This Chicken Broccoli Alfredo is easily made in one pot and is on the table in under 30 minutes. Aldente penne pasta, succulent chicken and tender broccoli smothered in a silky creamy, ultra luxurious alfredo sauce makes a complete meal perfect for busy weeknights that your whole family will love.
One pot pasta recipes like this creamy stovetop mac and cheese, make the ultimate weeknight dinner because it’s quick, fuss-free, satisfying, and easy to pack with protein and veggies. Cooking in the same pot along with the seasoned liquid adds concentrated starchiness in creating an ultra thick creamy sauce. Plus, cleanup is a breeze.
Although far from an authentic Italian alfredo, a deeply satisfying pasta dish made with just 3 ingredients, this creamy dish is luxurious and is perfect for busy moms since the carbs, protein and vegetable are all cooked together in one pot.
If you love my chicken broccoli afredo casserole, then you'll love this recipe. Minimal mess and kids wil ask you to put this on repeat. Each noodle takes on the profile of the flavorful liquid it’s cooking in, making each bite tastier, like the penne pasta recipes.
Bite sized chicken chunks are seared in butter, to create golden brown caramelization in the exterior which seals in the juices and then gently poached in the flavorful sauce thus resulting in the most tender and tasty bite. Bonus points for the extra flavor from the fond left behind in the pot.
Tip: Although one pot pasta dishes can be simply made simmering your favorite pasta in liquid and hoping for the pasta starch to work it's magic to thicken the sauce, an outrageously creamy dish can be achieved with the help of a roux.
Why you'll love this dish?
- Complete meal - Protein, carbs and veggie are all cooked together to make a complete weeknight meal. Minimal clean up!
- Family favorite - Who doesn't love a luxurious fettuccini chicken alfredo? Add broccoli to the equation and you have a meal that the entire family will enjoy.
- Super easy - There are no complicated steps or a bunch of dishes to clean up after. You brown the chicken, make a roux and then simmer it all toghether. No need to boil the pasta separately. So easy!
- Restaurant quality - There’s nothing better than a warm and cozy afredo sauce with some noodles like this shrimp alfredo pasta. It’s the perfect cozy meal!
Perfectly silky smooth sauce - The roux when combined with the starches released from the pasta creates a luxuriously creamy sauce!
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Pasta. I typically use medium sized noodles such as penne, rotini, rigatoni or farfalle noodles. If you are using a smaller shape such as macaroni or larger variety then the liquid ratio and cooking time might need to be adjusted.
- Chicken. Use diced boneless skinless breasts or thighs.
- Broccoli. Use freshly chopped. Frozen broccoli will release moisture and might end up being a mush when used in this recipe.
- Dairy. Heavy cream and milk adds richness and thickness to the sauce.
- Stock. Do not sub with water or the dish will be lacking in flavor. I prefer to use a low sodium variety to control the level of added salt. The broth helps to both cook and season the noodles.
- Garlic. Always freshly mince your garlic. Jarred garlic will work, yet it can have a bitter taste.
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese. ensures maximum flavor and it also melts easily into the sauce.
- Parsley. This is one dish where I recommend using dried parsley instead of fresh for it's subtle herb flavor.
Substitutions & Variations
This chicken broccoli alfredo pasta dish is delicious as is, but feel free to change things up to customize it to your family’s needs.
- I love using penne in this dish because the tube shape clings to the tasty sauce and perfect for kids to pick up with a fork along with the chicken. Use other pasta shapes such as rotini, rigatoni, ziti, linguini, fettuccini or farfalle instead.
- Use other veggies such as baby spinach, aspargus, mushrooms or zucchini.
- Make it healthier and use all milk instead of heavy cream
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
- Place a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and let melt. Place chicken in a single layer and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Flip chicken over and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove partially cooked chicken onto a plate.
- Reduce heat to low-medium, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter and saute minced garlic for a few seconds or until pale golden and fragrant.
- Add 2 tablespoons all purpose flour.
5. Cook flour , stirring constantly or until the flour is toasted for 30 to 40 seconds. (Don't let it turn dark in color).
6 & 7. Pour in chicken stock, whole milk and heavy cream.
Pro tip: The key is the ratio of liquid-to-pasta - For every 8 ounces of pasta, you need at least 4 cups or 1 quart of liquid.
8. Season with salt, pepper and dried parsley. Give a good mix, increase heat to medium and let the liquid come to a gentle boil.
9. Stir in penne and cooked chicken, along with any accumulated juices and cook, stirring occasionally for 12 to 14 minutes or until pasta cooks al dente.
Pro tip: The starches released from the pasta tends to get sticky in the bottom of the pan. Stir frequently to keep the noodles from sticking together and evenly distribute the starches for better consistency.
10. Stir in chopped broccoli and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes or broccoli is cooked through.
11 & 12. Stir in grated parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
How to serve?
Chicken broccoli alfredo is best served immediately while it’s hot and creamy. The sauce will thicken as it cools, and the pasta will clump together if left too long.
The best part of this dish is that it makes a complete meal with the protein and vegetable all cooked together with the noodle. You might also love this broccoli cranberry salad recipe.
Storage and reheating instructions
- In the fridge - Place chicken broccoli alfredo in an airtight container or covered bowl and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To reheat - Reheat gently on the stovetop or microwave, adding a splash of water, milk or cream to loosen the sauce, although alfredo sauce won’t be as silky as when it’s freshly made.
- In the freezer - It is not recomended freezing chicken broccoli alfredo because the sauce may separate and become grainy when reheated and the texture of broccoli changes when frozen. However, if you need to freeze, place the cooled dish in an airtight container and freeze for up to a month
- This is not a hands free chicken broccoli alfredo recipe, so make sure to monitor the level of liquid. If the sauce is drying up before the pasta is fully cooked, add more water or broth to the pan.
- Stir pasta every 2 to 3 minutes to make sure that it cooks evenly and doesn't get stuck to the pan.
Tip: The secret to success is the perfect ratio of liquid to the pasta, so that they cook to perfection without leaving any extra liquid behind or resulting in an undercooked penne due to less liquid.
Sure can! But, it won’t result in the same richness and velvety consistency.
The noodle shape makes a big difference especially in a one pot recipe like this chicken broccoli afredo so that the noodle to liquid ratio turns out perfect and not soupy or dry. The recommended time and liquid measurement is best to work for medium shaped noodles such as penne, farfelle or rotini. Longer variety like fettuccini or linguine are harder to stir around.
More chicken pasta recipes to try:
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut unto bite sized pieces (or use breasts)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock (use one 14.5 ounce can), I used 33% sodium
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste, depends on the stock used)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 8 to 10 ounces broccoli, cut into small florets
- ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken in a single layer, cook until golden in color on the bottom (2 to 4 minutes), flip pieces and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove chicken onto a plate, leaving any juices in the pan.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the same pan and cook garlic for a few seconds until it begins to turn golden and fragrant. Stir in all purpose flour and cook stirring constantly for 30 to 40 seconds, until toasted (don't let it get darker in color).
- Add chicken stock, milk, heavy cream, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook stirring constantly until it gets to very gentle simmer (don't let it boil).
- Add pasta and chicken (along with any accumulated juices), give a good mix, reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally (the pasta tends to settle in the bottom, so it needs to mixed around on an occasional basis) until the pasta is a shy of al dente and the sauce is pretty runny.Tip: I like to chop broccoli into small florets in the mean time. Tip: If the pasta is still not tender enough for your taste, add ¼ - ½ cup hot tap water and keep cooking.
- Stir in cooked broccoli and let continue to cook for an additional 2 to 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in grated parmesan and serve hot. Tips: If the dish looks a little dry then add a splash of hot tap water for it to get back to silky consistency.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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