This light and brightly flavored lemon tomato pasta is a simple dish that uses fresh ingredients and is ready in under 30 minutes.

If a meatless meal is on the menu, look no further than this zesty recipe! Even as a light lunch, it tastes just as good hot as it does chilled. Delicious as the recipe is written or dress it up with protein additions like chicken or shrimp. Or, keep it meatless and add in chopped spinach, cherry tomatoes, or kalamata olives! Lemon tomato pasta is such a versatile dish that is easy to alter every time it’s made!

simple lemon tomato pasta in a white bowl with shredded parmesan and parsley as garnish on top

A Quick Meatless Meal

  • Pasta dishes are often made with heavy tomato-based sauces, but this sauce is light and the flavors are bright and zesty.
  • Easily double the recipe and enjoy leftovers for light dinners and easy lunches all week long. (See “Tips for Perfect Pasta” section, below.)
  • Lemon tomato pasta makes a delicious dish as it is, but can be enhanced with meat, veggies, cheeses, plus a variety of toppings.
  • Serve it alone or as a side with a chicken, fish, or shrimp entree.

butter , tomatoes , parmesan , spaghetti , lemon juice , lemon zest , parsley and salt and pepper with labels to make Simple Tomato Lemon Pasta

Ingredients and Variations

SAUCE: A simple can of tomatoes (with the juices!) and a little lemon juice cooked with butter create the base for this simple sauce. Add extra seasonings like crushed garlic or some homemade Italian seasoning, if you like.

PASTA: In keeping with the elegant look that is characteristic of a red sauce, linguine, spaghetti or angel hair (AKA capellini) pastas are preferred. Small pastas like ditalini, small macaroni shells, or even orzo also work well and are delicious.

CHEESE: Shredded parmesan cheese is tangy and complements the lemon juice perfectly. Other options are crumbled feta or blue cheese.

HERBS: This is the time for fresh instead of dried parsley. It makes the dish look and taste extra fresh. Fresh basil and oregano are other good choices to use in place of parsley. Try to avoid overwhelming the recipe with fresh herb combinations if possible.

ADD-INS: Fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced black olives, spinach, peas, oven-roasted asparagus, artichoke hearts, or grilled zucchini add new elements of flavor to lemon tomato pasta without weighing it down.

tomatoes and butter in a skillet, in preparation for simple lemon tomato pasta

How to Make Lemon Tomato Pasta

Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Melt butter in a skillet, stir in tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Cook pasta, drain, add to the tomato lemon sauce and toss lightly.
  3. Sprinkle with parsley and cheese and serve.

Keep sides fresh and rustic! Try serving with a slice of homemade no-knead bread, and a simple cucumber dill salad or this unique fennel salad.

tomato sauce in a skillet before the pasta has been added, in preparation to make simple lemon tomato pasta recipe

Tips for Perfect Pasta

  • Make a creamy sauce by adding a small amount of heavy cream, but avoid lighter dairy products because they will curdle against the lemon juice. Alternately, use a little pasta water to thicken the sauce.
  • Double the recipe by using ½ cup of butter, 29 ounces tomatoes (drained and chopped), and a large can of diced tomatoes, 4 teaspoons of lemon zest, ¼ cup of lemon juice, ¼ cup of parsley (plus more for garnish), 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, 1 pound of pasta and ½ cup of parmesan cheese. Be sure to use a larger skillet when doubling this recipe.

simple lemon tomato pasta in skillet with fresh parsley as garnish on top

Storing Leftovers

  • Keep leftover tomato lemon pasta in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Loosen it up with a dash of olive oil and reheat in the microwave or enjoy chilled.
  • Since pasta doesn’t thaw well, it’s best to simply make a fresh batch!

simple lemon tomato pasta twirled on a fork

Other Easy Pasta Recipes To Try!

simple lemon tomato pasta in skillet with fresh parsley as garnish on top, with a title
5 from 3 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Simple Lemon Tomato Pasta

Give this 30 minute recipe for lemon tomato pasta a try when a light, zesty and delicious side or vegetarian main dish is needed fast!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Candace

Ingredients  

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 14.5 ounces whole tomatoes drained and chopped, 1 small can (a little more or less works), diced works
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or other fresh herb, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice about 1-2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest about 1-2 lemons
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pound spaghetti or linguine, or your favorite pasta
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese or grated, optional for garnish

Instructions 

  • Bring salted water to a boil (to cook pasta).
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet on low heat, melt butter until creamy. Stir in tomatoes and saute over low heat. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, cook linguine until al dente, firm to the bite, per package directions. Drain.
  • Add pasta to the sauce and toss.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and cheese to serve.

Notes

To double:
½ cup butter
28 ounces whole tomatoes, drained and chopped, 1 large can (a little more or less works)
4 teaspoons lemon zest (about 2-4 lemons)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2-4 lemons)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, or other fresh herb, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti, or linguine, or your favorite pasta
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese, or grated, optional for garnish
Use a large skillet when doubling.
5 from 3 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 357 | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1425IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

REPIN this Simple Lemon Tomato Pasta recipe!

simple lemon tomato pasta in skillet with fresh parsley as garnish on top, with a title

simple lemon tomato pasta in a white bowl with shredded parmesan and parsley as garnish on top, with a title

simple lemon tomato pasta in a white bowl with shredded parmesan and parsley as garnish on top, and simple lemon tomato pasta twirled on a fork under the title

simple lemon tomato pasta in a white bowl with a skillet of pasta in the background, with a title

simple lemon tomato pasta in a white bowl with a skillet of pasta in the background, with writing

lemon tomato pasta in a white bowl with shredded parmesan and parsley as garnish on top, with writing

 

Categories:

, , ,

Recipes you'll love

About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
See more posts by Candace

latest & greatest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments