Recreate Ina Garten's lemon capellini with just 4 ingredients in 15 minutes. This garlic lemon pasta recipe is perfect served as the main entree or side dish.
I recently came across Ina Garten's lemon pasta recipe and had to try making it dairy free! It's such a simple swap – just use plant based butter as a replacement.
The end result is melt in your mouth thin noodles coated in a flavorful tangy garlic lemon pasta butter sauce.
Lemon Capellini Pasta Ingredients
To make the Barefoot Contessa's lemon capellini recipe, you only need a few common kitchen ingredients.
- Pasta: This dish comes together with capellini or angel hair pasta.
- Lemon: We'll be using both the zest and juice from two lemons!
- Butter: The star ingredient!! Butter can be replaced for vegan butter, if needed.
- Garlic: This ingredient is optional but highly recommended for added flavor.
- Salt and pepper: To taste.
- Fresh herbs: I love garnishing my pasta with fresh chopped parsley, basil, or dill.
Want to know the secret ingredient to making this ultra creamy lemon pasta sauce without milk? It's reserved pasta water!
Continue reading to learn how to transform butter and lemon juice into zesty lemon pasta sauce.
How to Make Lemon Garlic Pasta
This easy summer lemon pasta is the ultimate dairy free dinner! It's light and bright in flavor.
My lemon pasta dish is super quick and easy to make! It comes together in just about 15 minutes from start to finish.
Cook the Pasta
Add the capellini or angel hair pasta to boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Make the Sauce
As the capellini cooks, warm a large saute pan over medium heat. Add butter (dairy free, if needed) and swirl around until melted.
If using garlic, toss in now. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Give another big swirl and reduce heat to low.
Using a pasta spoon or tongs, lift al dente pasta out of the boiling water and transfer into the lemon butter sauce.
Gently toss the pasta in sauce until fully coated, adding extra reserved pasta water from the pot as needed.
Turn the heat up to low-medium and continue to cook and toss for a couple minutes.
Garnish and Serve
To serve, portion pasta out into individual plates or a serving platter. Garnish with more lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice, extra salt and pepper, and fresh herbs.
- Use a large skillet that can hold all the pasta and sauce! I typically use my 12-inch pan or 5-quart saute pan.
- Don't be afraid to add extra pasta water. It will cook down and soak into the noodles, as well as help thicken the sauce up. I tend to add at least 1-2 cups of reserved pasta water.
- If you don't have fresh garlic, substitute with garlic from a jar, garlic powder, or just leave it out.
- Want to kick it up a notch? Add some crushed red pepper for a bit of spice.
- Bulk this meal out by serving it along with your favorite protein such as roasted vegetables, chickpeas, chicken, beef, or seafood.
FAQ and Tips
This lemon pasta calls for capellini. A similar, more common pasta is angel hair! But you can use regular spaghetti or even bucatini.
Store leftover pasta covered in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave with a splash of water.
More Dairy Free Pasta Recipes
Add these non dairy dinner ideas to your weekly rotation. They work well for lunch, appetizers, or any occasion as well!
- Vegan Vodka Sauce
- Dairy Free Mac and Cheese
- Homemade Spaghettios
- One Pot Red Lentil Pasta
- Vegan Macaroni Salad
- Easy Veggie Pasta Salad
- Egg Free BLT Pasta Salad
Lemon Pasta Recipe
- 1 pound dried capellini or angel hair pasta
- ½ pound (2 stick) butter dairy free, if needed
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large lemons zested then juiced
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Optional: Garnish with fresh chopped parsley
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm a large skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter then stir in garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- As soon as the pasta is cooked al dente, lift out of the boiling water and transfer into the lemon butter sauce. Allow most but not all of the water to drain back into the pot.
- Gently toss the pasta in sauce until fully coated, adding extra reserved pasta water from the pot, as needed. Continue to cook and toss for a couple minutes.
- To serve, portion pasta out onto individual plates or a serving platter. Garnish with more lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice, extra salt and pepper, and fresh herbs.