Baked Lemon Spaghetti

Looking for an easy dinner idea? Grab a rotisserie chicken, throw together a green salad, and bake up this simple and delicious pasta dish for dinner tonight. This one is family-friendly, and it doesn’t have any funky ingredients in it either.

Here’s the how-to:

Melt butter in a medium skillet.

Add minced garlic and let it sizzle away in the bubbling butter.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in 2 cups of sour cream (I used light and all turned out just fine).

Add the zest of a lemon- about a Tablespoon.

Pour in juice from 1 1/2 lemons- about 1/3 cup.

Place cooked spaghetti in a large bowl- I like to use Barilla Plus Multigrain. My family doesn’t notice the difference, and it’s (hopefully) a bit healthier than plain white pasta.

Pour in your lemony sour cream sauce.

Stir it up.

Add a handful of finely chopped Italian parsley….

…and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese.

Stir it up again.

Pour the lemony spaghetti mixture into a greased casserole dish.

At this point you’re going to cover the dish with foil and bake it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

After baking- take it out of the oven, take off the foil and sprinkle another 1/2 cup or so of Parmesan cheese on top.

Squeeze the juice from half a lemon all over the top of the pasta.

Sprinkle on some freshly ground black pepper…

…and add a good dose of kosher salt too.

Place the dish back into the oven for 7 or 8 more minutes, just until the cheese gets melty and toasted on top.

Serve this baked lemon spaghetti it up on its own with a crisp little side salad, or grab a rotisserie chicken and add that to your dinner table too. My market sells a “lemon-garlic” roasted chicken, so that one is just perfect to go with the spaghetti. The pasta comes out of the oven with a light Parmesan crust baked on top. The lemony flavor in this spaghetti is wonderful on its own, but lemon-lovers may wish to squeeze an extra wedge or two on individual servings, as desired. The sauce is not overwhelmingly creamy- just a light coating to give the pasta a bit of flavor and zest. I envision adding mushrooms or BACON too. Enjoy πŸ™‚

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Baked Lemon Spaghetti

Great to serve with roasted chicken and a vegetable for an easy & delicious dinner idea.


1 (14.5 ounce) package spaghetti
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 ounce) carton sour cream (light is fine)
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (1 lemon, zested)
1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 1 1/2 medium lemons)
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
juice from 1/2 lemon
freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Cook spaghetti + olive oil according to package directions (minus a couple of minutes)- you want it to be al dente. Drain spaghetti and place in a large bowl.

3. Melt butter in a medium skillet. Add garlic and cook until sizzling and lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, lemon zest and 1/3 cup lemon juice. Pour lemon sauce over the spaghetti and stir. Add Italian parsley and 1/2 cup Parmesan and stir some more. Pour lemony spaghetti in a greased 1.5 quart casserole dish.

4. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take dish out of the oven and remove foil. Sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan on top. Drizzle juice from 1/2 lemon over the top of the pasta. Sprinkle pepper and salt on top. Place dish back into the oven for 7 or 8 minutes, just until cheese is melted and noodles have begun to turn golden in a few places. Serve immediately.


*Serve pasta with lemon wedges, for those who like some extra tang in their pasta.
*Try adding sliced mushrooms into the dish... saute them with the butter and garlic.
*Try adding cooked bacon. Everything is better with bacon!
*This spaghetti is also great when served as a side dish to roasted chicken.
*If you'd like the finished dish to turn out a little bit creamier- just use less pasta.

Source: (Adapted from many versions floating around on the internet)

Other baked spaghetti recipes on the blogs that you may enjoy:
Tomato Basil and Romano Ricotta Spaghetti Pies by Picky Palate
Not Your Average Baked Spaghetti by The Cooking Photographer
Baked Chicken Spaghetti by 5 Dollar Dinners
Baked Spaghetti Squash w/ Garlic & Butter by Steamy Kitchen

39 Responses to “Baked Lemon Spaghetti”

  1. postedApr 18, 2011 6:22 AM

    Great pasta dish for spring!

  2. postedApr 18, 2011 6:26 AM

    I make the same few dishes to take to friends who need help with dinner and I think this would be the perfect thing to drop off!

  3. postedApr 18, 2011 6:27 AM

    Mmmm, LOVE a good pasta recipe!! I think I could eat half of this myself πŸ™‚ Happy Monday!!

  4. postedApr 18, 2011 6:29 AM

    Oooh, I love this idea! Simple is my cup of tea, and this one looks delicious!

  5. postedApr 18, 2011 6:55 AM

    This looks too good to not try. Love how easy it is to prepare too.

  6. postedApr 18, 2011 7:23 AM

    YUM! This looks outstanding! And I see that you and I have similar thoughts going on – I posted a lemony pasta recipe today! There’s just something about lemon that screams spring, isn’t there? Oh, and I would totally be adding mushrooms to your dish. πŸ™‚

  7. postedApr 18, 2011 7:55 AM

    Hallelujah! I just found tonight’s dinner. πŸ™‚

  8. postedApr 18, 2011 8:21 AM

    I think that I can live on pasta! This dish promises to be one of the tastiest and easiest to prepare. With my odious work killing me these days, I must use your recipe:)

  9. postedApr 18, 2011 8:44 AM

    I have problems with noodles in the oven, mostly dry me out. I will to try and then tell you the result. I loved the recipe. Thankas for share

  10. postedApr 18, 2011 11:07 AM

    this looks so comforting and delicious! I just might whip it up tonight πŸ™‚

  11. postedApr 18, 2011 12:52 PM

    This looks wonderful. I love using lemon in spring recipes!

  12. postedApr 18, 2011 2:01 PM

    Yum, sounds delicious! What a perfect weeknight meal!

  13. postedApr 18, 2011 3:25 PM

    This is great for a quick meal, Lori. Was this your carbo-loading dinner before your race?

  14. postedApr 18, 2011 5:32 PM

    This is my kind of dish! Yum!

  15. postedApr 19, 2011 6:54 AM

    Looks delicious,
    I see that your recipe says 8-oz sour cream but your tutorial says you add 2 cups sour cream??
    Unless I’m reading this wrong ?
    Can you please post the amount you used,I just want to make sure I use the right amount.
    I think adding chickn and mushrooms both to this recipe would be Amazing πŸ™‚

    • postedApr 19, 2011 7:07 AM

      @Diane, eek- yes, you’re right… changed it to 16 ounces! thx

  16. postedApr 19, 2011 9:29 AM

    Thank you much!
    You can never have to much sour cream !
    Yes I do see I left the “e ” out of chicken as well :))

  17. postedApr 19, 2011 9:37 AM

    I do something similar as a kugel with the addition of either riccota or cottage cheese.
    Try adding sauteed leeks and asparagus. If you use Penzey’s Spices… Their Sunny Paris spice blend would also work well with this dish.

  18. postedApr 19, 2011 12:32 PM
    Mrs. L

    I too, love a good simple pasta recipe. I also love the idea of adding some bacon and mushrooms!

  19. postedApr 20, 2011 12:40 PM

    Made this last night & it was delicious!!!

  20. postedApr 24, 2011 4:16 PM

    Ooooh this spaghetti recipe sure looks yummy! I’d like to make it one time- after I lose the 15 lbs I’m in the process of losing.

  21. postedApr 28, 2011 10:59 AM
    Sarah Fortini

    This looks delicious! I am on Weight Watchers. Do you have any suggestions for lowering the fat? Thanks so much!

    • postedApr 28, 2011 6:44 PM

      Just using light SC. When I follow WW, I like to prepare regular meals for my family, have a small portion of the regularly prepared dish and then eat a large salad to go with it!

  22. postedMay 2, 2011 3:29 PM

    This looks SOO delicious! I can’t wait to try this soon for dinner, I know it’ll be a hit! πŸ™‚

  23. postedMay 3, 2011 7:59 AM

    lemon, parmesan, sounds wonderful and springy!

  24. postedMay 13, 2011 9:06 AM
    Strawberry CAKE

    Lori, do you think you could use ricotta cheese in this recipe instead of the sour cream, or would it be to thick? This sounds fabulous and I have ricotta in fridge. Maybe I will give it a whirl and let you know ; D Have a great wkend.

    • postedMay 14, 2011 8:29 AM

      Hmmm- not quite sure. Might be a little too… dry? Let me know what you come up with!

  25. postedMay 26, 2011 5:01 PM

    Thanks for the great recipe! When I tried it the sour cream curdled. Do you have a tip for how to avoid that?

    • postedMay 26, 2011 9:47 PM

      Hmmm. It tends to curdle slightly, but it shouldn’t curdle all that much.

  26. postedJun 5, 2011 9:11 PM

    Made this tonight and we all *loved* it, except for Picky Girl (which is typical and in no way a reflection of this recipe!). We are 2 for 2 with you, Recipe Girl! Thank you!

    • postedJun 5, 2011 10:25 PM

      Glad to hear!

  27. postedNov 22, 2011 10:08 AM
    Ashley D

    I have made this twice now, a great and easy dish especially with a garlic baguette on the side. The second time I didn’t use as much cheddar just because it was a little too rich, and I also put some breadcrumbs on top for a nice crunch. Amazing!!!

  28. postedMay 3, 2013 4:30 PM

    Just want to say that keeper! Its good for left over and still taste great. Glad to find this recipe and somewhat its made easier!

  29. postedJan 29, 2014 11:11 AM

    What about subbing greek yogurt for the sour cream – I’ve done this in dips and baking, but I’m wondering about heated sauces. Anyone tried something like this before? Great recipe, I’m going to try tonight!

    • postedJan 30, 2014 5:47 PM

      I’m not sure- I haven’t tried it!

  30. postedJan 29, 2014 2:17 PM

    What a great recipe!
    Our Publix deli sells lemon-pepper rotisserie chicken… Pull it apart, dice up the meat and add some to the pasta. I think it would be a delicious add-in…along with mushrooms & perhaps some crisp bacon crumbled too!

  31. postedJan 29, 2014 4:30 PM
    Patrick Waszkiewicz

    Try this,it is faster, easier and lower cal. than this recipe

    1/3 cup Olive Oil heated
    4-5 pieces of chopped Garlic,saute
    add Juice of 1/2 Lemon and some zest
    add a good squirt of Anchovy Paste and cook all ingredients

    cook a box of Angel Hair Pasta
    when Pasta is done, add Pasta , add a squeeze of Lemon Juice to the Pasta., and a scoop of pasta water to the pan, toss the Pasta add a little Olive Oil
    and Capers. & Cheese & Parsley. You should be done in 20 mins from the start to finish, and you will impress and not plug any arteries in the process.

  32. postedJan 29, 2014 5:50 PM
    Yvette Carpenter

    Sounds wonderful. Have been looking for chicken spaghetti but this will do. I am going to put cooked chicken and serve it with a simple salad with lemon balsamic vinaigrette. Thanks. Yvette

  33. postedAug 1, 2015 5:41 PM
    Glenn Callahan

    Patrick beat me to it but for this recipe, add capers and chicken to the original mix and eliminate the salt at the end. Now, it’s basically a Chicken Piccata Pasta.

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