This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Flavorful lemon chicken pasta is covered in a delicious sauce made from lemons, whipping cream, cheese, and fresh basil.

We love to serve this hearty lemon chicken pasta with Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks or Parmesan Crusted Zucchini. It’s a perfect pasta the whole family can enjoy!

A plate filled with lemon chicken pasta served with fresh lemon wedges.

Bright + Flavorful!

I tried this lemon chicken pasta 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 is super tender and the sauce makes it even better.

Pasta recipes are perfect for feeding a crowd. There are several ingredients in this recipe that make it amazing. 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. Grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil on top make this dish even more mouth-watering.

Chicken and pasta ingredients on a kitchen counter.

Ready in 20 Minutes!

This easy lemon chicken pasta is bright and flavorful and is on the table in no time!

PASTA. Cook pasta as directed on the box. Reserve one cup of water, drain the rest, and set the pasta aside.

SAUCE. In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the lemon juice and whisk together. Pour half & half and heavy cream together and whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Check the consistency of the cream sauce and add hot pasta water until you reach your desired thickness. Stir in half of the basil.

GARNISH. Pour pasta and sauce into a large bowl. Add chicken and sprinkle the remaining basil on top. ENJOY with some Garlic Bread. Yum!

Recipe Tips

This lemon chicken pasta recipe starts with perfectly grilled chicken.

Grilled chicken. I suggest halving the chicken breasts before grilling. 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 gauge, 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. 
  • Chicken thighs can be grilled instead of chicken breasts.

Variations. This lemon chicken recipe with pasta lends perfectly to adding veggies or heat. Use these tips to change things up:

  • Pasta. Use your favorite shape of pasta such as bowtie, wagon wheel, shell, or ziti.
  • Veggies. If you add veggies, be sure to sauté them in olive oil before tossing them into the pasta dish.
  • Spice. Add some heat with red chili flakes or a splash of hot sauce.
  • Lemon. For a more pronounced lemon flavor add some lemon zest.
Penne pasta covered in white sauce.

Storing Info

STORE leftover lemon chicken and pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can either eat the portions cold or warm them 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 ahead of time. Make this beforehand and store it in the refrigerator 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.

  • Fridge. Make it the day before, cover it, and store it in the fridge. Reheat it on the stovetop and serve! 
  • Freezer. 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.
A white bowl filled with lemon chicken pasta served with fresh herbs.

Recipe FAQ

Do I salt the pasta water for lemon chicken pasta?

Adding salt to the water when you boil the pasta infuses some flavor directly into the pasta. Over medium-high heat bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt per pound of pasta to the water, then add in the pasta. Boil until al dente.

Can I freeze lemon chicken pasta?

I often make a double batch so that I have enough for a freezer meal. Allow the chicken pasta to cool before placing it in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. If the cream has separated, reheating it slowly over low heat will help it reincorporate into the dish. Adding a splash of milk will also help smooth out the texture.

Can I make half and half to use in lemon chicken pasta?

Since you already need to use heavy cream for this recipe you can use another ¼ cup of heavy cream and combine it with 1¾ cups of milk to create half and half.

For More Chicken & Pasta Dishes, Try:

Save This Recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
4.96 from 21 votes

Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Flavorful lemon chicken pasta is covered in a delicious sauce made from lemons, whipping cream, cheese, and fresh basil.
Servings: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 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
Save This Recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Instructions 

  • Cook pasta as directed on the box. Reserve one cup of water, and set pasta aside.
  • In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the 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 and 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, and sprinkle the remaining basil on top. ENJOY with some garlic bread. Yum!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 4g, Calories: 1003kcal, Carbohydrates: 87g, Protein: 69g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 250mg, Sodium: 594mg, Potassium: 1166mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1388IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 237mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

So Easy & So Yummy

Get my cookbook!

My new cookbook is the ultimate resource for feeding your friends and family with 200+ simple recipes including videos, tips & more!

4.96 from 21 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




62 Comments

  1. Joy says:

    5 stars
    This is one of my go-to dinner recipes. The whole family enjoys it. It’s an easy meal!

  2. Judy Tesar says:

    5 stars
    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

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      I am glad you did! That sounds perfect! Thank you!

  3. Karen says:

    5 stars
    A family favorite!! We serve it with a side of sauteed mushrooms and spInach.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Sounds yum! I am so glad you tried it & liked it! Thank you!

  4. Josie says:

    5 stars
    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!

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Awe, thank you so much!! It’s a good combination 🙂

  5. Laura says:

    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!

    1. Laura says:

      5 stars
      The stars didn’t show up….It’s a 5!

    2. Kristyn Merkley says:

      I love to hear that!! I am glad it was a hit 🙂 This is one of our favorites!

  6. Victoria says:

    Sorry I meant that to be five stars…????

  7. Victoria says:

    4 stars
    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….

    1. Lil' Luna says:

      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!

  8. Magnus and Larisa says:

    Very tasty,

    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

    1. Lil' Luna says:

      Those sound tasty!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    God bless you.

  10. Erna Mattig says:

    I live in Australia and would love to know what “half and half” is ??