Lemon and Garlic Spaghetti

Lemon and Garlic Spaghetti

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Adjust Servings:
8 ounces Spaghetti
0.5 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 Garlic Cloves
0.5 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Lemons
0.5 teaspoon Sea Salt
0.3 cup Pasta Water
1 Tablespoon, grated (per person) Parmesan Cheese

Lemon and Garlic Spaghetti

  • 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • Easy


  • Optional



6-ingredient, vibrant lemon and garlic spaghetti!

This recipe is a total comfort food and so easy to make.

Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple and let the ingredients shine.

A garlic and lemon infused sauce that perfectly coats spaghetti can be very addictive.

For an added touch of heat, I love adding crushed red pepper flakes.

I also add a drizzle of honey at times but this is controversial! I like the sweet, savory and spicy combination.

Every ingredient counts as this is a minimal ingredient recipe!

This is the time to use some good quality extra virgin olive oil as it is the base of our sauce.

If possible, use a single origin extra virgin olive oil that is sold in a dark glass bottle.

I recommend using organic lemons as we are using both the zest and juice.

Spaghetti is my preferred pasta shape for this recipe but any long pasta will work.

The trick is to cook the pasta just until it’s al-dente. You still want the pasta to have a bite to it.

This spaghetti dish makes for a great main or a side dish with your favorite protein!


Make this lemon and garlic spaghetti, snap a pic and share it on Pinterest!



Bring Pasta Water To Boil & Quick Prep

Bring a large pot of water (filled 2/3 of the way full) to a boil.

Cover the pot so it starts to boil quicker.

While you are waiting for it to boil, prep the ingredients.

Lightly crush, peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves.

Wash and dry your lemons.

Either zest or peel the skin of the lemon then thinly slice. Make sure to avoid as much of the white pith as that part is bitter and not very pleasant to eat.

Next, juice the lemons until you have about 1/3 cup.


Boil The Spaghetti

Once the water has come to a rolling boil, add 1 Tablespoon of salt then drop in the pasta.

Using tongs, gently push in the spaghetti so everything is fully submerged.

Set a 9 minute timer. While the spaghetti cooks, make the sauce. (See next step)

Test one spaghetti for doneness after the timer goes off.

You want al-dente spaghetti, which is fully cooked but with a slight bite.


Make The Lemon & Garlic Sauce

Add 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil and the thinly sliced garlic to your cold skillet.

Turn the heat to medium-high.

Once you see the oil sizzling, turn down the heat to medium-low and allow the garlic to every so slightly brown in the oil for 5-7 minutes.

Stir with a wooden spoon occasionally so even browning.

Next, add the crushed red pepper flakes, lemon zest or lemon peel strips and the lemon juice. Stir to combine.


Add The Cooked Spaghetti To The Sauce

By now, the spaghetti should be cooked.

Do not drain the pasta water.

Using tongs, add the cooked spaghetti directly to the sauce in the skillet along with 1/3 cup of the pasta water.

If you are adding grated parmesan cheese, add 1/3 cup now.

Using the tongs, toss the spaghetti in the sauce well, about 2 minutes.

Lastly, add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, toss the pasta again then taste for seasoning.

You may now want to add more parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes or lemon juice!



Serve the pasta hot!

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Hi guys, so glad you are here! My food blog is about easy, colorful and mostly healthy recipes. I grew up in Germany and have been in the states since 2002. Currently, I am living in sunny Miami, FL! Please leave me a comment if you have questions or recipe requests and also follow me on social media via @foodbyjonister. Happy cooking and eating!

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