This recipe for lemon asparagus pasta combines tender asparagus and grilled chicken with pasta in a lemon cream sauce. It’s a delicious and hearty entree that everyone will want seconds of!
Spring has sprung here in California – the trees are full of blossoms, the temperature has been around 70 degrees and spring produce is starting to pop up in stores. When I saw that asparagus was on sale I had to pick up a bunch to have for dinner, and that’s how this lemon asparagus pasta with grilled chicken came to be.
There are a few components to this dish – the chicken, the pasta and the asparagus. Lately I’ve been grilling up a big batch of chicken on Sunday night and adding it to our meals throughout the week, including in this lemon asparagus pasta. If you don’t want to fire up the grill you could use sauteed chicken or even sliced chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken. I went with linguine pasta here but spaghetti or fettuccine would also be great. The asparagus cooks along with the pasta, which is super convenient – you know I’m all for using less pans whenever possible!
The creamy lemon sauce only has 4 ingredients and takes less than 5 minutes to make. In my opinion it’s the perfect way to showcase asparagus – the hint of lemon really accentuates all of the flavors. Put it all together, stir in some parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of parsley, and you’ve got an amazing dinner that everyone will go crazy for!
- 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into strips
- 1 pound of asparagus, ends removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 10 ounces of linguine pasta (spaghetti or fettuccine will also work)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
- Optional garnishes: Lemon slices and ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Add the asparagus to the pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking time.
- Reserve ¼ cup of pasta cooking liquid.
- In small pot, combine the heavy cream, butter and ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.
- Place the pasta and asparagus back into the pot you cooked it in along with the chicken.
- Pour the cream sauce over the pasta mixture and toss to coat evenly, adding pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Alternatively, you can toss just the pasta with the sauce and arrange the chicken and asparagus over the top of the pasta.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon slices if desired.