Easy Weeknight Lemon Artichoke Pasta

Sara's Tiny Kitchen
by Sara's Tiny Kitchen
3 servings
20 min

This Easy Weeknight Lemon Artichoke Pasta with Breadcrumbs is a dream come true. It only needs a handful of pretty common ingredients and about 30 minutes of your time, and you’ve got a great, healthy, filling meal on the table!

I originally tried this recipe with a creamy sauce – something like my Creamy Lemon Broccoli Pasta, but honestly it was too much. Artichokes are delicate and don’t need much else to help them shine. Some garlic, some parmesan and fresh lemon is really all you need to create a dish that feels so much fancier than it actually is. This is the kind of dish I love. Something that can wow a guest or a date, but that you don’t have to spend all day slaving over in the kitchen. Win win!


Shopping List for Lemon Artichoke Pasta

Short pasta of your choice

Artichoke hearts


Olive oil


Parmesan Cheese

Crushed Red Pepper


Butter (optional)

Salt and pepper

Breadcrumbs (panko preferred) (optional)


Let’s Talk about Lemon Artichoke Pasta

Flavor: if you love artichokes, this is the meal for you. The artichoke flavor really stands out, but if you’d like it to be even more intense, you could easily double the amount of artichokes in the dish. There is quite a lemon flavor as it stands, so if you’re sensitive to lemon, I’d halve the amount called for at first, and then add more in as you go.

Texture: the sauce is smooth and creamy with a great lemon flavor. The key to a smooth sauce is to use the starchy pasta water to thin it out

Ease: This is a crazy easy dish to make. It does require a little bit of juggling, but nothing out of line. You’ll be cooking the pasta, the breadcrumbs, and the artichokes all at the same time.

The pasta is easy and only requires minimal stirring. You want to cook the pasta for the full allotted time – no al dente here.

The breadcrumbs cook over low heat and as long as you stir them periodically, they should be fine.

The artichokes cook over medium heat, and again if you stir them regularly, they’ll be fine. You want a fair amount of browning on them, so it’s okay to let them sit a bit. Just use a non-stick pan for them. Then you toss it together with the sauce, and chow down.

Recipe ease: 5/10.

Recipe Highlights:

Vegetarian recipe

Easy recipe



Healthy recipe

Easy weeknight meal


Can I replace the lemon juice with something else? Honestly, not really. You could omit it entirely, or you could greatly reduce the amount of lemon juice, but there’s nothing else I can think of that works quite the same way. You could use white wine, and that would be delicious, but also it would be a completely different dish.

What kind of parmesan should I use? Use the good stuff here – Parmesano Reggiano. You’re only using a handful of ingredients, so you want them to be high quality.

Do I have to use the breadcrumbs? Nope! In fact, if you’re looking to up the ease factor, that would be the thing I would cut. That being said, the breadcrumbs add a lot to the dish, and I wouldn’t cut them if I could help it.

How do I store the leftovers? Store any leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for a day or two. You can also store unused breadcrumbs the same way.

How do I reheat this? Reheat in the microwave in 30 second increments until warmed through.

Tips and Tricks:

If you’re like me, and you forget to save the pasta water (happens to me at least half the time) you CAN substitute hot water in it’s place. It wont have quite the same magic properties that pasta water has, but it will do the trick.

You’re not going to be finishing the pasta in a sauce on the stove, so make sure you fully cook the pasta.

If you’re not vegetarian and you’re looking for something more substantial, you could add chicken or shrimp to this and it would be fantastic!

Start with half the lemon the recipe calls for, taste and adjust as you go. You can always add more lemon, but you cant take it away once it’s in there.

Easy Weeknight Lemon Artichoke Pasta
Recipe details
  • 3  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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Easy Weeknight Lemon Artichoke Pasta
  • 6 ounce pasta (short shape of your choice)
  • 1 twelve ounce jar of marinated quartered artichoke hearrts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped 
Easy Weeknight Lemon Artichoke Pasta
Start by heating your pasta water to boil.
In a small non-stick skillet, melt the butter, then add the breadcrumbs, and toast over low heat until they brown - this will take almost the entire cooking time.  
Drain the liquid from the artichokes, and roughly chop them. In another medium non-stick skillet, heat the artichokes over medium heat. No oil is necessary here - the marinade on the artichokes should provide enough oil
While those three aspects of the dish cook, you can make the sauce.
In a large heat safe bowl, zest the lemon then squeeze the juice of of the lemon into the bowl. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil, the minced garlic, grated parmesan and crushed red pepper. Stir that together, and set it to the side.
Boil the pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and then drain the pasta. Immediately add the pasta into the bowl with the sauce, and toss to combine. Add a little bit of the pasta water to thin the sauce out (about a tablespoon at a time) until it reaches your desired consistency. The heat from the pasta will melt the cheese, and cook the minced garlic.
Add the artichokes to the bowl with the pasta as well as the chopped parsley, and toss to combine. Spoon the pasta into bowls, and top with the toasted breadcrumbs.
Serve with extra parmesan and lemon slices.
Sara's Tiny Kitchen
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