Creamy Lemon Baked Pasta (5 Ingredients!)

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Creamy Parmesan Lemon Baked Pasta made with just 5 ingredients!

Creamy Parmesan Lemon Baked Pasta made with just 5 ingredients (plus salt, pepper and olive oil)! Crispy on top and creamy inside with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest on top. dinnerthendessert.com Creamy Lemon Baked Pasta

This Creamy Parmesan Lemon Baked Pasta is easy to make, kid friendly and makes for awesome leftovers.

Creamy Parmesan Lemon Pasta Salad

Bonus tip about this recipe? I make it with short pasta too, especially rigatoni….because it is AMAZING served cold! If you are going to serve it cold, I recommend cooking it for only 10-15 minutes and when it comes out of the oven, stir is until the pieces are separated.

Best Pasta for baking:

You can certainly use any pasta you’d like in your recipes, but some are better suited to baking than others. Avoid pastas that are very small or very thin like angel hair pasta. The pasta will overcook and break easily during serving.

While I love to use thin spaghetti in recipes I won’t be baking, I stick to classic spaghetti in baked recipes to allow for longer baking times.

Short pasta shapes work great in baking. The most popular shapes for this are ziti, penne and rigatoni. Careful in using farfalle pasta if you are baking, the edges tend to stick to other pieces and tear during serving.

Creamy Parmesan Lemon Baked Pasta made with just 5 ingredients (plus salt, pepper and olive oil)! Crispy on top and creamy inside with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest on top.

What to Serve with Creamy Lemon Pasta?

  1. Add FROZEN peas to the pasta just before putting it in the oven.
  2. When you put the pasta in the oven also put a tray of asparagus or grape tomatoes topped with some olive oil, salt and pepper to roast.
  3. Add chicken or shrimp!
  4. Instead of pasta water you can add milk for an even creamier pasta.
  5. Top with buttery toasted crackers like I did in the Baked Caesar Pasta.

Frequently Asked Cooking Questions:

  • Can you freeze this recipe? I don’t suggest freezing the recipe as it won’t have the same texture or moisture in reheating.
  • Can you use bottled lemon juice? Please don’t. Aside from using zest in the recipe as well there is a distinct flavor in bottled lemon juice that is just off-putting. It certainly doesn’t have the fresh flavors we are looking for and with only five ingredients using the best ingredients really matters.
  • Can you add chicken? Absolutely! I frequently make the chicken with chicken breast chunks, turkey breast chunks or shrimp added.
  • Do you add the meat/chicken raw? No, cook the meat before adding it to the pasta and baking.
  • Do you have to bake the pasta? No, you can certainly eat it without baking, I would just suggest cooking the sauce until it is thickened and tossing with the pasta. Add the lemon towards the end of your simmering.
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Creamy Parmesan Lemon Baked Pasta made with just 5 ingredients (plus salt, pepper and olive oil)! Crispy on top and creamy inside with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest on top.

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Creamy Parmesan Lemon Baked Pasta

5
  • Yield: 8
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Course: Main, pasta
  • Cuisine: American
Creamy Parmesan Lemon Baked Pasta made with just 5 ingredients (plus salt, pepper and olive oil)! Crispy on top and creamy inside with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest on top.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound spaghetti dried
  • 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 2 lemons (zested, one cut into wedges and one juiced)
  • 6 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Cook the pasta a minute less than what is labeled on the box in salted water.
  2. Drain but do not rinse and save a 1/3 a cup of the pasta water.
  3. In a hot large pot or pan add the garlic and olive oil.
  4. Cook on medium high until just fragrant, 10-15 seconds.
  5. Add in the cream cheese and Parmesan Cheese.
  6. Stir to combine and add in two tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of lemon zest and 1/3 of a cup of the pasta water.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste (I add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper).
  8. Mix well and add the pasta into the pot to combine.
  9. Pour the pasta into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle lemon zest on top and parsley if you're using it.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 , Amount per serving: 319 calories, Calories: 319g, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 345mg, Potassium: 189mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 3.3g, Vitamin C: 17.9g, Calcium: 27.3g, Iron: 6.1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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Creamy Parmesan Lemon Baked Pasta made with just 5 ingredients (plus salt, pepper and olive oil)! Crispy on top and creamy inside with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest on top.
Creamy Parmesan Lemon Baked Pasta made with just 5 ingredients (plus salt, pepper and olive oil)! Crispy on top and creamy inside with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest on top.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

Categories:

Main Course Main Dishes Pastas Recipe Vegetarian

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Comments

  1. I love the idea of adding shrimp to this- and I happen to have all of the ingredients on hand, yay! Thanks for sharing such a light and simple recipe!

  2. I am always looking for new recipes to try. I will have to get the ingredients i need to make this on the weekend.

  3. Made this for dindin last night and it was Amazing!!! I added in a pound of cut up chicken tenders that I had previously cooked, so I had to up the parm content too. 🙂 Served with a side of peas and it was pretty, smelled luscious and tasted even better. Took left overs for lunch to work today and got more raves from my co-workers!

  4. Would you buy cooked shrimp for this?

    Also, I don’t know if it’s just on my computer or what but as I’m looking at the recipe I keep getting a pop up to sign up for email (which I have already done) and I can find no way to get rid of it and get back to the recipe. I have to shut the site down and go back to my email to get the link to go back to the recipe.

    1. Yes, you could use cooked shrimp. 🙂

      Hopefully that was just a glitch and has resolved itself. So sorry about that!

  5. I used a 1/2 cup of chevre cheese instead of parmesan and upped the salt a little, omg what a hit!

    Rating: 5
  6. This was great! I added some grilled chicken that I marinated in Caesar salad dressing- I brought some over to my neighbor and he called a few minutes later complaining that I didn’t give him enough!! Thank you Sabrina!!!

    Rating: 5