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Chicken/ Cream/ Hearty Dinners/ Pasta

Lemon Chicken Pasta

February 2, 2024 by Chris Collins

Creamy lemon pasta served with super crispy chicken – this is what comfort food is all about!

This has to be one of the most delicious pasta and chicken combinations. And lord knows I love myself a chicken and pasta combo 😅 (sorry Italians). Follow me…

sliced crispy chicken served on pasta in large white bowl

Crispy Chicken Pasta

Instead of regular sliced chicken through the pasta, we’re going to fry up some crispy chicken. I love the contrast in texture between the crispy chicken and saucy pasta. The chicken also takes on the lemon flavour so beautifully, just as a chicken schnitzel would.

Crispy Chicken Breast

The most important thing in prepping the crispy chicken is slicing the chicken breast through the centre. This will create two much thinner breasts, which in turn will cook quicker and more evenly.

From there, it’s the usual suspects of flour, egg and breadcrumbs. It’s important that you season both the flour and breadcrumbs – we want the chicken to stand out by itself and not just be an addition to the pasta.

Panko Breadcrumbs

These are what make the chicken extra crispy. They’re fairly big and airy, meaning they crisp up really nicely. You’ll find them in most supermarkets in the Asian section.

Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken

We are going to fry the chicken, but we’re only going to use enough oil to coat the base of the pan. We’re also going to use the same pan as the pasta sauce, just for ease!

Process shots: coat sliced chicken in seasoned flour (photo 1), coat in beaten egg (photo 2), coat in seasoned breadcrumbs (photo 3), fry both sides until crisp (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make crispy chicken

Creamy Lemon Pasta

Also known as ‘Pasta al Limone’. I didn’t quite have the audacity to call it by it’s real name, because it’s far from traditional 😅

I find with lemon pasta recipes sometimes they’re a little one-tone. Very just cream + lemon. I’ve tried here to add a more savoury depth of flavour, just to give the sauce a more rounded flavour.

It’s still got the classic buttery, lemony, creamy flavour, but adding some chicken stock, shallots, garlic and a generous helping of black pepper really helps bring out the best in the sauce.

Sauce consistency

The lemon juice will actually thicken the sauce, as will the parmesan. As you toss the pasta in the sauce make sure you utilise the excess pasta water to help emulsify the sauce and help it cling the the pasta. The sauce will thicken quite quickly, especially once served.

Process shots: melt butter (photo 1), fry shallots (photo 2), fry garlic, lemon zest and garlic (photo 3), add stock, cream and parmesan (photo 4), simmer with lemon juice (photo 5), toss in pasta (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make creamy lemon pasta

Lemon Chicken Pasta FAQ

How lemony is the pasta?

I use one lemon (zest and juice) and find it gives the perfect punch of flavour, but it is certainly isn’t overbearing. This recipe is very easy to adjust and add more lemon juice though if you want.

How do you prevent the sauce from curdling?

So long as you’re using double/heavy cream it won’t curdle. I like to stir the stock, parmesan and cream to form a sauce before stirring in the lemon juice, just for extra protection.

What kind of pasta should I use?

I love using Linguine, but in reality, you can use any shape you like. I do recommend long-cut though.

overhead shot of lemon chicken pasta served in large white bowl with silver fork

Serving Lemon Chicken Pasta

When it comes to serving, you could serve the pasta alongside the chicken, or slice the chicken and plonk it on top. I also like some fresh parsley alongside an extra lemon wedge to squeeze over the chicken (both completely optional).

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this crispy lemon chicken pasta shall we?!

creamy lemon chicken pasta served on small white plate on wooden chopping board

How to make Lemon Chicken Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)

creamy lemon chicken pasta served on small white plate on wooden chopping board

Lemon Chicken Pasta

Creamy lemon pasta served with super crispy chicken - this is what comfort food is all about!
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Italian / Western
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Calories per serving: 1003kcal
Cost per serving: £3.50 / $4

Equipment:

  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • 3 Large Shallow Dishes (for dredging chicken)
  • Large Baking Tray & Wire Rack (for resting chicken)
  • Large Pan & Tongs
  • Large Pot (for cooking pasta)
  • Kitchen Roll/Paper Towels (for wiping out pan)
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Fine Cheese Grater
  • Jug (for stock)

Ingredients (check list):

Chicken

  • 2x 225g/0.5lb Chicken Breasts, brought close to room temp
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder
  • 40g / 1/4 cup Plain Flour
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 65g / 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Olive Oil, as needed (6-8 tbsp)

Pasta

  • 400g / 14oz Linguine, or other long-cut pasta
  • 4 tbsp / 60g Butter
  • 2 Shallots, very finely diced
  • 2 large cloves of Garlic, very finely diced
  • 1 Lemon, zested then halved
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste
  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 240ml / 1 cup Double/Heavy Cream, at room temp
  • 60g / 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • finely diced Fresh Parsley, to serve (optional)
  • an extra Lemon, sliced into wedges to serve (optional)

Instructions:

  • Horizontally slice each chicken breast right through the centre to create 4 even-sized chicken breasts.
  • In a small pot or bowl combine Italian seasoning, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Line up 3 large shallow dishes: the first with flour + half of the seasoning mix, the second with beaten egg and the third with Panko breadcrumbs + the rest of the seasoning.
  • Dredge a piece of chicken through the flour, into the egg then finish in the breadcrumbs, thoroughly coating at each stage. Place on a tray to one side and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • Place a large pan over medium-high and add enough oil to cover the base of the pan (6 or so tbsp should suffice). Once the oil is hot (around 3-5 minutes - a breadcrumb should rapidly sizzle) add in two pieces of chicken. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crispy on the outside and white through the centre, then place on a wire rack above a tray or kitchen roll to catch excess oil. Top up the pan with oil and repeat with the remaining chicken, then discard the leftover oil and wipe out the pan. If you can fit all four in at once then do that instead!
  • Place the pan back over medium heat and melt in the butter. Add the shallots and gently fry until soft and golden, then add in the lemon zest, garlic and 1/2 tsp pepper and fry for another minute or so. Stir in the chicken stock, cream and parmesan, then stir in the juice of the lemon. Bring to a simmer and cook the sauce until it thickens, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, add the pasta to salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Check the sauce for seasoning and adjust with salt (season generously to bring out the best in this simple sauce) then use tongs to transfer the pasta straight from the pot into the pan. Add in around 1/4 cup of the leftover pasta water and toss the pasta until the sauce thickens around and clings to it. Add in more pasta water to thin out the sauce if you need to (it will thicken quite quickly).
  • Serve the pasta next to chicken chicken, or slice the chicken and place on top. Sprinkle over parsley (optional) and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Lemon - I find the zest and juice of 1 lemon gives this pasta a good punch of flavour, but nothing overbearing. If you feel you want a little more lemon flavour feel free to squeeze more in.
b) Cream - Make sure you're using double (UK) heavy (US) cream. Anything thinner (single cream, half & half, milk etc) can curdle from the lemon juice. 
c) Sauce seasoning - I find this sauce needs a generous amount of salt and pepper to highlight the simple flavours in the sauce. I'd definitely go for the 1/2 tsp pepper, as the spice balances out the sourness from the lemon and the richness from the cream. Work to taste with the salt (I typically end up with around 1/2 tsp).
d) Sauce consistency - It should take around 5-7 minutes for the sauce to simmer and thicken. As you toss in the pasta + pasta water it'll thin out a fair bit, but thickens up quite quickly, especially once plated up. If you add too much pasta water just continue tossing until the sauce re-thickens. 
e) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 4.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Lemon Chicken Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1003 Calories from Fat 451
% Daily Value*
Fat 50.09g77%
Saturated Fat 25.425g127%
Trans Fat 0.609g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.054g
Monounsaturated Fat 16.935g
Cholesterol 231mg77%
Sodium 1056mg44%
Potassium 766mg22%
Carbohydrates 98.72g33%
Fiber 12.1g48%
Sugar 3.92g4%
Protein 42.11g84%
Vitamin A 1672IU33%
Vitamin C 13.2mg16%
Calcium 227mg23%
Iron 3.33mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

For another lemon pasta recipe check out my One Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo and Easy Lemon Pasta!

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