This easy lemon pasta recipe is such a luxurious treat! Just a few ingredients & 10 minutes and you’ll be in sunny citrus heaven!

A tangle of lemon pasta in a shallow bowl with a sprig of fresh basil.

I discovered this easy lemon pasta recipe a few decades back. It’s by Nigella Lawson, the celebrated British cook, author, and television personality. Or “presenter,” as they say in the UK.

(In case you haven’t picked up on it, I’m a huge British tv watcher.)

I loved her show Nigella Bites, and I loved her! Still do!

Her recipes are amazing and she’s so prettyyyyyy! And she has such a way with words. I’m a big fan!

Anyway, I started making her creamy lemon pasta ages ago and never stopped.

It’s great for when you don’t know what else to cook, if that makes sense. I mean, I’ve always got pasta in the pantry, and lemons, cream, eggs, and parm in the fridge. So it’s a real pantry basics kind of a meal.

Plus it’s so incredibly comforting! Carbs and dairy are totally my jam.

And the lemon flavor is off the charts. So bright and citrusy! But with a nice savory vibe from the cheese and seasonings.

I absolutely love it for a quick weeknight dinner and I think you will too!

If you find yourself pressed for time at the dinner hour, have a look at some of my other dinner recipes. You might especially like my homemade chicken cheesesteaks, baked rigatoni, and pork Milanese recipes.

Lemon pasta recipe, prepared and served in a shallow ceramic bowl with a gold fork.

Table of Contents

Jump to Recipe

What is lemon pasta?

Yesterday I shared my homemade pasta recipe, and this is the perfect way to serve it, imo.

Delicate, tender ribbons of fresh pasta, tangled together and napped in a creamy sauce made with lemon, eggs, cheese, and savory seasonings.

It’s bright and citrusy, yet creamy and soft, and it’s pure comfort in a bowl!

Why this is the best lemon pasta recipe

  1. Tastes amazing: The balance of citrusy, creamy, cheesy, and delicate is just heaven.
  2. Few ingredients: You’ll only need a few pantry staples to make it.
  3. Easy to make: This is legit a 10-minute meal.
  4. Versatile: Add protein and/or herbs to take this basic recipe to another level.


Ingredients for making lemon pasta, with text labels.

Cream: The basis of the sauce. I prefer heavy whipping cream (aka: double cream) because it’s so thick and luxurious. Use a plant-based substitute that swaps 1:1 for a dairy-free lemon pasta sauce.

Egg yolks: Add richness to the sauce and help thicken it. Use large chicken eggs or a plant-based substitute.

Parmesan: I love freshly grated parmigiano reggiano. If you’re vegan use your favorite dairy-free substitution.

Lemon: This recipe utilizes both the zest and the juice of a fresh lemon.

Seasonings: Kosher salt for its clean flavor, and ground black pepper to bring a savory note to the dish.

Pasta: I’ve used homemade fresh tagliatelle since I had it from yesterday’s recipe post, but you can use store-bought fresh pasta or even dried pasta. Any shape!

Butter: After the noodles are boiled they get tossed in a little butter to keep them from sticking together. I prefer unsalted butter so I can season the dish to my personal taste.

Special equipment

How to make creamy lemon pasta

This easy recipe comes together in just 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Make the sauce

Place the yolks, cream, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a big bowl.

Egg yolks, cream, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large glass bowl.

Then just whisk everything together until smooth and combined.

Whisking lemon pasta sauce together in a large mixing bowl.

Step 2: Cook the pasta

Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil, then drop in your pasta.

Give it a stir, so nothing sticks together.

Allow the pasta to cook in the hot salted water until it’s tender, then dunk a mug in and reserve some of the cooking water before draining and buttering the noodles.

Step 3: Combine

Add the cooked, drained, and buttered pasta to the bowl of sauce.

Adding cooked and buttered pasta to the creamy lemon sauce.

Then just toss everything together, turning gently with your tongs so every strand is coated in that luxurious lemon creaminess.

Fresh pasta tossed in a creamy lemon sauce.

If things feel too dry or tight, dribble in a little of the hot pasta water to loosen things up.

How to serve lemon pasta sauce

This sauce is fantastic over any kind of cooked pasta, and can be enjoyed for lunch, dinner, or as an appetizer or snack.

I like to garnish it with a snowfall of parmesan, a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Expert tips

Fresh lemon: Nothing beats the flavor and aroma of fresh citrus. You’re lemon pasta recipe will taste its absolute best if you use freshly grated lemon zest and freshly squeezed juice from a real lemon.

Work fast: The sauce is gently cooked only by the heat of the pasta and its cooking water, so you’ll want to hustle and get it all tossed while it’s still piping hot!

Get creative: Feel free to add cooked chicken or shrimp to this recipe to up the protein. You can also add fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, tarragon, or thyme to really kick up the flavors!

Creamy lemon pasta presented on a gray tabletop with lemons and parmesan cheese.

Frequently asked questions

How long should I cook the pasta?

If you’re cooking dried pasta follow the cooking directions on the package, but drain it a minute or so sooner than it instructs, so it can finish cooking in the sauce and pick up some of those yummy flavors.

For fresh homemade pasta, it should only need a minute or two. You’ll know it’s done by fishing out a strand and taking a taste.

Are the eggs raw?

The eggs are gently cooked by the heat of the pasta and its cooking water.

They are not cooked to scrambled, but they thicken and become saucy.

You’ll want to use common sense about who you serve this recipe to, as the eggs are not raw but not cooked hard either.

Can this be made ahead?

This is a really speedy recipe but if you want to get ahead I’d suggest making the sauce and cooking and buttering the pasta up to a day or so ahead of time. Keep everything in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it, then just warm everything up gently (you don’t want to scramble the eggs) in a skillet over very low heat.

Any leftovers you have will keep in the fridge for a few days and can be gently reheated in the microwave or in a skillet over a very low flame.

I’m not sure I’d suggest freezing, as the freeze/thaw process could potentially cause the sauce to split.

What is the serving size?

This recipe makes enough to serve 4 people. One serving is equal to 1/4th of the whole batch.

The nutritional info provided below is for the pasta and the sauce. It does not include any additional ingredients or garnishes, such as chicken, shrimp, herbs, cheese, or oil.

Lemon pasta sauce tossed with fresh homemade tagliatelle and served with parmesan, olive oil, and ground black pepper.

A few more of my best lemon recipes

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A tangle of lemon pasta in a shallow bowl with a sprig of fresh basil.
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Lemon Pasta

Servings: 4 people
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
This easy lemon pasta recipe is such a luxurious treat! Just a few ingredients & 10 minutes and you'll be in sunny citrus heaven!


  • 2 (36 g) egg yolks, large
  • 2/3 cup (158.67 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) grated parmigiana reggiano, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon (6 g) lemon zest, (from one lemon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 g) lemon juice, (from half a lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt, plus extra for the pasta cooking water
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces (453.59 g) pasta, (such as fresh tagliatelle)
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter


  • Place the yolks, cream, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
  • Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until al dente.
  • Dunk a mug into the hot pasta water to reserve some for the sauce.
  • Drain the pasta and toss together with the butter.
  • Add the buttered pasta to the bowl of sauce, and toss gently to combine.
  • Dribble in hot pasta water as needed to improve the texture of the sauce.
  • Garnish with freshly grated parmigiana reggiano, if desired.
Calories: 690kcal, Carbohydrates: 88g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 168mg, Sodium: 823mg, Potassium: 335mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 998IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 177mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Sauce, Side Dish
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakingamoment on Instagram or tag #bakingamoment.


  • Allie

    Allie is the creator and owner of Baking a Moment. She has been developing, photographing, videographing, and writing and sharing recipes here since 2012.

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