Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce Recipe
Main Dishes pasta Recipes Vegetarian

Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce Recipe

This Honey Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce is so bright and fresh with just a hint of zesty heat from the black pepper. It takes only minutes to make and tastes even better as it sits. Perfect for picnics, potlucks and any warm weather gathering.

Ingredients in the Honey Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce

What could be better for summer than a fresh lemon-y sauce that also equally balances the sweetness of honey with the spicy bite of black pepper. This pasta is perfect for summer get togethers as it contains no mayonnaise, eggs, dairy or anything else that cannot be left sitting out for a while or that requires refrigeration.

This is the true beauty of this sauce. It is made with staples that almost certainly already exist in your home or pantry making it perfect for a quick weeknight meal when you haven’t had time to plan ahead or just don’t feel like taking a long time to prepare a meal. So here is what you will need to make this Honey Lemon Pepper Sauce

  • Lemons– you will need two lemons to make the sauce. This recipe calls only for the juice and not the zest so if you only have lemon juice you can substitute that, but I recommend fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. If you choose to substitute lemon juice, use approximately 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice per each lemon, 1/4 cup for the two lemons.
  • Honey– Real honey is essential for this sauce to work. Attempting to substitute sugar-free sweeteners, etc would not be successful in this honey lemon pepper sauce so be sure to stick to actual honey.
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning I used this seasoning blend to make this sauce. Brands vary widely by the amount of salt they contain so you will want to make sure you taste your final Honey Lemon Pepper Sauce to see if you need to add any additional salt or if your flavor is already how you want it to be. If you are trying to watch your salt content something like this salt-free option may be a good choice.
  • Olive Oil– you will want to use an olive oil with a good flavor as this is a very simple sauce so every element really contributes to the final flavor of the sauce.
  • Pasta Water– while not a part of the sauce, if you are making this Honey Lemon Pepper Sauce to serve over pasta, you may want to reserve a bit of the pasta water just in case the pasta becomes too dry after sitting.
Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce Recipe

Preparing the Honey Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce

Therein lies the true beauty of this sauce. It is literally just stir together and go. It works great as either a sauce for pasta or a marinade for vegetables or chicken.

What is the difference in lemon pepper seasoning and lemon and pepper?

Lemon pepper seasoning and lemon and pepper are similar in that they both contain lemon and pepper, but they differ in their preparation and other ingredients.

Lemon pepper seasoning is a blend of lemon zest, black pepper, salt, and other spices like garlic, onion, and thyme. It is typically used to season meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and adds a tangy, zesty flavor with a spicy kick.

On the other hand, lemon and pepper is a simple seasoning that consists of freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice or lemon zest. It is often used as a marinade for chicken, fish, and vegetables or as a finishing touch to grilled or roasted dishes.

In summary, lemon pepper seasoning is a more complex blend of spices and is used to add a zesty and spicy flavor to a variety of dishes, while lemon and pepper is a simpler combination of two ingredients and is used primarily as a marinade or finishing touch to grilled or roasted dishes.

Can I substitute Pre-made lemon juice for fresh lemons in this lemon pepper pasta?

Yes, you can substitute pre-made lemon juice for fresh lemons in most recipes. However, keep in mind that the flavor may be slightly different, as fresh lemons have a more vibrant and complex flavor than bottled lemon juice. In some recipes, this difference in flavor may be noticeable, so it’s best to use fresh lemons whenever possible.

If you do decide to use bottled lemon juice, be sure to check the ingredient list to make sure there are no additional ingredients, such as preservatives or additives, that may affect the flavor or texture of your dish. Also, keep in mind that bottled lemon juice may have a slightly different acidity level than fresh lemons, so you may need to adjust the amount you use in your recipe accordingly.

Can Honey Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce be made in advance?

Yes, absolutely, and for best results you really want to allow this sauce to marinate on your pasta for some time before serving. When serving this sauce over pasta, you will get the best results by first tossing the prepared pasta with the prepared Honey Lemon Pepper Sauce.

After you have tossed the pasta with the sauce, you should allow the sauce to sit on the pasta for at least an hour, up to 24 hours. Also, for best results, stir the noodles occasionally to redistribute the sauce and ensure that all of the noodles are fully covered. Warm pasta will best absorb the sauce and garner the best flavor for the final pasta dish, so try to have the sauce ready as soon as the noodles are done cooking.

Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce Recipe

To use the sauce on broccoli or another vegetable, follow a similar idea; however, instead of marinating the cooked vegetable, marinate the raw broccoli before roasting to allow it to absorb the flavors of the sauce. You can then drizzle the prepared broccoli with a bit of the leftover sauce if you desire.

If you like this Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce, try these next:

Tahini Pasta Sauce

Tahini Pasta Sauce– is packed with Unami flavors and as easy to prepare as this Honey Lemon Pepper Sauce.

Boursin Tomato Pasta

Boursin Tomato Pasta is A MUCH more flavorful take on the beloved feta pasta, this Boursin Tomato pasta is packed with herbaceous flavor, cheesy goodness, and just enough heat to make it an unforgettable favorite.

air fryer tortellini

This Air Fryer Tortellini Bake is comfort food at its best. Tortellini, a creamy tomato sauce and lots of melty cheeses make this dish perfect for any night you need a little food hug.

Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce Recipe

Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 8 oz pasta
  • Juice of two lemons
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil


  • Cook the pasta according the package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking combine the lemon juice, honey, lemon pepper seasoning and olive oil. When the pasta is done cooking, drain and toss with the honey lemon mixture. Allow to marinate for a bit for best flavor. Serve, topped with additional lemon pepper seasoning if desired.

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