30-Minute Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce

Chicken, yellow squash, and zucchini pasta with lemon-butter sauce is the perfect summertime meal. Bonus: this filling yet healthful dinner comes together in less than 30 minutes.

Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce

Also known as the pasta I can’t pronounce by any stretch of the imagination.

Srsly, I look at the word, say it in my head, open my mouth to practice, and nothing. Just nothing.

If I were ever in a situation where I was being forced to say, “orecchiette,” I’d do one of those mouth-cover moves, turn my head to the side, start with an “or,” fade to a “shh,” then stop speaking altogether to make it appear as though I had said the full word while I just so happened to be distracted by a vision of beauty from across the room whilst simultaneously relieving a mouth itch.

Oreshetty?

Or-uh-shet-uh?

Or-eh-shet?

It kills me.

I don’t even want to talk about it.

Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce

Which is too bad, because, have you had orecchiette? It’s basically my favorite of the pasta shapes. Curvy, voluptuous, stupendous at soaking up//holding in sauce, button-like and adorable, yet boob-like and sexy. It’s just the greatest most unpronounceable thing that ever did exist.

Public service announcement: I used gluten-free. Orecchiette, that is.

Thought I’d toss that in before we became any more involved.

This pasta dish. Wow with a capital YUM. It’s easy. It’s buttery. It’s summery. It’s sexy. It’s a date night you want to be a part of.

Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce

Melt some butter, saute some garlic, brown some chicken, toss in the veg, PRESTO there’re your pasta add ins. Toss it all together with the cooked oreshetty, and you have yourself a meal, my friends.

I went full-tilt butter flave on this, but if you like tang, you can add some sun-dried tomatoes, or even some sort of kalamata olive situation. You’d be surprised by the things you can do to make this your own jamboree.

Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce

Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Author: Julia
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Ingredients

  • 1 ounce package Orecchiette pasta 12-, I used gluten-free
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (preferably European-style because: yum)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice to taste
  • 1 medium yellow squash chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini squash chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions (Note: I tend to cook gluten-free pasta for 2 minutes less than the package calls for because I like my pasta al dente). Once cooked, drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Toss in 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat the butter, oil, garlic and lemon juice in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes, or until garlic is very fragrant.
  3. Add the yellow squash, zucchini, green onion, lemon zest and Italian seasoning. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until veggies begin to soften. Move the vegetables over to one side of the skillet and add the sliced raw chicken. Allow chicken to brown for 2 to 3 minutes before stirring everything together. Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies and chicken are cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Note: If there is excess liquid at the bottom of the skillet, continue cooking a couple of minutes longer until it cooks off).
  4. Add the pasta to the skillet with the vegetables and chicken and toss everything together. Add the chopped basil and salt and stir well. Taste pasta for flavor, and add more lemon juice or salt to taste. Serve the pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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Comments

  1. Shirley

    Beautiful dish. I love the photos. Grandpa’s garden is producing squash, so perfect timing for this recipe. I have never tried this pasta before. I won’t need to pronounce it to buy it, thank goodness!

  2. Annie @ The Garlic Diaries

    You cracked me up with your pronunciation and description of this pasta (that I am not even going to try and spell). I have no idea how to pronounce it either, but I love eating it! This recipe looks like such a delicious way to use it – YUM!

    1. Julia Post author

      Haha! Thanks, Annie! After the post went live, I had to youtube how to pronounce it. It’s definitely not what I would have expected. Anyhow, thanks for the kind words – let me know if you try the pasta! xo

  3. Alexis Crawford

    I love your website and pretty much cook everything you make and love it. This recipe, however, I wasn’t wowed. I’m so sorry. I would have done a few things differently, for example:
    – Add Salt
    – Do the Chicken 1st so that the veggies don’t get soggy
    – Throw diced tomatoes on top afterward
    – Maybe throw in more butter
    – A lot more lemon definetly

    All in all, it wasn’t bad, but not my favorite. I’m sorry, but I wish I loved it. I really do love your website & recipes.

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