Easy and delicious lemon chicken linguine is a simple and delicious way to serve your family an easy dinner everyone will love.
Featuring a rich, creamy sauce infused with fresh lemons, this lemon chicken linguine recipe makes the perfect, easy dinner any night of the week.
Linguine is one of my absolute favorite varieties of pasta because it’s hearty, filling and the flat noodle shape is perfect for sauces of any thickness including this creamy lemon sauce. It's a perfect combination with chicken and herbs.
At the end of the day this is a simple meal guaranteed to become a family favorite, great for weeknights or for a Sunday night dinner everyone will love!
This is the kind of bright and fresh pasta dish you will find yourself making again and again and again to rave reviews. And yes - you can believe the hype.
Trust me when I say, this one is worth bookmarking and making soon. You won't have any regrets when you see all the clean plates around the dinner table!
Ingredients for Lemon Chicken Linguine
To make what may just be the best lemon chicken pasta recipe, you will need:
- Chicken - I generally make this creamy lemon chicken pasta with boneless skinless chicken breast, but you may also want to use chicken thighs or chicken cutlets depending on your preference or even rotisserie chicken to save yourself a bit of time.
- Pasta - This recipe is intended to be made with linguine, but you could technically sub in an angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti, or even whole wheat pasta to suit your taste buds or use what you have on hand.
- Butter - I generally like using butter to cook the chicken and form the basis of the sauce - I think you get the best results in flavor. You could always use olive oil instead.
- Shallot - I love love love shallots. Finely minced shallot adds a lot of depth and balance to sauces made with heavy cream or half and half.
- Garlic - Fresh minced garlic adds lots of flavor to this creamy pasta, but garlic powder will work in a pinch if absolutely necessary.
- Flour - I thicken the sauce by first making a roux using all-purpose flour.
- Stock - Chicken stock or chicken broth provides the foundation of the lemon sauce.
- Cream - While the recipe calls for half and half, you could also substitute heavy cream for an even thicker, richer sauce.
- Peas - Sweet peas add brightness and color to this lemon pasta. I prefer to use frozen peas for maximum flavor and a crisp bite.
- Herbs - Fresh herbs add a ton of flavor to any dish, but especially this lemon cream sauce. I generally use lots of basil, but fresh parsley is also a great option.
- Lemon - Fresh lemon juice is the star of this lemon linguine. I even like to serve it with lemon wedges on the side for those who like to squeeze a bit extra over top.
- Cheese - For the best flavor, lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese is a huge win in this recipe.
- Seasoning - I season this simple pasta dish with black pepper and a good quality salt, but you could also add a bit of Italian seasoning to add even more great flavor. I often add a big pinch of red pepper flakes over top before serving, too.
Because many of these ingredients are things you likely already have on hand, it makes this recipe even easier to make last minute for a weeknight meal.
That said, I love making simple but decadent pasta dishes for dinner party guests, too, especially for unexpected guests. Chicken pasta recipes like this one are always a win.
From start to finish, you'll have one seriously delicious dinner served up under an hour. That's what I like to call that a win-win!
Tools + Equipment
Because this chicken linguine recipe is so simple and largely a one pot meal, you won't need any specialized equipment or tools. You will need:
- Cast iron dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed skillet
- Large stock pot for boiling the pasta
- Strainer or collander for draining the pasta once cooked
- Cutting board and knife for slicing the chicken, lemon and basil
- Microplaner or grater for zesting the lemons and grating parmesan cheese
How to Make Lemon Chicken Linguine
When it comes to preparation, you’ll find linguine is very similar to making spaghetti or any other pasta that you may love and enjoy making at home.
Typically made of durum or semolina flour, it is often prepared “al dente,” which means that you remove from the hot water while they are still slightly firm.
Step 1. Melt butter in a large dutch oven or in a heavy bottomed skillet. Add chicken to the heated skillet and season with salt and pepper.
Step 2. Cook until lightly browned, and just shy of being completely cooked through. (This will ensure tender chicken in the final dish because nobody likes dry chicken!)
Remove the chicken and set it aside while you begin making the sauce.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the linguine per the package directions until al dente. Drain and set the pasta aside.
Step 3. Add more butter to the skillet, then add the garlic and shallots. Cook for a few minutes.
Step 4. Sprinkle the flour over the butter, garlic and shallots and whisk to combine.
Step 5. Whisk in the chicken stock and half and half and whisk until smooth and combined.
Step 6. Add the chicken back into the skillet along with the linguine. Bring to a low boil, reduce to a simmer and cover.
Step 7. Add in peas, lemon juice and lemon zest, mix to combine and cook for another few minutes.
Step 8. Finally, add the parmesan cheese and basil. Mix and cook for one final minute then taste for seasoning.
Step 9. Garnish with fresh basil and more parmesan cheese as desired then serve immediately while still warm.
This is a great recipe allowing you to easily make a dish that will impress guests or serve up a quick, good meal the end of a long day that your family will love.
Served alone it easily makes a complete meal, but it's also great served alongside fresh baby spinach or with a simple green salad.
How to Store Leftover Chicken Linguine
Like most leftovers, this chicken linguine recipe will keep in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days when stored in an air tight container.
To reheat the next time you want to have a bowl, place it in a warmed skillet and heat until just warmed through.
Alternately, consider placing the leftovers in a baking dish and warming in the oven at 350° until thoroughly heated.
Because of the nature of the cream sauce, I do not recommend reheating chicken linguine in the microwave if you have the time to heat it otherwise.
Our Favorite Chicken Pasta Recipes
If you're looking for simple, hearty chicken pasta dishes that will please a crowd, you've found yourself in the right place!
Our creamy chicken linguine recipe is a forever Food Fanatic fan favorite - simple to make, it's one of those classic Italian recipes you'll make again and again.
Another option for a quick and easy chicken pasta recipe, our chicken asparagus pasta is loaded with bright, crisp asparagus for tons of freshness.
If you have frozen chicken but you're ready to make dinner now, check our tips for how to thaw chicken fast so you can get to making dinner.
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