Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce

4.17 stars average

Chicken broccoli pasta gets kicked up a notch with a simple, yet flavorful, white wine butter sauce bursting with fresh lemon flavor.

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Chicken broccoli pasta with lemon butter sauce

Chicken broccoli pasta gets kicked up a notch with a simple white wine butter sauce bursting with fresh lemon flavor.

Forkful of chicken broccoli pasta with lemon butter sauce.

Whenever I travel out of town, I like to stock the fridge with plenty of food and ready-to-eat meals that my husband can easily reheat for the boys. When hosting retreats and scouting new vacation spots, I don’t want to worry about my boys surviving on fast food or snacks. I love whipping up a batch of my fast and easy Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce. Not only does it make an easily re-heatable dinner, but it’s also great for meal prepping lunches!


  • Penne: You could use bowtie or another small pasta type, but I love the bite sized length of penne and the small ridges help to catch the lemon butter sauce.
  • Broccoli: A great source of vitamin C and fiber, among many other nutrients, it has a sweeter taste when cooked.
  • Chicken: A lean source of protein that is affordable and accessible, chicken breasts cut to be the perfect bite-sized protein.
  • Red pepper flakes: Adds just a tiny kick of heat to the dish.
  • White wine: I love to use a sauvignon blanc to deglaze the pan and add a bit of a acidity to the sauce. You could also use a pinot grigio, or simply skip it and use chicken broth.
  • Butter: Melts down with the lemon juice to make a rich and slightly sweet sauce.
  • Lemon juice: Bright, acidic, citrusy flavor for the sauce.
  • Chicken broth: Adds robust, rich flavor to the sauce, and helps deglaze the pan if you don’t have wine.
  • Olive oil: Helps to evenly cook the chicken to a delicious golden brown.

How to Make Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Lemon Butter

Seasoning raw chicken

Start your chicken broccoli pasta with lemon butter sauce by cutting your chicken breasts into cubes and season with some salt and pepper.

Cooking pasta in pot

Then bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the penne.

Adding broccoli to pasta water

During the last few minutes, add the broccoli to the same water as the pasta.

Cooked broccoli

This is my trick to save on dishes and get things cooked at the same time. Let the broccoli cook until bright green, then strain with the pasta.

Seasoning chicken cubes in pan

While the pasta is cooking, add the chicken to a pan with some olive oil and add the red chili flakes.

Cooked chicken

Cook over high heat until chicken is fully cooked and browned, then remove from pan and set aside.

Adding wine to pan

Next take your white wine or some chicken broth and use it to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom.

Adding butter to pan

Then add your butter to the hot pan and heat until fully melted.

Adding lemon juice to pan

Stir in your lemon juice.

Adding chicken broth

And finish with the chicken broth.

Adding cooked chicken to sauce

Add the cooked chicken back into the mix and give it a good mix.

Adding pasta and broccoli to sauce

Then add the cooked pasta and broccoli, and mix it all together until evenly coated in the sauce.

Chicken broccoli pasta with lemon butter sauce.

Garnish with some parmesan cheese and additional pepper flakes before serving, and enjoy your Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce!

Easy Substitutions

  • Swap the veggie. Don’t like broccoli? No problem, you can use asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, or green beans!
  • Change the protein. This dish would also taste great using shrimp instead of chicken.
  • Make it vegetarian. Increase the number of veggies in place of the chicken, or add a meat replacement like tofu to make this dish vegetarian.

Frequently asked questions

How do you keep chicken moist and flavorful?

You want to make sure you don’t overcook your chicken. Cooking your chicken quickly at a high heat helps to lock in the moisture and flavor. Marinating your chicken beforehand can also help.

What goes with chicken and broccoli?

Seeing as this is a pasta dish, it’s pretty balanced with a protein, vegetable, and whole grain. But adding another veggie side like a salad or some garlic bread would taste great.

How do you store leftover chicken broccoli pasta?

Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Chicken broccoli pasta with lemon butter sauce up close

More Pasta Dishes

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Liz eating chicken broccoli pasta with lemon butter sauce

Balanced, tasty, and quick, my Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce is the perfect meal for the whole family.

Your fork is waiting.

Chicken broccoli pasta with lemon butter sauce

Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce

4.17 stars average
Chicken broccoli pasta gets kicked up a notch with a simple, yet flavorful, white wine butter sauce bursting with fresh lemon flavor.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

Recipe Video


  • 1 pound dry penne (regular or whole wheat)
  • 8 cups broccoli florets
  • 20 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or chili flakes)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh basil (optional garnish)
  • black pepper (optional add)


  • Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil and cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
  • Two minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the broccoli to the same pot cooking the pasta.
  • Drain the pasta and broccoli and return to pan; set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat (medium high) and add cooking spray. Sprinkle cubed chicken breasts with salt and pepper (optional) and red peper flakes. Add to pan and brown, 7-9 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and reserve.
  • Leaving the pan on medium-high, add white wine and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan by scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.
  • Add butter to the pan and heat until melted. Stir in lemon juice and chicken broth then simmer for an additional minute or two.
  • Add reserved chicken and any juices formed back to the pot with the pasta and broccoli. Stir in lemon butter sauce and toss well. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  • Stir in olive oil before dividing between 6 plates. Serve with plenty of Parmigiano cheese and fresh basil.


Calories: 455kcalCarbohydrates: 51.1gProtein: 37.3gFat: 11.2gSaturated Fat: 3.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8.1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 691mgFiber: 4.7gSugar: 2.1g

71 thoughts on “Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce”

  1. Sadly, this recipe was virtually flavorless. I was able to bring it up to speed with some heavy cream, Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning, and some extra salt. Then it was FAB.

  2. This was very good! I used Cuisinart Blue Ribbon Chicken Seasoning and crushed red pepper on the chicken before putting it in the pan. I also used chicken broth instead of wine where it called for wine. After plating I topped with a little more red pepper and Parmesan cheese. Was delicious and light. For those that say flavor didn’t stick make sure don’t use oil in the pot when boiling pasta and let pasta dry thoroughly while cooking the chicken.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Miles Thompson

    My pan sauce es need work, I did not get an emulsion of the butter, lemon juice and chicken broth. Added so.e cornstarch to thicken it a bit so sauce would cling to meat, etc.

    A bit too lemony for me, I.e. acid – may cut lemon juice back, if there’s a next time.

    In the same vein may add some lemon zest.

    It was light, and reasonably flavourful. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. I don’t understand why there are recipe videos that begin the recipe after the requisite commercial, and then the recipe starts for a few seconds before a second commercial followed by some other recipe. I’ve seen this on other people’s sites too. Just don’t link it to the recipe if the recipe isn’t there. Maybe this is intended to entice the viewer to subscribe for all your recipes, but it is just an infuriating waste of time to the person who clicked to see the recipe being made and completed.

  5. Made this tonight for our family of 6 (4 teenagers) and it was pretty well liked! I was worried my sauce-loving husband wouldn’t like it and I was right, it was only ok to him. I added an extra 2 tbsp of butter at the end just to try to appease him. It definitely didn’t have any “sauce” but the broth at the bottom of the pan was good if you got any. I salted & peppered & red pepper flaked the chicken while cooking it, then added garlic powder to the butter & lemon. I thought the flavor was subtle, but good. Two of my kids said definitely make it again. Like someone else said above, I was glad to find a non-heavy whipping cream recipe.

  6. Lisa DeRosier

    HI Liz, I haven’t made this yet but wanted to ask a question. Can this be made ahead of time then freeze it?
    Please let me know.

    1. Made this tonight. For those that mentioned a lack of flavor, I’d recommend seasoning your chicken before browning it, adding Italian seasoning to recipe, as well as minced garlic and lemon zest (in addition to the juice) to pan sauce. Not a bad dish!

    1. Hi Jay, I’m sorry this wasn’t a hit for you. I re-tested the recipe and I decided to lower the amount of broth. Feel free also to add more salt, pepper, lemon, chili flakes, oil or cheese to bump up the flavor next time. Thanks again for your feedback – it helps us improve our recipes!

  7. Not a fan. The husband and I found it to bland. We have leftovers so I think I’ll sauté some garlic in butter and add.

      1. It was very bland to me also. I even marinated chicken & added mushrooms. I’m trying to find a sauce to jaZz up the leftovers

  8. Marnie Hoolahan

    This was delicious! I was looking for a recipe that did not rely on heavy cream or a “creamy/Alfredo” sauce and this was perfect! I substituted bowtie pasta and added a little extra pepper flakes to add a little more zest! I loved the lemon! I did not have a bottle of dry white wine so I used chardonnay 1/3 cup and it was perfect! This was a hit and will make it into my regular line-up! Thanks for sharing this recipe–husband and picky 16 year old son both enjoyed it! They even noticed the lemon!

    1. This dish was delicious!! My husband and I loved it! I used whole wheat penne…pretty healthy dinner…thank you!

  9. This was a quick and easy with a good flavor. Def different from the chicken broccoli alfredo staple, had a nice tart flavor to it. I did add some garlic to it as well. and a bit of cream to the sauce to thicken it just a bit. All the menfolk in my household loved it!

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