Lemon Pepper Sauce

LAST UPDATED: Sep 24, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Jul 07, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

There’s nothing quite as vibrant, summery and flavorful as lemon pepper sauce to add to pasta, chicken wings, seafood and more! This sauce creates a fast and easy lemon pepper pasta that is truly unforgettable- filled with perfectly balanced soft essence of lemon flavor.

A white plate with a bowl full of lemon pepper pasta, gold fork to the side.

What is it about summertime that makes me crave that fresh lemon flavor so much? Truthfully, I love lemon flavors all year long. But bright summer sunshine and vibrant lemons just make so much sense lately!

I recently brought you my homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning and also incredible baked Lemon Pepper Chicken and lemon pepper shrimp recipes. Both are not to be missed! They capture the essence of summer in every fresh bite.

In fact, this lemon pepper sauce for pasta is perfect when paired with baked lemon pepper chicken or my lemon pepper salmon on top- it’s the perfect lean protein for a well-rounded dinner the family will love!

Close up shot of fettuccine noodles covered in a lemon pepper sauce.

Love lemon everything as much as we do? Find all my lemon recipes, including breads, cookies, salads, entrees and so many more! There’s a little something for every lemon lover!

Why You’ll Love this Fresh Lemon Pepper Sauce

It’s not only delicious, it’s so fast. Truly, this sauce is ready in less than five minutes! Bonus: it’s ultra light, too! Low in calories and carbs, it’s a pasta sauce you can feel oh-so-good about.

You’ll never go back to bottles of grocery store sauce once you learn how to make your own fresh pasta sauces. This fresh lemon pepper sauce creates an unforgettable dinner experience- it makes a simple weeknight dinner feel like such an upgrade!

A white plate with a bowl full of lemon pepper pasta, gold fork to the side.
Close up shot of fettuccine noodles covered in a lemon pepper sauce.

Open a bottle of white wine, cook your pasta, seafood, or even chicken wings, and throw this sauce together like a pro. You won’t believe how simple it is!

I like to give a lot of detail in my recipe posts to guide readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, feel free to click “jump to recipe” right under the title of this post and you’ll head straight there!

Close up shot of fettuccine noodles covered in a lemon pepper sauce.

Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce Ingredients

  • Butter – I like salted butter for this recipe, especially because it ensures you don’t need to add any extra salt at the end!
  • Minced Garlic – Those jars of minced garlic in the produce section of the grocery store are the best shortcut. You can of course use fresh minced garlic too.
  • Lemon Juice – Adds all the sweet citrus flavor you’re craving!
  • Lemon Zest – Don’t leave out the zest! There’s additional flavor and texture that really adds to this dish.
  • Coarse Black Pepper – I like to use big cracks of fresh ground pepper on top of my pasta dishes.
A marble surface with ingredients for lemon pepper sauce, including coarse black pepper, whole lemons, garlic, and cheese.

How to Make Lemon Pepper Sauce

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.A silver pan on a stove top, melted butter and garlic being stirred with a wooden spatula. A silver pan on a stove top, melted butter and garlic being stirred with a wooden spatula.
  2. Add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. A silver pan on a stove top, melted butter and garlic being stirred with a wooden spatula.
  3. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and black pepper. A silver pan on a stove top, melted butter and garlic being stirred with a wooden spatula.Reduce to a simmer for three minutes. A saucepan on a marble surface, lemon pepper sauce inside.

Tips and Variations

  • If making this sauce for pasta, Reserve a little of your pasta water after cooking. This is always a good idea to help thin sauces if they thicken too much while cooking – just add a little of that warm, starchy water (up to 1/2 cup) for the perfect way to thin your sauce down, if needed. A silver pan filled with water and fettuccine
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over your finished product! The vibrant bright flavor of lemon squeezed over the top makes it even more delicious.
  • Make your own lemon pepper seasoning. This simple step makes it so easy to whip up this sauce at a moment’s notice! close up shot of lemon pepper sauce in a pan on a stove top
  • Instead of pre-packaged dry pasta, consider making fresh. It’s not as hard as you think, I promise – especially not with this pasta attachment for your KitchenAid mixer! Try my easy three ingredient egg noodles, or learn from all my best homemade pasta tips right here. A silver pan filled with cooked fettuccine, blue linen towel wrapped around handle
  • Want even more vibrant flavor? Add a handful of shallots! Just a half of cup of shallots equals a major additional burst of yumminess. Instead of adding the shallots and garlic at once, I’d add the shallots first to the olive oil to soften before you add the other listed ingredients. 
A saucepan on a marble surface, lemon pepper sauce inside.

To Store

Refrigerate – This lemon pepper pasta sauce keeps incredibly well in a jar, refrigerated for up to three days.

Simply warm and toss with your favorite pasta, chicken or seafood. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon over the top and you’re all set!

A white plate with a bowl full of lemon pepper pasta, gold fork to the side.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

This lemon pepper sauce is for so much more than pasta! You can add it to shrimp, scallops, baked chicken breasts and yes… chicken wings!

Lemon pepper chicken wings are such a great way to enjoy this sauce – the combination of crunchy wings and fragrant citrus are unbeatable!

A saucepan on a marble surface, lemon pepper sauce inside.

To add this sauce to your baked or fried chicken wings, you can work in a variety of ways:

  • Brush the sauce over each wing individually with a silicone sauce brush.
  • Dunk each wing into a bowl of the sauce for full coverage.
  • You can also use this sauce as a dip for wings instead of the traditional coating!
close up shot of lemon pepper sauce in a pan on a stove top

Which Pasta Pairs Best with Lemon Pepper Pasta Sauce?

Making this delicious lemon pepper sauce for pasta? Use your favorite noodle – any style will work. I typically use a long noodle like fettuccine, but any noodle pairs well with this sauce because it clings to the pasta so well.

Garnish with freshly chopped parsley for a little color and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Who can argue with such a perfectly simple, delicious flavor combination?

A white plate with a bowl full of lemon pepper pasta.

It’s Light in Calories Too

Not only is this fresh lemon pepper sauce for pasta bursting with flavor, it’s light in calories, too!

Coming in at just 109 calories per serving and 12 grams of carbohydrates, it’s a tasty way to enjoy your pasta without the guilt!

Choose a low carbohydrate pasta, pair with a delicious salad and top with a lean protein (like my baked chicken) for a fresh healthy meal you can feel so good about!

A saucepan on a marble surface, lemon pepper sauce inside.

Lemon Pepper Sauce Serving Suggestions

Close up shot of fettuccine noodles covered in a lemon pepper sauce.

I’d love to hear from you if you make this easy lemon pepper pasta sauce at home! Come back and share a review using my five star rating system – it not only helps me, but other readers, too!

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A white plate with a bowl full of lemon pepper pasta.

Lemon Pepper Sauce

Julie Blanner
There's nothing quite as vibrant, summery and flavorful as lemon pepper sauce! This is a fast and easy lemon pepper pasta that is truly unforgettable- filled with a perfectly balanced soft essence of lemon flavor.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 109 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon course black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
  • Add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon zest and black pepper. Reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes.

Notes

Substitutions

  • Butter – If you substitute unsalted butter, simply add 1/4 teaspoon to the sauce.
  • Minced Garlic – Those jars of minced garlic in the produce section of the grocery store are the best shortcut. You can of course use fresh minced garlic too.
  • Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed or 100% lemon juice in a bottle.
  • Coarse Black Pepper – Substitute with red pepper if you want to spice it up.

Variations

  • Add Shallots
  • Add Vegetables
  • Add Protein

Tips

  • Use your favorite noodle
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over your pasta! 

For Chicken Wings

To add this sauce to your baked or fried chicken wings, you can work in a variety of ways:
  • Brush the sauce over each wing individually with a silicone sauce brush.
  • Dunk each wing into a bowl of the sauce for full coverage.
  • You can also use this sauce as a dip for wings instead of the traditional coating!

Nutrition

Calories:109kcalCarbohydrates:2gProtein:1gFat:12gSaturated Fat:7gCholesterol:31mgSodium:102mgPotassium:16mgFiber:1gSugar:1gVitamin A:355IUVitamin C:8mgCalcium:7mg
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mini loaves of bread gift wrapped