Chicken and Spaghetti with Lemon Cream Sauce

by Shawnda on June 2, 2010

in Chicken & Poultry,Citrus,Lemon,Lighter & Healthier,Pasta, Rice, and Grains

Chicken and Spaghetti with Lemon Cream Sauce

The produce bowl on the counter sits in comically sad shape: half a bulb of garlic and 9 lemons. 9 starting-to-look-sad lemons.

I love lemon. Like love-love lemon. Jason? Not so crazy about lemons if they don’t come in the form of lemonade. He’s somewhat forgiving if they’re in dessert form but in savory dishes? No way. I had to dial the lemon in Baked Shrimp Scampi way back to keep it on the menu. But with 9 about-to-go-south lemons, I wasn’t dialing anything back for anyone :P

I chose a light, lemony cream sauce and served it with pasta and chicken. It probably would have been prettier with some chopped tomatoes tossed in at the end but that’s just me sulking over eating late and having to shoot with crappy lighting. But the good news is that I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. And even better news? I still have enough lemons to make it 8 more times :)

Chicken and Spaghetti with Lemon Cream Sauce

Chicken and spaghetti with a creamy lemon sauce.


  • 1/2 lb Thin Spaghetti
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • Handful of parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining. Return pasta to the pot.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Pound chicken breasts to even thickness.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and cook through, 5-6 minutes each side. Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Slice or shred chicken, as desired. Add to the pasta.
  5. Add butter to the pan and melt. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  6. Add lemon zest, cream, milk and heat through. Stir in Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and white pepper.
  7. Cook 2-3 minutes, until very hot and slightly thickened.
  8. Pour sauce over pasta and toss. Let sit 5 minutes, add parsley, and toss again, adding a splash of pasta water if the sauce has thickened too much.
  9. Divide between bowls and serve topped with additional Parmesan and parsley.


Yields: 4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Nutritional Information
Calories: 501.7 | Fat: 24.8 | Fiber 6.3
WW Points: 11


{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 shannon abdollmohammadi June 2, 2010 at 8:35 am

your produce bowl sounds like mine on any given day.


2 Ivy June 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

Looks delicious and simple to make. ;)
I’ll have to try for a new change from the old spaghetti marinara.


3 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking June 2, 2010 at 11:30 am

Haha! I was in a similar situation last week with being over-stocked on lemons. One of my husbands co-workers actually pointed out that I was posting many more “lemony” dishes than usual, so I’ve taken a little lemon hiatus. Anyway, this looks delicious Shawnda! I’ll be grabbing some more lemons sometime soon and will definitely be trying this!


4 Joanne June 2, 2010 at 11:56 am

I seem to accrue lemons as well even though I absolute love them. I think it’s because I always overbuy…they’re always advertised as four for $1 and I think oh yes I need four. When really I need 1/2. Or some such thing.

What a great pasta dish!


5 Lisa @ the Cooking Bride June 2, 2010 at 8:44 pm

My husband does not like lemons in savory dishes either!


6 Sharlene June 2, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I love lemony pasta! When I’m feeling particularly lazy, some lemon butter over pasta is my comforting go-to especially since I always have one (or four) lemon(s) in my fridge at all times. This will definitely be included in next week’s meal plans.


7 Chris June 3, 2010 at 7:00 am

Yum! I wish I had come lemons to make this dish. After making the silly, absent-minded decision to place them in a near an onion, they decided to become their own science experiment. :)

Looks delish!


8 Carrie June 3, 2010 at 11:38 am

I love lemon in the summertime, looks like an excellent dish.


9 Erin @ CelticHeart Designs June 5, 2010 at 10:57 am

That looks awesome! I’m gonna have to make that soon! Love your site!


10 Christina June 8, 2010 at 8:51 am

I love adding lemon zest to dishes, so I’d for sure love this sauce! Really nice pasta variation.


11 Lyndsay June 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Lemon cream sauce!! OMG!! I am def whipping this up sometime this week!! Thanks for the great recipe.


12 Cynthia June 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Is seriously mourning the fact that she is lactose intolerant.


13 Ashley June 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

I made this, and it was delicious! Thank you so very much for posting this recipe.

Love your blog!


14 SherriAnnelle June 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

I made this last night, so GOOD! It will be part of my permanent rotation. Just the right hint of lemon, loved it. Thank you.


15 Meagan June 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I was craving a lemon/chicken/pasta dish and looked specifically if you had a recipe for one! You never fail to provide/delight! This was delicious and I am looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!


16 Shelly January 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

I bet this would be good with seafood instead of chicken, too.


17 Amanda Xzenos January 25, 2012 at 8:41 am

This is amazing. We tried it the way the recipe was written, and it was delicious. Then we made it again, and changed a couple things. We thought it needed more lemon (lol) so we added two, then used 3/4 milk and cream, 1/2 to 3/4 cheese. We also added sweet basil and some crushed peppercorns. This hands down is much better than any jarred sauce, and we’ll be making this instead from now on. Thanks for the recipe!!


18 amber stults January 30, 2012 at 11:02 am

I made this last night for dinner and it was great! The only difference was I roasted a chicken on Saturday so I used the meat of 1 shredded chicken breast and 2 thighs and placed them in the sauce to get warm.

My husband said it was a tasted like a professionally made meal but served at home.


19 Jenn @ Jenn Likes It April 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I loved it! Unfortunately my 6 year old son seems to not care for lemony dinners, like your husband. I’ll definitely make this again, but I’ll use a less zest.


20 Sandra May 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Made this recently and added asparagus. My fella raved about it so much that I’ll be making it again tomorrow. It’s simply delicious! Thanks for the recipe.


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