clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Lemon Pepper Spaghetti with Kale

Lemon Pepper Spaghetti

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Ready in 15 minutes and less than 10 ingredients, this super simple lemon pepper spaghetti is inspired by classic cacio e pepe, plus plenty of kale.


  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups roughly chopped kale leaves (curly or lacinato kale)
  • 23 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 ounce shaved pecorino cheese plus more for serving


  1. Cook the spaghetti until al dente according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the kale until the leaves just start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add the lemon juice.
  3. Use tongs to transfer the spaghetti from the pot to the skillet with the kale. Toss to coat in the olive oil. Stir in the pecorino cheese.
  4. Divide onto serving plates or into bowls. Top with additional cheese before serving.


Once the pasta is finished, take a bite and add salt and pepper to your taste, if needed.

Substitutions: You can use linguini and Parmesan instead of spaghetti and Pecorino.

Keywords: lemon pepper pasta, lemon kale pasta