Lemon Garlic Chicken Pasta is so easy to make! Your whole family is going to love it! Just a few simple ingredients and dinner is served in under 30 minutes!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.
Lemon Garlic Chicken Pasta
This is an oil-based pasta recipe with an easy and quick sauce. Having some easy go-to recipes that are quick and delicious to make are a life-saver! My girls are super picky eaters! But this lemon garlic chicken pasta recipe is one that they all LOVE! And that makes me a happy mama!
Ingredients to Make Lemon Garlic Chicken Pasta
- Pasta: I’m using penne pasta, but I’ve also made this with angel hair pasta and both are delicious! I recommend penne, bow tie, angel hair, or spaghetti, but feel free to use whichever pasta you prefer.
- Chicken Tenders: I love using tenders for this recipe because they are so juicy and quick to fry up! You’ll need about 2lbs of chicken tenders to serve 5 to 6 people. You can adjust the amount based on how many people you are serving. The tenders are also so easy to shred into chunks by hand.
- Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice: We’ll be using both the lemon zest and lemon juice to make the lemon sauce. The number of lemons you’ll need will depend on the size of your lemons and how juicy they are. I found that 3 to 4 large and juicy lemons to be the perfect amount to yield 3/4 cups of lemon juice.
- Parsley: Italian flat-leaf parsley works best, but feel free to use curly parsley if that’s all you have. Parsley adds a nice fresh herb flavor to this pasta recipe.
- Garlic: We’ll be using about 8 cloves of garlic, but feel free to adjust the garlic to your liking. I love using a lot of garlic in my recipes for extra flavor!
- Olive Oil: Use your favorite olive oil. It’s okay to use regular olive oil or extra virgin olive oil for the sauce.
- Parmesan Cheese: I’m using finely grated parmesan cheese which I add towards the end of the cooking process and to garnish each plate with.
- Salt: I use kosher salt for the sauce and table salt for the pasta water. Kosher salt has a milder salt flavor which I love.
- Black Pepper: Freshly cracked black pepper is my favorite pepper to use for this recipe, but it’s okay to use table pepper if that’s all you have on-hand.
Can I Make Lemon Garlic Chicken Pasta Ahead?
Yes, you can! You can make this lemon garlic chicken pasta 1 to 3 days in advance. It keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.
You can also make the sauce and cook the pasta ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve, all you’ll need to do is cook the sauce for 2-3 minutes, add the pasta and parmesan cheese and it’s ready to serve.
How to Make Lemon Garlic Chicken Pasta
Step 1: Cook and drain the pasta according to package directions.
Step 2: Cook the chicken tenders: Season chicken tenders with salt and black pepper. In a large skillet, warm olive oil, then add chicken tenders and cook on both sides until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken tenders off the heat, let rest for 5 minutes and then dice into small one-inch chunks. Set aside.
Step 3: Make the sauce – Finely chop parsley, smash garlic with a pestle and mortar and zest and juice the lemons.
Step 4: Add Olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, smashed garlic, salt, and black pepper to a small food processor or blender. Blend until all ingredients are finely blended.
Step 5: Add sauce to a large pan and cook until the sauce has started to change to a light golden brown color.
Step 6: Add in the drained pasta and mix together until all the pasta has been coated with the lemon garlic sauce.
Step 7: Add in the sliced chicken tenders and mix together until the chicken is evenly distributed.
Ready to Serve!
Top with More Parmesan Cheese
More Easy & Delicious Recipes
- Herbed Goat Cheese Dip with Garlic Roasted Rainbow Cherry Tomatoes
- Three-Herb Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup
- Easy Homemade Oven-Baked S’mores
- 2 lbs chicken tenders/ about 8-9 pieces. Cooked and chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 1 box penne pasta
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley, roughly about half a bunch
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- Zest of 4 lemons
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (the juice of about 3 to 4 lemons).
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to salt pasta water. See notes below.
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil with salt and cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve up to 1/2 cup of the pasta water for the sauce.
- Peel garlic cloves and crush them using either a garlic crusher or a mortar and pestle, then set aside.
- Season chicken tenders with salt and black pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook chicken tenders until golden brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside. About 8-10 minutes. Remove chicken tenders from heat and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes. Then thinly slice and place to the side.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing crushed garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper in a food processor or blender. Blend until there are no more large chunks of parsley and the mixture is creamy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add more salt if needed.
- In a large skillet, add butter and lemon sauce mixture. Cook for about 1 minute or until sauce begins to change to a light golden brown color. Add grated parmesan cheese to the sauce. Then add drained pasta along with 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water over the sauce. Mix until all the pasta has been evenly coated with the sauce. Add more pasta water or olive oil if needed.
- Transfer pasta to serving dish and top with more grated parmesan cheese before serving.
You can make this dish up to 2 days in advance. Place cooked pasta into an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap.
Heating instructions: Place pasta into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Or, place pasta into a saucepan, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and cook until pasta is heated through.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 777Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 1732mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 32g