One-pan chicken broccoli alfredo takes everything you love about the restaurant classic and cooks it all simply in one pan! Tender chicken and pasta tossed with vibrant broccoli and creamy, cheesy alfredo sauce. This cozy, comfort food classic is perfect for date night in or family dinner.
Goodbye dishes, hello cheesy pasta goodness! Does anyone else feel like their dishwashers have been working overtime lately? And if you're in the mood to have your go-to restaurant pasta dinner at-home, well you are in luck, my dear friend. Chicken broccoli alfredo is getting a one-pan makeover where everything cooks together, in one skillet of deliciousness.
What goes in alfredo sauce?
Alfredo sauce is more than just cream! It's the marriage of buttery sautéed garlic, heavy cream, sometimes milk, and parmesan cheese. The kind of parmesan cheese that's freshly grated so it melts. You should be able to buy it already grated in a bag in the deli or dairy department of your grocery store.
The parmesan cheese that's in the can with the dry goods doesn't really melt so you won't hit those smooth sauce goals. Here's a fun fact...did you know that alfredo sauce is named after the chef that created it?
How to cook pasta with the sauce
Cooking the pasta right in the sauce is a great little trick to save on dishes and add extra flavor. It's the same trick we use in homemade mac and cheese. The pasta will absorb the buttery, garlic cream sauce as it simmers. To do that, we have to account for a loss of some of the liquid. To make it all work out we add a little chicken or veggie stock, extra cream, and milk.
You'll keep the heat medium so it's hot enough to simmer without burning and cook the pasta and sauce in a covered pan. Just be sure to stir it every 5 minutes or so to keep anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan. If it does start to stick, you can just lower the heat a touch and continue on your merry way.
Can I lighten up this recipe?
For sure! It does use quite a bit of cream. You can substitute half and half instead if you like, but reduce the total amount used. Half and half, as well as milk, doesn't thicken the way that cream does. That's also why when we're making homemade mac and cheese there's often the addition of flour somewhere in the recipe as a thickening agent.
But, if you're going for an indulgent comfort food kind of night just use the cream friend. Your taste buds will be super happy about it.
Other creamy, cheesy pasta ideas:
On a creamy pasta kick? Try some of these other recipe ideas.
- butternut ravioli with marsala cream sauce
- crunchy tuna mac and cheese balls
- baked mac and cheese
- cheesy sausage and peppers pasta bake
If you're looking to wash this chicken broccoli alfredo down with a little vino - as you should - here are some thoughts on recommended pairings...
A nice buttery chardonnay will go great with the creamy richness of the sauce. If buttery chardonnay isn't your thing, try fume blanc! If you're a sauvignon blanc fan it's similar to that but a little more body to it. Looking for an Italian wine? Soave classico is clean and fruity. Or if red wine is you're only style, go for something a little lighter and fruity like a Pinot Noir. And if wine isn't your thing at all, a nice bubbly cocktail with herb-infused simple syrup would be the perfect sip!
However you serve it up, it'll be a treat know there's only one dish to wash at the end!
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One Pan Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breast (cut in pieces)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 stick butter
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 pound cavatappi pasta
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 5 cups broccoli florets
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cook 4 to 5 minutes until done. Remove the chicken to a plate and reduce the heat to low.
- Melt the butter, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the pasta, cream, milk, and chicken stock. Top with broccoli florets. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 to 7 minutes until the pasta is al dente. The sauce will thicken as the chicken stock and milk reduce.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the pasta, add the chicken and any drippings on the plate to the pan and stir everything together. Serve immediately for the tastiest results!
- The pasta cooks in the sauce and absorbs some of the liquid - making it even more delicious - so it may seem like a lot of liquid in the pan.
- Use a large skillet or braiser, if you don't have a skillet large enough this can also be made in a soup pot.
- If substituting half and half or using more milk and less cream, reduce the amount of liquid by 1 cup.