This chicken and spinach pasta with lemon cream sauce is perfect for quick and elegant entertaining, or an easy weeknight meal.

Serving of chicken and spinach pasta in round white bowl with fork and pale green napkin.
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Does entertaining stress you out? Do you default to ordering pizza when you have friends or family coming over? I GET IT. I run a food blog and develop recipes for a living and sometimes having people over still stresses me out! It’s a lot of pressure, time management, different likes and tastes to think about, etc. etc. etc.

It can be so overwhelming!

I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to be afraid. Don’t reach for your phone to get that pizza coming or order carry out online (best thing ever, by the way).

You can make entertaining look effortless. I’ll also tell you that no one is looking for perfection, at least not in the circles I hang out in. People are more interested in the conversation and quality time than the perfection of the meal in front of them.

This also means that they don’t want you slaving over the food the whole time they are there. This TOTALLY defeats the purpose of having company. You need to sit down and enjoy the meal with everyone else.

Closeup of pasta in bowl, with fork and napkin nearby.

This chicken and spinach pasta with lemon cream sauce is perfect for entertaining.

First of all, this pasta dish is a crowd pleaser. Who wouldn’t like chicken and spinach smothered in a rich lemon cream sauce?

Second of all, it’s so easy to make. There is barely any prep work involved and it only makes two pans dirty.

Third, it’s flexible and forgiving. What I mean by this is that it can be done early enough for you to enjoy a cocktail and an appetizer with your guests before dinner. Just keep it on low heat, add a little milk or cream if it gets dry, and serve it when you’re ready.

This is also perfect if you’re hosting those guests who might not be the most punctual. We all have friends like that. If you don’t know which friend it is, it’s probably you.

Front closeup of pasta in bowl, with wooden salt and pepper mills in background.

About This Recipe

A little lemon zest is included in this recipe to offset the richness of the cheese and cream.

what To Serve With This Pasta

Serve this creamy chicken and spinach pasta with a fresh green salad dressed with lemon basil vinaigrette or a citrus salad with mint, honey, and lime. I love this easy Arugula Salad with its simple lemon vinaigrette. A warm crusty bread is perfect, too, like homemade Dutch Oven Bread (no knead!).

And don’t forget a glass of white wine! An oaky chardonnay or Gewürztraminer is perfect or, if you prefer red wine, try cabernet Franc or pinot noir.

This pasta dish is going to be your new entertaining go-to recipe, I just know it.

Make It Your Own

  • Substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat.
  • Try a different type of pasta, whether it’s whole wheat, gluten-free, or regular. Use your favorite kind or what you happen to have. Angel hair pasta is delicious and quick cooking, too.
  • Looking for a one pot pasta? Try Instant Pot Lemon Pasta with Chicken. It’s super easy and you’ll only have one pan to wash.
  • Rather have a baked casserole? Try this Baked Spaghetti With Spinach. It’s super yummy!

Storage and Reheating Tips

Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to three days. Because of the creamy sauce which tends to separate when frozen, I wouldn’t advise freezing this pasta.

To reheat, gently warm on the stove in a skillet or saucepan. If pasta seems dry, add a splash of cream or milk. Try not to overheat the sauce. It can also be reheated in the microwave.

More Pasta Recipes

Recipe

Chicken and Spinach Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce

4.50 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This chicken and spinach pasta with lemon cream sauce is perfect for quick and elegant entertaining, or an easy weeknight meal.
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Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese
  • 1 box (13.25 ounce) whole wheat penne rigate, or pasta of your choice

Instructions 

  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and onion and cook until onions are translucent and chicken is cooked through. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
  • Add Holland House White Cooking Wine and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally until cooking wine is reduced by about half.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, add spinach and lemon zest and cover for 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat to low and add whipping cream, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and cream cheese. Continue to cook on low, stirring, until all the cheese is melted.
  • Serve over cooked pasta or stir pasta into sauce. Best served immediately.

Notes

  • If reheating, heat over low heat on the stove and add cream or milk as needed to thin sauce.
  • Any type of pasta may be used.

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 408mg, Potassium: 713mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 5115IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 262mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.50 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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3 Comments

  1. Marie Vielot says:

    Great recipes

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thanks so much, Marie!

  2. denise says:

    looks delicious