This Lemon Pasta with Spinach is light and creamy with a subtle tartness from the citrus. This easy pasta recipe only takes 20 minutes to make and is loaded with flavor. It makes a great weeknight dinner for busy nights.
This is one of those pasta recipes that you can throw together with minimal ingredients and it's always super satisfying. One of my favorite girl dinners, but also works well to feed the family.
It's lighter than your typical Alfredo sauce, but still offers that creaminess you're looking for in a white pasta sauce. The lemon flavors really bring in that extra boost that hits your tastebuds after the initial bite. It's a must make!
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- Quick and Easy. The perfect recipe to serve on busy weeknights and only takes 20 minutes from start to finish.
- Minimal Ingredients and Prep. This recipe uses simple ingredients and not many of them. Plus, it doesn't take much prep work and only requires a little bit of chopping.
- Vegetarian Approved. This pasta is meatless and vegetarian friendly.
- Flavor Filled. Expect creamy delicious coated pasta with a nice tart taste from the lemon.
- Budget Friendly. A great meal to make on a budget and pair with inexpensive pasta.
Not Pictured: Pasta Water
Pasta: Boiled until al dente and coated in a creamy, lemony sauce. A variety of pasta can be used in this recipe. I used Spaghetti, but bucatini, rigatoni, penne, or other varieties would be delicious too.
Garlic: Roasted in butter to add flavor to the pasta dish.
Lemon Juice & Zest: Adds acidity and a tart taste to the sauce without being overpowering.
White Wine: Works together with the lemon juice and brings in bold flavors, while toning down the lemon's bitterness.
Heavy Cream: Adds creaminess into the sauce and makes the dish a bit more filling.
Parmesan Cheese: A bold nutty cheese that is amazing in this recipe. I highly recommend using parmigiano reggiano for this recipe. The cheese also helps to thicken the sauce.
Pasta Water: A secret ingredient to creating the best pasta dishes. It helps to thin the sauce and create a coating on the pasta for the sauce to stick to. Just a few tablespoons of pasta water will magically transform a thick chunky sauce into a creamy texture again.
*Full recipe ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations:
Looking for a creamy sauce without the lemon? Leave out the fresh lemon juice and zest.
The white wine can be substituted with chicken stock.
Want more veggies? Toss in some chopped roasted red peppers and/or sun-dried tomatoes.
How to Make Lemon Pasta with Spinach:
Step 1: Boil the pasta in water until al dente, according to package instructions. *Save 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
Step 2: While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet on the stovetop over medium low heat. Melt the butter and toss in the garlic and salt and pepper. Cook for 60 seconds, stirring as needed. Pour in the white wine, lemon juice, and zest. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 3: Pour in the heavy cream and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 4: Add in the parmesan cheese and stir until melted into the sauce. At this point, the pasta should be cooked.
Step 5: Toss the pasta into the skillet with the sauce. Add in the spinach and toss into the pasta. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the spinach is wilted. If the sauce starts to thicken or separate, toss in a few tablespoons of pasta water as needed to smooth it out.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy! Top with additional parmesan cheese or crushed red pepper flakes if desired.
- Don't forget to save 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Avoid overcooking the pasta when boiling, as it will continue to cook in the sauce.
- I highly recommend shredding the parmesan cheese finely from the block for the best melt.
Pasta water can help to bring a sauce back to life, especially cream sauces. In a matter of minutes, they can become on the chunky side. Just a splash of pasta water will turn the sauce creamy again.
I recommend eating this fresh for the best taste, but you can store the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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If you tried this Lemon Spinach Pasta Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!Print