Before we dive into this lemon garlic pasta recipe, I have a Pop Quiz for you (it’s an easy one, don’t worry!): what ingredient is sacrilege not to include in pasta dishes?
The ingredient that, if it’s missing from pasta recipes, makes any pure-blooded Italian shudder in horror?
The ingredient that can make anything taste like it was sizzling in a Michelin-starred restaurant?
If you said garlic, you’re my kinda person–and you’ll understand why this homemade pasta recipe is a must-try! Not only does “lemon garlic pasta recipe” have “garlic” right in the name, but there are other Italian staples like lemon juice, fresh basil, cheeeeese . . .
Let’s make this pasta!
What I Love About Lemon Garlic Pasta Recipe
I already swooned about the garlic in this lemon garlic pasta recipe, but garlic is a team player — it doesn’t overpower its supporting stars, it accentuates them!
And my oh my, the lineup of supporting flavors in this homemade pasta recipe will hit every single craving button:
- Tart: what two flavors go better together than garlic’s warm heartiness and lemon’s fresh tang?
- Creamy: CHEESE. Sorry, blacked out for a second. CHEEEEEESE.
- Fresh: you might not think a dish loaded with noodles, garlic, and cheese could be fresh, but that’s the magic of Italian dishes–and the fresh basil adds a dynamic herbal pop.
Lemon Garlic Pasta Ingredients
- Fresh basil is the best basil: While there is a time and a place for dried basil, this is one of the many recipes that really, deeply benefit from the added umph of fresh basil. And, if you’re feeling really adventurous, basil is easy to grow in home gardens!
- Fresh lemon juice is the best lemon juice: Yes, I am again harping on the necessity of freshness for this dish! I know, I know, it’s just so easy to buy prepackaged lemon juice — but I promise, the flavors you get from fresh-squeezed lemons do not compare to store-bought juice.
- If you’re pressed (juicing pun) for time, you can always squeeze a bunch of lemons, put the juice in ice cube trays, and freeze them, then store them in bags in the freezer. That way, whenever a recipe calls for fresh lemon juice, you can whip out a couple of cubes, with no problem!
Storing + Freezing + Make-Ahead
- Storing: An airtight container in the refrigerator will do the trick as far as storing — but really, any sauce with garlic AND cheese isn’t going to last long. Promise.
- Can You Freeze This? You can freeze lemon garlic parmesan pasta! But I would recommend withholding the parmesan if you’re planning on freezing it. The cold temperatures of the freezer are not always kind to cheeses.
- Make-Ahead Tips: I gave a tip above about how to make the lemon juice ahead — but if you’d like to meal prep this entire dish, I’d recommend making the sauce with everything except the fresh basil and parmesan cheese.
- Freeze or store in the refrigerator, and when serving time comes, add the remaining ingredients to retain the basil’s freshness and the cheese’s integrity!
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? If you’re keeping lemon pasta in the fridge’s low temperatures, it can safely hang out in there for 3-4 days.
More Pastas I Promise You’ll LOVE!
- Chicken Alfredo
- Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno
- Chicken Lasagna
- Chicken Riggies
- TikTok Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
Lemon Garlic Pasta
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese Freshly Grated
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt plus more for pasta water
- black pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves julienned
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 6-8 garlic clove minced
- 16 ounces angel hair pasta, reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves julienned
- In a medium bowl, make the sauce by whisking together all the sauce ingredients. Set aside. (Best if made ahead a couple of hours ahead of serving but it's not necessary. Refrigerate if making ahead, and bring to room temp before tossing with pasta.)
- Cook pasta (16 ounces), in well-salted water, until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Add the sauce to the cooked warm pasta. Toss well then add the reserved pasta water. Check the seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve immediately. Top with extra parmesan and chopped basil.