Gluten-Free Lemon Chicken Pasta with Cottage Cheese

Make my Gluten-Free Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta with Cottage Cheese Recipe with parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, baby spinach and artichoke hearts for incredible lemon flavor. Pan-sear perfectly juicy lemon garlic marinated chicken breast with your favorite pasta for an easy, healthy dinner everyone can enjoy!

Gluten-Free Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta in a Hexclad pan.

Say goodbye to dry chicken and hello to my Gluten-Free Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta with Cottage Cheese Recipe. I’ve made the healthy lemon cream sauce higher in protein and lower in fat with cottage cheese. We’re blending it smooth and adding clean, natural ingredients, including parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice, zest, butter and almond milk for incredible lemon flavor. The juicy chicken breast is marinated in lemon juice and quickly pan-seared golden on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. 

This is the perfect healthy dinner recipe to make ahead of time for busy weeknights or to enjoy as a relaxing weeknight meal everyone can enjoy regardless of any gluten allergies. 

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Lemon Garlic Pasta with Chicken Recipe

  • You only need a few major ingredients.
  • It is super easy to make for an impressive result.
  • The flavor-rich ingredients make it taste amazing!
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.
Gluten-Free Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta in a Hexclad pan.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make the best lemon chicken pasta recipe:

Gluten-Free Pasta: Substitute the pasta of your choice, including rice, corn, quinoa, or chickpea flour. You can also use any shape, including angel hair, bow ties, or fettuccine.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: You can use chicken thighs, chicken tenders, or a rotisserie chicken.

Cottage Cheese: Use a dairy-free cottage cheese alternative or silken tofu blended until smooth for a dairy-free option.

Parmesan Cheese: I prefer to buy a block of parmesan cheese and grate it to avoid the cellulose that pre-shredded storebought cheese is coated with. You can replace with any block cheese, including white cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, or monterey jack chese.

Light Olive Oil: You can replace it with avocado oil or virgin olive oil.

Butter: You can use a dairy-free alternative like vegan margarine or coconut oil.

Milk: You can use regular milk, whole milk, almond milk, soy milk, or any other dairy-free milk of your choice.

Lemon Juice: For best results, use freshly squeezed lemon juice. 

​Lemon Zest: You can omit it if you are using store-bought lemon juice and don’t have a fresh lemon.

Dijon Mustard: You can omit or use regular mustard or mustard powder as a substitute. Make sure it’s gluten-free.

Fresh Garlic Cloves: You can omit or replace them with garlic powder or storebought minced garlic.

Artichoke Hearts: You can omit them, but these give delicious flavor and nutrition that compliments the lemon pasta.

Baby Spinach Leaves: These are generally gluten-free, but it’s essential to wash them thoroughly.

Worcestershire Sauce: Make sure to use a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce or replace it with liquid aminos or gluten-free soy sauce.

Gluten-Free Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta in a Hexclad pan.

How to Make My Lemon Garlic Chicken Pasta with Creamy Cottage Cheese Sauce

Step 1: Marinate the Chicken

Place 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts in plastic bags and pound until they are an even thickness. I like to use a wooden rolling pin. Season both sides of the chicken with coarse sea salt and a dash of pepper.

In a small bowl, combine light olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and dried parsley and stir until combined. Place the chicken breasts in a bag or bowl and pour in the marinade. Toss the chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes up to 4 hours.

Seasoning chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Marinating chicken in a glass bowl.

Step 2: Pan-Sear the Chicken

Bring a frying pan (ideally a cast iron or Hexclad frying pan) to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of light olive oil. Allow excess marinade to drain off the chicken breasts, and then lay them in the hot frying pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown underneath. Pour a few drops of Worcestershire sauce onto the top of the chicken and then flip them over. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165°F. Place the chicken breasts on a plate to rest for 15 minutes.

Cooking chicken in a Hexclad pan.
Checking internal temperature of chicken in a Hexclad pan.

Step 3: Prepare the Pasta:

Cook the gluten-free pasta according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted water for best results.

Once cooked, drain the al dente pasta and set it aside.

Step 4: Prepare the Lemon Parmesan Pasta Sauce

In a blender, food processor, or the chopper cup of an immersion blender, combine the cottage cheese, almond milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Finely chop the garlic cloves and grate the parmesan cheese.

Adding sauce ingredients to a chopper cup.
Parmesan cheese, butter, spinach, and artichoke hearts on a cutting board.

Step 5: Assemble the Pasta

Bring the frying pan to medium heat. Scrape out any overcooked browned bits, but leave the oil. Or, pour an additional tablespoon of light olive oil into the pan if needed. Add the spinach leaves and artichoke hearts. Saute for several minutes until the spinach is wilted. Remove the spinach and artichokes from the pan.

Add the butter and chopped garlic. Stir until the butter is melted and the garlic is soft and fragrant.

​Pour in the blended parmesan sauce and add the grated parmesan cheese. Stir until smooth and melted.

Add in the cooked pasta and stir until combined. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk or chicken stock to reach the desired consistency.

Simmer for 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the dish to heat through.

Slice the rested chicken breasts into strips or bite-sized pieces and serve with the pasta.

Garnish with additional grated dairy-free Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, fresh herbs, or a sprinkle of black pepper if desired.

Stirring spinach and artichoke hearts in frying pan.
Melting parmesan cheese into pasta sauce in a frying pan.
Adding spinach and artichokes to pasta.
Gluten-Free Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta in a Hexclad pan.

Gluten-Free Lemon Pasta with Garlic and Chicken Recipe Notes

Lemon Garlic Chicken: My Pan-Seared Lemon Garlic Chicken Recipe can be prepared in advance to save time. 

Optional Vegetables: The artichoke hearts and baby spinach are optional but add a delightful flavor and extra nutrients. Adjust quantities based on personal preference.

Cooking the Garlic: Softening the garlic in the melted butter before adding the rest of the pasta sauce helps to enrich the flavor. 

Adjusting Sauce Consistency: Depending on how much pasta you add to the creamy lemon garlic sauce, you may need to adjust the consistency. You can add more milk or parmesan cheese to increase the creaminess or thin it out. You can also double the recipe if you’re making a full 12 or 16-ounce box of pasta.

Refrigeration: Store any leftover creamy chicken pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If possible, store the pasta and lemon Parmesan pasta sauce separately to prevent the pasta from becoming too soggy. They can be stored up to 3-4 days for optimal flavor and texture.

Reheating: Add a splash of milk to the pasta while reheating to maintain its creaminess.

Freezing: You can freeze the lemon chicken separately. Reheat it and prepare a fresh batch of sauce when serving.

Can I use a different type of gluten-free ​pasta?
Absolutely! Choose your preferred gluten-free pasta variety, such as rice, quinoa, corn, or chickpea-based pasta.

Can I make the Lemon Parmesan Pasta Sauce in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for several days. Blend it again before using to restore the smooth consistency.

How do I make this creamy lemon sauce dairy-free?
Use dairy-free alternatives for cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter, and milk. Ensure these substitutes are compatible with your dietary preferences.

Can I make this creamy pasta dish vegan?
Yes, you can make it vegan by choosing plant-based alternatives for the chicken or substituting with tofu or tempeh. Also, ensure all ingredients, including optional ones, are plant-based.

What side dishes pair well with this pasta?
A simple green salad or roasted vegetables make excellent side dishes to complement the flavors of the creamy lemon chicken pasta.

Can I use pre-cooked chicken for this recipe?
Yes, you can use pre-cooked tender chicken. Ensure it’s seasoned well to blend with the flavors of the dish.

Gluten-Free Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta in a Hexclad pan.

Gluten-Free Lemon Chicken Pasta with Cottage Cheese Recipe

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
Make my Gluten-Free Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta with Cottage Cheese Recipe with parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, baby spinach, and artichoke hearts for incredible lemon flavor. Pan-sear perfectly juicy lemon garlic marinated chicken breast with your favorite pasta for an easy, healthy dinner everyone can enjoy!
5 from 3 votes
Servings 4
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz pasta (cooked)
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts (optional)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter

Lemon Parmesan Pasta Sauce:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese (blended smooth)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper

Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Place 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts in plastic bags and pound until they are an even thickness. I like to use a wooden rolling pin. Season both sides of the chicken with coarse sea salt and a dash of pepper.
    In a small bowl, combine light olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and dried parsley and stir until combined. Place the chicken breasts in a bag or bowl and pour in the marinade. Toss the chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes up to 4 hours.
  • Bring a frying pan (ideally a cast iron or Hexclad frying pan) to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of light olive oil. Allow excess marinade to drain off the chicken breasts, and then lay them in the hot frying pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown underneath. Pour a few drops of Worcestershire sauce onto the top of the chicken and then flip them over. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165°F. Place the chicken breasts on a plate to rest for 15 minutes. 
  • Cook the gluten-free pasta according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted water for best results.
    Once cooked, drain the al dente pasta and set it aside.
  • In a blender, food processor, or the chopper cup of an immersion blender, combine the cottage cheese, almond milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Bring the frying pan to medium heat. Scrape out any overcooked browned bits, but leave the oil. Or, pour an additional tablespoon of light olive oil into the pan if needed. Add the spinach leaves and artichoke hearts. Saute for several minutes until the spinach is wilted. Remove the spinach and artichokes from the pan.
    Add the butter and chopped garlic. Stir until the butter is melted and the garlic is soft and fragrant.
    ​Pour in the blended parmesan sauce and add the grated parmesan cheese. Stir until smooth and melted.
    Add in the cooked pasta and stir until combined. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk or chicken stock to reach the desired consistency.
    Simmer for 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the dish to heat through.
    Slice the rested chicken breasts into strips or bite-sized pieces and serve with the pasta.
    Garnish with additional grated dairy-free Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, fresh herbs, or a sprinkle of black pepper if desired.

Notes

Lemon Garlic Chicken: My Pan-Seared Lemon Garlic Chicken Recipe can be prepared in advance to save time. 
Optional Vegetables: The artichoke hearts and baby spinach are optional but add a delightful flavor and extra nutrients. Adjust quantities based on personal preference.
Cooking the Garlic: Softening the garlic in the melted butter before adding the rest of the pasta sauce helps to enrich the flavor. 
Adjusting Sauce Consistency: Depending on how much pasta you add to the creamy lemon garlic sauce, you may need to adjust the consistency. You can add more milk or parmesan cheese to increase the creaminess or thin it out. You can also double the recipe if you’re making a full 12 or 16-ounce box of pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 574kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 43gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1464mgPotassium: 739mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1990IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 275mgIron: 2mg
Keyword artichoke hearts, baby spinach, chicken pasta, healthy dinner, Hexclad Hybrid Pan, lemon pasta, pan-seared chicken
Did you make this recipe?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

Responses

  1. Blue Avatar
    Blue

    5 stars
    I made this today. The sauce was so good! I didn’t even have to blend the cottage cheese, because it just melted. Thank you for sharing your recipes here and on YouTube.

    1. Nicole Bonilla Avatar
      Nicole Bonilla

      Hi Blue, that is my favorite color 🙂 Thank you for the review and you’re welcome for the recipe! I just made this sauce for dinner tonight and am keeping a jar of it in my fridge 🙂

  2. Gladys Avatar
    Gladys

    5 stars
    I made this last night and my kids devoured it! I didn’t tell them it had cottage cheese. Thank you for helping me improve our family’s nutrition! And for an easy recipe 🙂

    1. Nicole Bonilla Avatar
      Nicole Bonilla

      Your cottage cheese secret is safe with me Gladys 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with me!

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this today. The sauce was so good! I didn’t even have to blend the cottage cheese, because it just melted. Thank you for sharing your recipes here and on YouTube.

    1. Hi Blue, that is my favorite color 🙂 Thank you for the review and you’re welcome for the recipe! I just made this sauce for dinner tonight and am keeping a jar of it in my fridge 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last night and my kids devoured it! I didn’t tell them it had cottage cheese. Thank you for helping me improve our family’s nutrition! And for an easy recipe 🙂

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Recipe Rating