Flavorful Lemon Chicken Pasta is covered in a delicious sauce made from lemons, whipping cream, cheeses, and fresh basil.
We love to serve this hearty pastas with Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks, Parmesan Crusted Zucchini, or Cream Cheese & Parmesan Asparagus. It makes for a meal the whole family can enjoy!
Best Lemon Chicken and Pasta
I tried this recipe a while ago after my mom found it somewhere and the whole family loved it (my fam pretty much loves any chicken and pasta recipe – thank heavens!). The chicken was super tender and the sauce made it even better (sauces that call for whipping cream are ALWAYS good!)
There are several ingredients in this recipe that make it amazing. Of course, it has pasta. We used penne but it can be made with any kind of pasta. Chicken is always great with any pasta dish, but the butter, lemons, whipping cream and half & half take it to a whole new level.
To add even more flavor, we used either Garlic Pepper or Garlic Salt to season. To top it all off grated Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil on top make this dish even more mouth-watering.
How to Make It
PASTA. Cook pasta as directed on box. Reserve one cup water, set pasta aside.
SAUCE. In same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in juice of lemon(s) and whisk together. Pour half & half and cream together and whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt pepper to taste. Check consistency and add hot pasta water until you reach your desired thickness. Stir in half of your basil.
GARNISH. Pour pasta and sauce into a large bowl. Add chicken, sprinkle remaining basil on top. ENJOY with some garlic bread. Yum!
Tips, Variations + Storing Info
To grill the chicken perfectly, I suggest halving the chicken breasts before grilling. You can season them with lemon pepper or a simple coating of garlic salt and black pepper. Heat the grill to medium and place the breasts on. If your grill has a temperature gage, try to stick near the 425-450°F range. Place the chicken directly above the medium heat and grill each side for 5-7 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Use your favorite shape of pasta such as bowtie, wagon wheel, shell, ziti
- If adding any veggies, be sure to sauté them in a bit of olive oil before tossing them into the pasta dish.
- Add some heat with red chili flakes or a splash of hot sauce.
- For a better lemony flavor add some lemon zest
STORE leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can either eat the leftovers cold or warm it up in a skillet over medium heat. If your dish is looking a little dry add some extra cream. If you’re in a hurry you can heat it up in the microwave.
Make this ahead of time and STORE it in the fridge or freezer depending on when you plan to serve the meal. Either way be sure to undercook the noodles or they will continue to absorb liquid and turn out large and mushy.
- Make it the day before, cover, and store in the fridge. Reheat it on the stove top and serve!
- Place it in a freezer safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in a skillet slowly over low heat. If the cream has separated this will help it reincorporate into the dish. Adding a splash of milk will also help smooth out the texture.
For more Chicken & Pasta dishes, be sure to try:
- Chicken and Asparagus Pasta
- Triple Cheddar Chicken Pasta
- Bruschetta Chicken Pasta
- Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Pesto Chicken Florentine
- Chicken Spaghetti
- Chicken Penne Pasta
Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe
- 4 chicken breasts grilled and sliced
- 1 lb penne cooked
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1-2 whole lemons (depending on how much lemon you want in it – I use only 1)
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Half and Half
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- Cook pasta as directed on box. Reserve one cup water, set pasta aside.
- In same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in juice of lemon(s) and whisk together.
- Pour half & half and cream together and whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt pepper to taste.
- Check consistency and add hot pasta water until you reach your desired thickness. Stir in half of your basil.
- Pour pasta and sauce into a large bowl. Add chicken, sprinkle remaining basil on top. ENJOY with some garlic bread. Yum!
I live in Australia and would love to know what “half and half” is ??
It’s a mixture of milk and cream that is sold in a carton in the dairy section… not sure if Australia has it or not but if it doesn’t Taste of Home has a substitute recipe for it: http://www.tasteofhome.com/cooking-tips/ask-the-test-kitchen/half-and-half-substitute 😀
God bless you.
I was out of basil so we added fresh rosemary (and a dash of white wine) at the start of the cooking and then topped with some olives one minute before finished and removed the rosemary stalk.
Will do again
Those sound tasty!! Thanks so much for sharing!
Oh my this was good. This was REALLY GOOD… I added a little more cheese and since I salt my pasta water I did not need salt called for, I used a large lemon which was just perfect. And we love fresh flavor so I used a handful of basil might be a little overwhelming for some. And since I did not have time to grill my chicken I cubed a rotisserie chicken and threw everything in together. THANK YOU. Definitely a quick dinner keeper….
I’m so happy that you liked it!! I love the changes you made. Adding the rotisserie chicken probably saves time:) And, I love basil, so the more the merrier!! Thanks for sharing!
Sorry I meant that to be five stars…????
I just made this dish for 12 people for easter dinner. It was a huge hit! Delicious! I doubled the recipe, added some garlic with the butter and forgot to save some pasta water so used chicken broth to thin it out a bit. This is a keeper!
The stars didn’t show up….It’s a 5!
I love to hear that!! I am glad it was a hit 🙂 This is one of our favorites!
I used Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper pappaerdelle pasta, SO DELICIOUS will make again and again. I love lemon and pasta. I love your recipes!
Awe, thank you so much!! It’s a good combination 🙂
A family favorite!! We serve it with a side of sauteed mushrooms and spInach.
Sounds yum! I am so glad you tried it & liked it! Thank you!
Enjoyed your recipe very much, I would add mushrooms and black olives near the end of preparation.the flavors were excellent, especially served with a cheese garlic piece of bread and a glass of red wine. Yummy
I am glad you did! That sounds perfect! Thank you!
This is one of my go-to dinner recipes. The whole family enjoys it. It’s an easy meal!
This is so simple to put together and everyone in my family enjoys pasta and chicken. Win, Win!
Thank you so much for sharing this lemon chicken pasta recipe! so easy to make and really delicious! Will surely have this again! Well done!
My kids love your recipe! They always want seconds & can’t wait for me to make it again!
The lemon adds so much brightness to this dish! I love how light and delicious it is.
Another simple pasta recipe. We make a lot of pasta. This is a family favorite!
I loved the grilled chicken on top of this lemon pasta. The citrus gave it bright taste
This a great recipe. It’s also good with shrimp.
Never had Lemon Pasta before, thought I’d give it a try. I had some lemon juice I had to use up too. I didn’t have basil so I used a little Italian seasoning. And instead of Penne I had angel hair pasta. Wowza! Explosion of lemon was amazing!! The sauce soaked right into the noodles and it was perfect. I’ll surely make this again and again. Thanks so much.
You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed the pasta!
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