Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

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!

Ingredients

  • 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
Servings6

Recipe Video

Ingredients
 

  • 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)

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Nutrition

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

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Hi, I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones. I believe in the power of real, wholesome ingredients that are bursting with flavor and won’t break the bank. Whether it’s a traditional Lebanese recipe from my family or a culinary creation from across the globe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that nutritious food can be exciting, affordable, and easy to prepare.

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73 responses to “Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce”

  1. Naeli Avatar
    Naeli

    Hi I was thinking of making this recipe but wanted to see if you had any recommendations for making it creamier? Thank you :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I would add in heavy cream!! Start with 1/2 cup!

  2. Debbie Avatar
    Debbie

    Just made this today. We loved it! My son ( who is seven) wanted my to make a review to let you know.
    I used angel hair pasta and cooked the broccoli separate. Otherwise followed recipe as written. Oh, my chicken was a butter garlic chicken from a local meat shop so I used that! Lots of really good flavor. I did skip the Parmesan as I didn’t have any but we had garlic toast with melted fresh mozzarella so that made a good complement to the meal.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!!

  3. Sheryl Avatar
    Sheryl

    I am not sure about all the rave reviews, this recipe had no flavor, not a winner with my family.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Hi Sheryl,

      I’m so sorry this pasta wasn’t a winner with your family! Did you add all of the garlic, lemon, salt and butter? My kids devour it every time!

      1. Alyssa m Avatar
        Alyssa m

        The recipe doesn’t say anything about garlic. How much garlic did you use?

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          There isn’t garlic in the recipe but you can add it – just add it at the end before eating!:)

  4. Nancy Vitulli Avatar
    Nancy Vitulli

    Wonderful. My husband loved it. I only had limes on hand, so I used them. I also added a bit of half and half at the end for more liquid. This will be a regular meal in our house! Thank you.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad he enjoyed it Nancy!

  5. Liz Avatar
    Liz

    This was such a nice departure from the creamy, gloppy chicken broccoli pasta dishes I’ve made in the past. I was searching for a use for my leftover roast chicken, and this worked wonderfully. I skipped the browning step and added a bit of the flavorful leftover gravy to make up the difference in flavor.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it Liz!! Let me know if you try any of my other recipes!!

  6. Lisa Avatar
    Lisa

    Made this tonight, it’s great! I think the leftovers wil be even better tomorrow after the sauce really soaks in the pasta!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You got that right!! Leftovers were even better! Glad you enjoyed!

  7. Ashley M. | Our Full Table Avatar
    Ashley M. | Our Full Table

    This looks amazing and I totally agree my boys would do that same thing. When I leave them for a night or two its so much less stressful!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Totally true!! :)

  8. Liz Avatar
    Liz

    Thank you Liz for another nice recipe. Have a good weekend!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Same to you Liz!

  9. Angie | Big Bear's Wife Avatar
    Angie | Big Bear’s Wife

    That photo… I feel like I could literally sit down at my computer and reach in for a bite of pasta! I love this pasta dish! You have no idea, it speaks to my heart! haha

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      hhaha I wish I could give you a big bite!

  10. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction Avatar
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction

    What a great make ahead meal! Love the lemon butter sauce!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Lemon and butter are seriously BFFS :)

  11. Megan {Country Cleaver} Avatar
    Megan {Country Cleaver}

    I’m a fan of make-ahead meals when I’m ahead of town for the boys, too. I’m adding this one to my must-make list!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you like it sista!

  12. Gaby Avatar
    Gaby

    Totally my kind of dinner!

  13. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite Avatar
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite

    You are such a great mom. I know that mine would be eating countless amounts of goldfish and cheese if I didn’t plan ahead. Love this pasta dish.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Awww you’re sweet. It was just the mom guilt kicking in. ;)

  14. Sophia @ NY Foodgasm Avatar
    Sophia @ NY Foodgasm

    Simple pleasure are sometimes the best! Love that you have veggies with EVERY meal!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Awww every meal!!

  15. Charlotte Moore Avatar
    Charlotte Moore

    Looks so tasty. Love pasta and broccoli together.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thanks Charlotte!!

  16. jan Avatar
    jan

    Making it tonight! I will let you know the families reviews!:)))))

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      How did they like it??

      1. jan Avatar
        jan

        Very good, I went easy on the chili flakes will add more next time!!

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          I love adding more at the table too – I am glad you enjoyed!

  17. dixya@food, pleasure, and health Avatar
    dixya@food, pleasure, and health

    that sounds like one fun trip…lemon butter sauce sounds pretty delicious.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It was so much fun!! I hope you try this pasta!

  18. Matt Robinson Avatar
    Matt Robinson

    Loving this pasta, especially with that sauce!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Can’t beat lemon and butter right? :)

  19. Erin Avatar
    Erin

    What a great make ahead meal for while you are gone! And loved following your pics of the trip, I want to go back to NYC!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Aww I love NYC too!! I wanted to stay longer!

  20. Julia Avatar
    Julia

    Now that is my kind of trip!! If I got to see a chick pea farm I would be in heaven! ;) This meal looks so healthy and uses such healthy ingredients. Saving for a busy night!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It was seriously so amazing Julia!!! I hope you like this pasta!

      1. MPS Avatar
        MPS

        How do you recommend reheating it?

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          I think reheating it in a sauté pan with a little olive oil would be best but microwave totally works too.

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.