gluten free Lemon Capellini

Lemon Arugula Capellini Recipe {Gluten-Free}

I first enjoyed this yummy lunch (or side for dinner) at a local grocery store deli here in my Arizona small town. As with all delicious recipes I’ve tried that I believe can be “made healthier,” I knew I wanted to duplicate it at home.

After a couple years of working to recreate it to FRESH Start Plan standards, I think I’ve done it. And it’s yummy, ya’ll - wait til you try this!

Here’s how to make the gluten-free version of Lemon Arugula Capellini!


  • 1 box gluten-free pasta (try to get the skinniest spaghetti noodle you can find in gluten-free options - I use Ronzoni brand thin spaghetti because I can easily find it in my small town grocery store)

  • 2-3 FRESH lemons, squeezed and a small amount of the peel, grated

  • 3 FRESH garlic cloves, minced finely

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil (or to taste)

  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (eliminate for dairy-free version)

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped (you can use any tomatoes you have on hand or pick up)

  • 2 handfuls fresh arugula (or to taste - it’s a strong flavored herb/green and some prefer less!)

  • 1/2 bunch ruffle parsley, roughly chopped

  • Sprinkle to taste: Salt (I use Himalayan Pink) FRESH Ground Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes

Optional ingredient:
1-2 Tbsp Capers -
I’ve tried it both ways, since for some, capers can be hard to find or too expensive - and it’s truly just as good with out them. But they do add a FRESH salty, briny flavor if you can find them for a decent price!

Lemon Cappelini recipe pic 1.jpg


Put enough water to cover the pasta on to boil, once the water is boiling, carefully place the pasta into it. Cook until just barely done (al dente). Drain pasta in a strainer.

Meanwhile, drizzle olive oil into a pan and heat on medium to high. Once oil is hot, add the minced garlic cloves and toast for about 1-2 minutes, then remove pan from heat and set aside.

Pour the toasted oil and garlic mixture into a measuring bowl or cup big enough to make the “sauce” in. Add in the remaining olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, grated lemon peel, chopped parsley and spices. Whisk briskly for a few seconds, until mixed well.

In a large mixing bowl (with lots of room to fully mix everything) place the pasta, arugula, tomato chunks and grated parmesan cheese. Pour the “sauce” over it and mix everything together well.

Lemon Cappelini recipe pic 3.jpg

It’s ready to serve! (Or, if you make this early and allow it to set in the fridge for an hour or two, it tastes even better - as everything will have time to absorb the flavor of the sauce.)

Once you’ve tried this at home, let me know what you think - I was so thrilled to be able to make this gluten-free as I continue to heal the autoimmune I’m dealing with. I’m excited to add this dish to our gluten-free selections here at FRESH Start for any of you who have discovered you need to avoid gluten to heal and feel better.

Perfect for a side dish served with fish or grilled chicken, or toss this salad with cooked shrimp for a main dish. You can also bring and share it as a tasty side at a bar-b-que!

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