This Lemon, Chicken & Spinach Pasta is one of my absolute favorite recipes. Do you like chicken francese? How about a side of Parmesan pasta and another of spinach sauteed in lemon butter? Growing up this was a staple meal at my house. It took my mother hours to make it. It takes me hours to make it, but my family loves it. I just don’t have that kind of time these days, because, you know, I’m busy! So, when I saw a one pot meal on Pinterest by Betty Crocker that sounded kind of like my favorite dish, I had to give it a try!
Something you should probably know about me: I like to tamper with recipes and make them my own. Sometimes it’s only a small thing, like leaving out spices I don’t like or a veggie that picky eater refuses to ingest (which is most of them). Sometimes though, sometimes I give them a pretty big overhaul, and that’s what I did here. You can find the original recipe from Betty Crocker on my Pinterest Board called “Found Recipes.” Let’s get on with the good food! Oh and did I mention you only need one pot and it only takes maybe an hour? Awesome right?
One Pot Dinner Lemon, Chicken & Spinach Pasta
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 package Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (3 large breasts is plenty), cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 2 32 oz Cartons College Inn Broth, 40% Less Sodium You can use whatever kind of Chicken Broth you like
- 16 oz Spinach Fettuchine, broken in half or Fettuchine or Linguini or whatever pasta you like
- 1 1/2 cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 stick Butter, cut into tablespoons
- 3 Large Lemons 2-3 Tbsp Lemon Zest, Plus Juice All 3
- 1 bag 8 oz Baby Spinach (Or Frozen Cut Spinach if need be)
- In a dutch oven (you want a big-ish one - 6 quart should be fine), heat olive oil on medium heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
- Cook chicken in oil 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is not pink.
- Remove chicken to a plate, cover with foil and keep warm.
- There will probably be chicken juice and oil in your dutch oven (see picture). Discard this liquid and return the dutch oven to medium high heat.
- IF, and only IF, you need to use frozen cut spinach. While the chicken is browning, put it in the microwave and cook it for 1/2 the time the bag tells you. Then let it sit 5 minutes. Then drain in a colander to get as much water out as possible.
- Add the garlic to the pot and cook it for a minute or so until it's fragrant and turning light brown. If you don't have the time to mince or chop garlic they make garlic already minced or chopped in jars (as shown in the picture). I also just found garlic cloves in brine, but I haven't tried them yet.
- Add Chicken Broth and Fettuccine (or whatever pasta you chose). Heat to boiling.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 15-25 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking we're going to zest and juice our lemons. I picked up this tool on QVC a few years ago and it makes quick work of the zesting.
- My kids somehow "lost" the glass bottoms to my juicers! But I found that I can fit them into a cereal bowl and absent another method this worked out really well.
- This is what it looked like when I was done with the lemons
- This what the pasta looks like when it's done simmering.
- Stir 3/4 C of the grated Parmesan, the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and your cooked chicken. Toss well to combine. Remove from heat and slowly add in spinach a handful at a time. Gently toss to incorporate. It will begin to wilt which is what you want. Let stand 5-10 minutes and serve.
- If using frozen Spinach, simply add to dish and toss to incorporate. No wilting needed.
- This is what our finished dish looks like with regular Fettuccine.