Lemon Dill Chicken Pasta with Goat Cheese

I made this Lemon Dill Chicken Pasta with Goat Cheese at the insistence of an herb.

Quick and easy Lemon Dill Chicken Pasta with Goat Cheese

My general meal planning tactic is to create recipes that use up whichever leftover ingredients I would be the saddest to see spoil. Was it the artisan salami I bought on impulse at the fancy super market which commanded our menu? The shallots that have been lurking in a dark corner of our pantry? The cheese I picked up at the farmers market? No—it was the bundle of fresh dill for which I paid a grand total of $.79. The idea of seeing its downy soft, fragrant leaves turn brown tore so forcefully at my heart, I based an entire pasta dish around its signature spring flavor.

Easy Lemon Dill Chicken Pasta with Goat Cheese

Lemon Dill Chicken Pasta Skillet

When dill is dictating the menu, lemon is a necessity—the two are the dearest of flavor BFFs. Next, came the idea of pasta, since a) one can never have too many quick and healthy pasta dishes in one’s arsenal and, b) my only concrete plan at this point was an herb and some lemon juice, which is another way of saying, I didn’t have a plan at all. Pasta to the rescue! Though any shape of noodle will do (including that half-empty box I know you have sitting in your pantry right now), I opted for bowties for the simple reason that they make me happy. They’re fun, flirty, and I love the way the other ingredients nestle into their “wings.” I also used whole wheat pasta for the benefit of its fiber and protein. (Not a sponsored post, but I absolutely love DeLallo. I’ve eaten every whole wheat pasta out there, and DeLallo’s have the best texture and taste—plus they offer more shape options, including these lovely bowties.)

Fast and fabulous Lemon Dill Chicken Pasta with Goat Cheese

To make this lemon dill pasta a healthy, all-in-one meal, I mixed in a trio of spring jewels: sautéed red onions, peas, and spinach. The veggies are bright, nourishing, and require almost zero cooking. I also added simply sautéed chicken for a little extra heartiness, though the pasta will still be plenty satisfying should you prefer to omit it.

Easy Skillet Lemon Dill Chicken Pasta

Finally, rather than fuss with a cream sauce, which feels like the exact opposite of what we should be doing on a warm spring evening, I simply crumbled goat cheese into the pan. The warmth of the pasta melts the goat cheese just enough to transform it into a creamy, luxurious “sauce” that requires no cooking at all, leaving us extra time for more important affairs (*cough* grapefruit margarita *cough*).

In the end, this Lemon Dill Chicken Pasta with Goat Cheese turned out to be one of our favorite dinners that I’ve made in quite a while. It’s simple, flavorful, and filled with some of spring’s best offerings.

Date night Lemon Dill Chicken Pasta with Goat Cheese

Maybe I should obey my herbs more often.

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Lemon Dill Chicken Pasta with Goat Cheese

This creamy lemon dill chicken pasta is fast, healthy, and sure to be a family favorite! Goat cheese is the secret ingredient to its quick, creamy sauce.


Yield: Serves 3-4 (can easily be doubled)

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:


  • 8 ounces whole wheat bowtie pasta (or pasta of your choice)

  • 1 tablespoon, plus 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus additional for tossing pasta

  • 1 large or 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 10 ounces)

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh chopped spinach

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

  • 4 ounces goat cheese


Directions:


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain. Toss the drained pasta with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking, then set aside.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high. Once hot, add the chicken and sauté until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes (be careful as the oil may splatter). With a slotted spoon, remove to plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

  3. Reduce pan heat to medium. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the skillet, the onions, salt, and pepper and cook until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add the peas and cook until heated through (about 1 minute for fresh or 3 minutes for frozen), then add the reserved chicken, reserved pasta, remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. If the pasta seems to dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water. Just before serving, stir in the spinach, dill, and goat cheese.


All images and text ©/Well Plated.

More wonderful weeknight pastas:

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

25 comments

  1. You’re totally right – lemon and dill go together like tomatoes and basil or peanut butter and chocolate.  they were meant to be!  This pasta looks so tasty, and perfect for this time of year!  

  2. Oh I do that ALL the time! Currently I have a bunch of thai basil that I need to use up in the next day or so. Glad you made this pasta, because it looks like a fantastic way to use dill! Plus, you brought goat cheese to the party. And I’m always for that.

  3. This pasta looks so nice and light and refreshing! This will be perfect for warm Spring or Summer nights when you want something fresh! Yum!

  4. Yummy  Erin!! I love pasta of any kind also!! 

  5. This sounds delicious, perfect for spring.

  6. yummy! This looks delicious and perfect for spring! 

  7. I can never seem to use up dill when I buy it!! Now I know what I’m making next time. Especially since there is goat cheese involved!

  8. This looks like such a lovely and simple dish! I couldn’t agree more that lemon and dill are perfect together. Yum!

  9. Somehow I, too, always end up feeling worst about the herbs that end up going bad in my crisper drawer…and not the $10/pound cheese. Wonder why that is….

    Love that this pasta practically SCREAMS spring!

  10. This is so my life — the withering herbs in the back of the fridge, the bits of cheese and deli meat, the half-used pasta box… all of it. Which means I already have about half of the ingredients needed for this yummy dish! Thanks for planning my dinner tomorrow night. ;)

  11. Love love love this plate of springtime – and don’t bow-ties make every pasta dish a little cheerier!  Good for you for keeping those herbs in line.  :)

  12. I love it when ingredients beckon from the refrigerator and then become something as delicious as this! I think that having staples around without a specific plan can lead to some of the most wonderful meals.

  13. I totally agree with you – lemon and dill go together like peanut butter and jelly.  
    This pasta looks awesome ;-) Pinned it!

  14. Wilted dill really is a sad sight…seems to happen to all of my herbs these days (I have good intentions at the grocery store!) Looks like a perfect, fresh and delicious (and best of all EASY) week-night dinner!

  15. This looks like such a great dinner!

  16. Anything crowned with dill is tops in my book.  It always elevates any dish with its lovely aromatic flavor.  And when paired with lemon and pasta. . .magic just happens.   I’m glad you had a bunch of dill laying around on its last leg because it meant you brought us this tasty dish.

  17. Wowza… What a scrummy, delicious meal. Sooooo making this. Can’t remember the last time I bought dill, I could never find a way to use it all up, so bought the tube stuff that lasts for ages. :) 

  18. I wanted to make this meal and I didn’t have any chicken, so I substituted the peas for shelled edamame ( for the protein) , my family loved it, everyone went back for seconds and we are not vegetarians !   

  19. Wow – that pasta looks so delicious and unique! Goat cheese on anything is the best! :)

  20. this was delicious! Thanks so much for sharing! 

  21. I made this recipe just as you said and it was delicious! I will definitely be making this one again :)

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