Lighten up with this spin on a familiar classic: The bright, fresh flavors of lemon and capers shine in this tasty pasta dish that focuses on flavor, not fat. Sautéed chicken breasts, fresh asparagus and whole wheat pasta make this dish a healthy anytime meal. Move over heavy pasta dishes, spring is here!

Note to the chef: This recipe was designed to be quick and easy, so the asparagus is cooked right in the sauce. This convenience will cause it to lose some of its vibrant green color. If you would like to keep the fresh hue, steam the asparagus separately until tender and shock it in cold water to stop it from cooking further. Drain and add cooked asparagus at the end, warming it by tossing with the hot pasta.


8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon flour, whole wheat preferred
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth, store bought or homemade
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons capers, chopped and divided
2 cups asparagus cut into bite sized pieces, woody ends removed
3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
Optional: additional parsley for garnish and lemon wedges for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook spaghetti to al dente according to package directions while preparing the chicken and sauce.
  2. Trim chicken breasts of all fat. Slice against the grain into bite sized pieces. Toss chicken with flour.


  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook briefly until lightly browned but not cooked through. Cook chicken in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. Remove chicken and set aside.



  1. Add shallots to the sauté pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped capers. Scrape any browned bits that remain on the bottom of the sauté pan, stirring to mix well. Add chicken (and any juices that may have accumulated) and asparagus and bring to a simmer. Cover pan and simmer until asparagus is just tender, chicken is fully cooked, and sauce has just slightly thickened (it will still seem more liquid than thick sauce). Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. Add cooked spaghetti to sauce, sprinkle with chopped parsley and the additional tablespoon of capers. Stir to combine and turn off heat. If your sauté pan is not large enough to accommodate all ingredients, drain your spaghetti, return it to the pasta pot and pour sauce over it, stirring to combine. Allow the spaghetti and sauce to sit together on the stovetop for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. The spaghetti will begin to absorb some of the sauce. Serve hot with additional parsley as garnish and lemon wedges if desired.



Serves 4-6


Calories 254 Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 1 g Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 56 mg Sodium 205 mg
Potassium 388 mg Total Carbohydrate 32 g
Dietary Fiber 6 g Sugars 3 g
Protein 24 g