A simple plate of pasta coated in a tangy, savory Parmesan lemon sauce is the perfect, easy dinner recipe made in less than 20 minutes!
Full recipe + amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Cream. Heavy or whipping cream.
- Sour cream.
- Lemon juice + zest.
- Parmesan. Use a vegetarian alternative if preferred.
How to make lemon sauce for pasta
- Melt a knob of butter in a pan set over medium heat then add crushed garlic. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Pour in cream and add a tablespoon of sour cream. The sour cream acts as a thickener but the sauce will still be delicious without it.
- Add lemon juice and lemon zest and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add Parmesan and parsley then season with salt and pepper. If you would prefer to keep this recipe vegetarian, use a vegetarian Parmesan alternative or other hard cheese.
- Add cooked pasta and a few tablespoons of the pasta’s cooking water then toss until the pasta is coated and the sauce is creamy. Add more pasta water if necessary.
- Serve scattered with parsley and grated Parmesan.
What to serve with creamy lemon pasta
- Easy focaccia bread
- Easy lemon pepper shrimp
- Lemon herb chicken breasts
- Easy side salad with lemon dressing
Easy pasta recipes
- Pasta with basil cream sauce
- Spicy tomato bacon pasta
- Creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta
- Creamy broccoli chicken pasta
Easy creamy Parmesan lemon pasta
- 500 g (1lb) pasta of your choice
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3-4 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 cup cream (heavy / whipping cream)
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (use a vegetarian alternative if preferred)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
- While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, make the sauce.
- Melt the butter in a pan set over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and allow to cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Pour in the cream, sour cream, lemon juice and zest.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
- Reduce the heat then add the Parmesan and parsley. Stir in then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce, along with a few spoonfuls of pasta water and toss until the pasta is coated in the sauce and the sauce is creamy. You might need to add more water as the pasta absorbs the sauce and the sauce thickens.
- Serve scattered with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.