Creamy Lemon Pasta


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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.

Creamy Lemon Pasta with Vegetables - easy, quick, and delicious!


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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.

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

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Creamy Lemon Pasta

Servings: 6 servings


  • 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
  • ¼ - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • zest of 1 lemon about 2 teaspoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher 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 ¼ 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 ¼ 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!


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.
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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14 Comments Leave a comment or review

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  1. Erin Dee says

    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. Kim Honeycutt says

    The Brussels Sprouts are what made me look at the recipe. YUM…I just LOVE those little things!! Angel hair pasta and butter…it 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!!

  3. Janie says

    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..)

  4. Nancy Jackson says

    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!