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 🙂

Baked Lemon Spaghetti

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

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time:25 min

Cook Time:45 min


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

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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • Autumn wrote:

    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.

  • Heather wrote:

    Made this last night & it was delicious!!!

  • Mrs. L wrote:

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

  • Wendy wrote:

    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.

  • Diane wrote:

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

  • Diane wrote:

    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 🙂

    • Lori Lange wrote:

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

  • Maris (in Good Taste wrote:

    This is my kind of dish! Yum!

  • Cookin’ Canuck wrote:

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

  • Tracy wrote:

    Yum, sounds delicious! What a perfect weeknight meal!

  • Katrina wrote:

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

  • EatLiveRun wrote:

    this looks so comforting and delicious! I just might whip it up tonight 🙂

  • Sylvia wrote:

    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

  • Lana wrote:

    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:)

  • Karly wrote:

    Hallelujah! I just found tonight’s dinner. 🙂

  • Mrs. Jen B wrote:

    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. 🙂

  • Eliana wrote:

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

  • doughmesstic wrote:

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

  • Jenny Flake wrote:

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

  • kelley wrote:

    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!

  • maria wrote:

    Great pasta dish for spring!