Lemon Caper Linguine

Talk about quick and easy. This pasta just screams busy weeknight dinner. Which is perfect because that is exactly what I needed last night. I just had a bunch of things to do. I was tired and the thought of spending an hour or two in the kitchen cooking dinner just seemed a little too much so I put the kabosh on an slow simmered pasta sauce I was thinking about and decided to go with this quick, lemon caper sauce. This pasta can be done in about 15 minutes. I kid you not.

It took me a bit to warm up to capers but now I love them. I even find myself craving the salty little devils and will reach for one or two as a snack while I’m cooking dinner. They come in a couple different varieties. I prefer the non pareil variety because they are smaller, more fragrant and not quite as strong as the larger varieties. You should be able to find them in the condiment aisle of the grocery stores.

Lemon Caper Linguine Recipe

Serves 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:
5 based on 1 reviews


  • 3/4 pound linguine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) jar non pareil capers
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt



Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt liberally (about 1 - 2 tablespoons). Cook pasta according to pasta directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain pasta.


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook garlic and capers in oil just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in lemon juice. Stir in pasta and toss to coat completely. Add reserved pasta water 1/4 cup at a time if pasta seems dry. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately.



Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    March 11, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I added asparagus and a chicken breast on top. So yummy!

    • Reply
      March 12, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Oh yum! What a way to make it a heartier meal!

  • Reply
    Darren Stevens
    April 19, 2016 at 2:00 am

    This is a very good recipe, in my opinion. Salt the pasta water (after it boils, of course) as directed. The hint here is “large pot of water,” folks. Three-quarters of a pound of pasta would be a minimum 6-8 quart pot, so it’s not too much salt. Pasta must be seasoned no matter what you’re putting on it. I believe that even 2 oz of capers (drained) is probably enough, but try making a recipe as written, I always say, instead of reading it like you’re James Beard and pontificating changes in advance. Next time I’ll add a soupçon of minced flat leaf parsley, and a FEW threads of microplained lemon zest for a very subtle punch.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    You would have to be insane to use an entire jar of capers for this recipe! For the pasta amount stated above, I used one “round” tablespoon of capers (about 1/6th of the jar. Also, don’t use 2 tablespoons of salt in your water. That also seems off. I would use one teaspoon, as the capers will be PLENTY salty. It seems as though they confused some ingredients with a 4 person and 8 person recipe. Last, I’d recommend 3 cloves instead of 5.

  • Reply
    Sandra L.
    September 30, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Another success!!! I made this and served it with salmon and asparagus. My husband loved it, he even got seconds.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Wow, this is truly minimalist. Not even any cheese? But, I love lemon, I love capers, I love linguine. Now that I’ve moved I think it’s time to get my pasta roller machine out and make linguine.

  • Reply
    Erin A
    March 30, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Looks great! I recently posted a Linguine with Sundried Tomato, Spinach and Lemon Sauce (with pine nuts) that was pretty easy and delish! Made it to go with Chicken Piccata with capers.

    Love your simple take on kind of the same type of dish! (Boy that was articulate wasn’t it LOL). I think next time I might just try this, as its so easy!

  • Reply
    Cookin' Canuck
    March 30, 2011 at 6:14 am

    What a light and pretty pasta dish. Capers are one of my favorite briny treats.

    • Reply
      Meryl Bravo
      October 8, 2017 at 11:58 am

      Capers are a wonderful ingredient :)

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