January 31, 2020

Garlic Lemon Pasta: The Easiest 20 Minute Meal

garlic lemon pasta

You ever see one of those meals on TV that just look SO insanely good, you have to pause it just to appreciate it? I have! And it was this garlic lemon pasta that I saw on the Netflix show, "The Chef Show." I was binge watching the series when I came across this pasta dish. And I had to pause the special and take a screenshot of the ingredients that they showed. I needed to remember just how it was made so I could make it the next night for dinner.

Inspired By

I loved how easy this dish was to prepare. And also, how comforting, simple and delicious it looked. Simple ingredients often make for the best dishes, I find. So, I was majorly inspired by this Netflix show and made it my own. Because even after watching it, I still don't know the exact measurements they use.

garlic lemon pasta

I get inspiration all the time from so many different places. From Pinterest, to Bon Appétit (I've watched nearly every BA YouTube video) and cookbooks. Inspiration is all around me. The key thing I try to remember, always, is to give credit. Hardly anything is truly original anymore, everything was inspired by someone. But, still, if you got inspired by someone for a recipe, I think it's important to give credit where it's due.

Keeping This Lemon Garlic Pasta Super Simple

Like I said, this pasta dish is SO SIMPLE. You only need a small handful of ingredients to make it. But that is kind of why I love it so much. Not only is it super easy to make, it tastes gourmet, comforting and rich. It tastes like you took a lot longer to prepare it and to me, those are the best kinds of dishes. The ones that always impress, but you know secretly, deep down they were too easy to make.

ingredients for pasta

What You need to make this lemon garlic pasta:

  • Pasta: I use bucatini because it's one of my favourite noodles. I love the thin hole in the centre that soaks up all the sauce. You can use any pasta you want. I've used gluten free spaghetti in the past and its delicious too.
  • Garlic: You need lots of this! This isn't a dish for the faint of heart when it comes to garlic. But don't be too alarmed, it's sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, so it loses a lot of the bite that raw garlic has. I like to mince half of it and then thinly slice the rest. You can slice all of it if you want, it doesn't matter, this dish is forgiving like that.
  • Lemon: A good squeeze of lemon helps bring some acidity to the dish, so it's necessary to have.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This is the only oil I'd use to sauté the garlic.
  • Parmesan: You don't need a lot, although, I'm never gonna judge you for how much parm you put on top. But, it does add a nice salty taste to the dish. If you can't have dairy, I'd try it with nutritional yeast. It won't taste the exact same, but I think it would still be good.
  • Butter: This makes it a little creamier and richer. You can use ghee instead if you need, but just use a little less as the flavour is more intense. If you can't have any dairy, just omit and use more extra virgin olive oil.  
  • Chili Flakes: Although you don't need them, I really like them! They're highly encouraged.
  • Fresh Chives: Topping this pasta with some fresh herbs is definitely a plus in this dish. You could sub chives for parsley too.
garlic lemon pasta

How to Make this Easy Pasta

The first thing to think about when making this recipe is cooking the garlic just right.

The only hard part about this lemon garlic pasta is keeping a close eye on the garlic. Garlic can burn really quickly! So my advice is pay attention, don't try and do other things while the garlic is cooking in the oil. Because this dish comes together so fast, this is really the only part that takes some patience and time.

How to cook the garlic so it doesn't burn

Because I'm lazy, I like to use one pot to cook this whole dish. So after the pasta is boiled (don't forget to reserve some of the pasta water), let it drain and set it aside. Then, use the same pot and add the olive oil, and if you use the same burner, it will already be pretty hot. If you're using the same burner, turn the heat down to low and then add the oil. Add the garlic and stir with a wooden spoon. Watch it carefully so that it doesn't burn. Burnt garlic doesn't taste good and it's kinda the main attraction to the show, so don't mess it up. Don't worry, I believe in you ;)

garlic lemon pasta

How to Assemble everything

Once you have the garlic cooking, everything comes together really quickly. When you start to notice that the garlic is getting some nice colour on it, it's time to add the salt, pepper, chili flakes and half the chives. Give everything a good toss with your spoon. Then add back the pasta. Once the pasta is in, make sure the heat is off. Then go ahead and add in the reserved pasta water, the butter and then the lemon. Toss it around with some tongs to make sure it all gets incorporated.

Then all you need to do is plate this delicious lemon garlic pasta, and top it with sea salt to taste, parm and the remaining chives. Go ahead and add some more chili flakes too.

Now, take a moment and marvel at just how easy this dish was to make. And most, importantly enjoy!

garlic lemon pasta

More pasta dishes to try:

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Garlic Lemon Pasta: The Easiest 20 Minute Meal

Delicious and easy lemon garlic pasta comes together in 20 minutes!




  • 8 ozs Bucatini
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic half minced, half sliced thin
  • 1 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 bunch Chives chopped fine, divided
  • 1/4 cup Pasta Water reserved from cooking the pasta
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice add more if you like more lemon
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan freshly shaved
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil, reduce heat slightly and add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same large pot on the same burner you just used to cook the pasta, turn the heat to low. Add the extra virgin olive oil and then the garlic. Stir frequently until the garlic gets some colour. Be careful to watch it so that it doesn't burn and adjust the heat as necessary. Once the garlic looks like it has some colour, add the chili flakes and half the chives. Stir to combine and then turn off the heat.
  3. Add the pasta back to the pot along with the pasta water and toss to combine. Add the butter and then the lemon and stir, making sure all the pasta is well coated. Add more extra virgin olive oil if needed.
  4. Plate the pasta and top with the remaining chives, parmesan, salt and pepper and additional chili flakes and/or extra virgin olive oil if needed. Enjoy!


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