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Lemon Chicken and Pasta Recipe

When my neighbor surprised me with a basket full of lemons, I decided to make this delicious lemon chicken and pasta recipe for my children. The dish is simple to make, and kid tested, mom approved.

Lemon and Chicken Pasta

Lemon Pasta Recipe


  • Table salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for serving
  • 1 medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup juice from 2-3 lemons
  • 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves or oregano

Lemon Chicken and Pasta Recipe


  1. Bring four quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven (or pot or what have you) over high heat. Add one tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Reserve 1 3/4 cups cooking water, drain pasta into colander, and set aside.
  2. Heat one tablespoon oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is softened, about two minutes. Whisk 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta cooking water and cream into pot; bring to simmer and cook for two minutes. Remove pot from heat, return pasta, and stir until coated. Stir in remaining three tablespoons oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Cover and let pasta stand two minutes, tossing frequently and adjusting consistency with remaining 1/4 cup reserved pasta water if necessary. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, drizzling individual portions with extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese.


Dr. Courtney Harkins, Psy.D, is a local licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and mother to three young children. She runs a private practice as well as works with children at various organizations in Orange County. She specializes in adoption and parent child attachment, and is currently a doctoral candidate for clinical psychology.
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