A silky lemon cream sauce and roasted Brussels sprouts come together to make this delicious easy weeknight Creamy Lemon Pasta with Roasted Brussels Sprouts!
If you love this dish, you might also love our other Creamy Lemon Pasta recipe with spinach and tomatoes.
Easy Lemon Pasta
So, we’re having a pool put in. And naturally a project of this size couldn’t go off without a hitch. The bad news is, we had some drainage issues in the yard. The good news is, we discovered it before they laid the concrete deck. WHEW.
The worst news is that my husband had to dig up my lemon bush to figure this all out.
And I moped around for about two full days. Because. OMG. Was there no other solution? And why didn’t he consult me? I’m still not talking to him. And I might even make him watch Survivor with me as punishment.
In the meantime, I’m self-soothing with every lemon dish I can get my hands on. You know, to remember the good ol’ days. Loved this easy lemon pasta! Because brussels sprouts. And cream. And…lemon. Please.
What You’ll Need
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
For the Brussels Sprouts
- Brussels sprouts: Rinsed, rough outer leaves removed, ends trimmed, and cut in half
- Garlic: Use fresh for best flavor
- Lemon juice: Again, use fresh.
- Olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Pasta
- Pasta: I always make this using thin spaghetti, but really any pasta works, so use your favorite.
- Unsalted butter: Unsalted butter helps control the saltiness. If all you have is salted, that’s fine, but I would omit the additional salt added in, taste, and adjust from there.
- Heavy cream: What makes the sauce rich and creamy!
- Lemon juice: Use fresh for optimal flavor.
- Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, not pre shredded from a container.
- Red pepper flakes: Just a bit for flavor. This does add a little heat, but doesn’t make the dish spicy.
- Lemon zest: This is optional, for garnish and extra lemon flavor.
- Add in some protein: If you don’t need this to be vegetarian, toss in some cooked chicken or shrimp.
- Add in some greens: Toss in some spinach or kale while the pasta is still hot, until it wilts.
- Swap out the brussels sprouts: We love this dish with brussels sprouts, but you could use cooked zucchini or asparagus instead, or just leave them out.
Tips for Success
- Salt the pasta water: Salting the boiling water, adds flavor to the pasta. Use one tablespoon of salt for every six cups of water.
- Cook pasta until al dente: The pasta will continue to cook a little after mixing with the hot cream sauce. To prevent soggy pasta, we cook it al dente.
- Save some cooked pasta water: We always save about 1/2 cup of the cooked pasta water to help loosen up the sauce (only if necessary) once tossed with the pasta. It also adds a bit of flavor.
Roasting Brussels Sprouts
This pasta dish is best served right away. If you do have any leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep up to 2 days. To reheat, we recommend stirring in a little bit of water to loosen up the sauce again.
More Creamy Pasta Recipes:
- Chicken Tetrazzini
- Baked Feta Pasta
- Creamy Pasta with Bacon and Peas
- Shrimp Scampi with Lemon Cream
- Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Artichokes, and Cream
Creamy Lemon Pasta with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
For the Brussels
- 1 pound brussels sprouts , rinsed, rough outer leaves removed, ends trimmed, and cut in half
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
For the Pasta
- 1 pound thin spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt , plus more to taste
- Lemon zest , optional for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place brussels sprouts in the pan, along with the garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and a few turns of fresh cracked black pepper. Toss to coat.
- Place pan in the oven and cook for 20 minutes; stir. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- About 15 minutes before the brussels are done cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente, about 7 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the water, then drain.
- In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cream, lemon juice, Parmesan, and the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the pasta back to the pot, along with the cooked Brussels sprouts. Toss well to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Gradually add the pasta water, if necessary, while tossing the pasta, until the sauce reaches desired consistency.
- Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan and lemon zest, if desired.NOTE: The Brussels sprouts should be nicely browned, have some crunchy leaves on the outside, and the interior should be cooked through. Adjust the timing depending on the size of the sprouts and your particular oven.