30-Minute Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with a simple lemon-butter sauce. This filling yet healthful dinner comes together quickly and is the perfect summer meal.

Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce

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

Seriously, 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.




It kills me.

I don’t even want to talk about it.

Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce

But you guys, have you had orecchiette? It’s basically my favorite of the pasta shapes. Curvy, voluptuous, stupendous at soaking up and 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. If you aren’t GF, feel free to use regular. Or substitute for any noodle you’d like.

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

This super easy 30-minute chicken and zucchini orecchiette 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.

Plus, it takes no time at all to prepare.

Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce

How to Make 30-Minute Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta:

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

I went full-tilt butter flavor 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.

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta, please feel free to share a photo and tag @The.Roasted.Root on Instagram!

Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce

Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta

5 from 1 vote
Chicken and Zucchini Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon-Butter Sauce is a simple, flavorful pasta recipe.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


  • 1 12- ounce package Orecchiette pasta I used gluten-free
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 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
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.


Serving: 1Serving · Calories: 563kcal · Carbohydrates: 71g · Protein: 32g · Fat: 16g · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 3g
Author: Julia
Course: Lifestyle
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: 30 minute meals, chicken and zucchini orecchiette pasta, healthy pasta recipes, orecchiette pasta recipes, summer meals
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!
Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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.