This lemon basil chicken pasta is a house favorite. Pasta tossed with seasoned chicken, roma tomatoes, olive oil and a light buttery lemon sauce. This is the perfect weeknight meal because it takes just around 30 minutes to make!
I’m not going to lie, this lemon basil chicken pasta looks extra fancy like you slaved the day away in the kitchen, but it’s so easy to make.
I won’t tell anyone our secret.
Also you only need two pans to make this dinner. One pot to boil your water and a large sauté pan to prepare everything else in.
Most pasta recipes taste better when you boil your pasta noodles separately.
With the exception of this stovetop gnocchi lasagna. You cook the gnocchi in the sauce it’s amazing.
Don’t you just love lemon and basil together? They go together like Bert and Ernie, a dynamic duo you can’t deny. Then throw in the tomatoes and it’s just heaven.
If you’ve been looking for that perfect lemon chicken pasta, then look no further, you’ve found it.
Ingredients Needed For Lemon Basil Chicken Pasta
Let’s dive in to what you need and why you need it. You can see the full recipe and list of ingredients below, in the recipe card.
- Pasta – The recipe calls for linguine, but you can use any pasta shape you want. In some of these pictures I used penne pasta just to show the difference.
- Chicken – I like to use chicken breast for this recipe but chicken thighs could work also. Just make sure you are using boneless and skinless in whatever you choose.
- Olive Oil – Needed for sautéing the garlic
- Butter – Also needed for sautéing the garlic, but gives the sauce flavor.
- Garlic Cloves – Adds flavor to the pasta, in a pinch you could use garlic powder but I highly suggest using fresh garlic for the best taste.
- Fresh Basil
- Roma Tomatoes – The instructions call to remove the skins from your tomatoes, I know this sounds daunting but it isn’t. The peel off easily after being boiled for just less than a minute.
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- Lemon Juice and Zest – the main flavoring for the sauce
- Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese – This is fresh parmesan cheese, not the artificial grated stuff.
- Pasta Water – Reserve a bit of the pasta water, it adds flavor and helps to thicken the sauce.
How To Remove Tomato Skins
Removing the skins off of a tomato is simple.
Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Drop in the tomatoes and let them bop around for no more than a minute. Use a spoon to make sure all sides of the tomatoes are getting time submerged in the boiling water.
Use a slotted spoon to take the tomatoes out, or a colander to drain the water.
Let the tomatoes cool before peeling.
Grab a small knife and make a little slit then use your hands to starting peel the skins off. It should come off easily. If it does not then they did not boil long enough and you may need to repeat the process.
It’s the same method I use for this white wine gnocchi and shrimp recipe.
Lemon Basil Chicken Tips
There are a few tips I can give you when making this pasta so it turns out amazing!
You can use any pasta shape you want, whatever I have on hand is usually what I use but linguine and penne are my favorite. I added in a few images using penne pasta so you could see the difference.
And to get some mouth watering up close images of that delicious lemon sauce (see below).
Try to remember to reserve that 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water, it really does make a difference in the sauce. Just make sure that when you cook your pasta you also salt the water.
I know it can be tempting to add lots of fresh lemon juice but trust me when I say there can be too much of a good thing. Between the tomatoes and the lemon, using too much lemon juice can overpower the entire dinner.
I use my lemon zester to grate both the lemon and the fresh parmesan, it works way better than a regular box grater.
Yes, of course, just leave out all dairy products and sub for your favorite non dairy ingredients.
I wouldn’t. Dried basil has a much different taste than fresh and in some dishes like a red pasta sauce it can work but for this very fresh lemon sauce it doesn’t.
No, if you really don’t want to you don’t have to. It does lend to a better overall texture to the meal.
More 30 Minute Meals
- Broccoli Chicken Cheese Pasta – hands down everyones favorite
- Easy Stovetop Lasagna – when you’re craving lasagna but short on time
- One Pan Mesquite Chicken Fajitas – onions, bell peppers and juicy seasoned chicken all in one pan
- Lasagna Tortellini Soup – my husband request this every single week, enough said
- 20 Minute Creamy Pumpkin Rosemary Ravioli – okay this one is 20 minutes, you’re welcome, make sure to check out the how to video
- Skinny Beef and Broccoli Noodles – you can make this in the same amount of time it takes to think of your takeout order and place it
- One Pan Extra Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Risotto – For those cheesers in your house
Lemon Basil Chicken Pasta
- 8 oz linguine important, if you increase the pasta amount you must double sauce or will be too bland
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 6 roma tomatoes skins peeled (boil for 30 seconds and they should peel off) and cut into sixths
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 package fresh basil about 5 extra large basil leaves, chopped
- 1/2 c parmigiano cheese grated
- 1/2 c pasta water + more if needed
- Season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper
- Pan sear the chicken, let sit until everything else is done (so juices do not run out) then cut into pieces
- Cook the pasta per package directions (plus a few pinches of salt), you’ll transfer the noodles straight into the sauce (make sure to reserve 1/2 c pasta water)
- Heat a large saute pan over low heat
- Add in olive oil, butter and garlic
- Cook for 5 minutes until garlic is fragrant
- Add in the tomatoes and lemon juice
- Cover the pan and cook an additional 5 minutes
- Uncover the pan and transfer the cooked pasta noodles directly to it along with 1/2 c pasta water
- Add the lemon zest, chopped basil, most of the parmigiano reggiano and the cut up chicken
- Toss everything together
- Serve up your lemon basil chicken pasta with a bit more fresh parmigiano
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review!
This recipe was originally published on May 7, 2018.