Creamy alfredo-like sauce spiked with lemon juice and garlic, tossed with fettuccini pasta and sauteed chicken, this Lemon Chicken Pasta is my new spirit animal. Yum! I am so excited about this new recipe that I just made tonight, and I can already tell it’s going to be something I make weekly until I get sick of it. I think you’re going to feel the same way! Normally, I don’t get things posted so quickly, but I wanted to get this one to you ASAP! The flavor is so yummy that I wanted to drink the sauce. If you’re not a fan of lemon, no worries. Make The Best Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe instead.
This pasta would even be delicious without the chicken. If you like your pasta drowning in sauce, you might want to double or one-and-a-half the sauce. Or…if you are like me and can’t stop tasting it while you wait for the pasta to cook, you also might need to make at least one-and-a-half of the sauce. 🙂 Get this on your menu plan STAT! It’s a delicious weeknight dinner, but also delicious enough to serve for company. It’s a winner-winner chicken dinner.
Recipes for the Pasta Lovers
- The Best Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe
- Loaded Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna
- Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Baked Chicken Feta Tomato Pasta
- The Best Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Step-by-Step Photos for How to Make Lemon Chicken Pasta
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Make Lemon Chicken Pasta
Can I use a different pasta than fettuccini?
If you don’t have fettuccini or linguini pasta on hand, you can substitute it for spaghetti noodles.
Why is the pasta cooked to al dente?
When you cook pasta to al dente, it’s tender, firm and chewy, and it holds its shape when added to the sauce. Al dente cooked pasta has more starch, which helps it cling to the sauce.
What is a good substitute for heavy whipping cream?
For this recipe, I do not recommend substituting the heavy whipping cream. If you use half-and-half or milk, the sauce is likely to break down when you add the lemon juice. Nobody likes runny/watery Alfredo sauce.
Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of freshly squeezed?
Using freshly squeezed lemon juice will result in the best flavor. In my opinion, using bottled lemon juice will result in an off-flavor that is not as bright and lemony as freshly squeezed.
How much lemon juice should I use?
In the ingredients, I list the juice of one large lemon, which usually results in 2-3 tablespoons. How much you use is a personal preference. If want a heavy lemony sauce, then use the juice of the whole lemon. On the other hand, if you want a hint of lemon, then start with 1 tablespoon, taste the sauce, and then add more to your preference if needed.
- 1-2 lbs chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 tbsp butter, divided
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed or finely minced
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 large lemon, juiced (2-3 tbsp)
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp salt
- dash black pepper
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lb fettuccini or linguini pasta, cooked al dente
- Start the water for your pasta before you start making your chicken and sauce. You want the pasta to finish at the same time as the sauce.
- In a large skillet, add 2 tbsp butter and the chicken pieces. Season them with ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp onion powder, and ⅛ tsp black pepper. Saute over medium-high heat until the chicken is fully cooked and lightly browning. Remove chicken and set aside.
- Next, add to the same pan the remaining 2 tbsp of butter and the minced garlic. Saute on medium heat until garlic is just starting to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low and quickly add the 2 cups of heavy cream and whisk as you bring it to a simmer. Once it is simmering, you can turn it down a little more, but make sure it continues to simmer lightly.
- Whisk in the lemon juice, ¼ tsp dried basil, ¼ tsp salt and dash of pepper. Then whisk in the parmesan cheese.
- Turn off the heat and add in the drained, al dente pasta and toss with tongs. Add the chicken and toss again.
- Serve immediately.