One Pan Chicken Bow Tie Pasta

Bow tie pasta is one dressy pasta and cooking it right in the sauce will definitely make you cheer! Zesty thanks to some fresh lemon, chicken bow tie pasta is a one pan pasta ready in about 30 minutes. Talk about a quick weeknight dinner!

finished dish of pasta with lemon, spinach and chicken
A bowl of chicken bow tie pasta is on the table fast!

If you’ve tried my one pan pasta with tomatoes and garlic, you know how easy it is to cook pasta right in the sauce. And this chicken bow tie pasta version is kissed with lemon, garlic and the bow tie pasta soaks up all of those amazing flavors.

You also have the option (which I highly recommend) to use my foolproof method for cooking juicy chicken breasts. This step can be done ahead too!

And the fact that it comes together in about 30 minutes? Even better!

Clean up? Easy! One pan pasta means one pan for the pasta and the same for the sauce.

Cooking time? Fast! In about 30 minutes you’ll have dinner the whole family will love. Perfect for those busy weeknights when you want something really good and satisfying.

Plus it’s an easy chicken dinner recipe just for two… and you’ll have leftovers.

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Key ingredients

white bowl with uncooked bow tie pasta with a lemon, fresh thyme, chicken, garlic and cheese
  • Chicken breasts. You have two options:
    1. You can use what is, in my humble opinion, the best method for cooking chicken breasts to cook the chicken breasts. Bonus: use the broth from the chicken to make the sauce for the pasta.
    2. Use two store bought cooked rotisserie chicken breasts or the shredded chicken from Costco.
  • Bow Tie Pasta. I typically use the bow tie pasta from Barilla.
  • Chicken broth. If you use method #1 above, you’ll need extra chicken broth to make 1 3/4 cups.
  • I love these small 8 oz. containers of chicken broth because you don’t have to open a big one that will eventually go bad in the fridge.

Pro Tip

Divide up a 32 oz. container of chicken broth into smaller 1/2 cup freezer safe containers or bags and freeze to use as needed.


Step by step instructions

pan of seared and cooked chicken breasts with a tong and blue napkin tied to the handle.
Method #1: Pan Seared Chicken
measuring cup of chicken broth on a wooden cutting board with fresh thyme sprigs.
Add broth from cooking chicken to measuring cup and top with more broth
broth being poured into a skillet of cooked onions.
Pour broth in sauteed onions and garlic to deglaze the pan.
  • Prepare chicken breasts by either #1 or #2 above, reserving chicken broth at bottom of the pan with method #1. Cool and shred the chicken.
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil to a wide 12″ skillet and sauté some chopped onion until golden, about 5 minutes. Pour in some white wine and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Pour chicken broth into skillet adding extra to make 1 3/4 cups.
pasta being added to a skillet of onions and broth.
Add dry bow tie pasta to skillet with the broth. Cover and lower heat.
cooked bow tie pasta and onions in a skillet.
This is how the pasta will look when cooked and it soaks up the sauce.
skillet of bow tie pasta with cooked chicken, lemon zest and spinach
Toss in cooked chicken, spinach and lemon zest
  • Add bow tie pasta to the skillet along with some salt and pepper.
  • Cover with a lid and simmer for 9 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add in shredded chicken, a couple of handfuls of spinach, (sauteed broccoli would be good too), some lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add a pat of butter to thicken. Serve with a healthy dose of parmesan or feta cheese (or both!) and a small sprinkle of crushed red pepper if you’re feeling spicy!

Recipe notes

skillet of chicken pasta with spinach and a wooden spoon.

#1 Texture. The cooking times for this one pan pasta makes the bow tie pasta al dente so it might end up a little firmer than you like. Have some extra broth on hand (up to 1/2 cup) to add near the end if more cooking time is needed. Feel free to cook the pasta to your personal taste!

#2 Pan Size. If you have a deeper pan that is smaller in diameter, you’ll need to take that into account. You might have to raise the heat a bit to achieve the cooking time in the recipe or just know that the dish might take a little longer.

#2 Seasoning. Adjust the seasoning to your preference. The onions aren’t salted as the broth can be salty from cooking the chicken.

#3 Make ahead tips. Make the chicken earlier in the day or a couple of days ahead and reserve the broth for the day you plan to serve it.

Store, reheat and freeze

Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Reheat. Heat on the stove in a small skillet, adding a little chicken broth stirring occasionally until warmed through.

Freeze. I don’t recommend freezing this pasta as I can’t guarantee the texture when it defrosts.

Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!


finished dish of pasta with lemon, spinach and chicken
5 from 3 votes

One Pan Lemon Chicken Bowtie Pasta

Bow tie pasta is the cheeriest of pastas and cooking it right in the sauce will definitely make you cheer! This chicken bow tie pasta with lemon is a one pan pasta ready in about 30 minutes. Woohoo!
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
For chicken (if making from scratch):20 minutes
Total Time:55 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients
 

To Prepare Chicken

For Pasta

Instructions

Prepare chicken breasts using the foolproof chicken method

  • Using a meat tenderizer, pound chicken breasts between two sheets (or one long sheet folded over) of parchment paper until the chicken is even on all sides. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
    2 cooked chicken breast halves, salt and pepper
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chicken breasts in the skillet (don't crowd the pan or have them touch if possible) and sear for one minute.
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Using tongs, gently flip the chicken to the other side (if there is any resistance, let the chicken be for another 30 seconds-1 minute). Cover the pan and lower the heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE LID!
  • After 10 minutes have passed and, without removing the lid, turn off the burner. Rest the chicken for 10 more minutes. Leave until ready to use.

For the pasta

  • Add a drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of heated large skillet (12 inch skillet)over medium high heat. Saute the diced onion in the oil for about 5 minutes until translucent with thyme or oregano if using. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds until you can smell it.
    1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 onion chopped, ¼ teaspon thyme or oregano, 1 tsp garlic
  • To the onions, add the white wine and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth (reserved cooking broth plus extra needed to equal 1 ¾ cups).
    ¼ cup dry white wine, 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
  • Add the pasta, salt and pepper. Cover the skillet with a lid that fits well and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 9 minutes.
    2 cups bow tie pasta, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • After the time has passed, check the pasta for tenderness. If it needs a little more cooking time (or broth), add a little more as needed as this depends on your stove, pan and heat conduction. Stir the pasta.
  • Shred or cube the chicken and add to the skillet along with the spinach, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add a pat of butter for some velvety texture.
    2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, 1 lemon, pat of butter
  • Serve with a healthy sprinkling of fresh parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper if using.
    freshly grated parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper

Notes

Texture. The cooking times for this one pan pasta makes the bow tie pasta al dente so it might end up a little firmer than you like. Have some extra broth on hand (up to 1/2 cup) to add near the end if more cooking time is needed. Feel free to cook the pasta to your personal taste!
Pan Size. If you have a deeper pan that is smaller in diameter, you’ll need to take that into account. You might have to raise the heat a bit to achieve the cooking time in the recipe or just know that the dish might take a little longer.
Seasoning. Adjust the seasoning to your preference. The onions aren’t salted as the broth can be salty from cooking the chicken.
Make ahead tips. Make the chicken earlier in the day or a couple of days ahead and reserve the broth for the day you plan to serve it.
Storage. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Reheating Tips. Heat leftovers on the stove with a little chicken broth until warmed through. Or heat in 30 second increments in a microwave safe covered bowl or dish
Course: Dinner, Pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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4 Comments

  1. This is the second time I have made this recipe. It is so good!! I took your suggestion and made extra chicken, so I could snack on while making this recipe and have leftover for another dinner. Even received compliments from my husband!5 stars

  2. Made this tonight!! So good! You were right about the chicken. Next time I will make extra chicken because as I was shredding, I was eating a piece of chicken here and there. Also, added oregano & didn’t feel like opening a bottle of wine, so just used chicken broth. Will definitely make this again.5 stars