If you’re a fan of crispy chicken cutlets, full of flavor on top of possibly the best white sauces you’ve ever tried – this is the recipe for you!
I’ve always been a chicken parmesan lover. It’s crispy, comforting, and just reminds me of eating dinner with my family as a kid.
Chicken Romano is very similar, with just a minor adjustment giving it a totally new flavor profile.
And this creamy Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce recipe? Get out of here!
It’s easy to make, bright lemon with garlic flavor is out of this world. And it will be ready to go before your pasta is done!
And with my kids being the particular eaters that they are, I’ve been trying to find a legit white
sauce for my son, while still making my pasta monster of a daughter happy.
And friends, I think I’ve found it. So let’s dive in!
Let’s start with all the equipment you’ll need.
I’ve been meaning to get more organized in my life, and in my pantry, things are chaotic. Using storage like Rubbermaid® Brilliance™ Pantry Food Storage Containers is a game-changer.
Thanks to their crystal-clear lids and bases, spotting what I need in my pantry has never been easier.
This organization speeds up prep time, and the containers stack perfectly to one another to save space in the pantry. Plus I can easily see what is in front of me.
And with items like flour? They’re always a mess afterwards rolling the bags back up.
Rubbermaid® Brilliance™ Pantry Food Storage Containers has innovative latches and seals to help prevent spills and keeps everything fresh.
So not only is it an organization win, it’s a money in Dad’s pocket win from getting more use out of the ingredients I have before they go stale!
You’ll want a few other things as well
- Containers for dredging: small bowls will work for this.
- Pot and pan: We’ll need a pot for boiling pasta, and everything else will work in a 12″ saucepan.
- Sharp knife: ALWAYS sharp friend.
- Zester: I like to use this for grating the Romano cheese as well as getting the zest off of the lemon.
For the Chicken Romano We’ll need:
- Chicken Breasts: Smaller in size and pounded thin for quicker cooking.
- Salt and Pepper: Don’t skimp on these.
- Romano Cheese: Adds a nutty, salty, and bold flavor. Don’t have Romano? Go with fresh Parmesan cheese.
- Egg: Acts as the binding agent for the breadcrumbs.
- Italian Seasoned Panko or Breadcrumbs: Going with the pre-seasoned Italian breadcrumbs will save you some time in the kitchen. A
- All-Purpose Flour: I like a ratio of 2:1 of breadcrumbs to flour for dredging and creating a crisp coating.
For the lemon butter garlic cream sauce, here’s what you’ll need.
- Olive Oil: Perfect for pan-frying the chicken, adding a subtle richness. You can go with avocado oil as well for a higher smoke point
- Fresh Lemons: use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, it’s the key part of our lemon garlic butter sauce.
- Minced Garlic: Not gonna lie, when it comes to garlic, the more the merrier. I went with 4 garlic cloves, but some people see that number and double it. And I won’t judge you for it!
- Heavy Cream: To create a luxurious silky sauce, you’ll want to go with the heavy cream. Not milk. Heavy Cream.
- Butter: We want a rich, creamy and buttery sauce here. Start with 2 tbsp and go from there!.
- Fresh Parsley: For garnish and a pop of green.
Go with your favorite pasta: Linguine, Angel hair pasta is always a good choice. For our family, there’s a fondness for Penne pasta, so that’s what we’ll be doing.
Want to switch it up? Go with gnocchi!
How to Make Chicken Romano With Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce Pasta
- Initial Preparations:
- Before you start cooking, gather all your ingredients. This is called “mise en place” and ensures that your cooking process will be smooth and efficient.
- Pro Tip: Use your Rubbermaid® Brilliance™ Pantry Food Storage Containers to keep your dry ingredients like flour and breadcrumbs within easy reach.
- Pounding the Chicken:
- Pound each chicken breast to a uniform thickness of about 1/2-inch. This not only tenderizes the meat but also allows it to cook evenly.
- Pro Tip: Place the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap to prevent splatter.
- Season each chicken breast with salt and black pepper to your liking. Don’t skimp on the seasoning; it significantly impacts the final garlic flavor and taste of the chicken.
- Dredging Process:
- The layering here is crucial for that perfect crust. Begin with a dredge in all-purpose flour, dip in whisked egg, and finally coat with the Italian-seasoned panko or breadcrumbs.
- Pro Tip: Keep one hand for wet ingredients and one hand for dry to avoid clumping.
- Pan-frying the Chicken:
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat over the stove top. Add the chicken breasts and cook until they reach a golden-brown color and an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Pro Tip: Don’t overcrowd the pan; this ensures even cooking and a crispier crust.
- Keeping Chicken Warm:
- Once cooked, place the chicken in an oven set to a holding temperature between 140-175°F. This keeps the chicken warm while you prepare the lemon garlic butter sauce.
- Preparing the Pasta:
- Boil pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Always reserve some pasta water; its starchy content helps thicken your creamy sauce.
- Pro Tip: Using fresh pasta? It cooks faster and absorbs sauces better.
- Creating the Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce:
- In a separate pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté minced garlic until fragrant. Add lemon juice, butter, and heavy cream and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Pro Tip: For a richer lemon butter garlic sauce, add an extra pat of cold butter at the end.
- Final Touches:
- Combine the sauce and pasta, adding pasta water as needed to reach your desired sauce consistency. Slice the chicken into thin strips and lay them over the pasta.
- Garnish with lemon zest and freshly chopped parsley to add notes only fresh herbs can bring to this delicious sauce.
Chicken Romano With Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce Variations
- Vegetarian Version:
- Replace chicken breasts with portobello mushrooms or tofu slices. Ensure the alternative protein is well-seasoned and cooked thoroughly.
- Seafood Option:
- A light fish like tilapia or cod can substitute for chicken, offering a sea-inspired take on the dish. Adjust the cooking time as fish cooks faster than chicken.
- Use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs. Double-check that your pasta is gluten-free as well.
- Spicy Kick:
- If you like it hot, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the lemon garlic butter sauce or sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the chicken before frying.
- Substitute heavy cream with half-and-half or a dairy-free alternative like almond milk. This will lighten the creamy sauce without sacrificing too much flavor.
- Herb Variations:
- Rosemary, thyme, or oregano can add different fresh herb notes to the dish. You can mix them into the breadcrumb mixture or add to the sauce.
Common Questions About Making Chicken Romano with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce
- Can I store leftovers?
- Absolutely! Store in an airtight container (Rubbermaid® Brilliance™ Pantry Food Storage Containers are perfect for this) and refrigerate. It should keep well for up to 3 days.
- Can this dish be made in advance?
- You can prepare the chicken breasts and lemon garlic butter sauce separately and store them. Reheat gently before serving.
- How can I make the sauce creamier?
- Increase the amount of heavy cream and reduce the sauce longer for a richer texture.
- My sauce is too thick, what should I do?
- Add a bit more pasta water or lemon juice to thin it out.
- Is this dish freezer-friendly?
- While you can freeze the chicken and sauce separately, the pasta is best consumed fresh to maintain its texture.
- Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh?
- Yes, but keep in mind that dried herbs are more potent. Use a third of the amount when substituting.
- What’s the best way to mince garlic?
- A garlic press saves time and effort, giving you finely minced garlic without much fuss.
- Can I use bottled lemon juice?
- Fresh lemons are always recommended for their bright flavor and natural lemon zest, but in a pinch, bottled can work too.
I don’t always get emotional when eating food, but when I took my first bite of the Lemon Garlic Butter Pasta, instant joy ran through me.
It’s bright, and full of flavor. And biting into the crispy fried chicken Romano, topped everything off. And a complete Dad win? BOTH KIDS LIKED IT!
It’s always a good day when there’s a new recipe to add in rotation.
And be sure to check out Rubbermaid® Brilliance™ Pantry Food Storage Containers! If you’re looking to keep those quality ingredients fresh and at your fingertips, they’re highly recommended!
Chicken Romano with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce Pasta
For Romano Chicken:
- 3 chicken breasts smaller in size and pounded thin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Romano cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup Italian-seasoned panko or breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp olive oil
For Lemon Garlic Pasta:
- 1/2 lb penne pasta
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp cold butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnish
For the Chicken Romano:
- Pound chicken to 1/2-inch thickness and season with salt and pepper.
- Place Romano cheese in one bowl, eggs in a second bowl, and the panko/flour mixture in a third bowl.
- Dredge chicken first in Romano cheese, then in the egg wash, and finally in the Italian bread crumb mixture.
- Cook each cutlet in a pan over medium heat with olive oil until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Place in an oven at holding temperature (around 140-175°F).
For the Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce Pasta:
- Bring 32 oz of water to a boil with about 1/2 cup of salt. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, and reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta water.
- In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add minced garlic.
- Add lemon juice, butter, and heavy cream; bring to a simmer.
- Stir in reserved pasta water and reduce until sauce starts to thicken; add another tablespoon of butter.
- Grate in lemon zest and Romano cheese, and stir in cooked pasta.
- Slice chicken into thin strips and place over pasta.
- Garnish with parsley and additional cheese.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!