Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan


This one-pan chicken pasta combines lean chicken breast and sautéed spinach for a one-bowl meal that's garlicky, lemony and best served with a little Parm on top. I call it "Mom's Skillet Pasta" and she called it "Devon's Favorite Pasta." Either way it's a quick and easy weeknight dinner we created together and scribbled on a little recipe card more than a decade ago, and it remains in my weekly dinner rotation to this day. It's a simple dinner the whole family will love.

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
4 servings

How to Make Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan

This chicken pasta dinner is a family-friendly weeknight favorite. It's made in just one skillet, so cleanup is a breeze.

1) Start the Pasta

To get this dinner on the table fast, get the pasta cooking first. We call for penne pasta but any shape will work. If you have a gluten sensitivity, gluten-free pasta works well here. If not, using whole-wheat pasta will give you a boost of fiber without taking away from the flavor of the dish. Make sure not to overcook the pasta, which can make the dish mushy at the end.

2) Cook the Chicken

While the pasta cooks, start the chicken. (You will want a high-sided skillet here or a large pot big enough to hold all of the ingredients.) You can use chicken breast or chicken thighs in this recipe. Chicken breast is the better choice if you want a leaner dish with less trimming. Chicken thighss offer a meatier flavor, but usually need to be trimmed. Make sure the pieces are cut about the same size so they cook evenly.

3) Finish the Dish

Once the chicken is cooked through, you finish the dish by making the sauce! Garlic adds a savory baseline flavor. Wine and lemon juice (and zest) are added to make the sauce bright and tangy. Bringing the sauce to a simmer helps meld the flavors and gets the pan hot enough to rewarm the pasta and wilt the spinach which is added at the end. This dish is at its best served right away sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer


  • 8 ounces gluten-free penne pasta or whole-wheat penne pasta

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, trimmed, if necessary, and cut into bite-size pieces

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon

  • 10 cups chopped fresh spinach

  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in wine, lemon juice and zest; bring to a simmer.

  3. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach and the cooked pasta. Cover and let stand until the spinach is just wilted. Divide among 4 plates and top each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan.

    Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

335 Calories
12g Fat
25g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size scant 2 cups
Calories 335
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 29g 57%
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Vitamin A 7100IU 142%
Vitamin C 31mg 34%
Folate 155mcg 39%
Sodium 499mg 22%
Calcium 144mg 11%
Iron 3mg 18%
Magnesium 108mg 26%
Potassium 685mg 15%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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