Simple and delicious, this lemon pasta with chicken and broccoli can be made in one pot, while making a well-balanced, healthy meal.
We all need more simple, quick dinners to make for when the week gets busy and hectic. My Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli is a one pot wonder from start to finish. Instead of using a sauté pan for the chicken, a pot to blanch the broccoli, and a third pot to boil pasta, you can do it all in one! Or if weather permits, use the grill to cook the chicken. Who doesn’t like a meal that dirties less dishes? Get a fully balanced meal with little to no cleanup.
- Spaghetti: Use whole-grain to increase your fiber intake, or your favorite gluten-free pasta to make the dish gluten free!
- Broccoli: High in fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients, broccoli is slightly sweet and bitter in taste.
- Chicken: Low in calories but high in protein, chicken is affordable and accessible.
- Sea salt: Sea salt naturally enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Red chili flakes: Adds a bit of kick and heat to the sauce and chicken on the pasta.
- Olive oil: A heart healthy oil to cook in and dress the pasta.
- Garlic: Adds nutty, strong, aromatic flavor to the dish.
- Lemon: Using both the zest and juice creates a strong, citrusy sauce for the meal.
- Parmesan cheese: The nutty, salty cheese pairs well with the lemon flavor of the pasta.
- Pine nuts: Buy from the store or toast them yourself, pine nuts add a delicious, nutty crunch to the dish.
How to Make Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli
Start your lemon pasta with chicken and broccoli by washing and cutting your broccoli The stalk is edible as well, so you can chop that up and include it as well!
Then in a large pot of salted water, boil your spaghetti according to package instructions.
The last couple minutes the pasta is cooking, add and boil the broccoli, then strain, reserving some of the pasta water.
Then take your chicken breast and cook it in some olive oil over medium-high heat. If you want to keep it all in one pot, you can cook the chicken in the bottom of the same pot you boiled the spaghetti and broccoli in. Alternatively, you could also grill it.
Season it with the sea salt and red chili flakes.
And use a microplane to add the garlic cloves.
Then add the spaghetti and broccoli in with the chicken, as well as some of the reserved pasta water if it’s really dry.
Then zest your lemon before cutting it in half to juice it.
Add the zest and lemon juice to the pasta.
Then add the parmesan cheese and stir until evenly mixed and incorporated.
Serve garnished with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil, and enjoy your lemon pasta with chicken and broccoli!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you reheat pasta with broccoli?
You can reheat it all together in the microwave or by putting it back in a pot on the stove.
Do you add lemon to chicken before or after cooking?
I always use the lemon juice to help make the sauce, so I add it after cooking.
How do you store leftover lemon pasta?
Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More Simple Dinners
- One-Pan Italian Sausage Pasta
- Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Lazy Day Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage
- Salmon with Lemon and Oregano
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A simple and delicious meal the whole family can enjoy, and easy cleanup that mom or dad can enjoy, my Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli is a no brainer for dinner.
Your fork is waiting.
Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli
- 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
- 4 cups broccoli (cut in long florets)
- 10 ounces chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (+ 1 tsp)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 Juice of one lemon (and Zest)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts (toasted)
- Fresh basil (optional garnish)
- Pre-heat grill to high heat.
- Bring a large pot of salty water to boil and cook spaghetti according to package instructions. (Subtract a minute of cooking time for al dente.)
- Add broccoli to the boiling water with pasta when there are 2 minutes left of cooking time. Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving 1 c starchy cooking liquid.
- Lightly brush chicken breast with 1 tsp of olive oil, sea salt and red chili flakes.
- Grill chicken breast until browned, about 4 minutes per side.
- In the same pot that you cooked the pasta and broccoli, heat remaining 1 tbs of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in pasta, broccoli and cooked chicken (cut in cubes).
- If mixture seems dry, add in a bit of the reserved starchy cooking liquid until you reach desired consistency.
- Season with lemon juice, zest and Parmesan cheese.
- Check for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed.
- Garnish with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil.