fresh & easy lemon chicken pasta

I have been craving lemons like crazy lately.  Yes, another hormonal pregnancy thing I'm sure, but I love lemons anyways, so this one is not-too-weird for me.

When I am craving lemons and pasta, I usually throw together a simple homemade lemon fettuccine alfredo.  But I am afraid that I have been indulging in that treat a little too often lately and I needed to come up with something healthier for everyday!

This fresh, easy meal is super-simple to throw together and incredibly satisfying.  Most of these ingredients are in your pantry (aren't they?) and if they aren't, they should be!!

Keep the basics on hand - pasta, lemons, a few tomatoes, good parmesan cheese... and you've always got a simple, delicious meal to whip up!

Try this next time you are craving lemons, or you just need a little taste of summer!

Fresh & Easy Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe
adapted from Steamy Kitchen on Tasty Kitchen
serves 3-4, depending on accompaniments

1/2 pound long pasta, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large chicken breast (or 2 smaller ones!)
2 tablespoons butter
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chicken stock (or 1/2 cup chicken stock + 1/2 cup white wine)
fresh-squeezed juice of 1-2 lemons
fresh italian parsley
salt & pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper flakes
freshly grated parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Slice the chicken breast in half horizontally, like you are halving a bagel.  Season lightly with salt & pepper, and cook in the hot pan until lightly browned and cooked through, a few minutes on each side.  Remove from the pan, and set aside.

Turn the heat down to low and stir in the butter and minced garlic.  Sauté for a few seconds and then stir in the chopped tomatoes.  Turn the heat back up to medium-high and stir in the chicken stock, letting it simmer while you stir gently and scrape up all the good flavor-bits off the bottom of the pan!

Slice the cooked chicken breast and place it back in the pan with the sauce to warm up.  Gently toss in the noodles and season with salt & pepper and as much fresh lemon juice, parsley, crushed red pepper and parmesan cheese as you like!

Serve immediately with crusty garlic bread and a tossed salad for a great summer-tasting meal any time of the year!

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