Meyer Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Baby Spinach

February 24, 2015
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves about 4-6
Author Notes

This came about as a way to use leftover roasted chicken; you can use leftover turkey or rotisserie takeout chicken for a quick dinner. The following can be altered to size and taste by adding or decreasing ingredients. It makes a simple family dinner. —creamtea

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound spaghetti, linguini or other pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded, deveined and cut into strips (optional)
  • 1 white, yellow, or sweet onion, peeled and sliced into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves, rinsed and spun dry
  • grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon, (Eureka lemon is also fine)
  • 1 breast of turkey or 2 breasts of chicken or 2 thighs, skinned, pulled off the bone and torn into bite-size pieces
  • juice of 1/2 to one lemon, strained to remove seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Fill a large pot with water, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Add spaghetti, turn down heat and simmer until al dente. Reserve about a ladle-full of cooking water to be added to the spinach. Drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking, pour a good drizzle of olive oil into a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Add optional red pepper and the onion and sauté until just tender; add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add baby spinach and sauté until just wilted. Toss in grated lemon peel and stir to combine. Add juice of lemon and the ladleful of pasta cooking water; if there are any pan juices (liquid if warm, gelled if cold) from the poultry, add them in too.
  3. Raise heat to medium high and simmer sauce until slightly reduced, about a minute or two. Add turkey or chicken strips, stir until warmed through, about 30 seconds. Add red pepper flakes if using. Stir in pasta, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste; serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • JanetFL
  • creamtea
  • Saffron3

4 Reviews

Saffron3 May 7, 2015
It's Spring, and green, and this is clean and this makes me sing! Go chicken!
creamtea May 7, 2015
JanetFL February 28, 2015
Sounds wonderful! I'm always looking for new ways to use leftover chicken. Thank you!
creamtea February 28, 2015
Thank you Janet! I hope you try it.