Delicious and creamy, Chicken and Broccoli Pasta is comfort food at its finest. No one will be mad about broccoli when it’s covered in sauce! A kid-friendly pasta dish that’s ready in just about 30 minutes, and also a great way to get the veggies in.
This creamy white sauce will have you reaching for bread to soak up every last drop from your bowl! It’s similar to Alfredo, but has less cheese than what I’d consider a true Alfredo sauce!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to customize: Read on to see all of the ways you can make this into a family favorite.
- Use what you have on hand: Change your pasta, meat, or veggies – use up what you have on hand, making this the ultimate easy meal.
- Ready in only 30 minutes: Have dinner on the table in a flash for those busy nights when you forgot to plan ahead.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this broccoli and chicken alfredo pasta.
- Pasta – Use any short-cut pasta shape here, as it holds onto the sauce really well. You can definitely use a gluten-free pasta! Increase the nutrition of the dish by using whole wheat pasta.
- Cream – Heavy cream is my preference because the high fat content allows the sauce to be smooth. You can use whole milk or half and half if you’d rather, but I don’t recommend reducing the fat much more than that.
- Cream Cheese – This adds to the creaminess, and I highly recommend using full fat! However, you may use 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese if you prefer.
- Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken breast is most common, but you can substitute skinless chicken thighs if you want a juicier option.
- Vegetables – I love broccoli, and it seems to be the most popular option with Alfredo. Any vegetable will work!
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
How to Make Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
The steps are easy for this pasta recipe, and I’ll show you how to make it:
STEP 1. Cook pasta and broccoli. Add broccoli to the boiling pasta for the final 3 minutes of cooking time. Drain and set aside.
Tip: Read the box carefully for “al dente” on the pasta. About 3 minutes before that time is up is when you’ll want to add your veggies so they are heated through.
STEP 2. Cook chicken. Season the chicken well and cook in an oiled pan. Make sure it is cooked through!
STEP 3. Add flavor. Saute the onion until softened then add cream cheese. Stir until semi-melted.
STEP 4. Make sauce. Slowly stir the chicken broth into the cream cheese, trying to smooth things out. Then, whisk in the cream. Now, whisk in the parmesan until melted.
STEP 5. Assemble. Return the cooked chicken, broccoli, and pasta to the sauce. Stir to coat completely and serve!
Recipe Pro Tips
- Do not boil! Do not let the sauce come to a boil as this can cause it to “break.” Just let it get to a gentle simmer so everything melts and comes together.
- Al dente. This Italian phrase means “to the tooth” so that your pasta still has some bite to it when eaten. The pasta will soften a bit more as it rests and then in the warm sauce, so be sure not to overcook it in water!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The pasta will continue to absorb sauce, so you might want to splash in more milk when reheating.
Try drained and pressed extra firm tofu cut in cubes. Brown it a bit in the oil and seasoning just like the chicken. To make sure it doesn’t break apart, top your bowl with the tofu rather than stirring it into the pasta in the pot.
Sun-dried tomatoes would add a great taste and texture if you stir them in at the end. Other vegetable ideas are mushrooms and peas. You can also try different hard Italian cheeses such as Romano or asiago.
What Goes With Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
I always love a crisp green salad with pasta! It balances out what can sometimes be a heavy dinner. You also can’t go wrong with some garlic bread, and a quick bowl of cut fruit is a great palate cleanser.
As stated above, it’s fine in the fridge for a few days! I don’t recommend freezing though, as cream-based sauces will have a drastic change in texture when thawed and will not be smooth.
More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love
Did you make this? I’d be so grateful if you left a “star” rating below to let me know what you thought! Then, the next time you need a quick and easy recipe, come back to Fantabulosity to browse all of my easy recipes!
Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
- 3 cups penne pasta uncooked
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Red pepper flakes for a bit of heat optional
- Cook to al dente per package directions. When the pasta has about 3 minutes remaining, add broccoli florets to the pot. Drain when pasta is done.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Italian herbs. Add to the pan and allow to cook through completely. Set chicken aside and return pan to heat.
- Add a little more olive oil to the pan if needed and sauté the chopped onion until softened and translucent.
- Add cream cheese to the skillet. Stir to completely melt the cream cheese into the onion.
- Slowly pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly until all is added and smooth.
- Stir in the heavy cream and allow to come to a simmer, but do not boil. Cook for a few minutes until slightly thickened.
- Remove from the heat and add grated Parmesan cheese, stirring until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth.
- Return chicken, pasta, and broccoli to the skillet. Toss to evenly coat everything in sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Make this gluten free by substituting a gluten free pasta of your choice!
- Make sure not to overcook the pasta so it doesn’t become mushy and broken when stirred into the sauce.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.