- Mix: Add the sauce to the pasta. Add the spinach. Add cheese if using. Stir and heat through (about 1 minute).Add pasta water slowly while stirring to make a sauce. I usually use almost the whole cup. Let sit for a few minutes to let the sauce thicken slightly and the spinach wilt.
- Serve: with extra cracked black pepper, grated cheese, and lemon slices (all optional).
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
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