Creamy Lemon Pasta (One Pot!)

If you have one pot and 20 minutes, then this Creamy Lemon Pasta can be on your table in no time! You’ll love every bite of this buttery lemon sauce! Pair it with chicken, shrimp, or enjoy it as-is!

Serve this with my Lemon Garlic Shrimp or Chicken Milanese!

A wooden spoon holding a scoop of creamy lemon pasta in a pot with lemons in the background.

We are complete suckers for this creamy lemon pasta in our house. The zesty tang of the lemon is balanced out by the savory Parmesan cheese and cream sauce. Every ingredient compliments each other perfectly.

Speaking of the ingredients… here’s what you’ll need.

Ingredients

  • Parmesan Cheese– High quality, shredded from a block at home.
  • Butter- I recommend Cabot.
  • Garlic– Mince it fresh at home. This garlic twister makes it easy. (Way better than the jarred stuff.)
  • Chicken Broth
  • Half and Half– You can use whole milk but the lower fat content means you run a risk of having it curdle.
  • Angel Hair Pasta
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Fresh Parsley

Optional: 1 tablespoons capers can be added when the chicken broth is added as well.

Note: See recipe card at bottom of post for quantities and full instructions.


How to Make it

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Skillets side by side showing butter being melted and minced garlic being cooked.

 

Add the chicken broth. Slowly add the half and half. Add the angel hair pasta. 

Half and half being poured into a skillet of chicken broth followed by adding angel hair pasta to make creamy lemon pasta.

The pasta will eventually begin to soften. Once the noodles can bend, use kitchen tongs immerse them into the sauce. 

Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes, until cooked through. Gradually sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. The pasta will continue to thicken upon standing.

Remove from heat and squeeze fresh lemons over the pasta. Stir the combine. Add fresh Parsley and serve.

Side by side images of garlic butter angel hair spaghetti cooking in sauce.

 

The Trick to Extra Creamy Sauce

  • Refrain from adding cold ingredients into warm pasta when you prepare it. This includes the cheese, half and half, and/or milk. The consistency will be super creamy if you follow this instruction.
  • Purchase a block of high-quality Parmesan cheese. Always shred the cheese yourself, it will taste and melt much better.
  • Let the cheese come to room temperature before adding it to the warm (not hot!) base.
  • Add the cheese gradually as opposed to all at once.

Storing Leftovers

  • Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • You can also freeze it and store it for up to 3 months.

What to Serve with Lemon Pasta

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A close up view of buttery noodles in a creamy lemon sauce with a fork in them and fresh parsley on top.

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Creamy Lemon Pasta

5 from 2 votes
If you have one pot and 20 minutes, then this Creamy Lemon Pasta can be on your table in no time! You'll love every bite of this buttery lemon sauce! Pair it with chicken, shrimp, or enjoy it as-is!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half*, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta,, (equal to 1/2 lb.)
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, (or 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice.)
  • Fresh Parsley, to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon capers,, optional

Instructions

  • Shred the Parmesan cheese and set it aside to allow it to get to room temperature.
  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth. (And 1 tablespoon capers if desired.)
  • Slowly pour in the half and half.
  • Add the pasta. You can break the noodles in half, or allow them to heat up until you can use Kitchen tongsto bend them into the pan.
  • Let the pasta simmer for 4-5 minutes. Stir it every 30 seconds or so to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Reduce heat to low.
  • Gradually sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese, stirring as you do so, until smooth and well-combined. Note: The sauce will be thin at first but will thicken upon standing. The pasta will continue to absorb more of the sauce as well.
  • Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Toss the pasta to combine. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

Notes

*Milk or a combination of milk and cream can be used as well, however you run the risk of having the sauce curdle due to the lower fat content. Mitigate this by stirring often and ensuring the pasta doesn't get too hot. 
Alternatively, you can also use heavy cream for even richer sauce.

Optional Additions

Nutrition

Calories: 422kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 626mg, Potassium: 299mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 574IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 237mg, Iron: 1mg