Lemon Butter Garlic Chicken Pasta — Buttery pasta with juicy chicken, flavored with lemon butter and garlic, and finished with Parmesan cheese!! A family-friendly dinner recipe that’s ready in 20 minutes and it’s so EASY!
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Easiest Chicken Pasta Dish
This family-friendly comfort food recipe is easy, ready in no time, and the penne pasta is perfectly al dente and wonderfully buttery.
The chicken is tender, juicy, and has so much flavor from the garlic and fresh parsley. Lemon adds a wonderful brightness to the dish and we all know anything tossed in butter, especially lemony butter, automatically tastes great.
I finished the lemon garlic chicken pasta recipe with a handful of freshly shaved Parmesan cheese because obviously there wasn’t enough fat going on after the lemon butter. Kidding.
This recipe is the chicken spinoff to my Lemon Butter Garlic Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta, which has been a reader favorite since 2014.
What’s in Lemon Butter Chicken Pasta?
To make this lemon garlic chicken pasta, you only need a handful of common fridge and pantry ingredients, including:
- Penne pasta (or another small-shaped pasta like bowtie, ziti, or small shells)
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Lemon Chicken Pasta
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, add the olive oil and chicken to a skillet, and sauté until the chicken is about halfway cooked through.
- Add the garlic, butter, lemon juice, and allow the chicken to finish cooking through in what becomes a wonderfully fragrant garlic-infused lemon butter sauce.
- Toss the cooked pasta in, stir well, add fresh parsley, Parmesan, and voila, you’ve got yourself an easy and hearty meal.
Tips for Making This Chicken and Pasta Recipe
I kept this recipe super simple, but you’re welcome to add your choice of veggies to it. Spinach would wilt down beautifully at the very end of the cooking time, or you can add finely diced zucchini, broccoli, or green beans near the beginning.
Cook the pasta just until al dente, otherwise it’ll be too mushy and won’t hold its own next to the chicken.
Storing The Best Lemon Butter Garlic Chicken Pasta Recipe
This chicken pasta recipe keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
However, because it makes a big batch, it’s nice to be able to freeze the leftovers for future days when you may need a grab-and-go lunch or dinner.
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- 1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package directions (another small-shaped pasta such as ziti, rotini, small elbow, etc. may be substituted)
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1+ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 1+ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp if possible
- 1/3 cup lemon juice, or to taste
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
- 1/2 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, or to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside. While pasta is cooking, being cooking the chicken.
- To a large, high-sided skillet, add the olive oil, chicken, evenly and generously season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, flipping and stirring frequently so the chicken cooks evenly.
- When chicken has cooked through about halfway, add the garlic, and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant, stir nearly consistently.
- Add the butter, lemon juice, and stir nearly continuously until butter melts and chicken is cooked through, another 5 minutes, or as necessary.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the chicken and stir well to combine and coat evenly.
- Add the parsley and stir to combine.
- Evenly sprinkle the Parmesan and stir to combine if desired (or keep it on top without stirring it in as shown in my photos). Taste and check for seasoning balance and if necessary add more salt and/or pepper before serving.
Recipe will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. It makes a big batch and it's great to freeze some of the leftovers. Thaw and reheat gently in the microwave as needed.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 466mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 41g
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