Chicken Scampi Recipe

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This chicken scampi recipe is about to become a new staple in your kitchen playbook. Made with al dente pasta and succulent bites of chicken tossed in a lemony garlic butter sauce, it’s a meal the whole family will fall in love with.

For those nights when you’re craving something different, consider trying Italian Dressing Chicken, Hot Honey Chicken, or Cilantro Lime Chicken. Each one adds a different twist that’s just as delicious and easy to prepare.

Chicken Scampi with spaghetti.


 

Why This Recipe Works

Comforting bowl of pasta. Who doesn’t love a good pasta dish? Not me! This chicken scampi recipe takes all the good of classic shrimp scampi but swaps the shrimp for tender morsels of chicken. Al dente spaghetti and cubes of lemony chicken are tossed in a bright, velvety sauce of butter, lemon, garlic, white wine, and parsley.

Flavorful sauce. The sauce for my chicken scampi with pasta will blow your mind. Made in the same pan as the chicken – so you get all those tasty, savory brown bits – this buttery sauce sings with the bright tang of fresh lemon juice and the sweet acidity of white wine. It strikes the perfect balance between rich and savory and light and bright.

Cost-effective. This is a super low-budget meal. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen (olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper) and the rest won’t break the bank.

Kid friendly. Everyone loves this flavorful pasta dish, even the pickiest of kiddos. It’s hard to go wrong with succulent chicken and buttery pasta.

Labeled ingredients for chicken scampi recipe.

The Ingredients

Transform this chicken scampi recipe into a feast with these simple ingredients. With spaghetti and juicy chicken cubes tossed in a flavorful garlic butter sauce, it’s always a pleasing family dinner.

For the chicken

  • All-Purpose Flour – This is used to coat the chicken so that it creates a lightly crisp exterior when sautéed. It also aids in thickening the sauce for a richer texture. For a gluten-free option, cornstarch or a gluten-free flour blend can be used in equal amounts.
  • Salt and pepper – I kept the seasoning simple here, enough to enhance the flavors of the chicken thighs.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – You could use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or breast tenders instead, or a different protein such as shrimp or pork.
  • Butter – The butter and olive oil are used simultaneously and will help brown those juicy chicken pieces.
  • Olive oil – Avocado oil or vegetable oil can be used for a similar higher smoke point.
  • Meyer lemon – A standard lemon will also work. I just prefer the sweeter, explosive flavor of Meyer lemons.

For the pasta and the sauce

  • Spaghetti – You could use Angel hair pasta or fettuccine instead.
  • Butter – We use an entire stick of butter for the sauce.
  • Garlic – I highly suggest using fresh garlic for this and try not to sub with garlic powder.
  • White wine – Use a dry white wine. I usually go with a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay. Whatever one you use, make sure it’s one you also like to sip on.
  • Fresh lemon juice – Freshly squeezed is best.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – You can leave these out if you don’t want the hint of spice they add.
  • Fresh parsley – The parsley is optional, but it adds a bright pop of color.

How to Make Chicken Scampi

Have you got all your ingredients? It’s time to start cooking! Here’s a basic overview of how to make this chicken recipe with pasta.

  1. Dredge the chicken. Whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper, and toss the chicken in the flour.
  2. Cook the chicken. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Stir in the chicken and lemon juice and saute until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and turn off the heat.
  3. Cook the pasta. Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water per the package’s instructions. Drain and set aside.
  4. Saute the garlic. In the same pan you cooked the chicken in, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Deglaze and pour the wine into the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  5. Finish it off. Add the rest of the butter to the pan and let it melt, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat to low and stir in the lemon juice and red pepper flakeSeason with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Put it all together. Stir the pasta and the chicken into the sauce and then stir in the parsley.
Close-up image of chicken scampi.

Tips for Success

  • Don’t crowd the pan. When cooking the chicken, be sure not to crowd the pan. The chicken pieces need some room to breathe in order to get that nice golden brown you are looking for. Cook the chicken in batches if needed.
  • Salt your pasta water. Do not forget to add a bit of salt to the pasta water. Otherwise, you’ll find yourslef with bland spaghetti.
  • A note on deglazing the pan. When you pour the white wine into the pan, stir occasionally as you let the alcohol burn off. As you stir, use your spoon to knock the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. These will contribute greatly to the flavor of the sauce.

Serving Suggestions

This hearty, flavorful chicken scampi with pasta goes nicely with a light, bright salad, a roasted veggie, and some bread, of course.

A fork twirling pasta.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • To store: Once the leftovers have completely cooled, seal them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. You could also freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat: Allow the leftovers to thaw in the fridge (if applicable) before transferring them to a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until heated through. Short on time? Microwave a serving or two in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until warm.

More Easy Chicken Dinners

If you like this chicken scampi recipe, you have to do yourself a favor and try some of my other chicken-centric dinner ideas. Here are a few of my top picks.

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5 from 1 vote

Chicken Scampi Recipe

The whole family will fall in love with this Chicken Scampi recipe. Featuring perfectly cooked al dente pasta and tender chicken pieces tossed in a zesty garlic butter sauce, it's bound to be a hit with both adults and kids.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

For the chicken

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs,, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 wedge Meyer lemon,, juiced

For the pasta and the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon salt,, for the pasta water
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter,, divided and cut into cubes
  • 5 cloves garlic,, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper,, to taste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
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Instructions 

  • Dredge the chicken. Whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Toss the chicken pieces in the flour mixture to thoroughly coat.
  • Cook the chicken. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Stir in the chicken and the lemon juice and saute until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the spaghetti to the pot and cook per the package’s instructions to al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  • Saute the garlic. In the same pan you cooked the chicken in, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Deglaze. Pour the wine into the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally and scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Finish it off. Add ½ cup butter to the pan and cook until the butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat to low and stir in the lemon juice and red pepper flakes.
  • Season. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Put it all together. Stir the pasta and the chicken into the sauce. Keep stirring until every noodle and every bite of chicken is coated in sauce. Stir in the parsley.
  • Serve. Remove from the heat and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 587kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 1556mg | Potassium: 484mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 944IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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4 Comments

  1. Jannette says:

    Can this be prepared ahead then heated?

    1. Katerina says:

      Hi!
      Chicken scampi can be made ahead of time and reheated, but it tastes best when served fresh.

      To make it ahead, prepare the components separately. So, cook the chicken, sauce, and pasta separately. Store them in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.
      When ready to serve, reheat the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat until it’s warmed through. Reheat the chicken and pasta by briefly sautéing them in a pan. Once everything is heated, combine the chicken, sauce, and pasta just before serving to maintain the best texture and flavor.

  2. Anna says:

    Newest favorite dish in our house!

    1. Katerina says:

      That’s awesome to hear! I’m thrilled it’s become a favorite in your home. Enjoy your new go-to dish! Thank YOU! 🙂