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Lemon Dill Alfredo Shells

Lemon Dill Alfredo Shells

A creamy, rich, and flavorful take on the usual heavy alfredo, brightened by both dill and (lots of) lemon. Shells do a great job capturing the sauce but feel free to use any shape.

Course Main Course
Keyword pasta, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 478 kcal


  • 3 lemons
  • 4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 lb pasta shells
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill coarsely chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of the lemons on a Microplane; set the zest aside. Quarter 1 of the lemons (reserve the second zested lemon for another use). Add the pasta to the pot and cook until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the lemon pieces, cut-side down, and sear until both cut sides are browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the lemon pieces from the pan and juice them when cool enough to handle. Discard the juiced lemon pieces.
  3. Add the cream to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add half of the Parmesan, salt, and pepper; stir to combine; and remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta, the remaining Parmesan, reserved lemon juice, and 2/3 cup of the pasta water to the pan of sauce. Place the pan over low heat and toss until the cheese is melted, adding more pasta water as needed to reach the desired sauce consistency.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the reserved lemon zest and dill. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Dill Alfredo Shells
Amount Per Serving
Calories 478 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 57mg19%
Sodium 477mg20%
Potassium 314mg9%
Carbohydrates 64g21%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 761IU15%
Vitamin C 30mg36%
Calcium 250mg25%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.