The Cozy Cook

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 restaurant-style Chicken Piccata Recipe.

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- not regular spaghetti noodles.
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Fresh Parsley

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


How to Make it

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

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 stir in the half and half. Bring to a gentle boil, then 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.

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.

Try These Next!

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

4.96 from 24 ratings
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 stir in the half and half. Bring to a gentle boil, then add the pasta. Add the pasta. You can break the noodles in half, or allow them to heat up until you can use kitchen tongs to 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

*Don't substitute regular spaghetti noodles for the angel hair. They take much longer to cook and would require more liquid.

*Milk can be used instead of half and half, but make sure the base is warm (not hot), when you add it to avoid curdling. Warming the milk in the microwave first will also help prevent curdling. Whole milk works best.

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

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61 comments on “Creamy Lemon Pasta (One Pot!)”

  1. It was so quick and easy! Subbed broth for white wine and half and half for heavy whipping. 

  2. I really can’t thank you enough for this recipe. I just feel giddy. I feel like a rock star. My husband made pork chops with blackened seasoning, and I made this to go along with it. I followed the recipe exactly. We are done eating and have washed dishes and he’s still raving about how delicious it was and how perfectly it paired with the pork chops. He loved the creamy texture and the fact that there was a touch of lemon but it wasn’t overpowering, and also the flavor from the capers. He didn’t actually have a caper in his serving, but the flavor was there.

    My adult daughter ate hers in a different room, came into the living room, and said almost exactly the same thing. My family was outright excited about it!

    I’m on the keto diet, so I only got to taste a bite. (yummy) We will most definitely be doing this again!

    • I’m so happy this was such a hit Holly!!! I love that you feel giddy lol… I get the same feeling when my family goes on about how much they loved one of my meals!❤️❤️❤️ This is one of my recent favorites. It’s got a little gourmet taste to it! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

      • We’re totally doing it again right now! I bet we end up doing this at least once weekly.
        I think next time I ca do it from memory without even having to refer to the recipe.

      • I’m so happy to hear that! I’m gonna have to start making this more often too. There’s been a lot of requests for it!

  3. Wonderful dish, Stephanie! The next time I make it, I won’t let it sit as long as I had to today (waiting for hubby to get home), as it absolutely does thicken up. I probably could have added some broth to it, but didn’t. Anyway, thank you for another great dish!

    • You’re very welcome Christine! I’ve been there trying to time dinners for when my husband is coming home. Not easy! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!❤️

  4. Delicious!! Made it for dinner tonight along with grilled chicken & roasted broccoli, which paired perfectly with this pasta. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • You’re very welcome Jennifer! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this one. Pairing it with grilled chicken and broccoli is perfect for this recipe😋 Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  5. i made this last week and it was DIVINE!!! since I only used half a box of pasta I’ve been dreaming about remaking it again already! This will be my go to recipe! and thinking about adding other veggies in it also. thank you!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and leave a review Elise!😍 I’m so happy you like this one! I think it would be great incorporating some vegetables into this!

  6. This recipe sounds very good. I am not a parmesan cheese person. Could I use another cheese like mozzarella?

    • If using freshly grated Asiago or Romano is an option, I would go with that! I haven’t tried it with mozzarella but I imagine that could work okay!

  7. Made this dish for dinner last night. The flavors compliment each other perfectly. I cooked the pasta separately, and added the sauce when I plated it. Next time I would mix add the pasta to the sauce, then plate. I halved the recipe (mostly the pasta. We are sauce people : ) , as there are only two of us. Served with some crusty artisan bread. This will definitely be added to my rotation, especially during summer months. You can’t beat a light, 20 minute dish. Thank you for sharing!

    • I’m so happy to hear this was a success Elizabeth! I totally agree, you can’t beat a quick meal that has so much great flavor. I’m also a sauce person!😋 Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!❤️

  8. This is delicious, simple and fast, my 3 favorite things when it comes to cooking. Thanks so much!

    • GREAT! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it Alyse! I also love those qualities when it comes to cooking, haha! Thank you so much for sharing what you think! 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time! -Stephanie

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