This simple and creamy lemon Zucchini Pasta is a vibrant and unique dish that is easy to make, and hard not to enjoy! The flavor of the lemon adds a perfect fresh touch to a savory, delicious sauce.
This elegant combination of zucchini, pasta, lemon, and a creamy parmesan sauce will leave you feeling refreshed and satisfied! One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s so easy and quick to make. Because this pasta contains simple ingredients, you might be surprised that it’s packed with light and summery flavors!
Serve this pasta as-is or add some additional protein for a more filling meal. You can even toss in any extra veggies you have lying around. Trust me, the fresh and creamy sauce goes well with almost any savory ingredient you want to add! I guarantee you will fall in love with this simple, well-balanced recipe!
Table Of Contents
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Quick and easy:Making it a convenient choice for busy weeknight dinners.
- Light and Fresh: Zucchini's mild taste and crisp texture can add a light and fresh element to pasta dishes.
- Color and Presentation: Zucchini adds a vibrant green color to pasta dishes, enhancing their visual appeal. The presentation of a colorful, veggie-packed plate can be enticing.
- Spaghetti—Or fettuccine or linguine.
- Zucchini—Sliced into bite-sized discs.
- Lemon Juice—Brings out the bright flavor of the zucchini. Freshly squeezed is tastiest!
- Parmesan Cheese—Adds a savory finishing touch to this pasta.
- Heavy Cream—To enrich the sauce and make it extra luscious and smooth.
- Butter—Salted. For sautéing the zucchini.
- Garlic Powder—Or one clove of fresh garlic, minced.
- Basil Leaves—Are a colorful and herbaceous garnish!
Popular Substitutions and Variations
Want to make this meal even more filling? Try adding some protein to your pasta. Meatballs, grilled chicken, or shrimp would all pair wonderfully with this dish!
Out of zucchini? You can substitute or add any type of vegetables you have on hand! Try using squash, bell peppers, broccoli, or brussels sprouts for added flavor.
Give this zucchini pasta more of a classic Italian flavor by adding some chopped or crushed tomatoes. Try using cherry, grape, or even diced roma tomatoes.
How to Make Creamy Lemon Zucchini Pasta
1.Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside. Melt the butter and add the zucchini and garlic powder. Cook until tender.
2.Add the parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and heavy cream. Stir until the cheese is fully melted and the mixture has thickened.
3.Stir in the spaghetti noodles.
4. Top with fresh basil if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can choose any way to cut zucchini for your pasta! I usually recommend slicing the squash into discs. To do this, cut off the ends of the zucchini, then start cutting it into half-inch slices—no need to peel it first! The process should feel similar to slicing a banana. You’ll end up with thin, circular slices of zucchini perfect for adding to this creamy pasta.
Absolutely! Zucchini noodles are a great alternative to regular noodles. If you decide to go that route, it is optional if you would like to add the extra chopped zucchini. You can instead simply top your prepared zoodles with the creamy lemon sauce, serve, and enjoy!
Of course! You can easily make this zucchini pasta vegan by substituting the dairy products. You can use vegan parmesan cheese, coconut cream or plant-based milk instead of heavy cream, and a butter alternative such as olive oil. This recipe is great for anyone to enjoy!
- If you do not have fresh basil, you can use dried basil flakes to garnish this pasta.
- To avoid having mushy or soggy zucchini, make sure to pat dry the slices after you cut them. This will help to remove any excess moisture! You can also toss the slices with salt before cooking to help draw out any additional water.
- If you like a bit of spice, sprinkle some crushed red pepper or chili flakes on top of your pasta. The heat will contrast the tang of the lemon well!
What Goes Well with Zucchini Pasta?
This creamy zucchini pasta is the perfect main dish! I love to serve this as I would any pasta-based dish. You can include a side of French bread, a side salad, or a fresh fruit salad! Because there are already so many good nutrients in this dish, you don’t have to stress about preparing a separate vegetable to go on the side. Additionally, I recommend garnishing your finished zucchini lemon pasta with some fresh basil, additional parmesan cheese, or lemon zest!
How to Store and Reheat Pasta with Zucchini
Once cooled, you can store your leftover zucchini pasta in an airtight container in the fridge. It is best to eat it within 4 days of storing. When reheating your pasta, add it to a pan with a few tablespoons of heavy cream. Heat the pasta until the sauce has reconstituted and is warm. This will ensure that the pasta is just as creamy the second time around!
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- 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 1 zucchini about 8 inches long, sliced (about 1 ¼ cup)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- basil leaves to garnish, optional
- Cook your spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
- Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat until fully melted.
- Add your zucchini and garlic powder. Cook the zucchini for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
- Once the zucchini is soft and tender, add the Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and heavy whipping cream. Stir continually for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and the cheese is fully melted.
- Stir in the spaghetti noodles.
- Top with fresh basil if desired, serve, and enjoy!
- You can store your leftover zucchini pasta in the fridge for up to 4 days. When reheating your pasta, add it to a pan with a few tablespoons of heavy cream. Heat the pasta until the sauce has reconstituted and is warm.
- You can also top your pasta with freshly chopped parsley.
- If you do not have fresh basil you can use dried basil flakes. Additionally, you can use 3 cloves of fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. Simply mince the garlic before adding it to the pan.
- The lemon juice provided a nice balance to the savoriness of the cheese and provided the zucchini with some zest.
- In addition to spaghetti, you can use fettuccine or linguine.
- You can use either bottled lemon juice or freshly squeezed lemon juice.