Lemon Pepper Spaghetti is a dish uses a few ingredients that you may already have in the cabinet and fridge. Just 10 minutes to an easy and fresh flavored meal. A lemon twist on cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), this is a wonderful way to celebrate citrus season. A popular dish on the Italian Amalfi coast because they have the best (and biggest) lemons I’ve ever seen.

Lemon pepper spaghetti twirled around a fork

Meat free pasta dishes are typically a first course in Italy followed by the meat course. This is the simple, and I mean the simplest, spaghetti al limone (as the Italians call it). This recipe is for 4 servings of a main dish size (American style).

A closeup of lemon pepper spaghetti showing flecks of lemon and parsley

There are no overbearing flavors in this Lemon Pepper Spaghetti, just a well-balanced, clean, lemon and pepper taste in every bite. There is also no salt added to this recipe because there are 2 salty cheeses used. If you can’t find Pecorino, just use all Parmesan cheese.

Optional Additions

This is a simple pasta dish, here are some delicious optional that could be added:

  • Garlic
  • Chopped chives
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Mushrooms
  • Chicken

There are 2 types of lemons available right now, Meyer and regular lemons. I’ve tried this recipe with both, and they work very well.

A bowl of lemon pepper spaghetti from above with a fork

Spaghetti Tip

When the spaghetti is done, before draining reserve some of the pasta water to add to the spaghetti to make it saucier and creamier. This is always a good trick when reheating leftovers.

More Lemon Dishes

Serving Suggestion

This spaghetti was recently as easy side dish to Lemon Parmesan Crusted Salmon that I make for every Friday dinner. Pic below.

Yield: 4 servings

Lemon Pepper Spaghetti

A fork full of spaghetti with lemon and pepper

Lemon zest, juice, pepper, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses are mixed with hot spaghetti.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes


  • 1 pound (453 grams) spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup (157 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (85 grams) good Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup (85 grams) Pecorino Romano cheese (if you can’t find it substitute Parmesan)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Bring a large pan of 6 cups (1.4 liters) water to a boil. When boiling add 1 tablespoon salt. Submerge the spaghetti and cook for 9 minutes.
  2. While the spaghetti cooks, add the oil to a large pan over a very low heat (you just want to warm the oil slightly) then turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice, zest, pepper, Parmesan and pecorino, miix to make a sauce.
  3. When the spaghetti is done, use tongs to take right from the water into the bowl with the sauce, add some of the pasta water if you wish to make it saucier. Toss the spaghetti when until all coated with the sauce. Serve immediately garnished with parsley.


Optional Additions:
Chopped chives
Red pepper flakes

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 399Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 5mgSodium 170mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 0gProtein 13g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.