A garlicky, lemony white wine butter sauce envelops tender sautéed chicken and angel hair pasta in this delectable Chicken Scampi recipe. It’s a restaurant-style meal you can make at home in mere minutes!
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Scampi Recipe
- Scampi, A New Way. Do you like the idea of my Healthy Shrimp Scampi and Baked Shrimp Scampi but not, you know, the shrimp? This chicken scampi is for you, dear crustacean hater! It’s got all the flavors of shrimp scampi, minus the shrimp, plus chicken. (And Chicken Saltimbocca proves chicken plays very well with garlicky white wine butter sauce.)
- Weeknight Friendly. Sometimes you’re up for a dinner that’s a project, but on a weeknight, you want quick and easy. Like my Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta, Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta, and the rest of my 30-minute meals, this chicken scampi comes together fast, with minimal effort.
- It’s Got All the Flavor. We’re talking butter, shallots, lots of garlic (six cloves!), white wine, lemon, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes. What’s not to love?
- Like Pasta from Your Favorite Restaurant. Pour yourself a glass of white wine (good thing you’ll have some extra after making your chicken scampi!), light a candle, break out some crisp white table linens (okay, maybe not that), and enjoy a restaurant-style pasta dinner at home. This is a little bit like a copycat recipe for Olive Garden chicken scampi.
How to Make Chicken Scampi
- Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta. Or spaghetti noodles. Regular pasta is, of course, fine too, but I like whole wheat for a little extra nutrition.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts. Cut these into bite-sized pieces.
- Kosher Salt. My go-to salt for cooking.
- All-Purpose Flour. For a nice crust on the chicken.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. No need for anything fancy here since you’re cooking with it.
- Unsalted Butter. Using unsalted butter gives you more control over the flavor of the finished dish.
- Shallot and Garlic. For all that allium flavor.
- Dry White Wine. Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are fantastic, or use chicken broth if you prefer keeping your chicken scampi alcohol-free.
- Lemon. You’ll need fresh lemon juice and zest; zest the lemon first, then juice it.
- Red Pepper Flakes. Feel free to add less for a tamer dish.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese. Freshly grated is best in this simple scampi.
- Fresh Parsley Leaves. For an herbaceous finishing touch.
- Cook the Pasta. Reserve a cup of the pasta water.
- Prep the Chicken. Pat it dry, then toss it with the salt and flour.
- Cook the Chicken. Heat a tablespoon of butter with the oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken until it’s browned. Transfer it to a plate.
- Sauté the Aromatics. Cook in a little butter.
- Deglaze. Scrape off any browned bits at the bottom.
- Finish. Reduce the heat to low and add 1/2 cup of the pasta water, along with the chicken, pasta, and remaining ingredients. Toss to coat, then ENJOY!
- Switch Up Your Chicken. You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs and adjust the cooking time accordingly, or swap the chicken breasts for tenders. (If you love chicken tenders, check out my Air Fryer Chicken Tenders and Grilled Chicken Tenders).
- Use Different Herbs. Parsley is definitely the classic when it comes to chicken scampi, but if you happen to have sage, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, or basil on hand, they’ll also work with the flavors in this recipe and give it a slightly different spin.
- Vegetarian Chicken Scampi. You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by using your favorite plant-based chicken cutlets or strips. Or, use white beans.
- Skip the Pasta. Instead of making this a pasta dish, spoon the garlic butter sauce over Instant Pot Brown Rice or Roasted Red Potatoes.
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover chicken scampi in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat chicken scampi in a skillet set over medium-low heat, adding a splash of broth if needed to loosen things up. You can also reheat the pasta in the microwave until hot.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight storage container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
What to Serve with Chicken Scampi
- Vegetables. Simple veggie sides like Roasted Asparagus and Sautéed Broccoli pair perfectly with chicken scampi.
- Salad. Keep things light by serving your chicken scampi with Arugula Salad or Green Goddess Salad.
- Bread. For that true restaurant-style experience, you can’t skip the bread course! Pick up something crusty and delicious from your favorite bakery or try my Rosemary Olive Oil Bread or No Knead Focaccia for soaking up the wine sauce.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Chef’s Knife. A kitchen multitasker that eliminates the need for pricy tools and gadgets.
- Cutting Board. The nonporous surface is great for cutting chicken. Plus, it’s nonslip!
- Measuring Spoons. I love this set because it’s double-sided and it’s magnetic.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Don’t Forget to Reserve the Water. I remind you not to be a nag, but because I have drained pasta without reserving the water more times than I can count. (Seriously, why is it so hard to remember?!) The starch in the pasta water is key to a luxurious sauce.
- Dry the Chicken Well. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry to help the flour stick.
- Time It Perfectly. You don’t want the cooked pasta to sit for a long time, or it will start to stick together. I add the pasta to the boiling water right after I finish cooking the chicken.
- Don’t Use Cooking Wine. It’s totally counterintuitive, but cooking wine is not good for cooking; it usually has added salt and preservatives that can impact the flavor of your finished dish. I usually buy an inexpensive bottle of wine to cook with—not the cheapest, but maybe one or two steps above.
- Cook the Pasta to Al Dente. You want it to have a little bite to it when it’s done boiling because it will continue to cook when you toss it in the chicken scampi sauce.
- 8 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta or spaghetti noodles
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, divided
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced about 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan plus additional for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, then drain*.
- Pat the chicken dry. Place in a bowl and toss with the salt and the flour.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium. Add the chicken and cook on all sides untiled browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter and the shallot to the skillet. Cook until the shallot is beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and let cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Pour in the wine and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Let simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, lemon zest, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, chicken, pasta, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. With tongs, toss the noodles with the chicken so that they are coated with the garlic-lemon sauce. Add the Parmesan and parsley. Continue tossing until silky and combined. Enjoy immediately, with additional Parmesan to taste.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover chicken scampi in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat chicken scampi in a skillet set over medium-low heat, adding a splash of broth if needed to loosen things up. You can also reheat the pasta in the microwave until hot.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight storage container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The sauce shouldn’t need to be thickened; the starch from the pasta and the Parmesan should thicken it. If you feel it’s looking a little thin, you can turn up the heat for a bit to boil off some of the liquid, but do so before adding the chicken or pasta.
Yes, you can substitute chicken broth or stock for the wine.
A dry white wine goes well with chicken scampi—which is convenient because we also use a dry white wine in the recipe itself! Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Blanc are all excellent choices. (Chardonnay pairs well with chicken scampi for drinking, but it’s not as ideal for the recipe.)