Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Kayla Berman

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner recipe for the whole family! Made with tender chicken, fresh lemon, heavy cream, herbs, and parmesan cheese … this simple pasta dish is bright, rich, and not too heavy. Perfect for spring, summer, and every season in between!

bowl of creamy lemon chicken pasta with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese

Bright, Flavorful, & Creamy Pasta

I love love love a creamy pasta dish! I mean there is just nothing better. But I don’t love love love a super heavy one that bogs me down. You know?

That is where creamy lemon chicken pasta comes in. It is is made with a rich, buttery, cheesy, flavorful, and creamy lemon sauce. But still feels super light! It is a win-win situation that I absolutely love. Love love.

This dish is full of fresh lemon flavor, juice, and zest – which is what really helps with that lightness. It is bright and zingy too.

Plus the tender chicken mixed in rounds this pasta recipe out into a simple and satisfying meal perfect for busy weeknights. But delicious enough for a dinner party or date night too!

For more lemon flavors check out my greek baked chicken, simple lemon parmesan pasta, or chickpea couscous salad.

bowl of lemon pasta with cheese, parsley, and lemon on the side

Ingredients

This flavorful dish is made with delicious and simple ingredients! Al dente pasta, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, juicy chicken, fresh lemon, and more.

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken: This chicken pasta dish calls for 1 lb chicken. I like to use boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken breast tenders.
  • Pasta: You of course need pasta here! 8 oz of any shape would work, but I like bowtie.
  • Fresh Garlic: Minced fresh garlic cloves add incredible flavor to this creamy sauce. 3 cloves will do the trick.
  • Chicken Broth: The base of this creamy, yet still light sauce is chicken broth. It works wonderfully. Add 1 1/2 cups.
  • Heavy Cream: A bit of heavy cream makes the sauce extra smooth and luxurious. You’ll need 1/3 cup!
  • Parmesan Cheese: Grated parmesan cheese is so delicious here! I like to buy a block and grate it myself. 1/2 cup is perfect. Plus a bit extra for topping!
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon adds an amazing zing to this dish and really brightens things up. Add the juice and zest of 1 lemon.
  • Olive Oil & Butter: This recipe calls for both olive oil and butter. You will need 1 tbsp olive oil to sauté the chicken and 4 tbsp butter throughout the sauce.
  • Seasoning, Herbs, & Spices: 1 tsp each of garlic powder, dried oregano, and dried parsley gives this pasta dish so much flavor. Fresh parsley makes a beautiful garnish and tasty addition too!
  • Salt & Pepper: Lastly, add salt and black pepper to taste.
sautéed chicken ingredients

Substitutions & Additions

There are a few substitutions and additions you could make to this lemon pasta with chicken recipe in order for it to meet your personal preferences, tastes, or needs!

Chicken: You could totally swap the chicken breast for chicken thighs if that is the cut of chicken you prefer.

Pasta: You can use any kind of pasta you would like in this recipe! I think spaghetti or fettuccini would be the best options. Fresh pasta would be incredible too.

Heavy Cream: To make an even lighter, yet still creamy sauce try half & half or whole milk instead of heavy cream.

Chicken Broth: Chicken broth can be easily swapped with chicken stock. Or use a dry white wine for a fancy take on this dish. Like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio!

Herbs: Add fresh herbs for more great flavor! Fresh parsley, fresh oregano, and fresh basil would all be scrumptious.

Veggies: You could easily add some vegetables to up the nutrition here. Perhaps sweet peas, broccoli, asparagus, or zucchini!

Meat: Add crispy bacon, pancetta, or prosciutto to this pasta for a more hearty and rich dish.

creamy lemon pasta ingredients

How To Make This Recipe

This lemon chicken pasta recipe is quite easy to make! It comes together in about 30 minutes and is a perfect weeknight meal for the entire family.

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1: Start by boiling the pasta according to the package directions

Step 2: Next sauté the chicken.  Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Then heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add in the chicken pieces.  Season chicken with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Sauté until cooked through and golden brown.  Set aside.

sautéed chicken in a pan

Step 3: Next add 2 tbsp butter and the minced garlic to a large skillet or pan on the stover over medium-high heat.  Add the oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Sauté until fragrant and the garlic is translucent.

Step 4: Then add in the chicken broth, heavy cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened.

Step 5: Turn the heat a bit lower.  Add in the parmesan cheese and pasta water.  Stir until the sauce is smooth and cheese is melted.

creamy lemon sauce

Step 6: Next add the cooked pasta and chicken to the pasta sauce.  Combine evenly.

Step 7: Add the remaining 2 tbsp butter. Combine again. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 8: Serve with fresh parsley, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

creamy lemon chicken pasta in pan

Expert Tips

Add more heavy cream for a creamier sauce. Perhaps 2/3 cup!

Heavily salt the large pot of water when you cook your pasta.

Season the pasta to taste. Salt and pepper it up!

Use rotisserie chicken for an even easier weeknight meal.

Make sure to use freshly grated parmesan cheese. Pre-grated cheese will not melt easily or properly into the sauce.

Don’t forget to reserve the pasta water! Adding it to the dish helps the sauce cling to the noodles.

close up shot overhead shot of pasta with lemon, chicken, parmesan cheese, and parsley

Frequently Asked Questions

How to serve this recipe?

I recommend serving this recipe with extra grated parmesan cheese, lemon zest, fresh parsley, and a lemon wedge on top. It is so delicious!

You can pair with a simple green salad, an easy veggie side, or garlic knots. And maybe start your meal with goat cheese bruschetta or whipped ricotta crostini!

How to store this recipe?

Store this recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for 3-5 days.

How to re-heat this recipe?

To re-heat this recipe simply pop in the microwave for 30-60 seconds depending on the serving size. It is that easy!

You could also add a splash of heavy cream or chicken broth to liven the sauce back up.

creamy lemon chicken pasta

Love this recipe? Check out more delicious pasta dishes…

Connect With Me!

If you make this lemon pasta recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.

bright pasta dish with chicken

Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.

Print

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner recipe for the whole family! Made with tender chicken, fresh lemon, heavy cream, herbs, and parmesan cheese … this simple pasta dish is bright, rich, and not too heavy. Perfect for spring, summer, and every season in between!

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop

Ingredients

Scale

Chicken

  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper

Creamy Lemon Pasta

  • 8 oz farfalle pasta
  • 4 tbsp salted butter, separated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp parsley, dried
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lemon, zest & juice
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2/3 cup pasta water
  • Fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Start by boiling the pasta according to the package directions
  2. Next chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Then heat the olive oil in pan over medium-high heat and add in the chicken pieces.  Season chicken with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Sauté until cooked through and golden brown.  Set aside.
  3. Next add 2 tbsp butter and the minced garlic to a large skillet or pan on the stover over medium-high heat.  Add the oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Sauté until fragrant and the garlic is translucent.
  4. Then add in the chicken broth, heavy cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened.
  5. Turn the heat a bit lower.  Add in the parmesan cheese and pasta water.  Stir until the sauce is smooth and cheese is melted.
  6. Next add the cooked pasta and chicken to the pasta sauce.  Combine evenly.
  7. Add the remaining 2 tbsp butter. Combine again. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with fresh parsley, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Keywords: creamy lemon chicken pasta, creamy lemon pasta chicken, creamy lemon pasta with chicken, creamy lemon chicken pasta recipe, creamy lemon garlic chicken pasta, creamy lemon pasta

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