This angel hair with lemon and bread crumbs levels up quick and easy weeknight cooking with a handful of pantry ingredients and less than 30 minutes of (barely any) effort. Whether as your sole sustenance or something on the side, cepting wows.Angie Zoobkoff

A black plate topped with angel hair pasta with lemon bread crumbs and a fork and a squeezed half lemon rests beside the plate.

Angel Hair with Lemon Bread Crumbs

5 from 1 vote
This angel hair with lemon and bread crumbs is a simple zesty pasta dish made with angel hair, lemon zest, Parmesan, plenty of black pepper, and a sprinkling of toasted bread crumbs. Hello, weeknight supper scrounged from the pantry.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories337 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • Kosher salt
  • 7 ounces angel hair pasta
  • Zest of 4 small lemons, preferably organic, finely grated (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated and tightly packed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs or panko


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the angel hair and cook until al dente according to package directions.
  • Drain the pasta. Return it to the pot or dump it in a large bowl and toss the pasta with lemon zest, Parmesan, and pepper. Drizzle with the oil and toss again. If desired, add a dribble of lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle with the bread crumbs or panko and serve immediately.


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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 337 kcalCarbohydrates: 41 gProtein: 14 gFat: 13 gSaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gCholesterol: 13 mgSodium: 331 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe © 2017 Andrea Stewart. Photo © 2017 Faith Mason. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This angel hair with lemon and bread crumbs was a perfect side dish—easy and quick to make and wonderfully flavorful. The lemon and black pepper worked together beautifully and the bread crumbs added a nice textural contrast. The pepper did add quite a kick–I might use half the amount called for next time I make the dish.

I packed the Parmesan cheese very tightly into the measuring cup and it was a perfect amount of cheese for the dish. We didn’t add any extra at the table.

I used 2 tablespoons of zest in the finished dish. A little more or less would be fine, but I think the recipe’s recommendation of the zest from 4 small lemons is just about right. We added a bit more zest at the table, to our individual portions, since we had some.

I drizzled 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the pasta as I tossed it. I thought we might add more at the table on our individual portions, but we didn’t need it.

I whirled fresh bread in the food processor to make crumbs and then toasted those in the oven. We used about 1 tablespoon of crumbs on each serving of pasta. We added them at the table so they would retain more of their texture.

We had 4 generous side dish servings. The recipe leaves you with four naked lemons. We made lemonade the next day.

An unbelievably simple pasta to prepare with full flavor impact! It’s a perfect pasta to serve as a side dish to a main dish. To keep it simple, I served this with frozen breaded chicken patties baked in the oven and it was the perfect combo as squeezing a bit of lemon juice over chicken breasts was a nice touch to match with the pasta.

My only note on this recipe would be to first toss pasta with olive oil first. Then separately mix lemon zest, parmesan, pepper before adding to pasta to more evenly distribute on all of the pasta. I ended up with a few clumps of black pepper.

Serves 4 as a side dish but not enough to serve as a main. I would double the recipe in that case.

I feel like this pasta recipe with bread crumbs and lemon seems way too simple on paper to be anything special, but as a finished product, I really feel like I’m eating something I’d get in a little street cafe in SoHo. Super easy, no crazy prep or shopping trips required, cheap, and totally scale-able to however many or few people you need to feed.

This saved me this weekend after my husband and I got home late and ravenous after a weekend away, but I feel like I could just as easily make this for a dinner party (and use the extra time to pour myself another glass of wine or two!).

This is a very good, relatively simple pasta dish. The lemon flavor is subtle but refreshing. It’s definitely worth making again.

Needless to say, the juice from the 4 lemons is waiting to be made into Bees’ Knees.

If you’re looking for an easy and quick dish from pantry ingredients, this pasta recipe is the answer. It called for a few basics in a no-cook sauce that, when combined, was quite delicious. It does make quite a bit, but could easily be scaled down or a great dish for entertaining (or last-minute guests!).

My 6 year old thought it was a little too peppery and lemony, but he also likes only olive oil on his pasta. The adults had seconds. The crunchy bread crumbs added a nice textural contrast.

This recipe could easily be adapted to what’s on hand and tastes–changing the pasta shape, adding some parsley for color or anchovies in the crumbs. Have some recipes in mind to use the zested lemons; I made a simple salad with a lemon vinaigrette.

I think I would prefer spaghetti or slightly thicker noodle

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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