Vegetarian one pot pasta, yes please! This one pan lemon pepper pasta comes together in under half an hour with just 7 ingredients. Classic lemon pepper seasoning flavor meets creamy, buttery pasta in this easy one pot pasta method. Pair this with an easy lemon vinaigrette green salad for a complete vegetarian meal.
Quick like....20 minutes tops, no chopping of any kind unless you count zesting a lemon, which you could fully skip if you'd like.
Because we need this. Not want. A salad could be covered with fried chicken and croutons and I'm all...need a hunk of buttered bread to go with that, please.
We have a ton going on right now, and some of it is good, some bad, and mostly it's just a lot. School and work and meetings and life and someone really should potty train this two year old but WHO AND WHEN?!
It's a cry for pasta that is done in 20 minutes and only messes up one skillet. I made my own coping skill!
It's the skillet method that has been floating around the internet for awhile, and honestly I don't always love it for spaghetti because I like simmering sauce for a LONG time and the taste of freshly boiled pasta.
This one pot pasta method simmers the noodles in stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian), which creates a thick almost creamy sauce without any cream. Then we add lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, butter, and parmesan. Easy on the parm for me because I wanted mine to be super lemony, but you can go nuts with toppings or other additions. Plain, though, this is so cozy and comforting.
Simplest ingredients ever. Broth/stock, butter, lemon (the zest and juice), and whole wheat spaghetti. This is something else I don't cook with all the time, but the lemon with the nuttier whole wheat flavor is perfect here. Salt + pepper + parmesan cheese, too, God forbid I get everything in one picture all at once.
One Pot Pasta Method
Start with a large skillet with a lid. Add a pat of the butter and the pasta, and let the noodles sizzle in the butter just for a minute, as if you were starting risotto.
Pour the stock into the skillet then cover the pasta with a lid and reduce the heat to medium/low.
Let the pasta cook for 15 minutes, tossing once during the cooking time to break up any clumps of noodles.
After 15 minutes, uncover the pasta and increase the heat to medium. Add the lemon zest, the rest of the butter, tons of pepper, and the juice of half the lemon to the skillet (ps if you'd like to prep a little, I like this zester and this juicer for getting the lemon dealt with).
Toss one more time and taste the pasta; add salt and some sprinkles of parmesan cheese to your preference.
If at any point the pasta seems too dry, splash in a little bit of stock and toss it throughout the skillet. The pasta should be coated and creamy but not have a ton of sauce.
Done. Here are your feelings, solved with healthy light cozy comforting noodles. Top the skillet with some more lemon zest and parm if you'd like, and go to town!
Prep and Reheating Notes
Since this is so starchy it's best eaten right away, but can be warmed up in the microwave or on the stovetop; just add a bit more stock or water to de-clump the noodles and soften them.
I wouldn't make this in advance because it comes together so quickly, but it's really yummy reheated, no problem.
For topping, feel free to add other fresh herbs, pine nuts, or even some crumbled goat or feta cheese to add a little bit to the dish.
I love this by itself as a meal, but you could of course add sides of veggies, salad, or some grilled chicken on top to round out the meal somewhat. However you serve this, make it soon!
Quick 1-Skillet Lemon Pepper Pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
- 3 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- Heat a large lidded skillet to medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of the butter and the noodles. Toss the noodles in the skillet for a minute or so to coat them in the butter and toast them slightly. Pour the stock into the skillet and reduce the heat to medium low.
- Cover the skillet and let the noodles simmer for 15 minutes, stirring once during the cooking time. While the noodles are cooking, zest the lemon and cut it in half. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and toss the noodles again; taste for doneness. When the noodles are done (you may need more stock or some water depending on the brand of noodles you choose), add the rest of the butter, the juice of half the lemon, half the lemon zest, and the parmesan to the skillet.
- Use tongs to toss everything together, tasting as you go and adding salt and pepper until the pasta is very flavorful. If the pasta is dry, splash in more stock or water to achieve a bit of sauce that evenly coats the noodles.
- Serve topped with extra pepper, the rest of the lemon zest, and more parmesan if you'd like. Enjoy!
This recipe was originally published August 2018 and has been updated with some new tips and instructions.