This Healthy Lemon Chicken Pasta is yet another easy recipe that my son brought home from his cooking class at school and I fell in love with it! I've had many other lemon chicken pasta recipes in my life, but the creamy lemon flavor in this recipe was really spectacular, especially for such a simple recipe!
However, it was made with lots of heavy cream and not at all WW friendly! So I made it my mission to lighten it up and succeeded in cutting the WW points by more than half! This creamy lemon chicken penne pasta is 6 WW points. It makes a great weeknight meal any time of the year.
My kids make a lot of really yummy recipes at school, but they're not exactly Weight Watchers friendly. The butter chicken he made at school was also amazing but super high fat and high calories, so I turned it into Healthy & Weight Watchers Friendly Butter Chicken. And it's become one of the most popular recipes on this blog.
I anticipate that this Creamy Lemon Weight Watchers Pasta recipe is also about to join the ranks of my most popular WW recipes!
Pasta is pure comfort food. So when you're trying to eat healthy, lose weight or simply maintain your weight, creamy chicken pasta is not usually a recipe that you turn to. But at the same time, who wants to give up creamy pasta to achieve their health goals? Not me! And that's what I love about the WW program - I don't have to... So, if you're looking for Weight Watchers pasta recipes, this will not disappoint!
And if you love WW pasta recipes, try this pasta dish: Mediterranean Pasta Toss!
This Creamy Lemon Chicken Penne Pasta is not only creamy, it's full of delicious, crunchy veggies, but it's truly the fresh lemon that really makes this pasta sing! This Healthy Chicken Pasta recipe was already healthy with the fresh lemon, peas, and broccoli, but I lightened it up using Greek yogurt and light sour cream instead of heavy cream. But I can guarantee you that there was no flavor lost and you still get a super creamy sauce! Using frozen peas and broccoli makes it easier and more economical, but feel free to use fresh if you desire.
For this healthy creamy lemon chicken penne pasta recipe, you'll need:
- penne pasta
- frozen or fresh sweet peas
- broccoli (fresh is best, but you can substitute frozen)
- olive oil
- boneless skinless chicken breast
- Italian seasoning
- red onion
- non-fat yogurt
- light sour cream
- condensed milk
- fresh lemon
*see recipe card for quantities
If you've been following along with me for a while, you'll know I'm a big proponent of the Weight Watchers (WW) program. I'm not a spokesperson, nor do I have any affiliation with Weight Watchers, I just happen to think it's a great long-term lifestyle choice! I've been following the program for about 20 years, in almost all of its incarnations, and it's helped me lose weight when I quit smoking, after 2 babies and during other periods of general overindulgence. But what I love most about it is that there are no special meals; you eat normal food. like everyone else. And you can make the same meals for your family (my family LOVED this recipe, by the way)! If you have never tried the program, I would highly recommend it. You can read about my personal Weight Watchers (WW) Journey HERE.
📖 Variations & Substitutions
- Broccoli and Peas - you can use frozen or fresh
- Pasta- you can use any kind of pasta you prefer, regular white pasta, whole wheat pasta, smart pasta or a WW pasta (to further bring down the WW points in this recipe). I use penne, but you could also use rotini or another type of noodle like fettuccine angel hair pasta or spaghetti noodles
- Gluten-free - use a gluten-free pasta
- Sour cream - you can use non-fat if you prefer (to further bring down points)
- Spicy - spice it up by adding some red pepper flakes
- Red onion - you could substitute green onion
- Chicken - if you're in a hurry, use a precooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store
This creamy lemon chicken pasta is 6 WW points. You can use non-fat sour cream and lighter pasta to further bring down the points if you prefer.
👪 Serving size
This creamy lemon pasta serves 6. If you're feeding a crowd, you can double or triple the recipe. Or you can half the recipe. Simply click on the blue serving size in the recipe card, select the number of servings you want and the amounts will adjust accordingly.
To make this Healthy Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta, you'll need a cutting board, a sharp knife, a zester, a skillet, and a large pot. Alternatively, you could use a Dutch oven (affiliate links), then you wouldn't need a skillet.
🥗 Side Dishes
This easy lemon chicken pasta also goes well with a simple green salad, as well as:
Store this healthy creamy chicken pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
This healthy lemon chicken pasta is quick and easy enough for a weeknight and one the whole family will love, but it's also perfect for serving guests!
And if you're looking for additional Weight Watchers friendly and healthy chicken recipes, then check these out:
📋 Health Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe
- 225 g dry penne pasta (½ of a 450 g package)
- ¾ cup frozen or fresh peas
- 500 g - bag of frozen broccoli or 1 head of fresh broccoli
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1.25 lbs boneless, skinlesss chicken breast diced
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups reserved pasta water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup 0% fat yogurt
- ½ cup light sour cream
- 1 ½ tablespoon condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- lemon wedges
- parmesan cheese (light) optional
- black pepper (optional)
- Cook penne pasta, in a large pot of water, as per package directions.
- Cook frozen green peas and frozen broccoli in microwave each for about 3 minutes. Set aside
- Cook chicken on stove top, in large skillet, over medium-high heat, until done (no longer pink and internal temperature is 165 degrees F). Cut into bite-sized pieces (½ inch cubes). Set aside. *you could use a dutch oven instead.
- In large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add red onions, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add chicken and Italian seasoning.
- Add reserved pasta water, stirring the entire time. Then add yogurt, garlic. salt and condensed milk. Add cornstarch and cook on med- low heat until it starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat, add in sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice. If it's not thick enough (consistency of gravy) return to medium low heat and gradually add a little more cornstarch, cooking until thickened.
- Add cooked peas and broccoli. Stir gently to combine.
- Serve over a bed of cooked pasta. Then mix to combine, if desired.
- Garnish with lemon wedges, and low-fat or fat-free parmesan cheese (optional)