Lemon Thyme Chicken Pasta

Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins

This rustic Lemon Thyme Chicken is mouthwateringly good, especially when served over a bed of buttery pasta! An easy dinner made with deliciously juicy seared chicken breast dished over noodles, tossed in a rich and zesty lemon garlic sauce.

Lemon thyme chicken and pasta served on a plate next to a bowl of grated parmesan cheese.

Creamy Lemon Herb Chicken Pasta

This lemon thyme chicken is the perfect protein to serve over a bed of creamy pasta, for an easy weeknight dinner. And boy, did I go all out with the pasta in this recipe!

It starts with tenderized chicken breast that’s lightly seasoned and pan-seared to perfection. Next comes the buttery sauce, made from a dreamy combination of garlic, lemon, fresh thyme, and white wine. It ends with rustic egg noodles tossed in the sauce, topped with the chicken, and finished with an extra squeeze of zesty fresh lemon. I’m in chicken pasta heaven! 

The flavors are just incredible. And needless to say, the whole family loves this easy and hearty variation of lemon herb chicken!

The ingredients for lemon thyme chicken pasta.

What You’ll Need

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this easy pan-seared chicken and lemon garlic sauce:

  • Chicken: I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinned by pounding them down a bit with a meat tenderizer.
  • Olive Oil: A nice quality extra virgin olive oil is best for cooking.
  • White Wine: I recommend a zesty white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc for this recipe. The flavors pair extra nicely with the lemon!
  • Butter: Unsalted butter offers more control over the overall saltiness of the dish.
  • Garlic and Herbs: Fresh minced garlic and thyme. I like to set some of the thyme aside for added garnish, too.
  • Lemon: You’ll need 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice, which usually amounts to one half of a squeezed lemon.
  • Pasta: I love this chicken and sauce served with amish noodles for a nice, rustic flair. However, you can use any of your favorite pasta, prepared according to the directions on the package.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan cheese has loads of flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper

Two chicken breasts stacked on a white plate.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs Instead of Breasts? 

If you prefer chicken thighs, you can definitely switch out the chicken breasts in this recipe! Keep in mind that chicken thighs do take slightly longer to cook, though, so it’s a good idea to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer along the way. Chicken is done when it reaches a temperature of 165ºF. 

How to Make Lemon Thyme Chicken Pasta

This chicken recipe couldn’t be any easier to make for a light yet comforting family meal or as a savory, impressive dish when entertaining! I just love a versatile dinner, don’t you? Here’s how to make this incredible chicken pasta:

Prep the Pasta: Boil your egg noodles according to the package directions, and set them aside for now.

Cook the Chicken: Begin by gently flattening out your chicken breasts using a meat mallet. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly in the pan! Pat the breasts dry and give them a light seasoning with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken in a pan with olive oil until it’s cooked through.

Prepare the Sauce: Remove the chicken and set it aside to keep warm, then deglaze the pan using the white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon (not a metal one!) to free up all the tasty bits. Reduce the wine a little, then add in the butter, and finally the garlic and thyme. Finish the sauce with a squeeze of lemon.

Toss: Next, you’ll toss the egg noodles in the sauce and give the pasta a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan, as well as some good pinches of salt and pepper to taste.

Serve: Finally, slice up the chicken breasts and place them over the bed of saucy pasta. Drizzle over a bit of sauce, garnish with lemon slices and more fresh thyme, then serve!

A spoon drips sauce overtop a bowl of lemon chicken pasta garnished with a lemon slice.

Tips for Success

Here are some tips to ensure the best possible flavor in your lemon thyme chicken recipe:

  • Use Freshly Grated Cheese: For the absolute best flavor, skip the pre-grated, packaged parmesan and grate your cheese fresh from the wedge. 
  • Use Fresh Lemon: While on the subject of fresh ingredients, be sure to use a freshly squeezed lemon, as well as fresh garlic and thyme for your lemony chicken! You won’t regret it.
  • Make the Sauce Alcohol-Free: If you’d prefer to make the sauce without alcohol, substitute the wine with chicken broth instead.
Sliced chicken served over a plate of pasta tossed in a lemon white wine sauce.

Add-Ins & Variations

You can change up the ingredients in this dish to your liking, or easily add in extras like veggies. Here are some ideas:

  • Greens: Steamed or roasted broccoli or asparagus, or sautéed spinach can be cooked ahead and tossed into the pasta at the end.
  • Olives or Capers: If you’re a fan of olives and capers, these can be added in with the parmesan for extra saltiness and flavor.
  • Frozen Veggies: Cook some frozen vegetables to your liking to add in afterwards.
  • Different Cheese: Pecorino, Grana Padano, and Asiago cheese can be grated in instead or in addition to the parmesan.
  • Different Pasta: Any kind of pasta will work with this recipe, from spaghetti, to linguine, to short pasta noodles like penne!
  • More Herbs: Add in other fresh herbs like rosemary, basil, oregano or parsley.
Sliced chicken served over a plate of pasta tossed in a lemon white wine sauce, garnished with a lemon slice.

Serving Suggestions

My favorite way to serve this lemon thyme chicken is over pasta, like in this recipe! If you’d rather skip the noodles, you can always serve it over rice or vegetables instead. You can also lead into the meal with an easy appetizer of Tomato & Goat Cheese Toasts!

This chicken is a wonderful, easy dinner idea that’s delicious on its own, or served alongside other tasty side dishes: 

Lemon thyme chicken and pasta served on a plate next to a large bowl of chicken pasta.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

I’ll admit, this lemon chicken and creamy pasta is best served fresh! However, leftovers will keep when stored airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Reheat the chicken by itself in a 350ºF oven for a few minutes until warmed through. Otherwise, reheat the chicken and pasta altogether in a skillet on the stovetop, or covered in the oven. You can stir in a bit of water to help loosen the noodles and sauce up again.

Leftover chicken slices are also great to serve cold in salads, sandwiches, or wraps!

Does This Dish Freeze Well?

You can store the lemon chicken frozen for up to 3 months. Freeze the chicken breasts in a freezer bag or container, or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and thaw in the fridge before reheating.

More Comforting Chicken Dinner Ideas

Yield: 4 servings

Lemon Thyme Chicken

A plate of lemon thyme chicken pasta, next to a skillet of chicken in lemon garlic sauce.

This rustic Lemon Thyme Chicken is mouthwateringly good, especially when served over a bed of buttery pasta! An easy dinner made with deliciously juicy seared chicken breast dished over noodles, tossed in a rich and zesty lemon garlic sauce.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, thinned
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3⁄4 cup white wine
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced (plus more for garnish)
  • 1⁄2 lemon, juiced (about 3 - 4 tablespoons)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz amish egg noodles, prepared according to packaged directions
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

    1. Pound the chicken breasts to ensure even cooking. Pat dry with a paper towel and lightly season with salt and pepper.
    2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, drizzle and heat up the olive oil. Cook the chicken over medium high heat for 5 minutes and then flip over. Continue cooking until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken and light wrap in foil. Place it in a draft free area to stay warm.
    3. Pour the wine in the pan to deglaze and use a wooden utensil to loosen any chicken bits from the bottom. Continue to cook for 3 minutes while the wine reduces slightly.
    4. Add butter. Once melted, add the minced garlic and thyme. Cook for 1 minute or until the garlic is tender. Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice.
    5. Scoop out about 3 tablespoons of sauce and set aside. Toss the prepared egg noodles with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle it with shredded parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Remove the chicken from the foil and evenly slice. Arrange the sliced chicken breasts on top of the pasta. Drizzle the reserved lemon garlic sauce over the chicken. Serve warm with a garnish of thin lemon slices and additional fresh thyme.

Notes

Store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 4 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 613Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 482mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 42g

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Comments

7 Responses
  1. Carolyn Jones

    Growing many herbs can be difficult. I live in NorCal and had the same problem. I found out that herbs do not like full sun or the heat. So I moved my herbs under a tree and every since I never had another problem.

  2. Neil

    Hi There.

    I did a little bit of substitution and used lemon thyme, less lemon juice and added about a teaspoon of Thai basil(minced) and it came out very nice. I am now a level 2 cook.

    Thanks for Sharing.
    Neil From Down Under.

  3. Gabriel @ The Dinner Special podcast

    Thyme is my go-to herb! it adds so much to a dish, and with lemon, and chicken? Yes please!! Unfortunately, I don’t have any tips on growing it, my thumb is the totally opposite of green…

  4. Kellu

    Container gardens for herbs are not the answer. Make room in the vegetable garden or the flower bed for your herbs and you will be eating pesto from your freezer all winter!

  5. Nicole - Coking for Keeps

    Your thyme = my basil. Why can’t I grow it??? So frustrating. Love this chicken, and I would so be throwing in a few capers, I can’t resist those briny, salty gems!

  6. Rachel Cooks

    I love thyme too – it’s such a great herb. I have no tips for you unfortunately, fellow black thumb here. Although my thyme is doing great this year, but it’s planted in the ground. And I know what I’m going to do with it!

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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