When this gorgeous dish hits the table, there are bound to be oohs and aahs all round. The combination of the juicy, caramelised chicken and creamy, garlicky, lemony pasta is just beautiful. In fact, it’s so delicious that you had probably better decide to make a double batch now! This Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta is restaurant-quality and super comforting, yet it is made with simple, low-cost ingredients that come together in less than 20 minutes – perfect for weeknight dinners.

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
In this deliciously appetising dish, tender, juicy chicken is first caramelised, then cooked with pasta in a creamy, garlicky, lemony sauce.

It’s such a nice feeling when you can prepare a meal that everyone appreciates so much and yet is also so stress-free for yourself – more time to relax with the family! The chicken and pasta both reheat really well, perfect for making ahead of time and also freezing. You can also cook extra chicken to use for salads the next day or lunchboxes. What I also love about this dish is that it is adaptable. You could easily stir some baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes to up the veg (I’ve provided more suggestions below), or you could even use firm white fish fillets or prawns (shrimp) instead of chicken. Isn’t it great when you can easily vary a dish you love, and it seems like a whole new creation?

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
I just love this dish as the family appreciates it so much, and yet it only takes 20 minutes to prep and cook.

What could I serve with Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

With this delicious Italian-style dish, I love to serve a simple green salad – maybe with some slightly bitter Italian-style greens, such as radicchio or curly endive (frisée/chicory) – or a salad of baby rocket (arugula) with some shaved parmesan over the top and your favourite dressing. Or you might like to try Freezer Friendly Garlic Bread, or go with simple steamed green vegetables, such as baby spinach, zucchini (courgettes), kale or green beans.

Can I add customise this dish?

You could up the vegetables in this recipe by stirring through some baby spinach, peas, sliced green beans, sun-dried tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes. You could also spice the dish up by adding some chilli flakes (to individual portions at the end if not everyone wants it).

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
The creamy, garlicky sauce, flavoured with lemon, clings to the pasta and makes the perfect partner to the pan-fried chicken.

Could I make this using fish or seafood?

Yes! You could replace the chicken with either 4 skinless firm white fish fillets, such as ling, snapper, basa, hoki, perch, flathead, cod, grouper (US and UK: halibut, haddock, pollock, sea bass, turbot), or 20 peeled, deveined prawns (shrimp). If using fish, cook for 2 minutes on each side. If using prawns, cook for 1 minute on each side before progressing with the rest of the recipe.

What are some other quick, freezer-friendly comforting meal ideas?

If you enjoyed Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta, you’re sure to like:
Chicken Stroganoff
Risoni Mozzarella Meatballs
Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini with Creamy Tomato Sauce
Chicken & Chorizo Paella
Minestrone Soup

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Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

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Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta is a super comforting and satisfying dish that you can have on the table in just 20 minutes. The leftovers are delicious so make a big batch!

  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 350 g (12½ oz) pasta of choice (spaghetti pictured) (see note 1)
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes, plus extra to taste
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper, plus extra to taste
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp Italian mixed herbs (Italian seasoning) – can be substituted with dried thyme or oregano
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally to form 4 thin “steaks”
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 40 g (1½ oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp freshly minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock
  • 2 cups (500 ml) thickened (heavy/double) cream (must be full-fat)
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup (100 g) freshly grated parmesan
  • Lemon cheeks, to serve
  • ¼ bunch parsley, finely chopped, to serve

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions less 1–2 minutes – the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce (see note 1).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sea salt flakes, pepper, sweet paprika and Italian mixed herbs.
  3. Sprinkle the mixture over both sides of the chicken breast as evenly as you can.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep, heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes. Flip the chicken over, cover and cook for a further 2–3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside on a plate.
  5. Add the water to the pan, scrape up any sticky bits stuck to the base, if needed, then add the butter.
  6. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the flour and stir for a further 30 seconds until a paste is formed.
  7. Add the chicken stock and thickened cream, then simmer for 2–3 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  8. Meanwhile, cut the cooked chicken breast into bite-sized strips.
  9. Turn the heat off, whisk the lemon juice and parmesan cheese into the sauce. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste and add the cooked pasta to the pan.
  10. Serve topped with the sliced chicken breast, lemon cheeks (so everyone can add a squeeze of lemon) and a sprinkle of parsley.

Notes

Note – I normally cook a whole packet of pasta and freeze the leftovers. It avoids having half-opened pasta packets in the pantry and is super handy for quick lunches and dinners. (I sometimes use leftover spaghetti instead of noodles in dishes like Tuna Miso Soba Noodles or Honey Soy Chicken Soba Noodle Bowl, or short pasta in Pesto Pasta Salad or BLAT Pasta Salad.)

Make ahead:

The chicken can be seasoned with the herb mix and cooked up to 3 days prior, ready for when you need it.

Leftovers:

Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days. I like to store the pasta and chicken in separate containers.

Pasta – To reheat the pasta on the stovetop, add a splash of boiling water from the kettle to the pan to help loosen the sauce. If reheating in the microwave, add a splash of boiling water and reheat the pasta on High in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until heated through.

Chicken – This can be reheated on the stovetop for 2–3 minutes until heated through, but retains maximum juiciness in the microwave. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1–2 minutes or until heated through.

Not suitable to freeze.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Appetisers , Appetizers mains starters , entrees , side dishes , soups , stews , salads , sandwiches , burgers , pasta , rice , seafood , vegetarian , desserts , baking , drinks , snacks , breakfast , gluten-free , dairy-free , low-carb , grilling , barbequing , barbecuing , BBQ , holiday favourites , batch cooking , meal planning , budget-friendly , quick and easy , one pan , freezer friendly , chicken , beef , pork , lamb
  • Method: Barbequing-grilling , barbecuing , BBQ , roasting , baking , frying , sauteing , boiling , simmering , steaming , slow cooking , grilling-broiling , braising , pan
  • Cuisine: Mexican , Italian , American , French , Asian , Greek , Thai , German , Indian , Middle Eastern , Mediterranean