There’s something about cooking with lemons that my family really loves. So much so, that we are buying a lemon tree! We love it. This pasta has that tang you want from the lemon, as well as the cream cheese, but the garlic and butter at the end really even it out. Also, I have a dairy free version of this below, and I think it tastes exactly the same.
2 Chicken breast
12 Oz. orzo pasta
2 Garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 Cup chicken broth
1/4 Cup pasta water
2 Oz. cream cheese
2 Cups fresh spinach
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
- Cook the pasta, this will take 10 - 12 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
- Add your olive oil to the pan and heat over medium, then add your chicken. Cook the chicken until no longer pink inside, about 7 minutes (I always break a piece open to check.)
- Add in garlic and cook for a minute.
- Add in your lemon zest and juice and cook for another minute or two.
- Add in your cream cheese and use the back of your spatula to incorporate. Stir until it is smooth and creamy.
- Pour the pasta water into the sauce and stir. Then add the orzo. Mix everything together to coat the pasta.
- Add spinach and mix into pasta. It will wilt some.
- Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir. Serve with Parsley as a garnish.
If you want to make this recipe dairy free, then all you have to do is swap out the butter for SmartBalance (this is what we use for everything anyways), and then use tofutti cream cheese instead of the regular. It's very hard to tell the difference when it's made with the dairy free ingredients.