Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta

Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta

I’ve been blogging for over 8 years now. EIGHT years! That’s totally crazy to me. There are over 800 recipes on this blog which blows my mind! So you can probably imagine that sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all of the things I’ve made over the years.

This Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta is the perfect example. I made this thinking it was at least a new-ish recipe and guess what? I was wrong. I know, I know, like what is even happening? At least I’m consistent. It’s been 6 years since that first one and this one has some slight changes and it’s so yummy, I’m posting it!

Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta

First things first, we start off by sauteing some chicken breasts with a little oil and salt and pepper. You’ll also cook some penne pasta. Easy.

The sauce for this recipe is made with some garlic, chicken broth, lemon, low-fat milk, and Parmesan cheese. I also add a bit of flour and some of the reserved pasta water which helps this perfectly lemony sauce stick to the pasta! As you can hopefully see from the photos, the sauce is slightly creamy, but not at all heavy! Toss some fresh spinach in towards the end along with the chicken and this dish is done!

If you want to kick this up even more, you can also add a splash (or three) of some white wine to the sauce. I also like to add lemon zest in addition to the lemon juice, but that’s totally up to you. Broccoli, mushrooms, kale, or other veggies would also work well in this simple pasta dish!

Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta

Yield: 4 servings

Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta

Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta

This delicious Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta is the perfect weeknight meal! Tossed in a lightly creamy sauce made with milk instead of cream and bursting with lemon flavors!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 pound chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 pound penne pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach


  1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush the chicken breasts with one tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts into the skillet and saute for about 5 minutes. Flip and continue cooking on other side until chicken is cooked through, another 5-7 minutes. Juice one lemon on top of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the heat, cover and let stand.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the penne pasta according to package directions. When cooked, drain the pasta, but reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
  3. Slice the cooked chicken breasts and set aside. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and heat again over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the flour and toss to coat all of the garlic.
  4. Whisk in the broth, reserved pasta water, milk, juice of the other lemon (and zest, if desired), and the Parmesan cheese. Stir until combined. Add the pepper flakes, fresh spinach and sliced chicken. Toss to coat in the sauce and cook for another 3 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper and garnish with more grated Parmesan cheese on top. Serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 498Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 532mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 45g
Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta



  1. It’s 9:30 in the morning here and all I’ve had is coffee, but this is making me sooo hungry! I love how creamy it looks without cream! I love lemony pastas too. And I feel your pain about the store being out of the ingredients you want!!!!!!

  2. This looks amazing! I hope you enjoy the day off (and I got a chuckle over the grocery store post….) I LOVE the idea of lemon in this dish!

  3. Somehow how much I try, I can count the number of times I eat pasta. You know I am a hard core rice person. Having said that, I will love the lemony chicken and do away with the paste and enjoy it with rice.

  4. Nice recipe! I really like the pasta in this. Yum.

  5. I think lemon just brightens any dish!! I love your substitutions. Sometimes substitutions make even a better dish. :) Glad you’re feeling better.. hope you’re 100% before your trip to Cali! Have a great week!! ~ Ramona

  6. I’ve been on the lookout for a new pasta recipe and this is perfect! I personally prefer chicken over sausage anyway so I’ll definitely have to try this! :)

  7. I still have the Lemon Balsamic recipe to make and I am glad you found another way to use the chicken. Now I will need to make a decision which one to make! The pasta recipe does look like it makes for a more rounded meal, so I am saving this. That last picture sure does tempt-yum!.

  8. This sounds like my kind of pasta. Lemon and spinach go together so well!

  9. This looks delicious Steph! Glad you’re feeling better and were up to making this delicious dish! Next time you go to the store however, wear battle armor :-P

  10. Mmm, this looks perfect – just the right amount of sauce, and the lemon should make this such a vibrant dish. I’d love to give this a try :)

  11. That looks fabulous! I love chicken pasta, so yummy!

  12. This looks lovely and light and fresh–delicious!

  13. Either with spinach and chicken or sausage and kale, this is one yummy pasta dish! Thanks for sharing. And I love a short week, too :)

  14. Lemon + Chicken + Spinach + Pasta = GoodEats..a great combination and I do enjoy eating penne too..Could just scoop up with the spoon and I know it will not stop, and probably I might go for second helping. ;p.. I can’t wait to make this as I still have another packet of penne in the pantry.. Have a great week Stephanie!! Huggssss..

  15. simple healthy pasta dish,great combination ingredients,glad you feel much better !

  16. This looks like a great pasta dish; even if it was supposed to be different!!

  17. Mmm sounds like a light but flavorful dinner! I hate when the grocery store is crowded. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve considered running people over with my shopping cart…

  18. You have me drooling just thinking about that chicken, especially with a bunch of mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes added in.

  19. Love the combination of all the ingredients, this pasta must be delicious!

  20. This looks delicious! I love lemon and chicken together. Its so simple yet tastes like you put a lot of effort in!

  21. Lemon and chicken is a heavenly combination and I love the wilted spinach in this dish… Glad you enjoyed your day off… so nice to get caught up.

  22. This looks absolutely delish!!! I love pasta with chicken, spinach and a splash of lemon. What lovely flavors you’ve added to compliment the main ingredients. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Stephanie…glad you had a great day off and hope you are feeling back to normal soon! It looks like you put the day to good use with this scrumptious pasta! I love the lemony quality and I bet it really paired well with the spinach and chicken! What a great pasta and you are right…lots of great variations here! : )

  24. This pasta will go to my weekday dinner recipe box. It sounds delicious and so easy to make. My kids will enjoy it too. Thanks for sharing!

  25. I made this tonight and it turned out fantastic! It was easy to make and the sauce was very light and refreshing…how’s it get any better than that? Thanks for sharing! :)

  26. Pingback: Flashback Friday: Lemony Chicken Pasta - Eat. Drink. Love.

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