Creamy Lemon Pasta Salad

It might be Christmas Eve and flurrying as I write this, but that won’t keep me away from the distinctly summery flavors in this pasta – spinach, grape tomatoes lemon… lots of lemon. This time of year, everything red and green is made of sugar, so I guess the spinach and tomatoes in this dish puts a healthier spin on Christmas colors. Not that it was intentional on my part… but we can pretend that I planned it that way.

Creamy Lemon Pasta Salad

Now that I think about it, incorporating Christmas colors into a pasta salad is nothing short of genius because while the wintery flavors typically involve cranberry, mint, etc., this pasta “salad” would be quite distinctive at a potluck. (I wasn’t originally going to tack on the “salad” part of the title, but I figured that there was enough fruit and/or vegetables in it to make up for all the cookies I’ve been eating for the last week…)

Creamy Lemon Pasta Salad

Have a safe and joyful Christmas, everyone! Stay warm.

Creamy Lemon Pasta Salad

(Meanwhile don’t judge the mediocre quality of these shots)

Recipe: Creamy Lemon Pasta Salad


  • 1 TB grapeseed or olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 lemons, zested and juice reserved
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound dried pasta (I used fusilli)
  • 6 ounces spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and sautee garlic until sizzling and starting to brown. Add the cream, milk, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 12 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, stirring occasionally.
  3. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta.
  4. Take the pot off the heat and add the spinach, Parmesan, and tomatoes. Toss well until the spinach has wilted. Season to taste, and serve hot.

Number of servings (yield): 4-6

Adapted from Very Culinary

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