Monday, January 26, 2015

Creamy Lemon Pasta

Creamy Lemon Pasta with Vegetables - easy, quick, and delicious!
This pasta with a creamy lemon sauce and just a hint of heat has been my lunch and dinner for a couple of days now. I'd been craving Brussels sprouts for a while and I chose to load the pasta with them; feel free to use whichever vegetable you might happen to be craving. This dish keeps well in the refrigerator and reheats nicely, so it is a great option for lunches too.

The entire meal comes together in very little time at all, making this my favorite kind of recipe. The lemon keeps this pasta fresh and light, while the pepper adds just a bit of unexpected heat. If you aren't a fan of much heat in your recipes, start with a tiny pinch of the pepper flakes and add more after tasting it.

As the main Brussels sprouts fan in our house, I loved every single bite of this dish. However, the rest of my crew enjoyed their pasta without my beloved Brussels sprouts. So, feel free to tweak the recipe however you like. Mushrooms and tomatoes would be great with this pasta, as well as asparagus tips, broccoli, or almost any other vegetable you love. This is an extremely versatile recipe and will work well with almost any vegetable.

If you're family is like mine and it just isn't a full meal without meat, this Creamy Lemon Pasta will pair well with Herb Roasted Chicken or Pan Fried Italian Chicken Thighs.

COOK'S NOTE: While the recipe is written as a one pot meal, I did use a separate skillet for my sauce and I cooked that while the pasta was boiling. By the time the pasta was done cooking, everything was ready to toss together. It's your choice, an extra pot to clean and a 15 minute meal or a little longer and just the single pot.

Creamy Lemon Pasta
Yield: 6 servings
(printable recipe)

10-12 ounces angel hair pasta, plus 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
1 tablespoon butter
Optional: 1 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced thin, or the alternate vegetable of your choice
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup heavy cream
zest of 1 lemon, about 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
2 - 4 tablespoons lemon juice

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt to the water and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Scoop out 1 cup of cooking water and set aside before draining the pasta.

In the same pot used to cook the pasta, melt the butter over medium heat. If desired, add the Brussels sprouts and cook them, stirring occasionally, until bright green, hot, and slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt while cooking. Remove the vegetables to a small bowl.

There should still be a coating of butter on the bottom of the pot. If there is not, add another tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes to the empty pot and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cream, lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes.

Add the pasta back to the pot, along with the cooked Brussels sprouts. Toss well to coat and add lemon juice, to taste. Season with additional salt, as needed. Gradually add the pasta water while tossing the pasta, until the sauce is as creamy as you like. Enjoy!

Creamy Lemon Pasta Recipe - this versatile 15 minute recipe can be tweaked to included any of your favorite vegetables!

Are you craving more citrus inspired recipes? This is your lucky day! My friend Caroline is about to have a baby and some friends and I have joined together to throw her a virtual baby shower. Check out all of the delicious recipes and stop by to wish her the very best!
Creamy Lemon Pasta and a Surprise Baby Shower for Caroline!


  1. I'd be one of those people who picks out the Brussels sprouts. ;) I just can't get into them but you know who does love Brussels sprouts? Caroline! I don't know why I'm telling you. I'm sure she'll tell you herself. ;) I think lemony pasta is my very favorite type and this one looks amazing!

  2. Lemon is my kryptonite whether it is sweet or savoury. It is irresistible in pasta.

  3. I love that you have the option to make this just a one-pot meal. Perfect for an easy dinner!

  4. This looks fabulous! I'd have to omit the sprouts for my kiddos too, but my husband and I would gobble this up as-is just like you did. Yum!

  5. Well you know darn well I'm all about this!!!

  6. Gosh, this looks so great! Love how simple it is and that there's a nice spice to it! Mmmm!

  7. Yum Mary - I could eat this for dinner and lunch too! I adore easy and fast. Love your photos!

  8. I'll take the brussels sprouts that your family won't have. Just hand them right over. I LOVE them! This pasta looks so creamy and comforting.

  9. The Brussels Sprouts are what made me look at the recipe. YUM...I just LOVE those little things!! Angel hair pasta and just gets better and better!! I'm pretty sure there won't be a coating of butter left in the bottom of my pot so you know what that means...I'm going to have to add more butter! LOL Pinning it!!

  10. This pasta looks delicious, I am lovin' the brussel sprouts in this!

  11. Love this creamy sauce that is brightened up with the lemon juice! So perfect as a winter comfort dish.

  12. I made this last night. The only thing I changed was I added grated parm to the top when I served it. Very good. I could imagine this with any veg you like ( we happen to love, and had, Brussels sprouts..)

  13. I made this to have with dinner tonight. It was a huge hit, thanks!! With the price of Brussels sprouts out of sight, I used fresh broccoli & cut them into chunks. We topped our portions with grated parm.
    I'm looking forward to leftovers!

  14. My sister made this recipe and completely LOVED it! It's on my menu this week! <3