A creamy pasta dish is probably the closest thing I have to a go to meal. I have probably have 10+ recipes for them already, but for the summer I was looking for a new version (my last summery one is linked here). We have started a new herb garden since we moved into our new house and its starting to yield some usable herbs. If you have ever grown basil you know it grows super fast, so it was time to use some. With that: this Lemon-Basil Chicken Pasta was born.
This pasta recipe follows the basic format for my alfredo-esque sauce that results in a super creamy sauce. This means that it is basically a pantry meal for me. I pretty much always have pasta, cream, lemon, chicken tenders, and wine stocked and ready to make some pasta. This has only become more normal now that we have a huge walk-in pantry to fill with Costco run pantry items.
I always like to use chicken tenders for making pasta dishes. You could use chicken breasts, but then you just have to do more prep to cut them into the right size. Tenders just require one cut and you have two perfect sized pieces.
The lemon and basil keep the flavors light, but it still coats the pasta nicely. This is my personal taste, but I did add some red pepper flake to give it a little bit of a kick.
For this pasta dish, I only used thin lemon slices instead of juice. What I find is that this allows for the lemon flavor to more slowly infuse into the sauce as opposed to mostly burning off during a deglaze (plus there is the wine for that).
The best way to time this recipe I find is to start the pasta when you flip the chicken pieces. This timing has proven to be accurate for almost every cream sauce I have every made.
Once you have the bones of the sauce just formed and reducing, you just add the basil and peas at the end. They will cook into the sauce and then you just toss the pasta in to finish up.
Lemon-Basil Chicken Pasta
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Lb Chicken Tenders
- 1-2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1/2 Tsp Red Chili Flakes
- 1 Lemon cut into slices
- 1/4 Cup White Wine
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 4-5 Basil Leaves chopped
- 1 Cup Frozen Peas
- 1 Lb Pasta I used cavatappi
- Bring large pot of water to a boil.
- Once water is to a boil, salt the water and add pasta, cook to package instructions.
- In a large skillet melt butter over medium high heat.
- Add Chicken and cook on each side for 3 minutes.
- Once chicken is done, add garlic, red chili flakes and lemon slice, cook for 30 seconds.
- Add wine to deglaze the pan.
- Once wine has reduced, add heavy cream and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add basil and frozen peas.
- Drain pasta and mix into the chicken and sauce mixture.