Just 15 minutes is all it takes to get this light and creamy pasta dish on the table. Bursting with zesty flavour, this Creamy Lemon Pasta packs a green veggie punch too with some spinach thrown in for good measure. It's lemony, slightly cheesy, full of basil and it will hit the spot when you want some lighter comfort food.
Pasta is a total comfort food, but that doesn't mean that it can't be light and fresh too. We used lemon and basil to lift this pasta dish and make it wonderfully light, but still a filling meal. Great as a main dish or a smaller portion as a side.
Bored of the same heavy tomato based sauces with your pasta? Well, it's time to try something new and this lemon pasta sauce is just the thing you need.
Looking for some other ways to cook with lemon? Why not try our Lemon Herb Chicken, Roasted Lemon Asparagus, Lemon Rosemary Chicken or Lemon Basil Chicken.
Why you will love it
- Quick - This pasta dish is ready in just 15 minutes. It's as simple as cooking the pasta and spinach and then mixing everything together.
- Low calories - Whilst pasta cake be high in calories, this is only 350 calories per portion because we used Greek yoghurt for the creamy sauce. We have given options below on how to adapt this though.
- Easy to adapt - This pasta dish is really easy to adapt with different vegetables. More on that below!
- A delicious BBQ side - This doesn't just have to be a main meal, it's perfect with a burger or grilled chicken as a burger side.
- Wholewheat fusilli pasta - We like wholewheat because it has a little more fibre and we like the almost nutty flavour. You could swap the fusilli for another pasta shape like penne, however the creamy sauce clings well to the fusilli.
- Cherry tomatoes - You could swap these for sun-dried tomatoes for some extra flavour.
- Spinach - A great way to give a green veggie boost to this creamy lemon pasta dish. You could swap it for kale or rocket (arugula).
- 0% Greek yogurt - This is a great way to make a creamy sauce, but keeping it lower in fat and calories. It does make it a little tart, but the lemon juice helps with this. If you don't want to use Greek yoghurt, then you could use creme fraiche or mayo instead.
- A lemon - Just the juice and zest is needed for this recipe.
- Fresh basil
- Parmesan, grated - A delicious way to make it creamy. You could swap it for feta or a crumbled goats cheese.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Put the pasta in to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes.
Two: Add the spinach 2 minutes before the pasta is done.
Three: Drain the pasta and spinach
Four: Put it back in the pan with the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
Five: Mix well and serve in bowls with a sprinkle of fresh basil on top.
We used spirals of nutty wholewheat pasta, but you could use any pasta shape that you already have. Try to use something that the sauce will cling really well too. We like to use linguine sometimes too.
If you wanted to make a lower carb version of this, then swap some of the pasta for courgette (zucchini) noodles.
Now, let's talk about this sauce - it couldn't be easier. There is no cooking involved when it comes to the sauce, as you just stir all the ingredients in to the cooked pasta and it gently heats it through before serving.
Just a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt, lemon juice and zest, some herbs, garlic and a little parmesan and you have yourself a creamy and comforting pasta sauce with no cooking and minimal effort. I call that a win!
You could swap the Greek yogurt for creme fraiche or mayonnaise, and use an oat creme fraiche to keep this pasta dish vegan.
What to serve with lemon pasta
This is a healthy and nutritious meal on its own. However, you could serve it with a big green salad like our Little Gem Salad, some Roasted Cherry Tomatoes or some roasted broccoli and asparagus. Garlic bread always goes well with a pasta dish too.
Sometimes we serve this pasta dish as a side at a BBQ, as it goes really well with BBQ Honey and Lime Chicken or Hidden Vegetable Beef Burgers.
If you have leftovers, then you can keep them in the fridge for 2 days. I wouldn't recommend reheating the pasta dish, but eating it cold instead. It's great as an easy to to work lunch.
We love a strong lemon flavour, however if it's a bit too over powering for you then you could add a very very small pinch of baking soda. It's a really effective way of counteracting a lemon flavour, but go easy with it.
We have kept this Lemon Pasta meat free (you would need to use a Parmesan alternative for it to be vegetarian), but you could add some sliced grilled chicken breast to it to bulk it out a bit, or even some cooked king prawns. It's also delicious with some grilled salmon.
We love any dish that has an opportunity to add lots of vegetables, and this is definitely one of them. There is already spinach in it, that can be swapped for kale or rocket. However you could also cook some peas and sweetcorn with the pasta or even add some roasted vegetables for something a little more filling. Asparagus is also a really good addition.
If you use your favourite gluten free pasta and make sure that there is no cross contamination, then this is a delicious gluten free meal.
• For an extra protein boost, add some grilled chicken breast before serving.
• If you want to keep this vegetarian, use a vegetarian parmesan alternative.
• Want to make this lemon pasta vegan? Swap the Greek yogurt or something like Oatly creme fraiche and use a vegan parmesan alternative.
• Feel free to change the herbs and use what you have that needs using. We find that finely chopped rosemary works well too.
• We added spinach, but other greens like kale or cabbage would work well too.
• Save a little bit of the pasta water to add to the dish - this loosens the sauce a little and adds some creaminess.
More pasta recipes
If you’ve tried this Creamy Lemon Pasta recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Creamy Lemon Pasta
- 140 g (4.94 oz) Whole wheat pasta
- 10 (10) Cherry tomatoes - quartered
- 180 g (6 cups) Spinach
- 1 (1 clove) Garlic clove - crushed
- 1 Lemon - juice and zest only
- 6 tablespoon (6 tablespoon) 0% Greek yogurt
- 20 g (0.75 cups) Fresh basil - finely chopped
- 20 (0.25 cups) Parmesan - grated
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Put 140 g Whole wheat pasta into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes.
- Two minutes before the pasta is done, add 180 g Spinach to the pan.
- Drain the pasta and spinach.
- Put it back into the pan with 10 Cherry tomatoes, 1 Garlic clove, juice of 1 Lemon, 6 tablespoon 0% Greek yogurt, 20 g Fresh basil and 20 Parmesan. Season with 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper.
- Mix well and serve in bowls with a sprinkle of fresh basil on top.
- For an extra protein boost, add some grilled chicken breast before serving.
- If you want to keep this vegetarian, use a vegetarian parmesan alternative.
- Want to make this lemon pasta vegan? Swap the Greek yogurt or something like Oatly creme fraiche and use a vegan parmesan alternative.
- Feel free to change the herbs and use what you have that needs using. We find that finely chopped rosemary works well too.
- We added spinach, but other greens like kale or cabbage would work well too.
This looks so good! I am going to make this for my meal prep this week. I bet it would go great with some grilled tofu or salmon.
This looks absolutely delicious!
This Pasta really does look so creamy and delicious! I love that you've used Greek Yogurt as the base and the awesome tips within the post for adding additional nutrition. Just perfect!
I love everything that is pasta and ready under 15 minutes. With two kids running around, I need quick and easy. Thanks for sharing it.
Pasta with full of flavors. Love the recipe!
I love this idea for lemon pasta and I totally add chicken to boost protein. Yum!
This is a quick and easy dish to make on busy weeknights and it's so full of flavor! I love the lemon. I used a dairy free yogurt and it turned out great!
My lemon tree is finally producing and I'm looking for yummy recipes! This will be perfect to try.
Pretty sure I'll be making this pasta all season long - so so delicious!
great idea to add Greek yogurt to this dish! it looks so creamy & delicious
Made this last night and it was such a hit - thank you so much!
Pasta is my all-time favourite easy mid-week dinner and I simply love anything lemon... this is seriously a perfect recipe for me - cant wait to try it!
Love evrything in this pasta recipe. I will try this for dinner tonight. I have all the ingredients.
I love quick and easy pasta dishes like this. It sounds so zesty and creamy, and healthy too! All the things I love in a pasta dish.
Lemon pasta is my favorite!! I love that you subbed greek yogurt, I will have to try it!
Yum, this is a great looking pasta dish!! I love the idea of adding some chicken to it as well. Can't wait to try it. Cheers!
How much is 120 grams of dry pasta???
Yum! Love the recipes, thanks for sharing! I'm always trying to find new healthy meals to cook. Look forward to more posts :)
I'm glad you are enjoying them, Becca.