Lemon Spaghetti with Toasted Walnuts

When it comes to mealtime, there are plenty of kids who frequently ask for plain pasta with butter. But we try hard to avoid falling into the plain pasta trap.

This Lemon Spaghetti with Toasted Walnuts is one of my ways around that pasta pitfall. The dish retains the simple appearance of pasta and butter that kids find so appealing, but it is by no means plain. Simply adding the lemon and walnuts gives dull pasta and butter added protein, tons of flavor and Omega-3s. It’s a good step forward for a lot of so-called picky eaters.

This is one of those weeknight recipes that couldn’t be easier to prepare and has the added bonus of making your kitchen smell amazing in the process, starting with the nuts toasting away on the stove. 

Next, you cook and drain the spaghetti, add a heaping spoonful of rich butter, and stir it into the piping hot pasta.

To finish the dish, we use the microplane and started grating lemon. The fragrant oils released in the air made the kitchen smell even more heavenly and everyone was excited to eat the moment the plates were set down in front of them.

If you’ve been looking to add some zest to your pasta life, look no further than this Lemon Spaghetti with Toasted Walnuts.

Lemon Spaghetti with Toasted Walnuts

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins


  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 lemons, for juice and zest


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Toast walnuts in a small sauté pan over medium high heat for 5 minutes until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat.
  • Drain pasta and reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  • Put pasta back into the pot and stir in butter, oil, salt, walnuts, lemon juice and zest. Toss to coat.
  • If needed, add in the reserved pasta water a little at a time to thin out sauce.