Lemon Spaghetti…With Shrimp

IMG_0219It’s the summertime and I want to be outside as much as possible, meaning I want to be in the kitchen as little as possible!  Enter lemon spaghetti with shrimp. It’s one of my go-to meals because it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.  Plus, I always have shrimp in the freezer.  My family loves this dish and I make it a couple of times a month.

I first saw this recipe on Everyday Italian with Giada de Laurentiis on the Food Network.  I must have talked about the show a lot because that Mother’s Day, I received Giada’s Everyday Italian cookbook.

A few months later, we were visiting my sister-in-law and I made lemon spaghetti for dinner when company was coming.  Everybody loved it, down to the toddler who ate only the lemon spaghetti!  It’s still a favorite at my sister-in-law’s house.

IMG_0216The recipe is so easy that you don’t really need the book.  I play around with the measurements sometimes and it still tastes great every time.

This dish is one of Giada’s most popular.  It’s one of the first items listed under the menu section of her Las Vegas Giada at the Cromwell restaurant website.

For protein, I add shrimp scampi that I saute in lemon oil, salt, pepper, and chili pepper flakes.  You can cook the shrimp while the pasta is boiling.  It’s really that simple!  I’ve linked a recipe for shrimp scampi here that you could try.

IMG_0221A few tips before you try Lemon Spaghetti:

  • Use spaghettini, angel hair pasta, or spaghetti – in that order of preference.   Thinner pasta tastes better in this recipe.
  • Substitute parsely for the basil, if you are in a pinch.
  • Serve warm – it’s meant to be eaten warm, but cold leftovers are great.

Lemon Spaghetti Recipe (from Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentiis)


1 pound spaghetti
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves


  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan, and lemon juice in a large bowl to blend.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, and the reserved cooking liquid, adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.

BTW, the new season of Giada in Italy airs this Sunday, July 31st, 12 noon, on the Food Network, in the US.  When it airs in Canada, I will update this post.

IMG_0213Have you made lemon spaghetti?  I’d love to hear your variations!


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6 thoughts on “Lemon Spaghetti…With Shrimp

  1. I have to try this.
    Looks so delicious and fresh. Thanks for sharing Mary.

    1. Thanks, Michelle, I hope you try it – at least the spaghetti part. It’s really easy and the lemon zest makes it so fresh!

    1. Hi JJ,
      Thanks! I have made it as an accompaniment to steak, chicken or just on its own. You can also grate parmesan cheese on it and that changes the taste a bit. Sometimes I serve it warm vs cold. Enjoy and I would love to hear if you try it and how you make it!

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