Creamy lemon chicken pasta makes an easy weeknight meal - it comes together in 30 minutes or less! Pasta and shredded rotisserie chicken are tossed in a creamy homemade sauce with a hint of bright lemon flavor.
Bring a stock pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions for al dente pasta. Before draining, ladle out 1 cup of pasta water and reserve for later. Drain pasta and set aside.
Over medium heat, add butter to a sauté pan. Once melted and bubbling, add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add heavy cream, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until sauce has thickened slightly. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
Reduce heat to low. Add your cooked spaghetti, lemon juice and ½ to ¾ cup of reserved pasta water (from step 1) to the pot and toss to coat (add more reserved pasta water as needed to achieved desired sauce consistency). Add shredded chicken and toss to coat just before serving.
Forget to reserve pasta water? Add ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch to 1 cup of water and whisk until completely dissolved.
This recipe makes just enough sauce to lightly coat your pasta and chicken. If you love lots of sauce, I recommend doubling the sauce portion of the recipe.
Cream sauce does not make a great leftover - sauce will separate (the emulsion breaks) when reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Substituting heavy cream with half & half or milk will make your sauce very thin and less creamy (and could curdle from the addition of lemon juice) - I do not recommend substituting heavy cream in this recipe.
Pre-shredded cheeses contain anti-clumping powders that when melted, will make your sauce grainy. I do not recommend using pre-shredded cheese.