This easy Chicken Broccoli Alfredo recipe makes simple ingredients into a satisfying pasta dish! Tender chicken gets mixed with nutritious chicken broccoli pasta, then tossed in a creamy homemade Alfredo sauce for a well-rounded dinner everyone will enjoy!
Chicken broccoli alfredo is a creamy, comforting pasta dish made with tender chicken breast, pasta, and a rich sauce of butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. It has a smooth, velvety texture and a savory, cheesy flavor with a hint of savory garlic.
What makes this recipe stand out is the addition of fresh broccoli. Adding broccoli to chicken Alfredo adds a pop of color and texture and boosts the dish's nutritional value, adding vitamins and fiber. Instead of using traditional fettuccine pasta, bowtie pasta is used for a fun shape and texture that pairs well with the ingredients.
Making chicken alfredo with broccoli is simple and quick! First, cook pasta and steam the fresh broccoli. Then, cook seasoned chicken until golden brown. In the same pan, make the Alfredo sauce with butter, garlic, cream, milk, and Parmesan. Mix in the chicken, pasta, and broccoli with the sauce, and your delicious meal is ready to enjoy in no time!
This easy Alfredo dinner is perfect for a family dinner or a comforting meal on a busy day. It pairs well with a green salad, homemade dinner rolls, or sheet pan breadsticks, and is a flavorful choice for dinner that everyone will love!
A Family Favorite!
- This chicken broccoli alfredo dinner recipe is a time-saver, ready in under 30 minutes, perfect for busy weeknights.
- It's a nutritious choice, combining lean protein from chicken and fiber-rich broccoli, making it a balanced meal for the whole family.
- The creamy, rich Alfredo sauce is homemade with simple ingredients and tastes delicious.
- Leftovers (if any!) reheat wonderfully, making it a great choice for meal planning.
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Ingredients
- Broccoli Florets - Add a vibrant, nutritious crunch, enriching the dish with vitamins and fiber.
- Bowtie Pasta - Serves as a hearty base for chicken broccoli alfredo, perfectly capturing the creamy sauce in its unique shape.
- Olive Oil - Used for sautéing, it helps in browning the chicken.
- Chicken Breast - Provides a lean protein source, making the dish filling and satisfying.
- Seasonings (salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder) enhance the overall flavor, adding depth and a hint of spice to the chicken and sauce.
- Unsalted Butter - Forms the foundation of the Alfredo sauce, adding richness and smoothness.
- Minced Garlic - Infuses the dish with a pungent, aromatic flavor, which is key to the Alfredo sauce's character.
- Heavy Cream - This creates a thick, luxurious texture in the sauce, contributing to its creamy consistency.
- Whole Milk - Adds creaminess to the Alfredo sauce while also helping to balance its thickness.
- Parmesan Cheese - Melts into the sauce, providing a nutty, savory taste that's classic to Alfredo sauce.
How To Make Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Prepare the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the bowtie pasta and cook until al dente, according to the instructions on the box. Drain and set aside.
Prepare the broccoli: Add a small amount of water to a medium-sized pot with a colander that fits inside. Add the broccoli and steam until it's bright green in color and slightly tender. Set aside.
Cook the chicken: Trim any excess fat off of the chicken breast. Season it with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken on both sides until fully cooked and golden brown on both sides. This should take about 6-8 minutes. Remove it from the skillet and set it aside.
Make the alfredo sauce: Lower the heat in the same skillet to medium. Melt the butter, then saute the garlic in it for 30 seconds before slowly whisking in the heavy cream, milk, onion powder, and black pepper. Once the sauce starts to bubble, add the parmesan cheese and whisk until a smooth alfredo sauce is formed. Reduce the heat and let thicken for 2-3 minutes.
Assemble the dish: Once the sauce is complete, add in the cooked chicken, pasta, and steamed broccoli. Toss until well coated in the alfredo sauce. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese before serving. Enjoy!
- Steam the broccoli florets just until they're bright green and slightly tender to maintain their crunch and vibrant color in the final dish.
- Salt the pasta water generously; it's your chance to add flavor right into the bowtie pasta.
- Cut the chicken breast into uniform pieces to promote even cooking.
- Cook the minced garlic in butter over low heat to avoid burning, which can bring a bitter taste to the sauce.
- Gradually add the heavy cream and whole milk to the butter and garlic, whisking continuously to prevent lumps in your Alfredo sauce.
- Add the Parmesan cheese to the sauce slowly, stirring constantly, to allow it to melt smoothly and thicken the sauce evenly.
- Don't overcook the pasta – aim for al dente, as it will continue to cook slightly when mixed with the hot sauce.
- Reserve a bit of pasta water before draining – you can use it to adjust the thickness of the Alfredo sauce if needed.
Flavor Variations and Substitutions
- Substitute whole wheat or gluten-free pasta to cater to dietary needs.
- Swap out the chicken breast for shrimp or salmon for a seafood version of this dish.
- Add a spicy kick, including red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper, to the seasoning mix.
- Omit the chicken and double up on the broccoli, or add other vegetables like bell peppers or mushrooms for a vegetarian version.
- Use a combination of Parmesan and Asiago cheese for a deeper, more complex flavor in the Alfredo sauce.
- Incorporate sun-dried tomatoes and spinach for added color, texture, and a touch of sweetness and earthiness.
- Lightly toast pine nuts and sprinkle them over the finished dish just before serving.
Storing: Transfer cooled chicken broccoli alfredo leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days.
Freezing: Place cooled portions in freezer-safe bags or containers. It's best to freeze it without the pasta, as pasta can become mushy when thawed. The sauce and chicken can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Reheating: To reheat, thaw the frozen chicken alfredo in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. Warm it gently in a saucepan over low heat, adding a little milk or water if the sauce is too thick. If it is stored in the fridge, microwave it in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until heated through. For the best texture, avoid overheating, as it can cause the sauce to separate.
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo FAQ's
Yes, you can use frozen broccoli. Thaw it completely and drain any excess water before adding it to the dish to avoid making the sauce too watery.
The chicken is fully cooked when it has an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C), which you can check using a meat thermometer. It should also be white throughout with no pink parts remaining.
If your Alfredo sauce becomes too thick, gently thin it out by adding a small amount of milk or pasta water, stirring continuously over low heat until you reach the desired consistency.
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Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Recipe
- 3 cups broccoli florets (1-head of broccoli)
- 4 cups bow-tie pasta
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Steam the broccoli in a medium pot until slightly tender and bright green in color and set aside.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through. About 6-8 minutes. Removed cooked chicken and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium and melt butter. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds—then slowly start to whisk in heavy cream, milk, onion powder, and black pepper. Whisk continuously until the sauce is well combined.
- When the sauce starts to bubble, slowly whisk in the parmesan cheese. Whisk continuously until the sauce is smooth. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer the Alfredo sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Add cooked chicken, pasta, and steamed broccoli into the Alfredo sauce. Mix until well combined and coated in the Alfredo sauce.
- Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese before serving, and enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.