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Lemon Rosemary Pasta with Chicken, Asparagus & Spinach

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Sometimes the unplanned meals are the best surprises!

As seems to be common this summer, I found myself at the end of last week with some asparagus, spinach, garlic and lemons begging to be used quickly. So I decided to improvise this creamy lemon pasta. Although for an additional experiment, instead of using cream in the sauce, I subbed in some plain Greek yogurt.

Lo and behold, the experiment proved a success!!! I have to admit that lemon pastas will probably never be my absolute favorites, but this one might be able to persuade me otherwise. The Greek yogurt proved a fabulous creamy base to this simple lemon rosemary sauce. And the chicken, garlicky asparagus and spinach were delicious, garnished with lots of Parmesan, of course. I can never help myself. :)

Definitely a fun pasta that you could easily customize with your favorite veggies and herbs. Cheers to a little kitchen improv!

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Lemon Rosemary Pasta with Chicken, Asparagus & Spinach

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x


A simple pasta dish with chicken, asparagus and shrimp — topped with a delicious creamy lemon rosemary sauce.


  • 12 oz. pasta (I used mostaccioli)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • 1 bunch (about 1 lb.) fresh asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup (about 1 carton) Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • optional garnish: extra shredded Parmesan and/or chopped fresh parsley


  1. Cook pasta in generously-salted water until al dente according to package instructions. (I would add the pasta to the boiling water around the time you begin cooking the asparagus.)
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (You will know that it is ready when the oil is shimmering, or it sizzles when you place a drop of water in the oil.) Season both sides of the chicken with a pinch of salt and freshly-cracked black pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the juices run clear. Remove chicken and set aside. Wait a few minutes, then slice the chicken into thin strips.
  3. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add asparagus, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and rosemary and saute for 4-5 minutes until the asparagus is cooked but still slightly crisp. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, and baby spinach.
  4. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain the pasta but reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Toss together the pasta, creamy vegetable mixture and the chicken. Add some of the reserved pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Serve immediately, garnished with extra Parmesan and/or chopped fresh parsley.


Feel free to substitute in 2 tsp. (divided) dried rosemary if you don’t have any fresh rosemary.

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28 comments on “Lemon Rosemary Pasta with Chicken, Asparagus & Spinach”

  1. Such a lovely combination of flavours, I love the touch of rosemary in there!

  2. That sounds like a really great dish!

  3. Can I have this for breakfast? :)

  4. What a lovely idea! I’m not sure I would have thought to add lemon, but lemon and rosemary make such a great combination, don’t they? This looks delicious!

  5. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it!

  6. This looks like a great summer pasta! Can’t wait to try.

  7. love experimenting in the kitchen and having it be a success! great flavors in this dish and i love the lemon and rosemary..they’re such refreshing flavors to put in a pasta

  8. I love pasta and most of the time we enjoy it with lemon sauce. I am liking your version too!

  9. Wow, I love all the fresh flavors in this!

  10. Loving this dish! I am just a sucker for parmesan too! I literally cover my pasta in parmesan! Great innovative recipe!

  11. This looks like the perfect summer pasta dish! I will have to try this!

  12. This recipe was okay. My husband rated it a 6. I may have put too much lemon…but really not a fan of the yogurt substitute. Gave me a stomach ache.

  13. I always like the taste of Greek yogurt. Most of the time i use it as a substitute for sour cream. “*”`

    Warmest regards

  14. well this looks delicious!!!

  15. Your description says “shrimp” instead of “spinach.”

  16. I tried making a version of this, but used seafood instead of chicken and left out the spinach. I plan on making it as written sometime next week with the same ingredients… :) I just thought the lemon and asparagus would be awesome with seafood!

    One thing that I had a problem with and I am wondering if anyone can share a solution– the sauce. It was too thick and tart, so I added the water as suggested. At that point, however, it lost its creaminess and separated out a bit. It tasted fine, but just didn’t look that great and it was a little difficult to coat the pasta evenly. Did I perhaps have too much of the olive oil still in the pan?

    • I had the same problem! It smelled amazing, but everything clumped together in the end. It still tasted okay, but the presentation was pretty lackluster. It was almost as if the Greek yogurt curdled with the lemon juice.

      Any thoughts on how to remedy?

  17. I had the same problem as a few others! Everything clumped together in the end. It still tasted okay, but the presentation was not too appealing. I have to agree, it was almost as if the Greek yogurt curdled with the lemon juice.

    I tasted alright, just not creamy as noted.

    • Try using a lemon greek yogurt and the zest, omitting the juice. You still get the lemon flavor but not the curdle and def add some of the pasta water if too thick. :)

  18. I added the lemon juice to the pasta after draining and added the lemon zest with the asparagus, garlic, and rosemary. Folded the yogurt in when everything was mixed together. No curddling…

  19. Instead of Greek yogurt try marscapone cheese for the people that posted their dislike for yogurt.

  20. We made this tonight for dinner, but just made the sauce and put it over rotini pasta. We put in a little more greek yogurt than was called for, and thinned out the sauce with about a 1/4 cup of leftover pasta water. Yummo!!

  21. Hi Ali, I love your blog, and this recipe looks incredible! I just wanted to let you know that I featured this recipe in my Feature Friday blog post today for 10 Savory Rosemary Dishes! I hope you can stop by and check out your great recipe!

  22. Ali, this recipe looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I love that you substituted the greek yogurt for the cream in the sauce! Can’t wait to try! P.S. I’m new to your blog and wanted to say hi! Happy I stumbled across this recipe on pinterest!
    Take Care!

  23. Didn’t have yogurt, so I used sour cream. Family loved it. Used whole wheat pasta, and the flavors were awesome. Highly recommended.

  24. Loved this recipe! Didn’t have Greek yoghurt, so used sour cream instead. Also used a few extra herbs. Can not wait finish the left overs today for lunch :)