May 20, 2014

Lemon and Basil Grilled Chicken and Lemon Cream Pasta

Lemon and Basil Grilled Chicken

The end of the school year is coming!  Though we are wrapping everything up at school, the kids are just as crazy as normal, if not more so.  We have a field trip tomorrow, Memorial Day weekend, and then Water Day on the last day of school.  And as everything happens they get more and more excited about what's coming.

Lemon Cream Pasta

Their excitement is contagious, but I am pooped at the end of the day.  Thus easy and simple dinners are my favorite dinners to make right now.  I'm loving our grill because clean up is easy and cooking is fast!

Lemon Cream Pasta-the perfect spring side

And marinating is the best thing ever.  You throw lemon and oil and herbs in a bag the night before and the flavors sink into the meat--chicken in this case.  The marinating does all the work for you, and you're rewarded with flavorful and delicious lemon and basil grilled chicken.

Juicy Lemon and Basil Grilled Chicken

The lemon cream pasta is one of my favorite side dishes.  It's simple, easy and full of lemon flavors.  With the tang of parmesan cheese, delicious lemon juice, and topped with fresh herbs the lemon cream pasta is perfect as a side dish for grilled chicken, or anything really.

Easy Lemon Cream Pasta with Basil Garnish

Lemon and Basil Marinated Chicken
author: Happy Food Happy Home
makes 4 chicken breasts

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemons or 2 small)
lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
a pinch of salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
fresh basil for garnish

  1. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, zest, basil, black pepper, and salt in a glass measuring cup.  
  2. Place the chicken and the marinade in a large zip-top bag.  Massage everything around to fully coat the chicken in the marinade.
  3. Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.  The longer you marinate the yummier it will be.
  4. Heat your grill to medium heat.  Grill the chicken until it is cooked through.
  5. Remove from the grill and garnish with fresh basil leaves. 
Note- No grill?  Just cook the chicken over medium heat in a cast iron skillet or bake at 350 degrees until cooked through.  

Lemon Cream Pasta
author: Happy Food Happy Home
serves 4

1/2 a pound dry pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
black pepper to taste
fresh herbs for garnish
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat cream in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium low heat until warm but not boiling.
  3. Add the grated parmesan work in two batches.  Whisk together until the cheese dissolves.  
  4. Whisk in the pepper and lemon juice.  
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water.
  6. Add the pasta to the sauce.  Stir to combine.  If the sauce is runny cook down for about 2 minutes until it sticks to the pasta.  If it is too thick add reserved pasta water to thin.  
  7. At this point you can either mix the herbs into the pasta and sauce, or use them as garnish on top. 
Notes-I used about 3 tablespoons of fresh basil in our pasta.  It was really good!

Easy Lemon and Basil Marinated Grilled Chicken

The lemon and basil grilled chicken and the lemon cream pasta are a delicious spring dinner.  And they're easy to throw together and fast to cook.  Because the marinade does all the work the grilled chicken comes out juicy and full of lemon flavors.  Make this dinner to enjoy the nice spring weather we are having!

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