Creamy lemon chicken pasta with parsley, garlic & capers is a delicious and simple pasta dish that ticks all of the right comfort food boxes.
This simple recipe is not as quick as some pasta recipes but it will still go from your fridge to your table in 35-40 minutes!
Lemony and Garlicky Chicken Pasta
Lemon and chicken is a flavour combination that takes giant leaps across cuisines because it is a flavour that just works!
I love it and have everything from Moroccan chicken tagine with preserved lemons to a Crispy Anglo Chinese lemon chicken and Italian American chicken picatta to simple pan-fried garlic lemon chicken breasts.
Here we add some cream into the mix for a silky smooth and rich creamy lemon chicken pasta.
The richness of the cream allows us to double down on the acidity without overpowering the dish. I like to do that with capers, because, well because I love capers.
Throw in some anchovies for a base flavour and loads of garlic and you have a delicious creamy chicken pasta ready to rock and roll.
And if cream ain’t your thing you must try my sage and onion chicken pasta, it’s rocking the flavours of Sunday lunch in a pasta dish and it is awesome!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to use skin-on chicken?
No, you could use skin off chicken if you wanted to, however, chicken skin carries such a huge amount of flavour that makes the dish weaker if it is omitted.
Can I use chicken breast?
Yes, but just like omitting chicken skin, by moving to chicken breast you are depriving this recipe of a load of flavour. It will also take a little longer to cook.
Can I use leftover roast chicken?
Yes, if you are using leftovers from your Sunday roast chicken use the dark meat from the legs because it has much more flavour. Keep the breast meat for a sandwich with lighter flavours.
You can even make this with leftover turkey from Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Do I have to use the anchovies?
No, but I use anchovies to form a foundation of flavour in this recipe.
They are an ingredient I use a lot in surprising places, they are seriously not fishy. Quite the opposite actually they add a level of meatiness to a recipe that is delicious.
As far as I am concerned they are one of the most magical ingredients in the store cupboard. They get used in everything from this asparagus soup to my tuna pasta salad.
Can I make this in advance?
I am not keen on reheating creamy pasta sauces because the starches from the pasta and the cream all get a bit claggy.
Technically it will be edible after storing in the fridge for a day or two, but it will not be at its best.
I always keep my sides to pasta recipes really simple and this creamy lemon chicken number is no different.
You could even opt for some focaccia or ciabatta.
Your biggest choice is the pasta one, what do you use? I’ve gone for linguine here and I would usually choose a nice long pasta for this dish.
You could use everything from spaghetti to tagliatelle and even pappardelle.
The older pictures I used to have in this recipe saw this served with rigatoni.
I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
- 20cm or 8″ saucepan.
- Kitchen tongs.
- Stirring and serving spoons.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Weighing scales and or a combination of measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Chicken thighs provide an intense chicken flavour in this creamy lemon chicken pasta, throw in some capers and plenty of garlic and you have a real taste sensation!
- 350g (12oz) Chicken Thighs, Boneless skin on
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 35g (2 Tbsp) Butter
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Lemon
- 3 Anchovy Fillets
- 1 (35g) Banana Shallot
- 35g (3 Tbsp) Capers
- 175g (6oz) Dried Pasta
- 125ml (½ Cup) Double Cream
- ½ Tsp Salt (Plus Extra to boil the pasta)
- ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
- Lots of Freshly Chopped Parsley
- Season the chicken thighs with the salt and pepper.
- Heat a 30cm or 12" frying pan over a medium high heat and add the olive oil.
- Add the chicken thighs skin side down and cook for 6-7 minutes or until nicely golden.
- Whilst the chicken is cooking, peel the garlic cloves and dice them as finely as you can.
- Cut the shallot in half, peel it and dice it as finely as you can.
- Zest the lemon then cut it into two halves.
- Flip the chicken and add the butter, garlic, shallot anchovies and squeeze in the lemon juice. Cook the chicken for another 7-8 minutes (or until they reach an internal temperature of 73C or 165F), basting the skin with the butter and other ingredients as they cook.
- When you flip the chicken add the pasta to a 20cm or 8" saucepan of well-salted boiling water (I use 1½ teaspoons in a pan this size) and cook as per the instructions. Then drain reserving around 75ml (⅓ cup) of the cooking liquid.
- When the chicken has reached the desired temperature remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
- Reduce the heat under the pan to low-medium, then add the capers, lemon zest and cream and cook gently until the pasta is cooked.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized strips.
- Add the drained pasta to the pan and stir to coat using as much of the pasta water as required to get a nice coating.
- Finally, add the chopped chicken and parsley, give everything a final stir and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1016Total Fat: 70gSaturated Fat: 32gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 338mgSodium: 1652mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 6gSugar: 12gProtein: 52g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.