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 in a white bowl with a fork,

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.

4 pictures showing how to make lemon chicken pasta.

How to make this lemon chicken pasta recipe

There are three parts to making lemon chicken pasta and all are very simple.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

A close up of lemon chicken pasta in a pan with a wooden spoon.

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:

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.
Lemon chicken pasta in a bowl with a fork and lemon slices.

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Lemon chicken pasta in a white bowl with a fork,

Lemon Chicken Pasta

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

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! 


Scale

Ingredients

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

The lemon cream sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, 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

Instructions

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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. 

 

Notes

While pounding the chicken breasts helps them to cook faster and more evenly, you can skip this step, but you'll need to cook the chicken longer since it will be thicker. It will take about 10 minutes per side. 

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Lemon chicken pasta in a white bowl with a fork and the recipe title on top of the picture.