Skillet Pasta, Chicken, Broccoli and Peppers in a Light Cream Sauce

Skillet Pasta, Chicken, Broccoli and Peppers in a Light Cream Sauce (500x328) Here’s an idea for busy weeknights. Cook the whole meal in one skillet – pasta, chicken and vegetables.

You shouldn’t be surprised to find out that I first saw this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen and I’ve used the concept to come up with many variations. The cooking method is perfect to have a delicious pasta dish. Even though cooking the pasta in such a small amount of water produces lots of starch, that’s actually a good thing in this case, since it creates the base for a beautiful, light sauce.

You can use many different types of pasta and a variety of vegetables. You’ll have only one skillet to wash and if you do the prep ahead of time, it’s a 3o minute meal, and you don’t have to be Rachel Ray to appreciate it. 

Ingredients:

2 chicken breast halves

salt, pepper

2 Tablespoons oil (canola, vegetable, olive, etc.)

1 onion, minced

1 bell pepper, julienned

3 cloves garlic , minced

8 oz pasta (capanelle, ziti, fusili, etc.) (approximately 2 1/2 cups)

1 2/3 cups chicken broth, preferrably homemade

2 3/4 cups water

4 cups broccoli florets

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, minced

2 Tablespoons lemon juice or white wine

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus a little extra for garnishing

fresh parsely, minced, for garnishing

Trim the chicken. Blot dry with a paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Prep the rest of the ingredients. Chop the onion, julienne the bell pepper, cut the broccoli into florets, mince the sun dried tomatoes and the garlic.

As I already mentioned, do your prep ahead of time and cooking it up will be a breeze. Take care of it in the morning and you won’t be scrambling when dinnertime rolls around.

IMG_1797-3 (500x334) In a 12 inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the chicken to the skillet, and cook until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Take it out of the skillet and set is aside. The chicken should still be raw in the center.

IMG_1801-3 (500x334) Add 1 more Tablespoon of oil to the same skillet.

Add the chopped onion, season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes, on medium heat,  until the onion is softened. IMG_1802-2 (500x334) Add the pepper, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes. IMG_1803 (500x334) Add the garlic to the center of the skillet, cook for about 30 seconds longer.

Add the pasta, Chicken Broth and water to the skillet. Bring it to a boil. Season with salt, since the water will dilute the chicken broth significantly.   IMG_1809-3 (500x334) Nestle the chicken in the center of the skillet. IMG_1810-3 (500x334) Cook, covered, until the chicken reaches 160-165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

Using this method to cook the chicken breast infuses it with the chicken broth and all the other flavors of the dish, while gently cooking it. The chicken will be perfectly cooked and full of flavor all the way through. 

IMG_1811 (500x334) Take the chicken out of the skillet, and keep it covered to stay warm.

Keep cooking the pasta for a total of about 15 minutes, until the liquid has become absorbed up to the level of the pasta. IMG_1813-3 (500x334) Add the broccoli and the sun dried tomatoes to the skillet, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until the broccoli is almost ready.   IMG_1814-3 (500x334)

IMG_1817-3 (500x334) Turn the heat to high, uncover the skillet, and cook approximately 3 more minutes. Add the lemon juice or white wine.

The liquid should be mostly absorbed, with only a bit on the bottom of the skillet.If you use a smaller skillet, or don’t use a high enough heat, the liquid may not reduce enough. That’s not a big deal. Just drain off some of the liquid. Leave enough to make a sauce. (You don’t want to cook it too long, since you don’t want the pasta or the broccoli to become mushy and overcooked. )

Add the heavy cream and the Parmesan cheese.   IMG_1821-3 (500x334) Keep cooking for another 2 minutes or so, until it’s all warmed through. Slice the chicken and add to the rest of the dish.

Garnish with fresh minced parsley and more cheese. IMG_1825-2 (500x334)

Skillet Pasta, Chicken, Broccoli and Peppers in a Light Cream Sauce (500x328)

Skillet Pasta, Chicken, Broccoli and Peppers in a Light Cream Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breast halves
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons oil (canola, vegetable, olive, etc.)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, julienned
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 8 oz pasta (capanelle, ziti, fusili, etc.) (approximately 2½ cups)
  • 1⅔ cups chicken broth
  • 2¾ cups water
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice or white wine
  • ¼ cup heavy cream,
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, plus a little extra for garnishing
  • fresh parsley, minced, for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Trim the chicken. Blot dry with a paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Prep the rest of the ingredients. Chop the onion, julienne the bell pepper, cut the broccoli into florets, mince the sun dried tomatoes and the garlic.
  3. In a 12 inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the chicken to the skillet, and cook until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Take it out of the skillet and set is aside. The chicken should still be raw in the center.
  4. Add 1 more Tablespoon of oil to the same skillet. Add the chopped onion, season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes, on medium heat, until the onion is softened.
  5. Add the pepper, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic to the center of the skillet, cook for about 30 seconds longer.
  7. Add the pasta, chicken broth and water to the skillet. Bring it to a boil. Season with salt, since the water will dilute the chicken broth significantly.
  8. Nestle the chicken in the center of the skillet. Cook, covered, until the chicken reaches 160-165 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Take the chicken out of the skillet, and keep it covered to stay warm.
  9. Keep cooking the pasta for a total of about 15 minutes, until the liquid has become absorbed up to the level of the pasta.
  10. Add the broccoli and sun dried tomatoes to the skillet, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until the broccoli is almost ready.
  11. Turn the heat to high, uncover the skillet and cook for approximately 3 more minutes. Add the lemon juice or white wine. The liquid should be mostly absorbed, with only a bit on the bottom of the skillet.
  12. Add the heavy cream and the Parmesan cheese. Keep cooking for another 2 minutes or so, until it's all warmed through.
  13. Slice the chicken and add to the rest of the dish. Garnish with fresh minced parsley and more cheese.

 
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Comments

  1. Nina says

    WOW!!!!!
    Another great recipe. Can’t wait to cook it. So smart. Fast. Easy. Healthy. And I’m 100 percent sure it will be sooooooo
    Delisious. Thanks again for your wonderful job!!!!

  2. Marina says

    This looks too easy! I like easy:) If I were to add zucchini to this dish, at what point would I add it without it turning to mush?
    Olga, I’m digging your easy, one skillet meals: if you have any more, I’d love it if you’d share!
    I made your roulette with farmer’s cheese today, just to see if your dough is softer than others I’ve tried… It was! I ate half of one roulette in one sitting, just out of the oven, then my four year old ate the other half. Thank you for sharing!!!

    • says

      Hi Marina.
      Add the zucchini with a few minutes after the broccoli. I am a big fan of one skillet meals. They sure make life a lot easier on those busy weeknights. I’ll be sure to share more similar recipes in the future.
      I’m so glad you like the Roulette with Farmer’s Cheese. It’s one of my favorites.

  3. Vera says

    This was delicious!!! I love pretty much anything that has heavy cream as an ingredient. It just makes the dish much tastier! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. Veronika says

    I made this for dinner today it tasted great, and my husband absolutely loved it! Will definitely be making it again. Maybe ill try to put shrimp into it next time:)

    • says

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know, Veronika! It’s so satisfying to me when my husband loves a meal that I cooked. Makes it twice better:).

  5. Elina says

    Wow Olga, this is an amazing dish, so flavorful!! I love this “one skillet” concept; I’ve never done it with pasta before. Genius! The pasta ends up being so perfectly flavored. Wow. Will DEFINITELY be making this again (and again and again:))!! My husband devoured it and he is not a huge pasta fan!!

    • says

      That’s great, Elina! I love to hear comments like yours. My husband also really likes this dish. I LOVE that the whole meal is cooked in one skillet. I want to come up with more convenient dinners like this one.

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