Lemon Linguine with Asparagus is an easy pasta dish that's bursting with fresh lemon flavor. This recipe is perfect for Spring or Summer and makes a great light dinner option.
This lemon linguine looks complicated, but I promise, it's not. This pasta dish delivers huge flavor and comes together in less than 30 minutes!
There are a few steps to this recipe, but if you're able to do a couple at the same time, it will come together in no time. It's a nice, fresh change to the typical spaghetti and marinara sauce that many usually make for a quick meal option. (I fall into that trap often, because it's easy to pull off on a busy weeknight.)
This lemon linguine uses fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and fresh asparagus to make a delicious meal that's perfect for any occasion.
If asparagus isn't your thing, try our Chicken Piccata, Chicken Caprese, Lemon Ricotta Pasta or Shrimp Orzo instead. Serve with a Caesar Salad, French Bread, and a Chocolate Lava Cake for a full meal.
How to make lemon linguine:
- Cook the linguine according to the box directions, and reserve ¼ cup of pasta water.
- To make the lemon sauce, heat a large pan over low heat and add 6 tablespoons of olive oil, unsalted butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk until butter melts, then remove from heat.
- To make the asparagus, heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, asparagus, salt, and pepper.
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for another 30 seconds, and remove from heat.
- Add the pasta and asparagus to the lemon sauce. Toss, and add cheese and a splash or two of pasta water to loosen the sauce.
- Taste, and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately with extra, shredded Parmesan cheese.
Can you add cream to this lemon sauce?
Yes, you can turn this sauce into a lemon cream sauce. We have the recipe without asparagus on our website. This lemon cream sauce is different than the sauce on the lemon linguine, but it gives the basics on adding cream.
Is lemon linguine tart?
If you are sensitive to citrus or fresh lemon flavor, this pasta may be a little on the tart side. To remedy this, use a little less of the freshly squeezed lemon juice or switch to Meyer lemon juice if Meyer lemons are available in your area.
What are some substitutions or variations for this pasta?
- Use gluten-free pasta in place of regular.
- Swap feta cheese for the Parmesan.
- Add a grilled chicken breast.
- Toss in some blanched or steamed broccoli florets.
- Try penne pasta or spaghetti in place of linguine.
- Replace the lemon juice with Meyer lemon juice for a less tart flavor.
- Add a nice salmon fillet and make this a seafood dish.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 8 ounce(s) linguine
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 lb. asparagus, thick ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ounce(s) parmigiano-reggiano, or parmesan, shredded off the block plus more for serving
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the pasta:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine, and cook until it’s al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water, drain the noodles, and set aside.8 ounce(s) linguine¼ cup reserved pasta water
- While the pasta cooks, make the lemon sauce and cook the asparagus.
For the lemon sauce:
- In a large saucepan, add 6 tablespoons of olive oil, unsalted butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest.4 Tbsp. unsalted butter¼ cup lemon juice2 Tbsp. lemon zest
- Cook over low heat until the butter melts. Whisk briefly to combine, then remove from heat.
For the asparagus:
- Heat a medium skillet over low to medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, asparagus, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the hot pan.1 lb. asparagus
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the asparagus is almost cooked to the desired consistency, then add the garlic. Cook for another 30 seconds, and remove from heat.2 garlic cloves
- Add the pasta and cooked asparagus to the lemon sauce. Toss to combine, then add the cheese and a splash or two of the pasta water to loosen the sauce. Add more pasta water if needed.2 ounce(s) parmigiano-reggiano
- Taste, and season with salt and pepper if desired.