Easy Lemon Pasta – the perfect dish to bring to your summer cookout or any get-together!
Easy Lemon Pasta Recipe
There are so many different ways to make lemon pasta, but this is my simple take on it. I have probably made this recipe a hundred times and my kids specifically request it – it is ALWAYS a hit – and is perfect for a cookout or family get-together. Serve with some Grilled Chicken Breast and Grilled Broccoli for a complete, delicious meal!
Lemon Pasta Ingredients:
- farfalle pasta (regular or gluten-free): farfalle is my go-to pasta in this recipe, but of course feel free to use whatever kind you want.
- olive oil: definitely reach for a high-quality olive oil here (a nice mild one) since it is a coats all the pasta.
- green onion: we will use both whites and greens.
- lemons (you will be using the zest and the juice): grab a couple of fresh lemons!
- kosher salt: start with the amount listed in the recipe card and then taste and go from there.
- parmesan cheese (or a dairy-free alternative): again, I would recommend a high-quality parmesan cheese here!
Can I Make this Lemon Pasta Ahead of Time
Yes!! Actually I think it tastes better if you make it a day ahead of time!
How Long Will this Lemon Pasta Stay in the Refrigerator
It will stay fresh about 5-7 days in the refrigerator if covered tightly! I love making this on the weekend to eat throughout the week!
Can I Make this Lemon Pasta Gluten-Free
Yes!! I highly recommend these gluten-free noodles that will work perfectly with this recipe!
Can I Make this Lemon Pasta Dairy-Free
Yes! Simply swap out the parmesan cheese for a dairy-free variety of your choosing!
How to Make Lemon Pasta
Grab your ingredients – you can prep most of it while the pasta is boiling.
As your bow-tie pasta is boiling, you can zest your two lemons and cut up your green onion, dividing it into white onion parts and green leafy parts. Then, juice your two lemons into a separate bowl and get your best olive oil ready.
Once your pasta is done boiling and perfectly al-dente, pour it into a strainer and immediately rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process. Then, drizzle some olive oil (about a Tablespoon) over the pasta, to avoid sticking.
Once the rest of your ingredients are prepped. Pour the pasta into a bowl and mix with the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, kosher salt, lemon zest, green onions and parmesan cheese. Mix well to combine!
You can dig in right away (I think it is impossible not to) but this recipe is even better if is sits for a bit in the refrigerator as the salt and lemon are able to meld together for a couple hours or even over night. If you do put it in the fridge for a bit, you will probably want to add some additional olive oil before you serve it.
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Easy Lemon Pasta
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: Serves 8–10 1x
- Category: Pasta Salad
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
Easy Lemon Pasta – the perfect dish to bring to your next cookout or get-together! So easy to make and gluten-free friendly!
- 1 box bow-tie pasta (use this gluten-free kind if you want)
- 2 lemons (zest and juice, keeping the zest and juices in separate bowls)
- 1 bunch green onions (about 6) (remove ends and slice)
- 3/4 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese (or dairy-free alternative)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (avocado oil would work too)
- 1Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- Bring pot of water to boil. Add 1 box of bow tie pasta. Cook until al-dente according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking zest and juice both lemons keeping zest and juice in separate bowls.
- Chop green onions. You will need approximately 1/4 cup of the white onion part and 1/4 cup of the green leafy part.
- Once pasta is al dente, pour pasta into strainer and immediately rinse with cold water. Drain again. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on top and toss to coat.
- Pour into large mixing or storage bowl.
- Add lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, white part of green onion, salt (I would start with 1Tablespoon and save the extra 1 teaspoon to add per your likeness) and parmesan cheese.
- Toss to mix completely.
- Taste and add additional salt, parmesan cheese or olive oil, as desired.
- Add the green part of the green onion
- Serve and garnish with additional green onion, parmesan cheese and/or lemon zest.
- You may need to add additional olive after the pasta sits for a while as it will be soaked up.
- Gluten-Free: For a gluten-free option use this pasta.
- Dairy-Free: To make dairy-free use a parmesan cheese substitute, as desired.
- Storage: Lemon Pasta will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator, covered.
- Add additional oil: If Lemon Pasta sits for a while, either out or in the refrigerator, feel free to drizzle additional olive oil before serving again as it will be soaked up by the pasta.
- Season to Taste: Add additional salt, lemon juice or parmesan cheese, as desired.
Keywords: Lemon Pasta
I come back to this dish often. Easy, yummy, light, perfect for those busy after school sport days. The leftovers make my work day easier too (if there ever are leftovers).
I know this was meant to be served cold, but I decided to try it as a hot meal for dinner instead, and it was delicious. I sent the cold leftovers with my husband for work the next day, and he said it was perfect hot and cold. This recipe was one of the best summer meals I have had. We enjoyed it so much, we added it to our regular monthly rotation. It’s so fresh! I think I will try adding in some toasted pine nuts next time.
So happy to hear that, Shannon! And love it that you tried it warm – thanks for the feedback!
Lindsay Manzella says
Really yummy! The leftovers are delicious cold with some canned tuna!
Yay! Thank you, Lindsay! So glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for taking the time to leave your feedback – I really appreciate it!
Is this dish supposed to be served cold? Like pasta salad?
Hi, Carrie! Yes! Sorry if that wasn’t clear – that’s why you rinse the pasta with cold water to cool down the pasta. It can then be served at room temp or if you are making it ahead of time you can put it in the fridge and serve it cold. Just remember to add a little extra olive oil after it sits in the fridge for a while as the pasta will soak up the previously added oil! Hope that helps!
Lauren Frazier says
Made this recipe yesterday for a family cookout and it was BIG hit! So good, so fresh, and the perfect summer pasta dish!!
YAY! So happy to hear that, Laura! It’s a family favorite 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to leave your feedback – I really appreciate it!