This Lemon Brown Butter Pasta is based with a light lemon-brown butter sauce and topped with lemon-herb breadcrumbs and finished with delicious freshly-grated parmesan. An easy, quick family-friendly meal for any night of the week---both kid and adult-approved. Vegan + Gluten-free options.
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Who doesn't love a skillet pasta recipe, right? I love whipping up a creamy or veggie-packed sauce in my cast-iron skillet to coat spaghetti, penne, or really any kind of pasta. BUT there's something about pasta when you can whip together a light sauce that just works! And this Lemon Brown Butter Pasta recipe is just the thing YOU NEED---trust me! Regardless of the season, this pasta dish is evergreen and it's worth the effort. If you're loving more creamy pastas these days, I recommend my Creamy Lemon Garlic Herb Kale Pasta or Vegan Southern-Style Cajun Pasta.
Be sure to watch all recipes via IG Reels for a nice visual.
OK, so originally this recipe featured regular spaghetti, which tends to be a bit thinner, but I wanted to fully enjoy everything with a nice soak up, which is why I chose to use Tagliatelle pasta----my go-to that is thinner than my fave Pappardelle. In addition, I originally added roasted tomatoes + feta to this, but realized in re-creating this one that a nice crunchy texture to this dish would be the perfect thing needed and so the breadcrumb topping came to mind. And boy does it COME TO LIFE DELICIOUSLY! Yum!
It's SO GOOD! Plus, the little "ridges" on this pasta really makes it have a great texture in every bite. Besides, I ensure that there's a nice gluten-free option for all of my gluten sensitive folks out there or those who just want to give gluten a break for a moment. This recipe is fairly quick to make, especially since everything (breadcrumb topping + tomatoes if using) is being baked in the oven which gives you time to boil the pasta then make the sauce, toss, and wallah! Have everything complete in time.
Overall, this pasta is definitely comfort food in a bowl (or a plate), includes simple steps, and can totally be personalized based on preference----i.e. add meat if you aren't limited to a meatless diet, sub ingredients with vegan and/or gluten-free ones, adding greens for a brightness, etc.
First and foremost, the flavors in this simple and easy Lemon Brown Butter Pasta is enough to convince anyone, however, here are a few more reasons why you’ll love this pasta dinner:
Start making this recipe by boiling your pasta. In the meantime, you make your lemon-herb breadcrumbs and let it toast int he oven while you make the brown butter. For the sauce, you'll begin by sautéing a few garlic cloves, and then adding in the seasoning, lemon juice, lemon zest, and parmesan. Next, toss in your cooked + drained pasta and wallah. Serve immediately with breadcrumb topping and additional parmesan, if desired.
Here's what you need to make this skillet Lemon Brown Butter Pasta recipe:
I like to roast my tomatoes in a hot oven until they blister and become sweet. The heat from the oven caramelizes the outside of the veggies and enhances its natural sugars, much like how caramelized onions become sweet after cooking.
Roasted tomatoes are also better seasoned than their plain counterparts. When you roast the tomatoes, you first toss them in olive oil and a few herbs + seasonings before they bake. That first step adds so much more flavor rather than making a sauce from plain raw tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are charred, it’s time to remove them from the oven.
The more charred your tomatoes are, the sweeter they will be. You do still want a little structural integrity to the veggies, so bake them until they just start to blister and blacken. The blackened flavor on the outside of the tomato really enhances the overall flavor in this pasta if you choose to use it as an additional ingredient.
All in all, Tagliatelle is a long, flat ribbon-like shaped pasta made from semolina, which is a type of coarse flour. It derives from the Italian term "tagliare", which translates to "cut up". Basically, the process of making Tagliatelle is by rolling the dough into flat sheets and cutting them into ribbons----hence the shape.
Like with many other types of pasta, you bring a pot of water to a boil, add the Tagliatelle along with olive oil or salt, and let it simmer for 7-10 minutes, depending on the packaging and brand and whether you're using fresh pasta vs. dried pasta. Fresh pasta cooks more quickly than dried ones.
If you aren't a fan of Tagliatelle or just don't have it on hand, the best alternative pasta are: Fettuccine or Pappardelle---which are both ribbon pasta as well. In addition, you can also use Linguine if you don't have either of the first two!
To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.
Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container.
Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Lemon Brown Butter Pasta. Everything from my fave baking sheet, parchment paper, food processor, high-powered blender, skillets, and more. SEE THEM HERE!
If you're thinking of serving this lemon-brown butter sauce with pasta other than Fettuccine, then I'm so with ya! When it comes to pasta, you can use long pastas like Bucatini, Pappardelle, Tagliatelle, etc. if desired.
However, I would recommend tossing with tongs to ensure that pasta is fully manageable and fully coated. Otherwise, other pastas such as Penne, Rigatoni, Paccheri, Orecchiette, etc. are perfect.
Once you get the hang of browning butter, the process becomes second nature. At first, however, it might be a challenge to perfect the technique on your first try. Butter can burn quickly and easily, so you cannot step away during this process!
First, melt your butter in a skillet over medium to medium-low heat.
Once the butter has melted completely, allow it to begin bubbling. If the butter spatters, the heat source is too hot!
Allow the butter to cook for 3-4 minutes until you begin to see toasted bits at the bottom. This is the milk solids browning!
Once a rich brown color has been achieved and the butter smells nutty, it is ready. Remove the butter from the heat immediately.
Allow to cool and store in the fridge. Or, use it right away!
If you'd like to add protein to this Lemon Brown Butter Pasta dish, it's easy to do, regardless of your diet!
Plant-based protein options:
Non-vegan protein options:
Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
Absolutely! To make this dish GF, simply use Gluten-Free pasta and ensure that the breadcrumbs is GF-friendly. And to make this dish entire vegan, simply substitute the butter with vegan butter. Also, sub the parmesan with vegan parmesan from brands like Violife.
If you make this Lemon Brown Butter Pasta, be sure to Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea!
Lemon Brown Butter Pasta.