Creamy Lemon Chicken Bowties is THE BEST chicken and pasta recipe! You will want to serve this to company and is sure to become a new favorite in your home!
Have you ever declared that you really don’t like something, and then, after listing all of the exceptions, you realize you DO like that very thing? Pasta is that thing for me. If you asked me, “Do you like pasta?” I would probably say, “No, I do not, except…” and then I would go on to list the exceptions, which would be legion. This is particularly hilarious because my absolute #1 10/10 favorite food is Macaroni and Cheese (like these Baked Shells and Cheese). Yet, unless I’m thinking about it good and long and hard, I wouldn’t think that it was pasta. But it is.
You may think me crazy if you’ve been around my blog, because I do have a fair bit of pasta recipes for being early on in the game. Another favorite is this Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Casserole which uses the wonderful penne pasta and is made from scratch (no jars needed).
This one though, this is my best pasta recipe. This is the recipe that made me consider that I may be one of those pasta people after all. I made and photographed this months ago, and I’m sitting here typing this, totally drooling all over myself because it is 8:30 AM and I WANT A BIG BOWL OF THIS STUFF. Now that I’m a fully confessed pasta-addict, I’m sure pasta for breakfast can be a thing. Right?
Why Use Bowtie Pasta?
Bow Tie pasta is one of my favorite pastas. Partially because of the novelty, and partially because the nooks and crannies serve as perfect little hidey holes of saucy goodness. Bowtie pasta has these little creases where the buttery lemon sauce settles in and makes a nice little home for itself. When I’m assessing a pasta noodle for use, I’m always looking for a good “sauce trap”. You don’t want a smooth surface, you want something a little rumpled or ridged. That way the sauce clings to the noodle, rather than staying in the bowl.
I adapted a recipe that was simply used for chicken, increased the volume, made it saucy and spectacular, and served it over bowties. Topped with fresh parsley and grated parmesan. I mean, it’s a simple equation:
Butter + Lemon + Garlic + Pasta + Parmesan = Perfection.
I was absolutely addicted from the first bite.
Enjoying Your Own Food
It feels so weird getting that reaction from your own food. It Almost seems selfish in a way, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying something you’ve spent time creating. It certainly feels weird, but should it? Shouldn’t we enjoy the fruits of our labors?
This was a special treat for our family. I don’t often spend the time to cook in the way I would like to. Even though I love cooking, I’m somewhat opposed to the idea of doing dishes, and the shine of cooking a nicer-than-normal dish kind of rusts away when you are cooking 3 meals a day (and cleaning up after them too). It’s hard not to portray that as bitter via the typed word, but it truly isn’t bitter. Rather, I can acknowledge that during this season of my life, my cooking efforts will be mostly of the home cook/casserole variety, and not because I don’t enjoy cooking, but rather because of the sheer quantity of food stuffs I must produce as keeper of my home.
I know that one day I will have an empty, clean kitchen with absolutely zero nose prints on the oven glass. That’s a somewhat heartbreaking thought, really. I take solace in the hope that I will be able to use my gifts and skills (and cooking) to bless others. Hopefully I have a bunch of grandchildren I can make a big mess with, and remember what it was like to be right where I am today.
And that was a tangent!
What Makes This The BEST Pasta Recipe?
- Looks impressive
- Tastes great
- Uses fresh ingredients
- Has a classic flavor combination
- And really isn’t that hard to prepare!
Every once and a while I like to make something interesting. Something that doesn’t have a breadcrumb topping. This recipe, this one right here? Creamy Lemon Chicken Bowties is going to be THAT meal. Why?
Making the Time to Cook
Cooking, like cleaning, is one of those things that we can hype ourselves up about too much. Sometimes the thought of spending all that TIME cooking this special dish is more troublesome and time consuming than the actual preparation itself. Truly, this meal isn’t at all difficult to prepare. Dare I say, just as easy as some of my faithful favorites! But because it is outside my regular realm of recipes, it feels like it takes longer. But it doesn’t. This comes together rather quickly, provided you have all of the ingredients and the chicken is properly thawed. Sure, it does produce a few extra dishes but for the BEST PASTA RECIPE, it’s worth it.
What Do I Need to Make This Recipe?
- Pasta: Bowtie pasta is used in this recipe. The particular ridges are perfect for a thinner sauce.
- Chicken Breasts: These are sliced and seared with plenty of seasoning for a well rounded flavor.
- Salted Butter: An essential element for the Creamy Lemon Garlic Sauce. Yum! Unsalted butter is fine too if that’s what you have on hand, just add a little bit of additional salt.
- Heavy Cream: I once saw someone call it “heavenly cream” and that certainly is true, isn’t it!?
- Parmesan Cheese: Just a little bit of parmesan cheese goes a long way in this recipe since we have some nice fatty mouthfeel from our butter and heavy cream.
- Garlic: It has to be fresh here. Jar garlic would be a crime for which there would be no adequate punishment.
- Lemon Juice: If you can, use a fresh lemon. Lemon juice in the bottle has its place, but it can have a bit of a metallic taste when you’re asking it to be a main flavor in the dish.
- Fresh Parsley: You really really really want to go with the fresh stuff in this recipe. Dried parsley really is a poor replacement for fresh. You can buy a bunch for fairly cheap, and you can keep it fresh for a long time using this method.
- Oil: Use a neutral tasting oil like sunflower, canola, or avocado oil.
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper, paprika, and dried thyme are used in this recipe.
Creamy Lemon Chicken Bowties
- 12 oz Dried Bowtie Pasta
- 1 tsp. Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp. Oil avocado, vegetable or neutral tasting oil
- 2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts sliced
- ¼ tsp. Dried Thyme
- ½ tsp. Paprika
- ¼ Ground Black Pepper
- ½ tsp. Table Salt
Creamy Lemon Sauce
- ½ cup Salted Butter
- 8 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- ⅓ cup Lemon Juice
- 3 tbsp. Fresh Minced Parsley
- ½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Bring a large stockpot of salty water to a boil.
- Add the olive oil and the bowtie pasta. Stir, and boil the pasta for 12 minutes, or according to package directions.
- Drain the pasta and cover with a plate to keep warm.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the chicken. Heat 2 tbsp. Of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Combine the thyme, paprika, ground black pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
- Add the sliced chicken in a single layer. Sprinkle the chicken with the seasonings. Once the first side is browned, turn the chicken to brown on the other side.
- Cook the chicken until an internal temperature of 165F is reached in the thickest piece of chicken.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and onto a plate. Set aside.
Creamy Lemon Sauce
- Add the butter to the hot skillet, swirling it around until it melts.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic to the melted butter. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Slowly add the heavy cream to the butter and garlic, whisking as you add the cream.
- Once all of the cream is added, add the lemon juice.
- Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching.
- Once the sauce is done, remove from the heat and stir in the fresh parsley.
- Place the hot pasta in a large bowl, stirring to prevent clumping.
- Top the pasta with the chicken, then the Parmesan cheese, and finally pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately!