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Spaghetti al Limone

Spaghetti al limone, or spaghetti with lemon, is a classic Italian dish with bright lemon flavors.  It’s light sauce and fresh flavor makes this dish perfect for a summer meal.

Spaghetti al Limone topped with lemon zest in a white bowl

While not nearly as popular both in Italy and abroad as pasta with pesto. This is still an authentic Italian dish enjoyed in the summer.

I have a weird relationship with this dish.  

I cannot eat it in cold weather. When I do, I find the lemon to be over powering.  

In the spring, and even more so in the summer, I can’t get enough of tit.

However, maybe I’m not alone, because one Italian recipe I read said that this dish is extremely popular in the summer.  

Citrus, especially fresh and sunny lemons, just feel perfect then.

That’s when I start making lemon bars, lemon meringue pie, and of course lemonade and Israeli limonana.   

Now, there are many ways to make spaghetti al limone.  

Some recipes call for cream, others call for cheese, and there are those that call for both.  

My favorite are the ones that call for none.  

Cream overpowers the lemon and I find cheese to be too heavy for hot summer days.  

So, in my humble opinion, the best version uses only a combination of butter and olive oil for a light sauce.

If you’re familiar with my blog you may be saying “but this blog is dairy free!” actually, it’s almost dairy free… and that is why I’m giving a dairy free alternative where you only use olive oil.  

Sure, I could have just given that version to begin with but I didn’t for two reasons.

First, I don’t like it as much, and more importantly, just about every Italian recipe I read called for both butter and olive oil.

Yield: 4 servings

Spaghetti al Limone

Spaghetti al Limone topped with lemon zest in a white bowl

A light summery Italian pasta dish that can be made with dairy or dairy free.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 350 grams spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons butter*
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt


  1. Cook pasta until al dente.
  2. Add butter, olive oil, lemon zest, and garlic to a high sided frying pan. Let the butter melt on a low flame.
  3. Pour in lemon juice. Mix until everything incorporated into a sauce.
  4. Using a spaghetti fork add the pasta to the frying pan and toss until well coated. Add salt to taste.


*Dairy free version leave out the butter and use 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 218mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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Sunday 1st of September 2019

I made this in a snap! I used angel hair pasta and it was absolutely delicious!! Light and buttery with just the right amount of lemon. I can’t wait to try more of her recipes!


Sunday 1st of September 2019

I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it Renee!

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