This creamy chicken and broccoli pasta recipe is packed with flavor, plus chicken and broccoli. It’s a perfect weeknight pasta dish!
Pasta is my go-to dish whenever I’m in a cooking rut. There are so many different types of pasta, sauce possibilities, and cheeses. It’s hard to go wrong! And it’s practically guaranteed to be delicious. Pasta is a dish that allows for creativity, and to use up ingredients hanging out in the refrigerator.
This delicious creamy chicken and broccoli pasta recipe is the perfect weeknight pasta dish. It feels special but doesn’t take much time to prepare. Plus, it’s full of broccoli. That makes it healthy, right?
Recipe for Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
Cooking the Chicken
The first step of this chicken and broccoli pasta recipe is to prepare the chicken. Cut several boneless, skinless chicken breasts into large chunks. Season the meat with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Then, pan-fry the chicken in a bit of olive oil in a large pan. Don’t let the work pan-fry scare you. It simply means to cook in a pan with a small amount of oil!
Steam the Broccoli
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan. Then, add the broccoli to the pan with a small amount of water. Cover the pan and steam the broccoli on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green and tender. Don’t cook the broccoli for too long or it will become mushy!
This recipe works well with fresh or frozen broccoli. I typically have frozen broccoli on hand, so that is what I use most often.
Choosing the Right Pasta
I typically serve this dish with penne pasta. I find that penne pairs well with thicker sauced recipes because the outer ridges catch a lot of the sauce. However, rotini or bow tie pasta noodles would also work well. The shapes of all of these different kinds of pasta allow them to pick up a lot of sauce.
Begin boiling water for the pasta as the chicken cooks. Then, add the pasta and get started on the sauce. Don’t overcook the pasta. It is best served al dente for this recipe. Al dente means that the pasta is still a little firm. This keeps it from falling apart when it’s added to the sauce.
Preparing the Garlic Cream Sauce
While the broccoli and pasta are cooking, get started on the garlic cream sauce. Saute diced onions and garlic in butter in an extra-large saucepan over medium-high heat until softened. This should only take about 3 minutes.
How to Make a Roux
Then add one tablespoon of flour and stir for one minute. This creates a roux. A roux is a mixture of flour and fat, in this case, butter. It acts as a thickening agent for many sauces.
Slowly stir a quarter cup of white wine into the roux. Keep stirring for another minute. Then, slowly add one and a quarter cups of milk to the pan.
How to Avoid Clumps
Continuously stir the sauce while adding the milk. This keeps the sauce from clumping. When making a thick, cream sauce I prefer to use a whisk to stir in the milk. I find that the whisk is the most effective tool for avoiding clumps from forming.
Once all of the milk is stirred in, add lemon juice and a cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Cook the sauce over medium-low heat until it is smooth and thick. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Finish the sauce off with pepper and basil. You could use dried or fresh basil. I prefer to buy basil stir-in paste. It comes in a small tube and lasts for weeks in the refrigerator. You can find it in the refrigerated produce section of many grocery stores.
Combining the Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta
While preparing the sauce, be sure to also keep an eye on the pasta and broccoli. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it directly to the cream sauce. Then, add the chicken and broccoli as well. Be sure to drain the broccoli before adding it to the sauce! Stir everything until the chicken, broccoli, and pasta are well coated with sauce. Garnish the pasta with a bit of fresh parsley, grated parmesan, or red pepper flakes.
This delicious chicken and broccoli pasta dish is the perfect comfort meal. I love to add it to our meal rotation to mix things up every few weeks.
Find more ideas for dinner recipes like this here.
Creamy Chicken Broccoli Pasta
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast chopped
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 12 oz broccoli fresh or frozen
- 1/2 lb Penne pasta
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup onion diced
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 1/4 cups cream
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 3 tbsp basil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Cut 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts into large chunks. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.
- Pan-fry the chicken in olive oil in a large pan
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan
- Add broccoli to the pan with a small amount of water. Cover the pan and steam the broccoli on medium-high heat for 5 minutes
- As chicken and broccoli cook, cook Penne pasta al dente
- Combine chicken, broccoli, and pasta into the garlic cream sauce
- Serve with additional Parmesan cheese
Garlic Cream Sauce
- Saute diced onions and garlic in butter in an extra-large saucepan over medium-high heat until softened
- Add one tablespoon of flour and stir for one minute to create a roux
- Slowly stir a quarter cup of white wine into the roux
- Slowly stir in one and a quarter cups of milk
- Continuously stir the sauce while adding the milk to keep the sauce from clumping
- Add lemon juice and a cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Stir.
- Add 3 tbsp of fresh basil or basil paste