This creamy lemon basil pasta is a rich yet fresh vegetarian pasta dish that is ready in only 20 minutes!
This pasta dish is creamy, yet it's cream-free. Usually I don't shy away from cream around here, but I wanted to try something a bit different. I used cream cheese in place of cream, and its tanginess perfectly pairs with the lemon in this dish.
The cream cheese melts into a nice, thick sauce. Adding a generous helping of parmesan cheese to the other cheese makes this even more delightful. 😉
Add some lovely fresh herbs (basil and parsley), garlic (duh), and some lemon zest and you've got yourself a quick meal that's perfect for spring. It looks like my weather wishes may have been answered and spring is possibly on the way here! *fingers crossed*
Fresh basil is one of my favorite things. It really lifts anything you put it in! I sometimes struggle to find nice basil in the winter, but that doesn't stop me from hunting it down and buying it every week anyway.
I sometimes wonder if I could grow my own (I have reasons not to, including my total lack of green thumb). Maaaybe we'll attempt it this summer.
I used my handy Microplane zester/grater to zest the lemon. It's one of my favorite kitchen tools!
Other creamy pasta recipes to try:
Will you make this creamy lemon basil pasta?
Questions? Leave me a comment below.
Creamy Lemon Basil Pasta
- 8 ounces pasta (I used penne)
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
- Juice & zest of 1/2 lemon
- 3 dashes Italian seasoning
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large handful fresh basil torn
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped finely
- Salt & pepper to taste
Boil a salted pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions.
When the pasta water is about to boil, add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 8-10 minutes, or until it's softened and lightly browned.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, and Italian seasoning. Stir for a couple of minutes until the cheese has melted into a sauce. Stir in the parmesan.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water prior to draining the pasta. Add 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the sauce. If you want the sauce thinned even more, add pasta water one tablespoon at a time. Once the sauce is thinned to your liking, add in the basil, parsley, and salt & pepper. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss. Serve immediately.
- This recipe goes smoother if you let the cream cheese soften up for a bit (30+ minutes) prior to starting, or microwave it for 20-30 seconds.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.