Chicken Broccoli Ziti with Sunkist Lemon Cream Sauce Recipe

Chicken Broccoli Ziti with Sunkist Lemon Cream Sauce Recipe Image

Quick Recipe Facts

Best with Sunkist® Lemons
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More Information

Children will enjoy eating their broccoli with this delicious homemade meal! Chicken Broccoli Ziti with Sunkist Lemon Cream Sauce is a rich, lemony dish that uses the great tase of lemon instead of adding salt. This is a delectable Sunkist S’alternative™ that family and friends will enjoy!


  • Broccoli crowns, stems removed and cut into 1 inch florets
  • 1 -14.5 oz. box of ziti or penne pasta
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked red pepper flakes
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (butterfly the breast, then slice into 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Sunkist® lemons
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 8 oz. shredded romano, asiago or parmesan cheese
  • Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

Instructions: (Makes 4 servings)

  • Cook broccoli in large pot of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a separate bowl to cool. Add ziti to the same pot and cook until just tender but still firm to the bite, drain Pasta.
  • Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 1/2 tsp. and squeeze enough juice to measure 3 Tbsp.
  • Heat oil and 1 tbsp. of butter in a heavy large skillet (a wok style skillet works best) over a medium high heat. Add garlic, chicken and cracked red pepper and sauté until chicken is no longer pink, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to another bowl to cool.
  • Add remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet and melt. Add flour and stir until flour has absorbed all of the butter and resembles a paste consistency.
  • Add chicken broth, cream and Sunkist® lemon zest and simmer, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in 2 Tbsp lemon juice and remove skillet from heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, the sauce will still be very watery at this point (this is OK).
  • Add chicken to sauce mixture and let the chicken continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add shredded cheese and nutmeg and stir until cheese is completely melted.
  • Add pasta and broccoli and stir gently until mixture is heated through and coated evenly with sauce. Add the remaining lemon juice and season to taste with fresh ground pepper.
  • Turn the heat down as low as it can go, cover and let thicken for an additional 5 minutes, uncover and stir from the bottom, the sauce will be thick and creamy.
  • Top with additional shredded cheese and fresh squeezed Sunkist® lemon juice.

Recipe and photo submitted by Neema E. - Sunkist S’alternative™ recipe contest.

***Consumer recipes are provided as a way for our site users to share recipes with one another. Recipes are not tested for quality, taste, or performance by Sunkist Growers.