Lemon Basil Chicken Pasta

May 7, 2018


Lemon basil chicken pasta tossed with roma tomatoes, olive oil and butter.  It's truly a magical concoction if I say so myself.  And at around 30 minutes to make it's the perfect weeknight meal but looks extra fancy like you slaved all afternoon.  


I won't tell anyone our secret.


Also you only need two pans to make this, a pot to boil your water and I use my large sauté pan to prepare the dish in because its so big and has tall sides.  It's seriously my favorite.




Every so often my husband and I go to this cute little wine bar for dinner.  They play old movies projected on a wall and have candles on the table, it's so cozy and just has a charm about it.  


On a whim I ordered the calamari, which honestly can be such a hit or miss.  Not only was the calamari so yummy but the dip for the calamari blew my mind and stole the spotlight!  


Lemon AND basil.  It's a revelation.



I love that mix.  Don't you?



It inspired to make up this pasta dish.




The only thing I thought it needed, was some acid.  


And pasta needs tomatoes.  Like Bert needs Ernie.  


So I did a quick boil, peel, chop and tossed the tomatoes in the most dreamy buttery lemon sauce.  It's not heavy, it's very light and my little trick I always use for a light sauce is to use pasta water.  It's thin, binding and always has flavor.  Just make sure that when you cook your pasta you also salt the water.



Once you start to mix in the pasta water and the parmigiano it gets to be this subtly creamy sauce.  So enchanting.  



There's never a substitute for fresh basil or fresh lemon zest.  So make sure you use both for the best tasting lemon basil chicken pasta ever!  And I actually use my lemon zester to grate both the lemon and the parmigiana, it works way better than a regular box grater.


Do you love easy chicken dinners? Try out some of my favorite chicken dinner recipes!

One Pan Buttermilk Chicken and Risotto

Lemon Orzo Chicken

Sticky Honey Garlic Chicken

Southwest Grilled Chicken and Cilantro Lime Rice




8 oz linguine (important, if you increase the pasta amount you must double sauce or will be too bland)

2 chicken breasts

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 roma tomatoes, skins peeled (boil for 30 seconds and they should peel off) and cut into sixths

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

salt and pepper

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 package fresh basil (about 5 extra large basil leaves), chopped

1/2 c parmigiano cheese, grated

1/2 c pasta water + more if needed



  1. Season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper

  2. Pan sear the chicken, let sit until everything else is done (so juices do not run out) then cut into pieces

  3. Cook the pasta per package directions (plus a few pinches of salt), you'll transfer the noodles straight into the sauce (make sure to reserve 1/2 c pasta water)

  4. Heat a large saute pan over low heat

  5. Add in olive oil, butter and garlic

  6. Cook for 5 minutes until garlic is fragrant

  7. Add in the tomatoes and lemon juice

  8. Cover the pan and cook an additional 5 minutes

  9. Uncover the pan and transfer the cooked pasta noodles directly to it along with 1/2 c pasta water 

  10. Add the lemon zest, chopped basil, most of the parmigiano reggiano and the cut up chicken 

  11. Toss everything together

  12. Serve up your lemon basil chicken pasta with a bit more fresh parmigiano




*This is an important step.  If the chicken is too thick then you run the risk of burning the outside and leaving the middle still pink.  By using a meat mallet you can pound the chicken so that they are an equal width and thin enough to cook through without burning.  If you don't have a meat mallet you can improvise with the bottom of a heavy pan.


Products I used for this recipe:







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Welcome to

Modern Crumb!

Thanks for stopping by.  I'm Tara.  Food fan, avid crafter and pizza lover extraordinaire.  I'm a wife and a mom of two kids.  

Modern Crumb is a food blog that shares delicious and easy family friendly recipes that everyone wants to eat!





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