Simple Lemon and Arugula Pasta

Editor’s note: I’m very happy to welcome Courtney from Cook like a Champion blog as the newest contributor to the site!

If there’s ever a time when I don’t feel like cooking, it’s in the middle of summer. I don’t know if it’s the long days (more time to play) or the fact that it’s too hot to stand over the stove, but I always struggle with what to cook in July.

There’s an abundance of produce at my farmer’s market, but it’s all so perfect I almost hate to even cook it. July is the month to appreciate quick meals with fresh ingredients.

There are plenty of nights I’d be fine having a salad or even cheese and crackers for dinner, but I obviously can’t go the entire month without cooking dinner. That’s where recipes like this one come in. The only thing that has to be cooked is the pasta.

The residual heat from the hot pasta cooks everything else, creating a simple and delicious meal that can be enjoyed on the hottest of days. Even better, this pasta tastes just as fantastic at room temperature, which means it would be great for a picnic or potluck.

Lemon and Arugula Pasta

Photo by Courtney Champion | Cook Like a Champion

Lemon in pasta is something I can get behind, especially during summertime, and I’m so glad to have another recipe that uses this combination. The sauce for this pasta is simply lemon zest and juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

This meal is the epitome of my perfect summer meal – fresh, simple, flavorful and quick.

Lemon and Arugula Pasta

A simple and flavorful pasta that's perfect for summer days.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 328kcal
Author: Courtney


  • 3/4 pound rigatoni or any pasta shape
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini white beans
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper


  • Place pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Combine the beans and arugula in a large bowl. Add the zest and juice of the lemon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine.
  • Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain it and immediately place it into the bowl with the arugula mixture. Add the Parmesan cheese and remaining tablespoon of oil. Toss to combine. Serve immediately, topped with extra Parmesan if desired.



Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 17.3mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1.6mg

What are your go-to meals for summer days?

About Courtney Champion

Courtney Champion is a wife and mom who writes at Cook Like a Champion, where she shares accessible recipes focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients and plenty of sweet treats. She thinks good food tells a story and loves sharing that story with her readers. She hopes to inspire others to spend time in the kitchen with the people they love.

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  1. Brian @ A Thought For Food says

    I do an arugula pesto this time of year… one that my husband sometimes gives me a hard time about because I like the peppery kick of the greens and he isn’t as fond of it. The one thing we do agree on is lemon… I put lemon in EVERYTHING but especially enjoy lemon zest in my pasta dishes. It totally brightens things up.

  2. Love how simple and easy this looks!

  3. I love simple pastas like this! Lovely recipe!

  4. Welcome to SB! Love the look of this pasta, especially with the addition of the beans.

  5. So perfectly simple! Now I’m craving pasta for breakfast 😉

  6. Gorgeous! Love simple, yet delicious recipes like this! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. So perfect!! I love simple and easy pasta!

  8. kelly @ kellybakes says

    Courtney, it was so lovely to see your recipe when I got my Simple Bites email this morning! YAY for two of my favorite bloggers joining forces 🙂 I love this combination of flavors–so bright and light for summer. Thanks for the quick and easy dinner idea!

  9. In the summertime I’m all about “quick meals with fresh ingredients.” This lemony pasta recipe looks great! On the hottest days, I find salads with cucumbers very refreshing.

  10. 5 stars
    Its a light and easily made recipe which can be prepared in no time, refreshing healthy and fresh food to prepare, specially pastas are my favorite, thanks for sharing this love recipe.

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