Family Favorite & Customizable!
I make this easy pasta dish all the time, especially on busy weeknights! I change it up with different kinds of pasta, vegetables and protein! The Parmesan sauce is creamy and delicious, but made lighter with chicken broth. (Not as thick and “guilty” as Alfredo sauce.) Everyone loves this dish at our house!
Customize the Protein & Vegetables!
Winner, winner chicken dinner! – or not! You can easily go all vegetable with this recipe or swap the chicken out for pork, shrimp or sausage. I’ve used all different kinds of vegetables too, use what you have on hand! You’ll need about 5 cups. I have used, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, asparagus, spinach, artichokes…
Cook your protein first, in this case I used leftover grilled chicken from the night before. You can easily just cook you chicken or other protein right in the skillet you’ll use for the rest of the dish. I usually cook the protein, remove it from the skillet and add it back in at the end, so it doesn’t get overcooked. Have your pasta water salted and boiling.
Sauté your onions and garlic, then add broth and cream. If you want to add a little white wine, you can do that too right before the broth.
Simmer the broth and cream to reduce and thicken slightly. Add in your vegetables.
Meanwhile cook your pasta. Before draining your pasta reserve some of the cooking water. The starchy water helps to thicken and bring the whole dish together. Add your chicken back in to warm and you’re good to go!
Perfect Picture for Pinterest! ⬇️
Creamy Parmesan Pasta with Broccoli & Chicken
- 1 tablespoon oil plus more as needed
- 10-12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast see note
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy "whipping" cream
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 4 cups broccoli florets see note
- 12 ounces (3/4 pound) fettuccini or other pasta
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
- salt to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. You can grill or cook chicken in skillet, until browned and cooked through. Cover and set aside
- In large (approx. 12" x 2") deep skillet over medium heat add oil and onions, cook for a minute or two until softened, then add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add Italian seasoning, pepper, chicken broth and heavy cream. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes or until starting to reduce and thicken.
- Add vegetables, partially cover pan. Should be at a low simmer. Stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta about a minute less than the package states. Monitor vegetables, when almost cooked to desired doneness, remove from heat and uncover.
- Before draining pasta reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss pasta with cheese, sauce and vegetables.
- Add in 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking liquid - the starch will help everything come together. (add more as needed, I usually use about 1/2 cup total.) Toss for a minute, the sauce will continue to thicken. Take a taste - sprinkle with salt as needed. (Sometimes the cheese adds enough salt.)
- You can add in your chicken now and toss together or just nestle on top, put the lid on for a couple minutes to rewarm. Serve with additional grated Parmesan.