Lemon Chicken Pasta
This lemon chicken pasta is creamy, flavorful, and has just the right bright/tart lemon taste. It's an easy, 35-minute dinner recipe you don't want to miss!
Complete the meal with the best kale salad or some greens tossed in our lifesaving lemony salad dressing. And if you love chicken pasta recipes, also check out our healthy chicken alfredo!
Lemon chicken pasta
If comfort food is the name of the game tonight, then this is your recipe. The creamy lemon sauce wraps around the noodles and the tender chicken pieces, and the whole thing becomes big-time cozy.
Being lemony, but not TOO lemony (cause too much of a good thing is a thing), the sauce balances all its roles to be perfectly creamy, gently flavored, and all-around delicious enough that you'll be tempted to eat it straight from the spoon.
You can use whole wheat pasta, gluten-free (like we do), or regular white pasta, either way, this lemon chicken pasta will make your heart sing.
How to make this lemon chicken pasta recipe
There are three parts to making lemon chicken pasta and all are very simple.
- Cook the pasta. It doesn't get easier than that! Make sure to toss the cooked pasta in a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.
- Pound the chicken breasts a little, so they are even in size, season them with salt and pepper, and pan-fry them until they're cooked through.
- Make the sauce. This is simply some sauteed onions and garlic with chicken stock, parmesan, a little cream, and some lemon juice. Easy!
Once you have your three parts ready, all you have to do is mix them together!
Full recipe in the recipe card below.
How long will this keep?
Lemon chicken pasta will keep well for 2-3 days in your fridge. You may want to add a small splash or water, stock, or cream when you reheat it if the pasta sauce is too thick.
What to serve with lemon chicken pasta
A simple green salad tossed in some lifesaving lemony dressing is all this lemon chicken pasta needs to make it a healthy meal. But it also goes well with other veggies. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Best Roasted Broccoli
- Easy Roasted Italian Cauliflower
- Garlic Butter Asparagus
- Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic
Can I add some veggies to this pasta?
Yes! Rather than serving veggies on the side you can put them right into the lemon chicken pasta.
- Spinach – added to the cooked pasta before you pour the sauce over top.
- Broccoli – cut small and added with the onions.
- Bell peppers – cooked with the onions.
- Asparagus – cut into 1″ pieces and added with the onions.
Popular easy pasta recipes
- Healthy Chicken Alfredo
- Smoked Salmon Pasta
- One-Pot Pasta with Peas and Bacon
- Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Lemon Chicken Pasta
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
Chicken and Pasta
- 12 ounces pasta, Pictured is penne, but any pasta will work. Gluten-free, if needed
- 2 chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Minced parsley, to serve
Lemon Cream Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, finely minced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain then return the pasta to the pot and toss with a little splash of olive oil.12 ounces pasta
- While the pasta water is heating, pound the chicken breasts with a mallet or rolling pin so that they are ½ inch thick. (See notes) Season both sides with salt and pepper.2 chicken breasts, ½ teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 5 minutes per side, reducing the heat if needed, until they are cooked through. Remove them from the pan and slice them into bite-sized pieces once cool enough to handle then add them to the pot with the cooked pasta.1 tablespoon olive oil
- Make the lemon cream sauce in the same pan as you used for the chicken. Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, until the onion is soft and transparent. Add the chicken stock and scrape the pan of any stuck-on bits. Add the parmesan, heavy cream, salt, and pepper and bring the pan to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ medium yellow onion, 4 cloves garlic, ½ cup chicken stock, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, ½ cup heavy cream, ½ teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper, Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- Pour the lemon cream sauce over the pasta and chicken and toss to coat. Serve with a little parsley sprinkled over the top for color.
This was excellent. I made with penne the first time. Next time made with spaghetti and changed one other thing. After sauteing the onions, I added 1/4 tsp of cornstarch and combined it in for about a minute. Made the sauce a perfect consistency for really adhering to the pasta. I liked it so much more because I really could taste the lemon flavor.
My husband and I LOVED this recipe! I followed the recipe exactly and in an effort to be healthier, used cauliflower linguine (which I don’t care for on their own at all), and it turned out fantastic! I’ve been sending this recipe to all of my friends and family because I know they will love it just as much. Thank you!
This recipe is amazing! I tried it for the first time and it came out perfectly. The only difference I’d note is that my family and I prefer a most saucier pasta so I tripled the sauce recipe (except for the onions and the lemon, I did the lemon to taste). I also added a chicken bouillon and some cornstarch to thicken the sauce some. Other than that, I made it as is. We will definitely be adding this to our list of meals. It tastes restaurant quality.
Have you ever tried soy, almond or oat milk could substitute for the heavy cream?
I think that those options, on their own, would make the pasta sauce too thin and watery. But you could use one of them and try thickening the sauce a little with cornstarch. Another dairy-free option is to use cashew butter mixed with water, like in this recipe: https://www.theendlessmeal.com/cashew-chicken-zoodles/. I hope that helps!
Thank you for the suggestion. I’m trying it tonight. What ratio of cashew butter and water do you suggest?
To make 1 cup of cashew cream mix 3 tablespoons of cashew butter with ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon water. The cream will thicken as it cooks so you may need to thin it with some extra water. I hope that helps!
This was delicious. The four of us really enjoyed dinner! Thank you for helping me modify with the cashew cream. I used 2 TBSP plus water. Success!!
Yay I’m so happy to hear that worked out for you!
This was absolutely delicious! I made mine with spinach and the whole family love it!
This recipe turned out great. Super simple but everyone said they enjoyed it.
Made this for a quick family dinner and so happy that I gave it a try. Will be adding it to the rotation!
This recipe was awes, a did add fresh spinach! It’s a keeper!
Tried this recipe for the first time and it came out really well. I used a whole 16 oz / 1 lb box of pasta so I upped the sauce ingredients accordingly. I will definitely make this again.
Great recipe. Only had one chicken breast at hand and less penne but went ahead anyway. Made the whole recipe sauce and added 1 1/2 Tbsp. of capers. Boy was it good. Thank You.
This turned out great. Nice lemon flavor and simple to make.
Thanks for highlighting and sharing so many gluten-free recipes! Gonna forward this on to my almost entirely gluten-free family 🙂