This easy creamy lemon chicken pasta recipe comes together quickly using rotisserie/leftover chicken and is perfect for busy weeknights!
Another 30 minute pasta coming 'atcha that's easy enough for the everyday but elegant enough for company! I'm a big fan of adding lemon to cream sauces to brighten them up a bit. And lemon and chicken are the perfect match.
How to make creamy lemon chicken pasta (summary)
Start by boiling a salted pot of water for the pasta. When it's about 10 minutes away from being done, add the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat and then add the flour once it's melted to make a quick roux. Stir in the garlic, followed by the chicken/veg broth (or use dry white wine), and the lemon juice + zest. Let it bubble for about a minute until it's reduced a fair bit. Add in the cream and cooked chicken, and let it simmer for a few minutes until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce thickens up a bit. Stir in the parmesan cheese and season with salt & pepper as needed. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- I don't recommend subbing the cream for a lower fat alternative (e.g. half-and-half of milk) because the acidity of the lemon juice may curdle it. You could try coconut milk, but I have not tested it and the flavor will be different.
- Feel free to swap the spaghetti with any shape of pasta that you've got in your pantry.
- I use my Microplane zester/grater to zest the lemon and grate the parmesan. I always keep a wedge of parmesan in my fridge... it tastes so much better when you grate it yourself!
- Reheat any leftovers slowly on a low heat since cream sauces can easily separate.
Other tasty chicken pasta recipes to try:
- Chicken Penne Pasta
- Lemon Chicken Orzo
- Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
- Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Easy Garlic Chicken Pasta
Questions about this lemon chicken pasta? Talk to me in the comments below! Liked this recipe? Write me a review or share it with a friend. 🙂
Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 tablespoon flour
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup chicken broth/veg broth or dry white wine
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice + zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 2 cups cooked/rotisserie chicken shredded
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Garnish: fresh parsley & extra parm optional
- Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions.
- When the pasta is approx. 10 minutes away from being done, add the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it melts, sprinkle the flour in and cook for about a minute, stirring fairly often.
- Add in the garlic, followed by the broth (or wine) and lemon juice + zest. Let it bubble for one minute.
- Whisk in the cream, then stir in the chicken, and cook it for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened up to your liking.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese and take the skillet off the heat. Season with salt & pepper as needed (I am generous with both).
- Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss until coated (add a tablespoon or so of the pasta water to the sauce prior to draining it, especially if the sauce has become a little too thick). Serve immediately with more parmesan and a bit of chopped parsley if desired.
- I do NOT recommend subbing the heavy cream for anything with a lower fat content (e.g. half-and-half or milk) because the lemon in the sauce is very likely to curdle it, and you'll have to add more flour to thicken the sauce.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.