You will love this simple one-pan dish if you are a pasta lover.

Fettuccine with lemon mascarpone sauce. This is that recipe that, no matter what, tastes delicious.

It’s one of my favorite recipes that I love to update. Truth be known, I love mascarpone, and I constantly add more to make it creamier and creamier.

Fettuccine with Lemon Mascarpone sauce

Mascarpone is that delightful cheese that not only melts but tends out this fantastic cream.

And then, of course, the French in me kicks in, and here, we are adding more butter. I am incorrigible.

But butter and pasta are just the best combinations.

And then there is lemon. By now, you know how much I love lemon and how often I incorporate it into my cooking.

The mascarpone melts and blends magically with the lemon. A bit of lemon zest and the oils are released in the butter, transcending into this perfect cream.

fettuccine with lemon mascarpone sauce

In this Article

What is Mascarpone?

A wonderfully soft Italian cheese made with only two ingredients: Heavy cream and citric or tartaric acid.

The heavy cream is heated, and then the acid is added to solidify and thicken the cream and passed thru a cheesecloth to remove any water remnants.

It is a combination between cream and cheese. It has its particular cheese. For me, it is between creme fraiche and ricotta cheese. However, mascarpone is more spreadable than ricotta.

However, a very versatile cheese can be used either for sweets or savory dishes.

If you can find a local cheese producer and enjoy some homemade mascarpone cheese, it will be a true treat for you. So soft and creamy.

What do you use mascarpone for?

You are probably familiar with it as it is one of the main ingredients of the super decadent creamy layer in tiramisu dessert.

It can be added to so many savory dishes which it provides a rich, almost velvety, creamy element to it.

I use it instead of butter in the morning and spread it over my toasted bread or English muffin. A little jam and it is so delicious.

Use it in place of whipping cream with your fresh fruits as a dessert.

You can add it to cakes and muffins. When the use of sour cream is needed, I replace it with mascarpone.

I make some wonderful mascarpone roasted peaches with it as well as veal chops with lemon sage and mascarpone.

And of course pasta dishes.

Fettuccine With Lemon Mascarpone Sauce

What is a good substitute for mascarpone?

Creme fraiche is the closest substitute for mascarpone. It is slightly more acidic and with a tangy flavor.

Sour cream is another ingredient that can be used as a substitute.

Cream cheese is blended with heavy cream to give it that softness.

Ricotta cheese, although a bit more grainy.

Some people will also use plain Greek yogurt. They both have that velvety smooth, creamy texture, thus making the yogurt a great substitute.

Philadelphia cheese is a good container. It contains less fat, but it also has a tangier taste to it.

How to make this one-pot of fettuccine lemon mascarpone sauce

This is the easiest recipe ever.

  • Cook the pasta al dente, meaning to the bite. This is usually a couple of minutes before the manufacturer’s recommended cooking time.
  • While the pasta is cooking, zest the lemon and set aside.
  • Before draining the pasta, reserve at least a cup of the cooking pasta water. The cooking water has all the starch from the pasta. This starch is excellent to use if the pasta gets dry when mixing it with the sauce.
  • Have your mascarpone at room temperature.
  • Drain the pasta and put the pasta back into the pan you just drained it from.
  • Place it back on the burner but do not turn the heat back on.
  • Add the butter, mascarpone, and juice from half of the lemon and half of the lemon zest.
  • Mix well, and if dry, add more of the cooking water. It will look and feel creamy.
  • Serve on your pasta dishes and sprinkle the remaining lemon zest equally over each plate.

Fettuccine With Lemon Mascarpone Sauce

Can I enjoy this dish as a main dish?

Yes, you can. This recipe is based on four adult servings. Add a bit more pasta if you are hungry.

What other shape of pasta can I use?

Linguine and spaghetti are great substitutes.

Angel hair pasta is excellent with it. It cooks faster; thus, remember to remove it from the cooking water a bit early.

Make more sauce, as angel hair pasta tends to absorb more sauce.

May I add protein to this dish?

Absolutely! Lemon salmon is one of my favorites as it stays in the same lemon feel.

A great dish that is paired well with chicken or fish.

On the lighter side, a simple green salad with a lemon vinaigrette is all you need for a quick dinner.

I would, however, not recommend mixing the salmon and chicken with the pasta. The salmon will flake away. The chicken will make the lemon sauce dry.

Serve them alongside.

Fettuccine With Lemon Mascarpone Sauce

Enjoy this super easy lemon mascarpone pasta, a 15-minute recipe.

And if you are like me, I know from this day forward, mascarpone cheese will have a spot in your refrigerator.

Equipment used to create this recipe

Fettuccine with Lemon Mascarpone Sauce

Fettuccine with Lemon Mascarpone Sauce

5 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Mascarpone is that delightful cheese that not only melts but tends out this wonderful cream. .


  • 1 pound fettuccine pasta, 1 pound fettuccine past
  • 0.5 lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons mascarpone,
  • lemon zest,


  • Cook the fettuccine according to package instructions. When done al dente, reserve 1 cup of the cooking pasta water, drain the pasta and put the pasta back in the pan. 
  • Add the butter, add the lemon juice, half of the lemon zest, and mascarpone. Mix well and adjust the mascarpone or lemon to your liking. If dry add some of the cooking water.
  • Serve on pasta dishes and sprinkle the remainder of the lemon zest


Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Fettuccine With Lemon Mascarpone Sauce

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This recipe was first published in July 2011, updated on June 5, 2022.