Lemon Pepper Ricotta Pasta with Lemon Pepper Chicken has lemony tartness, freshly cracked pepper, and a creamy ricotta sauced pasta and is a perfect light meal. You can even add a salad to get some veggies on your plate.
I have been making Lemon Pepper Chicken for years! I introduced my Hubby to it when we moved in together and it has been on the menu around here for 16 years now. Sheet pan style for multiple meals or just 3 pieces for 1 meal, it makes my menu plan at least once a month!
The Lemon Pepper Chicken
The ingredients are simple: chicken breast, olive oil spray, lemon zest lemon slices, salt & pepper.
Just spray your pan, add chicken, top with salt and cracked black pepper. Add lemon zest to each breast and lemon slices to cover them. Lightly spray the slices and salt and pepper them too. Bake them for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
They would work fine in an air fryer. Just use your manufacturers’ instructions for chicken breast.
Sometimes I like to turn the broiler on them for a few minutes to char them a little.
I like to take the juice that accumulates in the bottom of the pan and spoon it over the chicken pieces
One day when I was prepping a pan full, I was pondering what kind of side dish I could serve it with. We have had tons of different sides over the years… baked potatoes, salads, mac & cheese. I love to make these little potatoes as a side!
But this time I wanted something different. Something that matched the lemony flavor profile but was kind of creamy. I can’t do very much creamy white dairy because of allergies, but I can handle a little bit. Ricotta cheese seemed like the direction to go.
Lemon Pepper Ricotta Pasta was dreamed up!
The flavors were set, lemon pepper. The “creamy” part was set, ricotta cheese. On to the noodles! After I made the switch to whole grain noodles I pinned down the ones I like the most. Bow ties and thin spaghetti are my 2 favorite ones. Because this isn’t a super creamy pasta dish I didn’t think bow ties were the way to go. So thin spaghetti won!!
What are the rest of the ingredients?
So far we have chicken, lemons with zest, salt & pepper, olive oil spray, and whole wheat pasta.
I like to pick chicken breasts that will fit neatly in my Red container so that I can leave them whole. Just kind of roll them “sushi” style to see if they fit in it with the lid on! I have more container hacks in here.
The rest of the ingredients are really simple. Butter, garlic powder, ricotta cheese, and water from boiling the pasta in. Parmesan cheese is optional but I like it. I like to add extra lemon zest with salt and pepper mixed with it. A few sprigs of parsley fresh from my herb bed bring a little freshness to the plate too.
The ricotta, butter, and milk make a kind of “dry” thick sauce. Not at all like a creamy mac and cheese, more like baked spaghetti dish.
Lemon Pepper Ricotta Pasta & Lemon Pepper Chicken
Lemon Pepper Chicken
- olive oil spray
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 3 medium chicken breasts
- 2-3 slices lemon, enough to cover breasts
Lemon Pepper Ricotta Pasta
- 1½ cups cooked whole wheat thin spaghetti, about 9oz dry
- ¾ cup light ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, divided in half
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2-4 tablespoons milk or water from boiled pasta, or more if needed
- ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese, optional
Lemon Pepper Chicken
- Spray pan with olive oil spray, add chicken, top with salt and cracked black pepper. Add lemon zest to each breast and lemon slices to cover them. Lightly spray the slices and salt and pepper them too. Bake them for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Lemon Pepper Ricotta Pasta
- Cook noodles according to package. Drain and save some of the water.
- While the noodles are cooking, mix the cheese, butter, ½ the zest, juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Add drained noodles to the cheese mixture. Stir lightly trying not to mash up your noodles. Add milk and or pasta water to the mix to thin it down a little.
- Top each serving with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and a bit more cracked pepper. Add the optional 1½ Tablespoon parmesan cheese if you want it.
21 Day Fix/Ultimate Portion Fix Container Counts
- 1 piece of chicken = 1R. ½ cup pasta mix = 1Y 1oil teaspoon and ⅓R. The optional 1½ teaspoons shredded parmesan cheese = ⅓B
While you have some fresh lemons on hand you might want to try this Healthy Caesar Salad dressing. You could use the optional parmesan cheese and some romaine lettuce and have a Caesar Salad as a side dish!
Or I like to add leftover Lemon Pepper Chicken to a BIG Caesar Salad and have it as a whole meal!