Sue Kreitzman’s Lemon Butter Angel Hair Pasta

January 23, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Adapted slightly from Comfort Food (Gramercy, 1986).

Genius Recipes

Serves: 1, but scales up well if needed
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup hot chicken stock
  • 1 pinch Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 splash Lemon juice to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Melt the butter in a small pot. Break up the pasta into more bite-sized lengths, about 1 to 2 inches each. Toss the pasta in the butter until it is well-coated.
  2. Pour in the hot stock and grind in the pepper. Cover and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Squeeze in the lemon juice (Sue Kreitzman used the juice of 1 small lemon). Taste and, if your stock wasn’t very salty and you’d like more, add a little salt to taste. Serve at once.

More Great Recipes:
Pasta|Butter|Lemon|Lemon Juice|5 Ingredients or Fewer|One-Pot Wonders|Spring|Summer|Winter|Fall|Entree

Reviews (58) Questions (1)

58 Reviews

elyse February 3, 2019
I love this idea and have made it several times in different quantities. Best with angel hair and chicken stock but spaghetti and plain water work fine too. Especially if there's no stock on hand, I saute some garlic in the butter before adding the pasta. I brown the pasta a bit in the butter before adding liquid. I have added lemon zest along with the juice and used other citrus (yuzu!) when I had it around. I use a small pot and don't bother with the lid, just keep it simmering and stir occasionally. The serving size as is makes a nice snack or light dinner for one. When quadrupling the recipe to serve two hungry people I used two cups of liquid and two whole lemons, had some extra hot liquid on hand in case I needed it, but did not. When scaling I think the key is to *just* cover your pasta with liquid to start, you can always add more if needed.
Maureen January 4, 2019
Sorry but was not impressed. Pretty tasteless despite adding fresh parsley and basil from my garden as well as top quality parmigiano.<br />
Amy December 30, 2018
This sounds delicious but what if I want to make a full 16 ounce box of angel hair to feed my family of 5? Do I do 8x all ingredients including the stock?
Kristen M. January 2, 2019
Hi Amy, it will depend on the pan, but I would start with a little less stock and add more if the pasta is looking dry before it tastes cooked through. I'd recommend scanning the comments below for ratios that worked well, too—for example, cld said: "Used 8oz of angel hair, 3 meyer lemons , 6TB butter and 3 1/2cups of chicken broth"
Danny S. December 27, 2018
Ok, I usually make the recipe according to directions first, before altering it. I did make a double batch to start as there were 4 of us & 😋 hungry. I have to say as is, it is pretty good. The only problem was that there were no seconds and it could have used some meat..This is also the fastest recipe I have made this year twice in under 45 minutes.. the second batch was even better. Again, doubling the recipe and cooking according to directions. I added a 1 cup of cooked/ shredded roasted chicken and added 1/4 cup of stock, dashes of garlic and onion powder, along with pink Himalayan salt. Gave it an extra 2 minutes to cook, served with Parmesan cheese & garlic bread 🥖.. delicious 😋 no leftovers and clean up was swift !!! 😂
Jenn December 19, 2018
Creamy, comforting pasta for a day when I was feeling under the weather. I followed a reviewer’s suggestion about cooking this like rissoto; warmed the stick in a separate pan and ladled into the pasta a little at a time. This worked, but it could have used one more ladle of broth over 1 cup — the pasta was quite toothsome! Noted for next time. But even being a tiny bit under done, the pasta delivered.
charlieo December 30, 2018
Isn't the pasta mushy? Does it have any "tooth" to it?
Mariah C. December 6, 2018
This really is a simple, delicious, and filling dinner. While I love cooking large, fancy meals, it is so nice to have a few quick, reliable dinners up my sleeve. This pasta is a keeper!
Harriet August 12, 2018
Cooking the pasta in chicken broth reminded me too much of chicken noodle soup.
Cynthia T. June 11, 2018
I did 2 things not according to recipe. I browned the pasta in the butter till I got a nutty smell before I put in the stock and I took the lid off halfway into the ten minutes and occasionally stirred. I did not mess with the temp. Delish and simple. Thank you💞
AC April 26, 2018
So yummy! Even better if you brown the pasta a bit in the butter, then add lemon zest at end with the lemon juice!
Therese April 8, 2018
I thought this was delicious! I quadrupled the recipe and had it at a rolling boil for about 40 minutes, uncovered.
Tam March 29, 2018
I’ve made this many times since January 2018. Love it. So easy and quick. I use a 10” skillet with a lid and never cook longer than about 8 minutes. Creamy and delicious. It’s my go to quick meal - better than ramen and healthier. I always use a whole Meyer lemon (my neighbor has a tree). So good.
Caitlin March 12, 2018
I've found that the only tweak here is to keep the broth at a steady boil, not at low and use without a lid. This recipe relies on the same principal as a risotto (having the starch absorb the liquid), so I don't know how/why the cooking method doesn't involve a watchful eye, stirring, and med-high temps. That said, when it's good, it's amazing!
Barbara March 5, 2018
I had some of the same problems as other cooks. Too much liquid that didn’t cook off in 10 minutes. Two things: (1) I don’t think it needs a lid and (2) I think it could be cooked more like risotto, adding water as it is absorbed, maybe starting with 1/2 cup then adding more as needed. Still, the butter and lemon are good with the pasta. I will make it again.
Shaz February 18, 2018
Tried this tonight and added shrimp and snow peas. Everyone really enjoyed this. Will be making this again and try more variations.
shortnsweet February 13, 2018
i made this once, exactly as written, and found it good-ish. i liked the taste, but it took me much longer than 10 minutes on low for the broth to absorb, which resulted in very soft angel hair. doubled this with a friend last night for a quick meal before the movies, and it didn't work at all--pulled the pasta out when it was truly done to try and reduce all the liquid (again, still so much after the 10 minutes!) and stuck the pasta back in to try and capture that creamy, starchy consistency--ended up with a solid, globby mess. my friend is a nice person so he dutifully ate it, but...what am i missing? is my pasta potentially too thin? my one cup of broth too big and brothy? hmm...
Steph C. July 4, 2018
What works for me, is, after the butter has browned slightly, and has toasted some of the edges of my pasta, I'll throw in the broth mixture (i use more than calls for; just make sure it at least covers your pasta - i also pour in some milk to add to the dreamy creaminess) Then turn the temp high until it just about starts boiling; keep stirring regularly and within a few minutes the liquids will have reduced, and you'll have your dinner, ready to be seasoned and served. Hope this helped somewhat.
icharmeat February 8, 2018
I would guess that the cooking time and pasta/liquid ratio will be need to change for different thickness noodle. Earlier in this thread we wondered about linear scaling of liquid to weight of noodles. Logic says that it should be linear but cooking experience makes one wonder if it works that way when you are several times larger than the recipe quantity. When i made this, i only scaled by a factor of 1.5 and it worked just fine. That being said, i wasn't "wowed" by the recipe. It tasted good and it was easy but it wasn't a revelation for me. My $.02.
ihaventpoisonedyouyet February 8, 2018
This went south in a hurry and I don’t know why. First, I tripled the recipe so it was 6+ ounces of pasta, 3 cups of broth and 4+ tbs butter. I only had thin spaghetti (#9) so maybe that was the problem. I don’t know. The pasta never absorbed the broth. I yanked the pasta out of the furiously boiling liquid after 15 minutes and plated that while I reduced the broth/butter mix. I also had a sad looking leek that had to be used up so I had sautéed that alongside the pasta - and once it softened I added the lemon juice and let it simmer.<br /><br />After the broth/butter combo reduced I added the leek/lemon and let it further reduce. The end result was good. (One of us is a painfully fussy eater and he loved it.) I must try this again with angel hair pasta.
ginabchaos February 7, 2018
OMGosh! This is awesome! I get home late so many weeknights and don’t want fast food/takeout and don’t feel like a cold salad...I’ve already made this twice in a week & have shared with co workers! We’re hooked! Thanks for a quick comfort food!
Merry February 2, 2018
Although we were a tiny bit skeptical as we put these few ingredients together, it was amazing. How could pasta without cheese taste that rich? We made two servings and found it was so filling, we didn't finish it all. What a great find for a quick, but delicious meal.
Sally G. February 1, 2018
I would never break the pasta, love twirling—but yummy combination of flavors. So much can be done with pasta and whatever is in the fridge!