Lemon Garlic Pasta

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5 from 2 reviews

This lemon garlic pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner when you're short on time and trying to stick a budget. It comes together in about 20 minutes with a handful of simple pantry staples for a delicious meal filled with fresh flavors.


Units Scale
  • 8 oz. spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil + more for tossing pasta
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 oz. jar capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Before you drain the pasta, reserve about 1/2 a cup of pasta water. Toss pasta in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. 
  3. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. You are just looking for the garlic to get fragrant and a very pale golden brown color. Do not let the garlic burn or get golden brown even.
  4. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, capers, and chopped parsley to the pan along with a splash of the pasta water. Stir together and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add pasta to the pan and toss to coat evenly. 
  6. Cook for about a minute or until it's heated through. Add remaining pasta water as needed to coat the noodles. You want a silky smooth sauce on the noodles.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes and enjoy!



Always salt your pasta water! Salting your pasta water is the first chance you have to season the pasta. You will be amazed at how much better your overall dish tastes when you've salted the water! Don't forget to reserve some of that liquid gold for tossing the pasta!