We are obsessed with this chicken with baked lemon pasta! It’s the perfect flavorful, comforting dinner that everyone loves. Add a roasted vegetable on the side and it’s the ideal weeknight meal.

Monday dinner is served!

This dish is cozy, satisfying and COMPLETE. A full meal right here, and you can throw in some roasted vegetables. Creamy, lemony pasta tossed with parmesan and baked until tender. Juicy, flavorful chicken sliced and served with it for a dinner that you will love.

You may even fight over the leftovers.

tiny farfallini pasta

The biggest request I get from you guys is to share more “full meals”. Whole meals, including the entree and the side dish, that may be different from something in one pot, on one sheet pan, etc. And I love to do that because it’s often what I’m searching for too. Especially when I’m menu planning for the week and trying to simplify. 

This pasta and chicken is a meal that we make often, so I am pumped to be sharing with you today.

baked lemon pasta

It sort of feels fancy, but it isn’t at all.

It’s cozy and comforting without being heavy and decadent. 

And it’s super versatile! You can swap the cheese in the pasta, throw in some vegetables, change up the seasonings on the chicken and more. 

P.S. please see those brown buttery flecks in that pasta above?! I mean… oh my word.

making baked lemon pasta

If you have a copy of Everyday Dinners, you know I have a recipe for a cheesy lemon orzo in the book. It’s baked, almost like a light lemon orzo mac and cheese – and it’s divine. I make a version of it often for dinner, and end up using any cut of pasta I have in the house. Sometimes I even mix pastas if I have a few left of each! 

seared cast iron chicken

I start this the same way I do my parmesan orzo – by toasting the pasta in butter and garlic. Sort of like risotto! This is an extra step, of course, but it makes it SO worth it. It adds a depth of flavor that wouldn’t be there otherwise. This is why we use a tiny cut of pasta. I used farfallini in this recipe, but I have a hard time finding it now. Ditalini and orzo would work too. And when the pasta cooks up, the toasty little bits are just incredible. After that, I add stock and bake it for a bit. Then stir in all the goodness: the fresh lemon zest and parmesan. 

While the pasta bakes, I make an easy chicken breast in my cast iron skillet. I love doing chicken this way because it’s simple, but still flavorful. The cast iron results in golden brown crust – this is why I love to use butter here. You get that browned butter, super golden outside on the chicken breast and so.much.flavor. It’s totally worth it. 

baked lemon pasta

I also love to finish my chicken in the oven. You know, I find that this is foolproof. I sear it on both sides for a good five minutes and then pop it in the oven for five or ten – depending on the thickness of the chicken. The chicken is so tender and juicy every single time. It’s my favorite way to make chicken breast, aside from grilling it! 

Just look at it practically falling apart.

seared cast iron chicken

When it comes to additional side dishes, I almost always do parmesan roasted broccoli. I like to do some sort of vegetable to go with the baked pasta and occasionally I’ll just stir some of the vegetables into the pasta for the kids! You can also make cacio e pepe cauliflower, hot honey brussels sprouts or either my broccoli slaw or brussels slaw. All of those would fit this meal. 

Heck, even a bag of frozen steamfresh vegetables would work in a pinch! I’m all about making things easy and simple on busy weeknights. 

baked lemon pasta

This lemony pasta could be used with just about anything. Seafood, steak – it’s a delicious side dish all around.

seared cast iron chicken with baked lemon pasta

And, now we have dinner tonight!

seared cast iron chicken with baked lemon pasta

Chicken with Baked Lemon Pasta

Seared Cast Iron Chicken with Baked Lemon Pasta

We are obsessed with this chicken with baked lemon pasta! It's the perfect flavorful, comforting dinner that everyone loves. Add a roasted vegetable on the side and it's the ideal weeknight meal.
5 from 31 votes
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baked lemon pasta

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 16 ounces tiny-cut pasta, like orzo, ditalini, farfallini, etc
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 32 ounces chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest, depending on how lemony you like it
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or herbs

seared cast iron chicken breast


baked lemon pasta

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Melt the butter in an oven-safe saute pan, skillet, braiser or dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the pasta and cook for a few minutes, stirring often, so the pasta toasts. Stir in the garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Pour in 3 ½ cups of the stock, stirring to combine. Place the skillet in the oven, uncovered, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the pasta is tender.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the remaining stock, the parmesan and the lemon zest. Place it back in the oven for 5 minutes. Don’t worry if it seems too liquidy - the pasta soaks up all the stock quickly! Stir in the chopped parsley.

seared cast iron chicken breast

  • While the pasta is in the oven, heat the cast iron skillet over medium heat. Pat the chicken breast dry with a paper towel and season it all over with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano.
  • Add the butter to the skillet. Once melted and sizzling, add in the chicken. Cook it on one side until deeply golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip it and cook for an additional 5 minutes, not moving it so it gets that golden brown
  • Place the skillet in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve with the pasta!

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baked lemon parmesan pasta

Leftovers = heaven.