Lemon Cream Pasta

This pasta was the second stellar application of the Lemon Garlic Chicken. I saw the recipe on Clouse Cousins Cookin’ at the perfect time when I needed a recipe in which to use the rest of the chicken. It was fantastic! Creamy and light – it really hit the spot when I made it for dinner and the lemon garlic chicken was incredible paired with the chewy pasta and lemony cream sauce. Plus, I just love pasta dishes that cook the pasta in the main flavors of the recipe (in this case, the pasta cooks in chicken broth and lemon juice). I doubled the original recipe to feed our family and made a few small changes so my adapted recipe is below. This will definitely be a remake at our house!

What To ServeDivine breadsticksΒ orΒ Cheesy Garlic Bread
Killer green salad (throw together your own or use a variation on thisΒ Gourmet Green Salad)
Fresh, seasonal fruit

Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken

Yield: Serves 4-6

Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken


  • 3 cups shredded or cubed Lemon Garlic Chicken
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (16 ounce) package tube pasta (I used rigatoni)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • In a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with the garlic powder and pepper. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice and pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes.


  1. Stir chicken into cooked pasta, along with the cream, parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly before serving

Recipe Source: adapted from allrecipes.com via Clouse Cousins Cookin’

74 Responses to Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken

  1. Bethany says:

    Hi Mel! I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times but forgot to leave a comment. This is my favorite go to pasta! I can’t get enough of it. It’s usually what I make when we have guests over (to always rave reviews!) or on a Saturday night, and the ingredients are so simple (and inexpensive!) that I usually have them on hand. It’s super light and delicious! I can’t tell you how much my boyfriend and I love this recipe! Thank you so much!

  2. Heidi H says:

    I should have read more carefully… I missed the part where you cook the pasta in the chicken broth, not add the chicken broth to the cream. I added the spices, broth, lemon juice and cream all together. I had to whisk in some corn starch to thicken it, but it ended up alright. It was kind of like a lemon alfredo sauce haha! Probably what I had wasn’t like the original recipe, but it was still a delicious meal! I also added sauteed zucchini and onion to make it a one-pot meal.

  3. Susan L. says:

    I tried this tonight, and it was a winner! I’ve never had much luck with homemade cream sauce for pasta (other than Alfredo), but this was a breeze. Like the commenter above, I didn’t have heavy cream, only half and half. (I refuse to buy a whole quart when I’m only going to need a pint) I remember reading a method where you “make” heavy cream by adding butter to the milk or half and half. I used a cup and a half of half and half and a stick of butter, and the sauce thickened up nicely…especially with the Parmesan. Thanks for posting this wonderful recipe!

  4. Staci says:

    All I have is half and half! Any chance this will work? Anything I can do to thicken the sauce, if needed??

  5. Shelby says:

    I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time now! I plan on making it next week, but had a few questions. How many boxes of chicken broth= 4 cans? I just never buy the cans. Also, do you have to cook pasta in the broth or could you just use water? I’m going to come back and update/review again once I make this πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      Shelby – One can of broth is about 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, I think. So it depends on how many cups are in the boxes (8 ounces = 1 cup) – check your box, but usually the boxes have 4 cups of broth. You could cook the pasta in water but it will be lacking a bit of flavor.

  6. […] then for my chocolate craving. Lunch/dinner ideas: I would make this with low sodium chicken broth Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken I would make this too using regular milk, and low sodium chicken broth as well Creamy Chicken and […]

  7. Mel says:

    Brittany – sure, I think shrimp would be fantastic! Sounds like you have a great plan…good luck!

  8. Brittany says:

    Hello!! I want to try this recipe tonight, but i am so sick of chicken. Could this recipe be made with shrimp instead? How would it change? I was thinking of just throwing the shrimp on the skillet and cooking them with some butter, garlic, and lemon juice and throwing them in the pasta after?

  9. Jennifer A says:

    I made this for dinner and everyone loved it! The marinade for the chicken was excellent. My finicky 7 year old shouted how good the chicken was-“Hmm this is sooo good!” It really is wonderful. I marinated for 7 hours. The pasta with cream sauce was excellent as well. The combo was perfect. We will DEFINITELY make again!
    Thanks another great recipe Mel!

  10. […] melskitchencafe.com via Kit on […]

  11. Joyce says:

    Thank you!! That’s very helpful! I didn’t know that about the ceramic cast iron pots. I just barely got mine and I LOVE it!!

  12. Joyce says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. And my family LOVED it!! They really gobbled it up. My question: I cooked the pasta in the 4 cans of chicken broth, lemon juice and pepper as stated. After 30 minutes, there was still some chicken broth. I didn’t dare cook it for any longer for fear of the noodles getting mushy and falling apart. But when I poured on the cream (I used regular whipping cream instead of heavy cream…cheaper) it just stayed really runny because of the leftover chicken broth. I’m wondering if next time (because there WILL be a next time) I should drain off the leftover broth (probably about 1+ cups) or do you think the noodles will stand up to the extra cooking time?? Also, I cooked it in a dutch oven ceramic pot. Do you think that made any difference with the cooking time? Lots of questions…sorry πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      Hi Joyce – I’m glad you liked the flavor of this dish! About the runniness, ceramic cast iron pots actually retain quite a bit more moisture than normal pans and the liquid doesn’t evaporate off as much as a stainless steel or other pot, so yes, I think that could have contributed. But in the future, I think you could either decrease the liquid (if you cook it in the same pot) by a little or like you said, pour off the excess chicken broth. I’m like you, I wouldn’t want to overcook the noodles.

  13. Haley says:

    I just made this last night and it was AMAZING!!! We had people over for dinner and several of them commented it was the best meal they had ever eaten. Thank you for the great recipe! πŸ™‚

  14. Bri says:

    I loved the lemon chicken marinade, it was so yummy. I used whole wheat pasta and it worked well. My husband and I liked the dish, but thought the lemon flavor was too strong. Do you think it was stronger because of the whole wheat pasta? Not sure if it absorbs the flavor like white pasta. My 2 year old boy absolutely loved this though! I also used half and half which worked great. I plan on using the lemon chicken marinade many times over. Such yummy flavors!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Bri – this pasta sauce is very lemony so I don’t think it was the whole wheat pasta – I think you made it exactly right and it might have been a little strong for your personal tastes. Glad you liked the marinade, though!

  15. Mandi says:

    Another winner. I made a few changes b/c I don’t like black pepper (used white instead) and I didn’t have any lemons to zest so I omitted that. It wasn’t as lemony as it could/should have been but still, my 15 year old son stated, “That was the best pasta dish I’ve ever eaten!!” High praise indeed. πŸ™‚

    Again, thank you!!

  16. Karen says:

    I have to tell you I made this and we love it. I also made 5 other recipes of yours and they are all awesome. Thanks for sharing them. I am sure they are appreciated more than you know.

  17. Reyna says:

    Just had company over for dinner and made a heaping bowl of this deliciousness. I loved the layers of flavor! Each bite was just a delight! I’m so glad I doubled it, because I get to send leftovers with my husband tomorrow for lunch, and there’s enough for me and the kids tomorrow too! I also froze a whole batch of the lemon garlic chicken so I can throw this together again soon. Mel, you are my go-to girl when I’m looking for something delicious. You never disappoint!

  18. […] Year Ago: Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken Two Years Ago: Cinnamon Swirl […]

  19. Melanie says:

    Hi Melanie – so glad you liked this (and you are so smart to do the cooking while your kiddos nap!). I always serve this with a nice big green salad, a vegetable (usually peas or steamed broccoli) and occasionally breadsticks or garlic bread.

  20. melanie says:

    oh. my. goodness. this is amazing! i just got done making it for dinner tonight (while my kids nap) and i'm afraid there won't be any left! i didn't get enough juice out of my 2 lemons so i added a little extra zest. soooo good! thank you for another great recipe. do you have any suggestions as to what to serve with this? thank you so much!

  21. Greg and Carlin says:

    This pasta was absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! I loved it! No that’s an understatement. It is quite possibly the best pasta dish I have ever had! Thank you for posting this!

  22. Melanie says:

    Greg and Carlin – so glad you liked this! That’s high praise and I’m very happy it turned out so well.

  23. Becky says:

    I LOVE your blog and I’m really excited to make this today! But, does this recipe really call for 4 cans of broth? really?? Am I reading that correctly?

  24. Melanie says:

    Becky – yes, it is correct. The reason for so much broth is because the pasta cooks in the chicken broth and you need that amount of liquid to season the pasta and help it reach a tender stage before serving. Hope that helps!

  25. Becky says:

    I see!! Thanks for clarifying!!

  26. Melanie says:

    Kelly – you are so nice (and funny!). Thank you. I’m glad that you liked this dish so much. I love the marinated chicken – it is good in so many things. I’m also glad you liked the chocolate chip toffee bars! Thanks for letting me know.

  27. Kelly says:

    Hi! I just stumbled onto your website & I am sooo glad that I did. I just made this along with the lemon & garlic grilled chicken. This is restaurant quality food!!! This was a huge hit with my family & is hands down one of the best recipes I have EVER made! Forget The Food Network, I’m looking through all your recipes now!! I also made your chocolate chip toffee bars for dessert & again a huge winner!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

  28. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – thanks for letting me know. It is actually officially called Heavy Whipping Cream here, too, and I just left out the “whipping” part of the title. Sorry about that – it could have saved a lot of confusion! Glad you liked this!

  29. Melanie says:

    Loralee – so glad you liked this, especially if it was a husband-pleaser!! And I would LOVE your pork chop recipe. Send it along!

  30. Melanie says:

    pilatesmommy – don’t you love fast and easy meals? So great for a family. Thanks for letting me know you liked this one!

  31. Maria says:

    Lemon pasta, sounds divine!

  32. Julie says:

    That looks so yummy..I love lemony pasta.

  33. Ashlie says:

    I made this for our play group today and it was a hit! I LOVED it. Thanks Melanie:) Another good recipe for us to add to our collection. I also tried the Bourbon Chicken that was on the ward blog and loved it too. I think I might add some extra cornstarch and see if it will thicken the sauce. Any recommendations on that? Love this blog-Studio 5 worthy for sure:)

  34. jaesi says:

    made it. loved it! I added a tad bit of rosemary and it off set the lemon well.

  35. Melanie says:

    Hey Jaesi – long time, no hear. I’ve missed your comments! I’m glad you liked this – and I bet the rosemary was a delicious addition. Thanks for letting me know!

  36. Queen B. says:

    I’ll have to try that next..but right NOW i have your Sweet Hot Chili simmering on the stove !I forgot that you made it in advance, but I’m serving it tonight, so I hope it’s still fabby ! When the kids walked in the door from school, the DEMANDED a taste test, giving me the thumbs up… I have to run out and grab sour cream and a bit of cheddar…because your pic looks sooo good with it….Can’t wait for dinner.

  37. Lori says:

    I saw that one…I couldnt decide which one to make but I had my heart on this one. Thanks so much!

  38. Melanie says:

    Lori – I’m SO glad you liked this. Thanks for checking back in to let me know. As for freezing, I’m not sure how the cream would freeze – I’m always hesitant to freeze meals with cream/milk products in the sauce. Sometimes it affects the texture upon defrosting and reheating.

  39. grace says:

    hello, cream sauce. rigatoni was a great choice to pair with such a rich and wonderful sauce. πŸ™‚

  40. Leslie says:

    look so very yummy..I love the chicken and lemon combo of flavors!!!

  41. Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer says:

    This really looks great – I forget just how good lemon is in pasta. Thanks for the reminder!! YUM

  42. Abby says:

    I love lemon and chicken together. This looks fantastic!

  43. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – I’m not familiar with Fussell’s Thick Cream, but I googled it and the cream I am referencing in the recipe is the kind I find in the milk/dairy section of my grocery store in the coolers – it comes in a plastic or cardboard carton and has the consistency of syrupy milk. Do you live in Canada (it looked like the Fussell’s product was Canadian)? I’m assuming there must be a comparable fresh cream available near the milk in your grocery store, but I could be wrong. Since I haven’t used the Fussell’s product before I don’t know how it would work in this recipe, but if you try it, let me know.

  44. Loralee and the gang... says:

    This was a hit with my husband,and, believe me, not an easy thing to achieve in the recipe department. He has what you might call super-sensitive taste buds. So for a recipe to taste good to him, it must be absolutely great – and this is! :~D(Someday I’ll have to pass along to you the recipe that I used to fool him into thinking I was a great cook so he’d marry me! Sweet-sour Porkchops. Too bad it was the only thing I could cook then! For real!)

  45. Kristen616 says:

    This looks delicious! I’ll have to try it!

  46. Melanie says:

    Golilocks – thanks for the great comment. I’m so glad you liked this!

  47. Melanie says:

    Rasmussen Family – thanks for letting me know you liked this. I loved the leftovers, too, and at them for lunch for several days!

  48. Kameron says:

    Okay, this was HEAVENLY!! SO good. However, my husband is a big fan of low-fat, so I’m trying to figure out how to make it still creamy but not use straight heavy cream… Any suggestions?

  49. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – I think adding spinach would be a fine idea. I would probably cook the spinach first and add it to the finished pasta and sauce. I just posted a lemon garlic chicken recipe with spinach and pasta that might be a little easier to incorporate the spinach into.

  50. Rasmussen Family says:

    I made this last night and it was sooo delish! I can’t wait to have leftovers for lunch. I am adding this to my fave dinners list. Thanks so much.

  51. Katie says:

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! I made this wonderful dish for dinner and will be enjoying the leftovers for lunch today! Thanks for taking the time to post your recipes. Keep ’em coming!

  52. Melanie says:

    Ashlie – you are so nice. I’m glad the pasta didn’t disappoint – especially if you were making it for other people! On the Bourbon chicken, if the sauce wasn’t thick enough, I would dissolve some cornstarch in cold water and add that to the sauce and let it simmer. Thanks for your sweet comment.

  53. Melanie says:

    Katie – I’m glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for checking back in to let me know!

  54. Kevin says:

    I quick and easy and tasty sounding pasta!

  55. Ashley says:

    I’m making the lemon garlic chicken as we speak! If we like it, which I am sure we will, we’ll do this for sure!

  56. pilatesmommy says:

    I loved this dish, fast and easy. And the cream sauce was so delicious!

  57. fmandds says:

    Being inspired by reading several issues of Cook’s Country and then coming to your blog to get this recipe, which I had already commited to making tonight, and seeing the comment posted by Kameron, I decided to try making this recipe with as little cream as I could.Blogspot wouldn’t let me post a comment as big as what I needed so I am going to post my thoughts/recipe on my sisters foodblog, http://www.norahsrecipes.blogspot.comI loved this dish, as did my mother, who generally hates any cream pasta I make. Good recipes can always be counted on when I visit this blog.

  58. Clouse Cousins Cookin says:

    Glad you liked it!

  59. D says:

    mmm…looks wonderful!

  60. Melanie says:

    Kameron – I’m so glad you liked this. Thanks for letting me know. On the lowfat end, the lowest fat I would try is regular cream instead of heavy cream. I don’t know that it would thicken up as much if you used milk or something else. You might try googling “lowfat alternative to cream” and see what you come up with. Good luck!

  61. Melanie says:

    Jan – thanks for the compliments! I’m glad you liked this pasta AND the cookies. Thanks for letting me know!!

  62. Melanie says:

    fmandds – what a nice comment! It made my day to read it and I’m excited to check out your review on Norah’s blog. I’m glad to find the recipe still works after tweaking it to your taste. Thanks for letting me know!

  63. Goldilocks says:

    OMG! This recipe is resturant quality! It was soooo good! Thanks for sharing.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Hi!I posted about the Fussells cream. I did some googling myself and realized that it can be called whipping cream here and it is over in the dairy by the milk! I used it and the recipe was delicious!Another winner for my family! Thank-you!

  65. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I am trying to incorporate more greens into our diet..how do you think this would taste if I added some spinach?

  66. Dazy says:

    I’m making this for dinner tonight. I think I’ll try to shoot it, but I don’t think it will be as pretty as your picture!

  67. Anonymous says:

    OMG! This was DELISH! Thanks for posting. I wish I would have doubled the recipe myself. Do you think this would freeze well? Lori

  68. Jan says:

    I’m back with more compliments to the chef! This was absolutely delicious! The perfect dish for the grilled lemon chicken – such great flavors!

    We also made your thick and chewy choco chip cookies yesterday afternoon and they were a big hit with my boys! I brought a batch to my sons school for the art show refreshments – YUM!

    I think I need to start a binder with all your recipes, because they are all I cook with anymore!!!

  69. Anonymous says:

    Hi there,I am making this dish tonight and I was wondering if by heavy cream you mean something like Fussell’s Thick Cream? Would it be OK to use this?

  70. Anonymous says:

    Oh thats OK! I figured it out in the end! Thanks! πŸ™‚

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