This creamy lemon chicken pasta with spinach is a great dinner option, when you want a recipe that is simple but also tastes super delicious.
Who wouldn’t love a tender pasta loaded with tender chicken pieces, spinach, and cheese, all covered in a smooth and rich lemon cream sauce?!
It’s an easy recipe that can be ready in only about 30 minutes, but takes dinner up a notch from grilled cheese sandwiches or chicken quesadillas. It’s a perfect weeknight meal for busy weeknights.
This recipe was inspired by a delicious pasta I enjoyed from a restaurant once, at this point, I can’t even remember, but lucky for you and me we’ve got the recipe for this easy lemon chicken pasta that we can enjoy at home!
If you love lemon you will love this recipe. The sauce for this pasta is so decadent, and fresh.
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- pasta – any short noodle will work, fusilli, macaroni, small shells, bowtie, penne pasta, etc.
- olive oil – to cook the garlic and chicken in
- garlic – if you’re a serious garlic lover, you can add more
- chicken – we will sauté it up, or you can grab a rotisserie chicken and add it to the dish at the end.
- milk – to make the sauce creamy, try chicken broth instead if desired
- half and half – to make the creamy sauce, try heavy cream for an even creamier sauce.
- all purpose flour – to thicken the sauce
- lemon juice – juice fresh lemons, to give it a nice lemon flavor, try adding 1a little lemon zest for an extra lemony pasta
- salt and black pepper – for flavor
- parmesan cheese – to make the sauce nice and cheesy
- spinach – I like to use fresh baby spinach, so the pieces are small
How to make to make Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta?
- Boil a large pot of water at medium-heat heat and cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions. Drain the water out, and set the pasta aside.
- Cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces, season it with salt and pepper. Set it aside.
- Add your olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat, add in the minced garlic and let it cook for about 1 minute until fragrant and golden. Then add in the chicken, and cook it until golden brown on all sides, and cooked throughout. Remove it from the pan, and set it aside. You can cook the chicken while the pasta cooks.
- Add your milk and flour to a small container and whisk them together. Add the milk mixture, and half and half to the pan and cook, until the sauce is thickened slightly. Add in the lemon juice, and stir into the sauce and cook another few minutes.
- Add in the parmesan cheese, chicken, and spinach to the sauce and cook it all for a couple minutes. Taste the sauce and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve creamy lemon sauce over cooked pasta, or stir the pasta into the sauce and serve.
- Sprinkle more freshly grated parmesan over the top of individual dishes.
Tips to make this recipe:
- Use your favorite type of pasta, or any short pasta noodle that you have on hand, penne, fusilli, bowtie, or similar should work great.
- Add 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese with the parmesan cheese to make the dish extra cheesy.
- Add in a 1/2 Tablespoon of lemon zest for a stronger lemon flavor.
- Add in other vegetables if desired. Try broccoli, or asparagus, (cut into 1inch pieces and par boil them before adding them to the sauce to finish cooking). Or mushrooms, red peppers, or zucchini by sautéing them up in the pan after the chicken.
- Serve pasta with fresh basil, and lemon wedges if desired.
How to store leftover pasta?
Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Gently warm the pasta on the stove top, add a couple extra teaspoons milk or half and half as needed. You can also reheat the pasta on low heat in the microwave.
What to serve with this pasta?
Serve this chicken spinach pasta with a fresh salad, or some roasted vegetables. I also always love pasta with fresh bread, warm garlic bread sticks, or a crusty french bread are delicious. (Who can say no to more carbs 😉 )
This simple pasta dish is such a great dinner option. It’s ready in just over 30 minutes, and is a great creamy, cheesy, fresh, citrusy, pasta dish with bright flavors. It’ll easily become a favorite dinner for your whole family!
More pasta recipes:
- One Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- Spinach Dip Pasta
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- One Pan Cheesy Chicken Pasta
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Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
Chicken Spinach Pasta in Lemon Cream Sauce
- 1 lb fusilli pasta
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1/2 tsp pepper (to taste)
- 1 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS minced garlic
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (+ more for serving if desired)
- 3 oz fresh baby spinach (about 1.5 cups)
Chicken Spinach Pasta in Lemon Cream Sauce
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta in the water according to the package directions for al dente pasta and drain out the water when it's done. Set the pasta aside.
- Cut the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high, add minced garlic, and cook it until golden and fragrant, about a minute.
- Add in the chicken pieces, and cook them until golden on the sides, and cooked through in the middle. Remove the chicken from the pan.
- Add milk and flour to a small bowl and whisk them together until smooth. container add 1/2 cup milk and 2 tsp. flour, place lid on container and shake to mix flour and milk
- Add the milk mixture, and half and half to the pan where you cooked the chicken. Heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Add in the lemon juice, stirring while it simmers over medium low, for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add in the parmesan cheese, spinach, and cooked chicken, and cook for a minute or two until the spinach is wilted and cheese is melted.
- Add in the pasta (or serve the sauce over the pasta).
- Serve warm. Sprinkle the dish with more parmesan, and fresh parsley, if desired.
This Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta recipe was first posted on February 28, 2010. The photos and blog text were updated for clarity on September 25, 2023.