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Lemon Zucchini Spaghetti

In Italy, you'll often come across pastas with briney and salty aspects from a lot of pantry ingredients like anchovy paste and capers. Those flavors always take me back to Italy! I used them in my lemon zucchini spaghetti, and brightened it up even more with lemon, fresh herbs, aromatic ingredients like garlic and shallots, fresh zucchini... and cheese! The flavors all come together to become this really delicious pasta with a lot of flavor interest, and something about it just reminds me of summer in Italy. This lemon zucchini spaghetti would be so delicious paired with some grilled seafood - and a glass of prosecco!

Love this recipe? Try Giada's Lemon Spaghetti, too!

zucchini and lemon spaghetti

Lemon Zucchini Spaghetti


Main Course

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Lemon Zucchini Spaghetti


  • 1 lemon (thinly sliced and seeds removed)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots (sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (smashed and peeled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1/4 cup capers (drained)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 small zucchini (about 2 pounds total, halved and sliced 1/3 inch)
  • 1/2 pound pasta, such as Spaghetti Chittara or Vermicelli Lunghi
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (roughly chopped or torn)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season it generously with salt. Add the sliced lemons and blanch for 30 seconds. Using tongs, remove the lemons to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Dry well.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat another 30 seconds. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to brown slightly. Add the anchovy paste, capers, red pepper flakes and the blanched lemon slices. Cook for another 2 minutes stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to ‘dissolve” the anchovy paste and brown the lemons. Add the zucchini and remaining salt. Cook on medium high for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Parts of the zucchini should turn deep brown while some parts remain al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions, about 8 minutes. Add 1/3cup pasta water to the zucchini pan and stir to deglaze. Use a pair of tongs to remove the pasta directly to the zucchini pan. Sprinkle the bare pasta with the parmesan cheese and toss well to coat the pasta with the zucchini sauce. Some of the zucchini should have gotten rather soft to help create a silky sauce. Add another 1/2 cup water if needed to maintain the sauce. Top the pasta with the herbs and feta cheese and serve.



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
57 grams
22 grams
24 grams
Saturated Fat
10 grams
46 milligrams
1869 milligrams
5 grams
10 grams
nut free

5 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Margaux Lodge

    Simple and delicious! We made a few tweaks, and added in some grilled chicken, as well as some white wine, because everything tastes better with white wine in it! A VERY flavorful and simple dish, the goats cheese on top REALLY made the dish and it was creamy and fabulous! Our picky 6 yr old son even ate it! Love Giada's recipes! Mangia!!!

  • Author's avatar image
    Charlotte Lovato

    I love how flavorful this dish was. It's very light and, is great for a late night supper. Thx Giada your recipes are the best.??

  • Author's avatar image
    Gidget Snyder

    I really liked the combination and choice of ingredients. I'm an experienced home cook and had everything on hand. Once I put my mise en place together, the directions were incomplete without any information about the fresh dill, crumbled cheese and basil. It worked out okay. And the dish was delicious. But somebody ought to proof the recipe before they put it out there.

  • Author's avatar image
    Cj Miller

    I made this Sunday nite. Only omitted anchovies paste as didn’t have it. This was a really good and flavorful dish, my husband loved it. Defiantly a keeper?

  • Author's avatar image
    Stephanie Harrison

    I am making this tonight-just watched Giada and Jade and Shane in action! I will be adding some grilled shrimp. 5 star

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