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Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta with Garlic and Capers

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!

Creamy lemon chicken pasta being picked up with a fork.

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.

If you want some more check out my creamy chicken and bacon pasta, chicken and mushroom tagliatelle and chicken and leek pasta recipes.

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!

Close-up creamy lemon chicken pasta with capers and parsley.

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 and tomato pasta 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.

Overhead creamy lemon chicken pasta served with cheesy garlic bread.

Serving Suggestions

I always keep my sides to pasta recipes really simple and this creamy lemon chicken number is no different.

I opt for bread, whether it is cheesy garlic bread as pictured here or some garlic baguette, it just works.

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.

Garlicky and creamy lemon chicken pasta with capers and parsley.

Equipment Used

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.

  • Stovetop.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan.
  • Colander.
  • Kitchen tongs.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or a combination of measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Creamy garlic lemon chicken pasta with capers and parsley.
Yield: 2 Servings

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

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


  1. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a 30cm or 12" frying pan over a medium high heat and add the olive oil.
  3. Add the chicken thighs skin side down and cook for 6-7 minutes or until nicely golden.
  4. Whilst the chicken is cooking, peel the garlic cloves and dice them as finely as you can.
  5. Cut the shallot in half, peel it and dice it as finely as you can.
  6. Zest the lemon then cut it into two halves.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. When the chicken has reached the desired temperature remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
  10. 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.
  11. Cut the chicken into bite-sized strips.
  12. 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.
  13. Finally, add the chopped chicken and parsley, give everything a final stir and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Friday 15th of December 2017

So bad that boneless chicken thighs are not being sold in Germany. They are so much juicier than other parts... i have to work on my knife skills, i guess. Sounds delicious.

Brian Jones

Monday 18th of December 2017

Really, that's pretty rubbish, you don't need any mad skills just take t slowly, free the bone and you are good to go.


Friday 8th of December 2017

This pasta dish looks so delicious! I love the lemon and chicken combination!

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of December 2017

Thank you.

Shashi at Savory Spin

Friday 8th of December 2017

I am so intrigued by your use of anchovies as a foundation in this lemon pasta and chicken! I was always under the assumption that anchovies could easily overpower a dish so reading that it just adds another level of flavor that's hard to out a finger on has me so so inspired and intrigued - all at once. So gotta try this sometime. Thanks so much.

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of December 2017

Anchovies are a funny old ingredient, a bit like garlic in many ways... Raw or only lightly cooked then they are both really very strong and capable of dominating any dish, which is probably why most people think they do not like anchovies. But when cooked at the start of the process in oil or butter they almost melt and become a much softer savoury hint in the background of dishes that is probably best described as meaty rather than fishy. It's a really old classic technique and idea.


Friday 8th of December 2017

Oh goodness this sounds good! I took out some chicken thighs last night to make jerk chicken for dinner tonight, but my daughter has eaten all the limes so I can't make the marinade! I think I might make this instead as I have all these ingredients. :)

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of December 2017

Enjoy :)

Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry

Friday 8th of December 2017

I'm a big fan of lemon chicken and pasta is one of my staples - I love pasta dishes - so definitely going to be trying this!

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of December 2017

Have Fun :)

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