Lemon Spaghetti

Picture it.  It’s dinner time and I’m craving carbs, only carbs.  It’s too hot to cook and I’m super lazy and I don’t feel like making dinner.  What’s my solution?  If you thought cereal… well, I’m not surprised because that is a common cop-out dinner for me.  Let’s marvel at the better solution, which is this super easy and light pasta dish.

This spaghetti is tossed in a lovely lemon no-cook sauce.

05Lemon Spaghetti

Lemon Spaghetti Recipe
(About 4 servings)


  • 1 pound spaghetti (most boxes are less than a pound these days and one box is okay)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 2 lemons)


  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the box.  Once the spaghetti is done, reserve 1 cup of the spaghetti liquid and then drain the rest.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, grated Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add in the spaghetti, chopped basil, and lemon zest and mix everything together.
  4. Add the used spaghetti liquid, a 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is well moistened.  (Note that you may not need the full 1 cup.)

Source: Giada DeLaurentiis


I didn’t take any prep photos for you because there is nothing even remotely complicated about this pasta dish.  Seriously guys, there was hardly any effort putting this meal together.  The careless placement of the spaghetti in the bowl is a true representation of this no-fuss dinner.

06Lemon Spaghetti

The spaghetti is the only thing you need to cook here.  If you’re a fan of Giada, then I bet you can just hear her saying “spaghetti” with her Italian accent.

This sauce is not really a “sauce.”  It’s more like a dressing because you don’t have to cook it.  How awesome is that?  When it’s hot outside, this pasta will be your best friend.  Six to ten minutes in front of a hot stove and you can run away to the cooler parts of your kitchen.

01Lemon Spaghetti

Sometimes a girl just wants her pasta and this dish will do the trick.

It’s all about the ziinnnngg!  It’s got lemon flavors galore.  This pasta dish is super refreshing, light, and screams summertime.

07Lemon Spaghetti

Even the leftovers were awesome for lunches during the week.  (And were even faster than the original thanks to the microwave!)



5 Hats


Here are some other lovely lemon recipes.

Whipped Lemon Feta Spread

03Whipped Lemon Feta Spread

Single Serving Lemonade

03Single Serving Lemonade

Lemon Blueberry Loaf



  1. This sounds delicious,Tina! I often crave pasta, and I love how easy this is…especially for the summer! And I can totally hear Giada saying spaghetti, she’s a favorite of mine! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! Giada is one of my favorite FoodNetwork chefs too. 🙂

  2. Looks amazing! I know well too well only craving carbs 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Yay for carbs! 😉

  3. Know the carb craving feeling all too well! Just did a lemon pasta on my blog, too- summer is truly the time for easy lemony goodness 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      It’s nice to hear that I’m not alone in these cravings. 😉 I definitely have to check out your lemon pasta dish because I’m obsessed with these flavors!

  4. Mary Frances says:

    This would conquer any and all carb cravings while not being overly heavy! What a lovely classic combo, Tina, I really like the basil and olive oil together. Delicious!

    1. Tina says:

      Basil + lemon + olive oil = amazing! Have a lovely Monday, Mary Frances. 🙂

  5. Victoria Cooke says:

    Love this idea of a light pasta meal and not always have the heavy tomato sauce during the summer.

    1. Tina says:

      I totally agree! 🙂

  6. I love how simple and delicious this recipe is. I am craving carbs right now 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Mmm carbs. 🙂

  7. Oh I LOVE lemon in my noodles! It adds such a tangy fresh flavor that I just adore! Paired with some spicy garlic and lotsa Parmesan cheese and I’m in carb-y heaven. This looks just amazing, Tina! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Carb-y heaven…love that!

  8. Joanne says:

    Sometimes, a girl’s just gotta have her carbs! I totally know that feeling. Love the sound of this!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks Joanne! 🙂

  9. Ashley says:

    Yes yes yes. I love simple and easy dishes like this for days when you don’t want to cook! Added bonus that I usually have all these ingredients in the house!

    1. Tina says:

      I love it when I already have the ingredients in stock for a recipe. 🙂

  10. This looks fabulous – I love lemon and pasta – some fresh English peas added perhaps?? Lovely!

    1. Tina says:

      Oh yes! I think peas or even asparagus would be a lovely veggie addition. 🙂

  11. This was so me last night! I just had no energy left in me for dinner! I did actually opt for cereal 🙂 This pasta looks lovely, such a fresh dinner idea. Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe…ah, good old cereal. 😉 I hope you love this pasta dish as much as I do!

  12. Perfect Summer Pasta… looks delicious… I had recently done a lemon pasta with prawns and cherry tomatoes.. Love the lemony flavour… 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      The addition of prawns and tomatoes sounds lovely! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  13. Oh, I love this!! Lemony pasta is one of my faves that for some reason I don’t think to make at home. I definitely get hit by those dinner carb cravings too, so I think I know what I’ll whip up the next time they hit!

    1. Tina says:

      It seems like I’m always craving carbs so this has definitely been a favorite of mine this summer! 🙂

  14. I think this looks fresh, light and delicious – the perfect (easy) weeknight meal.

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much!

  15. I get crazy carb cravings mind only pasta will make me happy. I also get the same qu with chocolate. Haha
    I love this dish. Simple and delicious flavors…Perfect for an easy summer dinner.

    1. Tina says:

      I’m the same! Hmmm, wonder if we can come up with a tasty chocolate pasta dish?!

  16. Ooooh, I love this idea, Tina. It’s sort of like a pesto, but even easier. Lemon is one of my favourite flavours (probably only second to chocolate). I suppose if you were feeling like you needed some more veggies, you could even throw in some asparagus, which doesn’t take long to cook (although is it past asparagus season now?)
    Anyway, great dish!

    1. Tina says:

      Oh yea, veggies would definitely be an awesome addition!

  17. I love easy and lighter recipes like this for summer! Bookmarking!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you, my friend! 🙂

  18. Perfect pasta with a hint of zing to boot… Im in! Adding this to the ‘eat when you are considering a bowl of cereal’ list. 🙂 Thanks lovely one, its nice to see quick and easy recipes for the super busy and or super lazy. LOL!

    1. Tina says:

      Haha…I love that list you got going! That’s awesome. 🙂

  19. Kelly says:

    Love quick and lighter meals like this! It looks so fresh and tasty and sounds like the perfect summer weeknight meal 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks! 🙂

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