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Simple Lemon Pasta

Simple Lemon Pasta features tender pasta tossed with a buttery, garlic lemon sauce, red pepper flakes, and parsley for a delicious quick and easy vegan pasta dish!

side angle view of plated lemon pasta.

The simples are the best! Here is a lightened up version of the classic, dairy filled, Italian pasta recipe, Pasta al Limone.

In this healthy version of lemon pasta we’ll be using a little butter for richness, which blends perfectly with the garlic and lemon for a delicious bright and flavorful sauce.

It’s full of bold flavors and light enough to leave you feeling refreshed and satisfied. Plus, it’s easy to make in a cinch and ready in about 15 minutes!

This versatile, vegan lemon pasta recipe makes for an easy lunch, dinner or make ahead meal idea!

top down view of ingredients used to make garlic lemon pasta recipe.
Ingredients for Lemon Pasta.

Ingredient Notes

This pasta recipe is so easy to make and only requires 6 ingredients, plus salt & pepper!

Here is everything you will need, including variations:

  • Lemons – Here I have selected sweet Meyer lemons, but any juicy lemon will do.
  • Non-dairy butter – My favorite and only one I use is Miyoko’s. You can sub with a good olive oil as well, even a lemon infused olive oil would be terrific.
  • Garlic – Fresh is best, but you can sub with garlic powder if in a pinch.
  • Red pepper flakes – The red pepper flakes are added for spice and pop of color.
  • Pasta – I used long chickpea pasta noodles here, but you can use rice, spelt, whole wheat or any type of pasta that fits your dietary needs.
  • Parsley – The parsley adds extra brightness as well as some freshness.
  • Salt + pepper – As always, season to taste.
side by side photos showing the process of boiling pasta and sauteing garlic in butter.

How To Make Lemon Pasta

There are only 4 steps – here is a quick overview of the process (see below for the the full printable recipe card):

  • Start with cooking the pasta according to package directions. When draining, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  • Saute the garlic and red pepper flakes in butter for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
side by side photos showing the process of making garlic lemon pasta.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the garlic sauce, along with a little pasta water, mix and warm through.
  • Remove from heat, dd the lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

And that’s it – simple and delicious!

Top Tips

  • Make it creamy. Stir in a little Vegan Heavy Cream to the mix for added creaminess.
  • Gluten-free. There are a few great gluten-free long pastas available that work well with this recipe.
  • Adjust to taste. As will all my recipes, feel free adjust any of the ingredients to suit your taste!
top down view of simple lemon pasta in a pot with items surrounding.

What To Serve With Lemon Pasta

Lemon pasta can be turned into a full course meal with any of these delicious soups, salads, or breads!

side angle view of fork swirled in lemon pasta.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

Pasta is one of those ingredients that is economical and versatile. Here are a few more ways to use this pantry staple.

If you try this simple pasta recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.


Simple Lemon Pasta

A simple lemon garlic pasta dish infused with vegan butter or oil, lemon juice, parsley, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Ready in about 15 minutes!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3
  • Category: Entree, Pasta
  • Method: boil, saute
  • Cuisine: Vegan


Units Scale
  • 8 oz. package pasta (any long noodle)
  • 23 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 23 lemons (about 1/41/2 cup), juice of and some zest
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste


Pasta: Cook pasta al dente according to package. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Rinse pasta well under cool running water, set aside.

Saute: In the pot the pasta was cooked, heat the butter over medium heat, add garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add pasta: Add the cooked pasta and 1/4 cup of pasta water, heat until pasta is warmed through.

Add lemon + parsley: Reduce heat to low, stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve: Place in individual serving bowls and top with grated vegan parmesan or Almond Parmesan. Add extra lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste. 

Serves 3

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 – 5 days. Reheat on the stove over low heat, adding a little water or lemon juice for moisture. Alternatively, warm in the microwave.


For the butter, I use and highly recommend Miyoko’s. It’s the best!

If using store bough vegan parm, I love Violife! It grates and shaves just like the dairy version!

Updated: This recipe has been updated in March 2021 with a few modifications. Find the original recipe here.

Updated: Lemon Pasta was originally published in September 2013. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in March 2021.

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side angle view of easy lemon pasta in a bowl.


  1. I just made this recipe and I will make it again. It’s very simple but so very tasty. I added some chopped tomato and sorrel just because I had some I wanted to use up. Very versatile.

  2. Made this tonight and it was soooo good. Added some zucchini and a can of white beans too. So easy and delicious. Thanks for a new pasta dish for the rotation!

  3. This was fantastic. We have a Mayer lemon tree in our backyard and I have been waiting months for it to fruit/ripen so I can make this. Mission accomplished. This dish will be made many times in this house. Thank you!

  4. Personwholikescooking says:


  5. I followed the recipe exactly, but the lemon was extremely overwhelming. Had to add some honey to cut the bite. I suspect next time I could 1/2 the amount of lemon and it would be good.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, Cass! I’ve updated the recipe to be 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Those who love lemon can use the full amount, and others can start with the smaller amount and work their way up. Hope that helps!

  6. Made this tonight for a quick dinner and it was delicious!!! We added chickpeas. So good!!

  7. While I enjoy more complex pasta flavors and combos every now and then, there’s nothing better than simple recipes like this one. Perfection!

  8. Added asparagus, tomatoes, and peas. Was a total hit!! Will definitely make this again and again.

  9. pinky Gutter says:

    Beautiful pictures! very easy, and simple instructions. Going to make it tonight

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you! Enjoy the pasta!

  10. cookingwithlysa says:

    I hate complicated stuff. And this looks like a delicious recipe for a simple girl like me. Your photos are beautiful :)

    1. I'm right there with you Lysa, simple is me too. Thank you for the compliment. :)

    2. I recommend to add a little garlic powder or garlic salt but amazing recipe will make again

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