Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta (VIDEO)
This Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta is a restaurant-quality, 30-minute recipe you’ll make over and over. The combination of crispy chicken over a lemon cream alfredo pasta always gets rave reviews. Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is to make this easy weeknight dinner!
We love easy chicken pasta recipes like Chicken Tetrazzini and Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta. This Lemon Chicken Pasta recipe is the most requested chicken dinner at our house. P.S. Both the chicken and pasta reheat really well, which is perfect for meal prep.
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Lemon Chicken Pasta
I can’t count how many times I’ve gone into a restaurant telling myself I’ll just order salad until I find creamy chicken pasta on the menu and all self-restraint goes out the window. Being a major fan of creamy pasta, this one does not disappoint!
We took our classic creamy alfredo sauce from our Shrimp Pasta, and replaced the white wine with fresh lemon juice. The lemon juice lightens up the sauce and makes it vibrant. It goes so well with the crispy lemon chicken.
My 9-year-old son developed this lemon chicken several years ago while experimenting with Popcorn Chicken. It’s a simple 3-step process that results in a crisp and juicy chicken. You can use chicken breast cutlets or chicken tenders.
Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Video
It’s difficult to watch this video tutorial when you’re hungry. There’s something about that crisp, juicy chicken and supremely creamy pasta that makes my mouth water. Make this lemon chicken pasta once and you’ll make it over and over.
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This is essentially a creamy Alfredo sauce that is lightened up with lemon juice. The fresh lemon adds a vibrant tanginess to the sauce and is a game-changer for Alfredo. We then proceed to squeeze fresh lemon juice over the chicken and the two marry beautifully. I’m hungry just writing about it.
- Butter – helps keep the sauce from separating and adds richness to the sauce.
- Fresh garlic and onion powder – add amazing flavor
- Lemon Juice lightens up the cream sauce and be sure to use fresh lemon juice for best results. You’ll need more to squeeze over the chicken.
- Heavy whipping cream – luxuriously smooth
- Shredded parmesan cheese or freshly grated
- Sea Salt – always taste the finished sauce and season with salt to taste
- Pasta – we use Fettuccini noodles because the sauce coats them so well and they have a terrific bite to them when cooked to Al’dente.
How to Make Lemon Chicken Pasta
This recipe is 2 parts: Creamy Pasta and Crispy Chicken. If you start prepping the chicken while your pasta cooks, this can be a 30-minute meal.
- Boil Water – fill a pot with water and bring to a boil, then generously salt the water (it should taste like ocean water), and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
- Dip chicken cutlets into egg wash (egg+milk)
- Coat chicken in bread crumb mixture (panko bread crumbs + salt + pepper)
- Sautee in a large skillet and squeeze lemon juice over cooked chicken
The Secret to Perfect Alfredo Sauce
Had you ever made a grainy, curdled, or lumpy alfredo sauce? This lemon alfredo sauce is so simple to make but removing it from the heat after adding the cheese is KEY. As with any Alfredo sauce, If you continue boiling after adding parmesan, the sauce can curdle and become gritty.
Also, the secret to making a LEMON cream sauce is to whisk constantly while adding the lemon juice so the cream doesn’t separate.
In the rare situation that you end up with leftover lemon chicken pasta, you’ll be happy to know there are several effective ways to reheat a creamy pasta:
- On the Stove: Place in a saucepan over medium-low heat and warm the pasta slowly, stirring frequently and adding more milk as needed to thin the sauce. Remove from heat once warmed through.
- In the Microwave: You can microwave a bowl of pasta for 45-60 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds.
- Re-Crisp the Chicken on a skillet or in the air fryer or toaster oven until crisp and heated through.
Pro Tip: When reheating creamy pasta, always add a splash of milk (or reserved pasta cooking water), to loosen the cream since it will thicken as it cools. The trick is to heat low and slow and just until warmed through. If you overheat it, the cream will separate and turn buttery.
Lemon chicken pasta is well-loved by everyone in our family. The combination of creamy lemon alfredo pasta topped with crispy-juicy chicken is really irresistibly good. Don’t forget that squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top. You could even add some lemon zest for another punch of flavor!
More Easy Pasta Recipes
These chicken pasta recipes are some of the most popular recipes on our site. They are easy, flavorful and so satisfying.
- Chicken and Mushroom Fettuccini Alfredo
- Baked Ziti (a pasta casserole)
- Lasagna Roll-Ups
- Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Pasta Primavera
- Penne Alla Vodka
Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe
Chicken Pasta Ingredients:
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add 1 heaping Tbsp salt and pasta. Cook until al-dente according to package instructions or to your desired doneness. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water then drain and lightly rinse (rinsing will keep the sauce creamier)
Make Lemon Chicken:
- While pasta is cooking, set up 2 bowls. In first bowl, beat together 1 egg and 1 Tbsp milk. In second bowl, combine 1 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper. Dip each chicken cutlet in egg wash, letting excess drip back into the bowl, then dip in bread crumbs, turning to coat.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp oil, or enough to lightly cover the bottom of the pan and sautee breaded chicken in a single layer for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through with an internal temperature of 165˚F. Transfer to cutting board to cool slightly, squeeze half of the lemon juice over the top then cut into strips.
Make Lemon Alfredo Sauce:
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt 2 Tbsp butter then add 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/4 tsp onion powder. Sautee 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add 2 cups heavy cream and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and while whisking constantly, gradually pour in 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, whisking to incorporate.
- Sprinkle the top with 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and remove from heat, whisking until cheese is melted and incorporated. Season to taste with salt (I added a pinch of salt).
- Pour sauce over rinsed, drained pasta and toss to coat noodles. Add reserved pasta cooking water to thin the sauce if desired. Garnish with parsley and serve with strips of chicken over warm bowls filled with pasta.