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 fork full of spaghetti

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.

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 the spaghetti showing flecks of lemon zest 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.

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.

If you’ve made this or any other recipe leave a comment below. I love to hear from my readers!

Yield: 4 servings

Lemon Pepper Spaghetti

Lemon Pepper Spaghetti

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 freshly grated 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


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.