Use up the stalks of your garlic plants to make this delicious garlic scape pasta that’s ready in 30 minutes! It’s a zesty seasonal dinner recipe that features lemon, parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper.
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Welcome to garlic scape season! If you frequent farmers markets or grow your own garlic, then you are probably aware of the green, curly stalks that show up during this time of year.
Garlic scapes are the young stalks that grow out of garlic bulbs. They taste like garlic and chives and can be used like herbs in recipes. I personally love this unique veggie and always try to get my hands on some when I hit the farmers market or co-op in July!
This garlic scape pasta recipe is a simple and tasty way to experiment with a new ingredient. It’s really easy to whip up on a summer evening, and you can add whatever you want. I bet it would taste good with grilled chicken or shrimp.
The recipe as written features lemon juice and zest, parmesan cheese, and olive oil to complement the garlic scapes. If you want it to be vegan, omit the cheese. Gluten free folks can sub in chickpea or lentil pasta for the regular spaghetti. I hope you enjoy!
What part of the garlic scape do you eat?
All parts of garlic scapes are edible! However, sometimes the top part of the stalks (after the bulging middle part) are tough and rubbery. You can get rid of those parts if you want, but the scapes get more tender when cooked. So for this recipe, I used all parts.
How to Make Garlic Scape Pasta
- Boil spaghetti until al dente. Reserve at least ½ cup of pasta water, then drain.
- Meanwhile, sautee the garlic scapes in olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper. Squeeze lemon juice over the scapes.
- Add the scapes to the pot with the drained spaghetti. Stir in more lemon juice, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Add splashes of pasta water as needed.
- Enjoy your delicious meal!
- You can use any pasta for this recipe, but I prefer spaghetti. The thin noodles seem to absorb the seasonings and makeshift lemon parmesan sauce more than other pasta shapes. Feel free to sub legume-based spaghettis for more protein or to make the recipe gluten free.
- Garlic scape pasta leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet with a little olive oil and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to freshen up the dish before serving.
- Use freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for best results. Do yourself a favor and buy a block of these cheese to keep in your fridge. It lasts for a long time and adds so much flavor to recipes. When you finish the block, you can freeze the rind to add to soups in the fall and winter for a flavor bomb! FYI – this type of cheese is usually not vegetarian because it is made with animal rennet, but you can find vegetarian versions at some stores if needed.
- Look for garlic scapes at the farmers market, Whole Foods, or your local foods co-op at the end of June through July.
More Garlic Scape Recipes
If you love this garlic scape pasta, check out the Charred Garlic Scapes with Parsley Butter and the Potato Garlic Scape Soup! For some more pasta recipes, see the One Pot Mushroom Spaghetti, Mushroom and Lentil Ragu Recipe, Garlic Lemon Creamy Kale Pasta, and Balsamic Caramelized Shallot Pasta.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Lemon Garlic Scape Pasta
- 8 ounces spaghetti - sub legume-based for gluten free
- 1.5 cups chopped garlic scapes - about 2 bunches, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil - divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice - divided
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest - more to taste
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano - more to taste
- Salt - to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve at least ½ cup of the pasta water before draining.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic scapes and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned. Stir in the butter and a tablespoon of the lemon juice.
- Place the drained spaghetti and cooked garlic scapes back into the pot that you used to cook the pasta. Stir in the rest of the olive oil and lemon juice, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Add splashes of pasta water as needed to thin the sauce to your desired consistency. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Serve with more cheese, lemon zest, and a crack of black pepper.
- Enjoy your meal, then come back and leave a rating and review for this recipe!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet with little olive oil and lemon juice to freshen up the dish.
- Omit the cheese to make vegan.
- Use lentil spaghetti or another legume-based pasta for more protein or to make gluten free.
Enjoy those garlic scapes! – Lizzie
Rita S McMullin
We can’t eat cheese or butter, but used Ghee instead of butter…doubled the Ghee and skipped the cheese. It was yummy! Rita
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Rita, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing the substitutions you made!
Used garlic scapes from my garden. Excellent! Definitely will make again. A hit with my family.
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Christine, wonderful! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe!