This lemon chicken pasta recipe is perfection. Creamy yet light. It has a lemony, and garlicky goodness with a little nuttiness from the parmesan. It’s quick and easy, making it the perfect weekday dish. You won’t ever want a different penne pasta again.
Lemon garlic chicken penne pasta is as delicious as it sounds. It is hearty, but light and fresh. It is complex, but simple to make. I can’t stress enough how much I love cooking with fresh lemons. It makes any dish brighter and more vibrant. It’s like adding sunshine to your meal. With that being said, I also love cooking with garlic. Something so little can add such a robust, complex taste.
Pasta, where do I even start?
It’s one of those stick to you ribs type foods that is just so comforting. Pastas are easy to throw together, and even easier to eat. They pair easily or are a great stand alone dish. They are easy to double if you need to feed an army. And most reheat nicely if you have leftovers.
It’s no wonder I try to squeeze in a pasta night almost weekly. But sometimes our lineup gets a little redundant and my family gets sick of alfredo and spaghetti. So I throw this yummy, creamy lemon chicken pasta at ’em and lets just say there is a fight for even the leftovers. IF there are any. It really is that good!
This is one of those meals that takes under 30 minutes to make, but is so good you wouldn’t be ashamed of serving it to company.
Do I have to use fresh lemon in this lemon chicken pasta?
Obviously you don’t HAVE to. But I will say I recommend fresh squeezed 100%. Bottled to me is less bright and lemony and far more acidic. Not to mention the additives and preservatives to keep it from spoiling. And if you use fresh lemon juice there is so much you can do with the leftovers.
A few ideas are:
- Lemon zest: If you are making a vegetable side to pair with your pasta you could add some lemon zest to the water during cooking, or to the dish itself. You could also make this simple Strawberry Butter Cake Parfait with Lemon Zest Whipped Cream for a nice dessert, if you have any room that is.
- Lemon rind/halves: Rather than discard them you could use them to clean your stainless steel, or deodorize your garbage disposal, or even refresh your cutting board. Of course an already squeezed lemon isn’t as good as one thats not, but it’s still useful.
Again, I’m not saying you must use fresh, I’m just highly suggesting you do. Nothing beats fresh. And for a dish like this, that’s what makes it shine.
What can I add to my lemon chicken pasta?
Not that anything needs to be added, because it’s fab as is. But there are things you can add or change.
- I think lemon asparagus chicken pasta sounds pretty heavenly. That’s probably because I’m obsessed with asparagus, but it really would make a nice addition.
- You could add more parmesan if you’re a cheese lover.
- Or a little heavy cream if you want to make it extra creamy, and saucier, but I do recommend tasting beforehand and adjusting the other ingredients as well so they don’t get overpowered by the cream.
- You could also do a simple noodle swap for whatever you have on hand. This is a great zucchini noodle dish!
Is lemon chicken pasta healthy?
Moderation is key, but pasta can be a part of a healthy well balanced diet. And for the most part the rest of the ingredients in this are considerably healthy.
Whole-grain pasta could be a better choice since it’s lower in calories and carbs and higher in fiber. I will say that this dish is worth the splurge, if that’s what you consider it, because it’s downright delicious.
Of course, if you just want the chicken, check out this Lemon Skillet Chicken.
Lemon Chicken Pasta
Chicken and Sauce
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp parsley
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- 1 lb dried penne
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- optional: fresh rosemary and lemon slices for garnish
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap, and using a meat mallet, pound chicken until even thickness
- Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Put butter in a large skillet, and turn on to medium heat.
- Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- To same skillet add broth, lemon juice, honey, minced garlic, and herbs
- Whisk sauce together, and cook until it starts to reduce.
- Slice chicken and add chicken back into pan, along with cooked penne, ad coat with sauce cook until sauce is reduced to desired thickness.
- Sprinkle in chopped parsley. Add the juice of 2 lemons and mix.Serve with fresh cracked pepper, lemon, parmesan cheese, and fresh rosemary as garnish if desired.
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