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One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus Recipe

This simple one-pan dish brings together classic flavors in a meal that's sure to satisfy. The creamy, lemon-infused pasta pairs perfectly with tender chicken and crisp asparagus for a delightful and easy-to-make dinner.

One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus Recipe

Photos of One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus Recipe

For this recipe, you'll need ingredients like Neufchâtel cheese and thin asparagus stalks. Neufchâtel is a soft, creamy cheese that's similar to cream cheese but slightly lower in fat. It's usually found in the cheese section of the supermarket. As for the asparagus, opt for thin stalks as they are more tender and cook faster.

Ingredients for One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus

Chicken breasts: Lean protein, which will be cooked until golden brown for a rich flavor.

Olive oil: Used to cook the chicken and sauté the garlic, adding a rich depth to the dish.

Butter: Adds a creamy, rich flavor to the pasta.

Garlic: Gives a strong, pungent flavor that complements the chicken and pasta.

Chicken broth: Provides the base for the sauce and cooks the pasta.

Water: Helps to cook the pasta and balance the flavors.

Penne pasta: Holds up well to the hearty sauce and ingredients.

Asparagus: Adds a fresh, crisp texture and flavor.

Neufchâtel cheese: Adds creaminess to the sauce.

Parmesan cheese: Gives a savory, umami flavor to the dish.

Lemon zest and juice: Brightens the flavors and adds a refreshing tang.

Fresh parsley: Garnishes the dish and adds a touch of fresh flavor.

One reader, Dicky Gainey says:

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This one-pan creamy lemon pasta with chicken and asparagus recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are perfectly balanced, and the dish is so easy to make. The creamy sauce is divine, and the asparagus adds a lovely crunch. It's a must-try for anyone who loves a comforting, yet refreshing meal.

Dicky Gainey

Essential Techniques for Making One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus

How to cook chicken: In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add the seasoned chicken breasts. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a sheet of foil and wrap to keep warm.

How to cook pasta and asparagus: After removing the chicken from the pan, melt butter and sauté garlic. Add chicken broth and water, then bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 9 minutes until fairly tender. Sprinkle the asparagus over the top, cover, and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes until the asparagus and pasta are tender.

How to make the creamy sauce: After the pasta and asparagus are cooked, add Neufchâtel cheese, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the pan. Stir until the cheeses are melted and the sauce is creamy.

How to serve: Once the sauce has thickened slightly and soaked into the pasta, remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes if desired. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

How To Make One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus

Enjoy a flavorful dish with a hint of tang with this lemon pasta. It’s cooked in a lemon-infused creamy sauce made with milk and cheeses.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes



  • 1lbchicken breasts,boneless, skinless, diced into 1 inch cubed
  • tbspolive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • tbspbutter
  • 1tbspgarlic,minced
  • 14.5ozlow sodium chicken broth,(1 can)
  • cupswater
  • 10ozpenne pasta
  • 1lbthin stalks asparagus,tough ends trimmed, remaining diced into 1½-inch pieces
  • 4ozNeufchatel cheese,⅓ less fat cream cheese, diced into 8 pieces
  • ½cupParmesan cheese,finely shredded
  • 2tsplemon zest
  • 2tbspfresh lemon juice
  • fresh parsley,chopped, for garnish, optional


  1. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat.

  2. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 4 minutes until golden brown on the bottom.

  3. Rotate and cook for about 4 minutes longer until cooked through. Transfer to a sheet of foil and wrap to keep warm, set aside

  4. Melt butter in the now-empty skillet, add garlic, and saute for 20 seconds. Add broth and water while stirring to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 

  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil, then add pasta. Cover and allow to boil for about 8 to 9 minutes until fairly tender, stirring occasionally. 

  6. Sprinkle asparagus over top (don’t stir), cover, and allow to boil for 4 to 5 minutes longer until asparagus and pasta are tender (There should be some broth/water left even once it’s finished cooking, this will be part of the sauce. If needed, add more broth). 

  7. Add in Neufchatel cheese, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest and stir until melted. Stir in chicken. 

  8. Remove from heat, cover, and let rest a few minutes if desired to allow the sauce to thicken slightly and soak into the pasta.

  9. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Serve warm.


  • Calories: 589.05kcal
  • Fat: 26.47g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.87g
  • Trans Fat: 0.23g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10.09g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.13g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.42g
  • Fiber: 4.36g
  • Sugar: 4.42g
  • Protein: 37.80g
  • Cholesterol: 94.11mg
  • Sodium: 1078.35mg
  • Calcium: 270.45mg
  • Potassium: 687.33mg
  • Iron: 4.16mg
  • Vitamin A: 190.49µg
  • Vitamin C: 15.09mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Perfecting This Creamy Lemon Pasta Recipe

To ensure your chicken remains juicy and tender, avoid overcooking it. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit when it's fully cooked. Also, wrapping the cooked chicken in foil helps to keep it warm and allows it to continue cooking slightly in its own heat, enhancing its flavor.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Creamy Lemon Pasta Dish

Prep ahead: Chop the asparagus and chicken in advance to cut down on prep time when cooking.

Multitask: While the pasta is boiling, cook the chicken and prepare the sauce to save time.

Substitute Ingredients For One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus Recipe

  • chicken breasts - Substitute with turkey breast: Turkey breast can be used as a lean and flavorful alternative to chicken breast, providing a similar texture and taste to the dish.

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable replacement for olive oil in this recipe.

  • butter - Substitute with ghee: Ghee, or clarified butter, can be used as a substitute for butter, adding a rich and nutty flavor to the dish.

  • neufchâtel cheese - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier alternative to neufchâtel cheese, providing a creamy texture and tangy flavor to the pasta.

  • parmesan cheese - Substitute with pecorino Romano: Pecorino Romano cheese can be used as a substitute for parmesan, offering a similar salty and nutty flavor to the dish.

  • penne pasta - Substitute with fusilli: Fusilli pasta can be used as a substitute for penne, providing a similar shape and texture to hold the creamy sauce.

  • asparagus - Substitute with broccolini: Broccolini can be used as a substitute for asparagus, offering a similar tender-crisp texture and mild, slightly sweet flavor.

  • lemon zest - Substitute with lime zest: Lime zest can be used as a substitute for lemon zest, providing a citrusy aroma and flavor to the pasta dish.

  • lemon juice - Substitute with white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar can be used as a substitute for lemon juice, adding a tangy and acidic element to the dish.

How to Beautifully Present This Creamy Lemon Pasta Recipe

  1. Elevate the dish with a stunning plating: When presenting this dish, focus on creating a visually appealing plate. Arrange the pasta neatly, ensuring the chicken and asparagus are showcased prominently.

  2. Incorporate vibrant colors: Introduce pops of color to the plate by garnishing with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. This will add a touch of brightness and freshness to the overall presentation.

  3. Highlight the creamy texture: Emphasize the creaminess of the dish by ensuring the sauce is evenly distributed and coats the pasta beautifully. This will create a luxurious and inviting visual appeal.

  4. Emphasize the freshness of the ingredients: Showcase the vibrant green asparagus to highlight the freshness of the produce. Arrange the asparagus elegantly to draw attention to its crisp texture.

  5. Create a balanced composition: Pay attention to the placement of each element on the plate, ensuring a harmonious balance of flavors and textures in every bite.

  6. Use elegant serving dishes: Choose sophisticated serving dishes that complement the dish and elevate the overall dining experience for the judges.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta

  • Saute pan: A sauté pan is a wide, flat-bottomed pan with relatively tall sides, perfect for sautéing, searing, and shallow frying. It's a versatile tool for cooking a variety of dishes.
  • Sheet of foil: A sheet of foil is used to wrap and keep food warm, preventing it from cooling down too quickly.
  • Skillet: A skillet is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. It's an essential tool for cooking the chicken and garlic in this recipe.
  • Mixing spoon: A mixing spoon is used for stirring and combining ingredients while cooking. It's essential for incorporating the flavors and elements of the dish.
  • Grater: A grater is used to zest the lemon, creating fine shreds of the outer peel to add citrus flavor to the dish.
  • Food tongs: Food tongs are used for flipping and handling the chicken breasts while cooking. They provide a secure grip and control when working with hot food.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for preparing and cutting ingredients, such as trimming the asparagus or slicing the chicken breasts.
  • Chef's knife: A chef's knife is a versatile tool for slicing, dicing, and chopping ingredients. It's essential for preparing the chicken, asparagus, and other components of the dish.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are used to accurately measure and portion ingredients, ensuring the right balance of flavors and consistency in the dish.
  • Lemon squeezer: A lemon squeezer is used to extract fresh lemon juice, adding a bright and tangy flavor to the dish.
  • Grill pan: A grill pan is used to cook the chicken breasts, creating attractive grill marks and adding a smoky flavor to the meat.
  • Pasta pot: A pasta pot is a large, deep pot with a strainer insert, designed specifically for boiling and draining pasta. It's essential for cooking the penne pasta in this recipe.

Storing and Freezing Instructions for One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta

  • Let the pasta cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To reheat, simply microwave individual portions or reheat the entire dish in a covered skillet over medium heat, adding a splash of chicken broth or water if needed to loosen the sauce.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the pasta for up to 2-3 months:
    • Transfer the cooled pasta to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
    • When ready to eat, thaw the pasta overnight in the refrigerator.
    • Reheat in the microwave or in a covered skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally and adding a little chicken broth or water if needed to restore the creamy consistency of the sauce.
  • If you plan on freezing the dish, it's best to undercook the asparagus slightly, as it will continue to soften during the reheating process.
  • Consider storing the chicken separately from the pasta and sauce to maintain its texture. Simply reheat the chicken in the microwave or a skillet before adding it back to the reheated pasta and sauce.

How To Reheat Leftover Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus

  • Stovetop method: Place the leftover one-pan creamy lemon pasta with chicken and asparagus in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Add a splash of chicken broth or water to help loosen the sauce and prevent the pasta from drying out. Stir gently and continuously until the dish is heated through, about 5-7 minutes. If the sauce appears too thick, add more liquid as needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, black pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten up the flavors.

  • Microwave method: Transfer the leftover one-pan creamy lemon pasta with chicken and asparagus to a microwave-safe dish. Add a splash of chicken broth or water to help maintain the sauce's consistency. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape. Microwave on high power in 1-minute intervals, stirring between each interval, until the dish is heated through and steaming. This should take about 2-3 minutes total, depending on the quantity and your microwave's power. Once heated, give the dish a final stir, taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

  • Oven method: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the leftover one-pan creamy lemon pasta with chicken and asparagus to an oven-safe dish. Add a splash of chicken broth or water to help maintain the sauce's consistency. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to prevent the top from drying out. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of reheating to allow the top to slightly brown and crisp up. Once heated, carefully remove the dish from the oven, give it a stir, taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to reheat the leftover one-pan creamy lemon pasta with chicken and asparagus until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure food safety. If the asparagus appears too soft or mushy after reheating, you can remove it from the dish and add fresh, blanched asparagus for a better texture and flavor. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley before serving.

Fascinating Fact About One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus

The creamy lemon pasta with chicken and asparagus is a delicious and nutritious meal that provides a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. It's a great way to incorporate a variety of vegetables into your diet, and the lemon adds a refreshing and tangy flavor to the dish. This recipe can be easily customized by adding other vegetables or using different types of pasta. It's a versatile and satisfying one-pan meal that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Is Making One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this creamy lemon pasta with chicken and asparagus recipe is quite favorable. The ingredients, such as chicken, asparagus, and pasta, are commonly found and reasonably priced. The addition of neufchâtel cheese and parmesan cheese adds a touch of luxury without breaking the bank. The approximate cost for a household of four people is around $20-$25, making it an affordable and satisfying meal. Overall, this recipe earns a solid 8 out of 10 for its balance of flavor, nutrition, and affordability.

Is This Creamy Lemon Pasta Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

This one-pan creamy lemon pasta with chicken and asparagus recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. On the positive side, it includes:

  • Lean protein from the chicken breasts
  • Nutritious asparagus, which is rich in vitamins and minerals
  • Lemon juice and zest, providing vitamin C and bright, fresh flavor

However, there are some less healthy components:

  • The dish is high in saturated fat due to the butter, neufchâtel cheese, and parmesan cheese
  • Using low-sodium chicken broth is a good start, but the added salt may still make the dish relatively high in sodium
  • White pasta is used, which is less nutrient-dense than whole grain alternatives

To make this recipe healthier, you could try the following:

  • Replace the butter with additional olive oil to reduce saturated fat
  • Use whole wheat or legume-based pasta for added fiber and nutrients
  • Reduce the amount of cheese used, or opt for lower-fat varieties
  • Include additional vegetables, such as bell peppers or cherry tomatoes, to increase the nutrient content
  • Experiment with using Greek yogurt in place of some or all of the neufchâtel cheese for a protein boost and lower fat content
  • Adjust the seasoning to rely more on herbs and spices rather than salt for flavor

With a few tweaks, this recipe can be transformed into a more balanced and nutritious meal that still satisfies your creamy pasta cravings.

Editor's Opinion on This Delightful One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta Recipe

The one-pan creamy lemon pasta with chicken and asparagus recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The creamy sauce, infused with lemon zest and juice, perfectly complements the tender chicken, vibrant asparagus, and al dente penne pasta. The dish is well-balanced and offers a refreshing twist on a classic pasta dish. The use of neufchâtel cheese adds a rich and velvety texture to the sauce, while the addition of fresh parsley provides a pop of color and freshness. Overall, this recipe is a winner and is sure to impress with its delicious and comforting flavors.

Enhance Your One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Bread: Savory garlic bread with a crispy crust and soft, buttery center, perfect for soaking up the creamy lemon sauce.
Roasted Vegetables: Colorful and flavorful roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, seasoned with herbs and olive oil for a healthy and vibrant side dish.
Fruit Salad: A refreshing and juicy fruit salad with a mix of seasonal fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi, tossed in a light citrus dressing to complement the creamy pasta dish.
Creamy Potato Salad: Creamy and tangy potato salad with a blend of tender potatoes, crunchy celery, and zesty mustard dressing, adding a comforting and satisfying element to the meal.

Delicious Alternatives to One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken: This creamy garlic parmesan chicken recipe is a delicious and easy dish to make at home. It's perfect for a cozy night in or a family dinner.
Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus: Lemon garlic roasted asparagus is a simple and flavorful side dish that pairs well with any main course. It's a great way to add some green to your meal.
Creamy Lemon Chicken Soup: Creamy lemon chicken soup is a comforting and satisfying meal that's perfect for chilly days. It's packed with flavor and sure to warm you up.

Ideal Appetizer and Dessert Combinations for One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: These crispy zucchini fritters are a delightful way to start any gathering. The golden brown exterior gives way to a tender, flavorful interior, making them a crowd-pleasing appetizer option.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, rich chocolate lava cake that oozes with molten chocolate when you cut into it. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of warm and cold textures.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Create a luscious and creamy strawberry cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust. Top it with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of strawberry sauce for a burst of fruity flavor in every bite.

Why trust this One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of chicken, asparagus, and penne pasta in a creamy lemon sauce. The use of neufchatel cheese adds a rich and velvety texture, while the addition of parmesan cheese brings a delightful depth of flavor. The method of cooking the chicken and asparagus together with the pasta ensures a harmonious blend of flavors. The incorporation of lemon juice and lemon zest provides a refreshing and zesty note, elevating the overall dish. With a balance of protein, vegetables, and carbs, this recipe promises a satisfying and wholesome meal.

Excited to try this One-Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus Recipe? Share your experience, tips, and any tweaks you made in the Recipe Sharing forum!
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can use a different type of pasta if you prefer. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the type and thickness of the pasta.
Can I substitute the asparagus with a different vegetable?
Absolutely! You can substitute the asparagus with other vegetables such as broccoli, peas, or spinach. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the vegetables are cooked to your liking.
Is there a substitute for neufchâtel cheese?
Yes, you can substitute neufchâtel cheese with regular cream cheese. The flavor and texture may vary slightly, but it will still work well in the recipe.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
While this dish is best served fresh, you can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble them when you're ready to serve. Just be sure to reheat it gently to prevent the sauce from breaking.
Can I use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?
Absolutely! Boneless chicken thighs can be used as a delicious alternative to chicken breasts in this recipe. Just adjust the cooking time as needed to ensure they are fully cooked.

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