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April 2, 2024

Linguine with Lemon Garlic Sauce

Classic Italian linguine al limone, but make it even speedier and more weeknight-friendly—say hello to our ready-in-10-minutes linguine with lemon and garlic.


homemade linguine with lemon garlic sauce topped with grated parmesan and chopped parsley on a plate with a fork

Bright, Savory and Ready in 10! Meet the Best Linguine Recipe Ever!

Speed is the word of the day. Our creamy linguine sauce recipe is delicious, yes—and we love it for being delicious, we wouldn’t make it if it weren’t delicious!—but it’s also great because of its speed. If you’ve had a DAY at work, or school, or wherever, this fast, garlicky lemon linguine is here for you. A cozy, creamy, bright and comforting bowl of saucy linguine sunshine can be yours in no time, with very little effort and very few dishes. Heck no, it is not a balanced meal. It’s a bowl of straight-up simple carbs. And you’re going to cover it with a dusting of Parmesan cheese and dig right into that simple carb comfort and you’re not going to worry about it. Instead, you’re going to just say “mmmmmmmmm” and enjoy the fact that you (and this recipe) just saved the day. For even more simple pasta fun, check out our Bow Tie Pasta and Fusilli with Spicy Tomato Sauce.

linguine, salt, garlic, lemon zest and juice, parsley, red pepper flakes, butter and olive oil for homemade linguine

Linguine 101: What Is Linguine Anyway?

We love all noodles—truly, all noodles—but we seem to reach for linguine more often than any other type of noodle. It’s a bit more toothsome than spaghetti or angel hair, a bit less than fettuccine. It’s swirly and twirly and simple sauces like this lemony linguine sauce cling to it in a way that we adore. But what is linguine, exactly? What makes linguine linguine? According to the (very wonderful) Oxford Companion to Italian Food, linguine falls into the category of “ribbon pasta” shapes, along with other favorites like tagliatelle and fettuccine. All of these ribbon pastas fall under the broader category—one that includes long, circular pastas like spaghetti and long, tubular pastas like bucatini—of “pasta lunga” meaning “extruded long pastas”. in other words, linguine is just one of the many, delightful long pastas that require you to swirl them and twirl them onto your fork AKA the most fun kind of pasta.

garlic, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and sea salt in a bowl for homemade linguine with lemon garlic sauce
warmed butter and olive oil being poured in a bowl with garlic, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and sea salt

Lovely Linguine Noodles in Lemon, Butter & Garlic. Oooooooo Yeah.

It may not be the most famous culinary holy trinity—that’s onions, peppers and celery, of course—but to us, the combination of zingy, fragrant lemons, the sharpness of garlic and the creamy, fatty richness of butter is a culinary trinity worth celebrating. This simple, fast linguine recipe is bursting with those wonderful flavors. All of the things that come together to make it so deeply satisfying and rich and delicious are such staples—lemons, garlic, butter, salt, oil, pasta—make it almost like a recipe that has no ingredients list. Of course, there is a list of ingredients, it’s just that you’ve already got them—you’ve probably always got them. They’re such must-have kitchen things that you don’t even think about whether you need them or not. You’d never run out of them! You’re at the store—you grab pasta. You grab lemons. You’ve always got salt and olive oil. And, if you’ve been making our recipes for any amount of time, you’ve probably gotten to the point of always having garlic around, right? OK, OK. You’ve waited long enough. Here’s what you’ll need to make this lemon pasta recipe:

  • Linguine

  • Salt

  • Garlic

  • Lemons

  • Fresh parsley

  • Red pepper flakes

  • Salt

  • Butter

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Lemons

garlic, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, butter and olive oil in a bowl for linguine with lemon garlic sauce
homemade linguine with lemon garlic sauce made with lemon, garlic, parsley, butter, olive oil and red pepper flakes

How to Make the Best Linguine Sauce in 10 Minutes Flat

By the time the table is set, dinner will be served. Here’s how to make dinnertime pasta magic:

  1. Get your pasta water over high heat STAT! It'll take about 10 minutes to come to a boil, which is longer than the rest of the recipe will take. YAY.

  2. When the water is at a good rolling boil, drop in the pasta. Do what the package says to do if you want "al dente" pasta (with a bit of ‘bite’ remaining). Usually it'll take about 8-9 minutes to cook the pasta.

  3. In that 8-9 minutes, make the lemon-garlic-butter sauce! First, stir together the garlic, lemon zest, fresh parsley, salt and red pepper flakes. Then melt the oil and butter together. Then mix the oil-butter into the lemony garlic stuff.

Toss it all together! When the pasta is perfectly al dente, toss it—along with a scoop of pasta water—with the sauce. Then grab a fork and dig in!

homemade linguine with lemon garlic sauce topped with grated parmesan and chopped parsley on a plate with a fork

Tools You’ll Need

More Lovely Linguine Recipes to Try

homemade linguine with lemon garlic sauce topped with grated parmesan and chopped parsley on a plate with a fork

Leap if you Love Lemon Linguine!

Lemons are a go-to ingredient for us—an often unsung hero of every home cook’s kitchen. We reach for them constantly, right? Salad dressings, roast chicken—heck, even our favorite cakes are lemony. In this easy linguine sauce recipe, they finally play the starring role. And we love it so much. We hope you love this easy pasta as much as we do. Give it a spin and let us know how it goes! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Linguine with Lemon Garlic Sauce

  • Serves: 2
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 812


  • 10 ounces linguine
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and salt it. Add the linguine and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large metal or glass bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and salt.

  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the olive oil and butter. Once the butter is bubbling, pour it over the garlic and herb mixture. Stir to combine.

  4. Add the pasta to the bowl along with the lemon juice and the reserved pasta cooking water. Use tongs to toss the pasta until it’s fully coated and well mixed.

  5. Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories812
  • Protein17 g
  • Carbohydrates106 g
  • Total Fat34 g
  • Dietary Fiber5 g
  • Cholesterol30 mg
  • sodium655 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Linguine with Lemon Garlic Sauce

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Alice

    Is this recipe ok for ck patient on dialysisl

    We would definitely run this by your doctor and we are not qualified to answer that.

  • Donna

    Is this dish freeze able?

    We haven't tested freezing this one yet.

  • Edith

    Nutrition include magnesium and potassium in linguini lemon garlic sauce

    The system we use for nutrition does not give us magnesium levels and we don't add potassium to our nutrition sheet. We looked up the potassium for you and it is 69g for this recipe. If you are closesly tracking nutrition we always suggest running the recipe through your own app so you can enter the exact ingredients (and brands) that you are using. Hope you enjoy Edith!

  • joanne

    I don't have parsley but plenty of basil growing in the garden, is that an ok substitute?

    It's a very different flavor than parsley but basil will still taste great with this pasta sauce.

  • Jeffrey

    Made this tonight. My bride made me make a chicken breast because she didn’t think she would like it. The chicken was a good add and I was thinking I would add shrimp to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Well that won’t happen because she ate the entire dish, minus my share. This is a winner.

    YAY! Glad you enjoyed it Jeffrey!

  • Christa

    So delicious and easy! Will be making this again in the future.

    Thanks Christa, so happy you loved it!

  • Tiffany

    I am eating this as we speak. It was so easy and is delicious. You don’t need to modify it at all but I did throw in some sun-dried tomatoes just because I needed to use them. I served it with a salmon burger patty because it was a long day and I am not fancy. It was perfect and I’ll make it again.

    Thanks Tiffany, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Ellen

    This pasta is delicious! I think I made it a bit too spicy by adding extra garlic, but it was tasty. Will be making again.

    Hi Ellen, so glad you loved it! Garlic shouldn't make it spicy but you can reduce the amount of red pepper flakes to make it less spicy.

  • BTP

    The lemon linguini was perfect, with just the right balance of flavors. The technique of combining the flavoring ingredients before adding them to the pasta is a good one. I’d been fumbling around trying to come up with something like this on my own, but fell far short of this. Although I prefer less red pepper, this recipe will be one of my go-to’s. It’s very good.

    Thanks, we are so happy you loved it!