My very favorite pasta that I make all the time is a lemon garlic pasta. I make it with chicken, shrimp, without protein and sometimes add vegetables like broccoli or peas. This is a family favorite and it’s what I serve at our Christmas Eve dinner. It’s seriously the BEST.
I could go on and on about this one you guys. Pasta is hands down one of my favorite meals. With that said, I do eat pasta in moderation because I would turn into pasta if I ate it as much as I really wanted to. With that said, when I do enjoy it, I love to make it GOOD.
This recipe is definitely one of our favorites. Tons of lemon, garlic and butter are poured over noodles. If I’m making this our main meal, I add a protein like chicken and I think the peas add a nice color to the overall dish.
For fun, I made some parmesan crisps and sprinkled it over for a garnish.
Let’s chat about this lemon garlic butter sauce real quick. This stuff is what makes this dish lip smacking delicious. Tons of butter, olive oil, garlic, shallot, lemon zest and lemon juice are cooked down until concentrated and flavorful – add some red pepper flakes to give it a kick.
This is obviously delicious over pasta, but it would be just as good to cook chicken in it or even use it as a dipping sauce for bread.
The more it cooks down, the more golden in color it gets – you want that deep rich lemon and garlic flavor so don’t be afraid to let this simmer on low for awhile.
I make this dish every year for Christmas Eve except I don’t add chicken or peas…I use just the sauce. It’s served as a side dish to the overall seafood dinner that I make. It pairs SO well with shrimp, lobster and crab if you’re into that!
Or do what I did and make it your weeknight meal! Kids eat this up because it tastes good. The lemon is such a bright flavor but it’s not over powering, especially because it’s cooked down. I like this because I don’t have to make anything else but this for dinner – it has everything you need for a well balanced meal!
And the leftovers are just as good!
- 1 pound pasta (any kind will do)
- 1 small bag frozen peas (don't worry what size the bag is. Put as much or as little as you want in the dish)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 7 tablespoon good olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large shallot, chopped finely
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 lemons depending on size)
- ⅛-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (as mush or as little as you prefer)
- Parmesan cheese
- First make the sauce - Add butter and olive oil to a large skillet and place over medium-low heat.
- Next add the garlic and shallot and sauté gently for 2 minutes. Careful to not burn the garlic. Turn heat down if needed.
- Next, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Continue to sauté gently over low-heat for 5 more minutes. The last few minutes of cooking, add the peas and let them heat through. The sauce should just simmer, not boil. Careful to not burn the garlic.
- While the sauce simmers make the chicken - Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Add 2 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook on both sides for 4-5 minutes. Check for doneness. Turn heat down if they need a little longer to cook through. Once done, remove chicken and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing them.
- Finally, add the pasta to a pot of salted boiling water and cook al dente according to package directions. Before you drain the pasta, reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.
- Pour pasta back into the large pot you boiled it in. Add the sauce, sliced cooked chicken, parsley and handful of parmesan cheese. Stir and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Even lemon juice if you want more. If the pasta seems dry to you, add ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water and stir to loosen it up. Continue adding pasta water to your liking.
- Serve pasta with parmesan cheese and a lemon slice.