Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo with pasta and vegetable is a favorite in my family. The rich, luxurious and flavorful alfredo sauce coats the pasta, with juicy morsels of chicken and crisp broccoli and peppers. Both my siblings and Sergi’s siblings absolutely rave about it. They request this more often than any other dish. One of my brother in laws could probably drink the Alfredo sauce and forego the pasta and “trimmings” altogether.

Alfredo is a cream sauce with Parmesan cheese.  This silky, creamy cheese sauce is a popular Italian dish, served as a sauce with pasta and often as a dipping sauce too. Traditionally, Alfredo is made strictly with cream and Parmesan. It tastes great, of course, but the problem with this sauce is that it congeals very quickly and doesn’t reheat very well. Basically, you’d better be making the sauce as you portion out the pasta and have everyone at the table waiting to eat. Right away.

This modified version of Alfredo sauce has a bit of cream cheese, which keeps the luxurious texture of the sauce but also stabilizes it so you have a bit of leeway. Keep the sauce in the warm saucepan and you can gently warm it up on low heat if you have to. I wouldn’t recommend reheating it the next day, but you can easily reheat it within a few hours and the sauce will still be just as smooth and silky. If you have family members who will be eating dinner later than the rest of the family, they can still enjoy it just as much. This also means that it’s a perfect dish to serve guests. Even if dinner runs a little bit later than planned, you’ll have no worries, because every part of this meal will stay perfect until ready to be served.


Ingredients:

1-2 Tablespoons oil

1 – 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs

salt, ground black pepper, to taste

1 sweet bell pepper, julienned

2 cups broccoli florets

1 lb pasta (fettuccine, spiral, ziti, casarecce, etc)

fresh parsley, to garnish

“Alfredo” Sauce:

8 Tablespoon (1/2 cup) butter

4 oz cream cheese

1-pint heavy cream

1-1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, finely shredded

1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional

Instructions:

Prep all your ingredients first. It makes the time you spend in the kitchen so much easier. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta and cook it according to how you like your pasta, al dente, firm or soft. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into florets. Julienne the bell pepper. 
Season the chicken breast with salt and ground black pepper. I will often sprinkle some dry herbs and my favorite chicken seasoning mix on top of the chicken for extra flavor.

Heat about 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken. The chicken will easily turn over when it’s nice and golden. If you try flipping it when it’s not browned yet, it will stick to the skillet and tear if you try to force it, so resist the urge. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium high heat, then turn the chicken over, lower the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is cooked through. You can also cut the chicken into about 1 inch pieces and brown it in a skillet.  
Set the chicken aside and cover to keep it warm.

In the same skillet, add about 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon oil, turn the heat to medium and add the broccoli.

Cook for about 3 minutes and then add the bell pepper, cooking for another minute, then pour in about 1/4 – 1/3 cup water. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to deglaze the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down to low and cook until the broccoli and peppers are as tender as you like them.

For the sauce, combine the butter, cream cheese and heavy cream in a medium pot. Cook on medium heat until the butter and cream cheese are melted and the sauce has an even consistency.
Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk until it melts too.I also like to add some garlic powder and ground black pepper for extra flavor. Season with salt, if it needs it. 
Toss the pasta with the sauce. Add some of the pasta water if you want to thin out the sauce. Cut the chicken into strips and serve with the broccoli and peppers over the pasta. You can also use any kind of vegetables that you like, spinach, kale, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, etc. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese and fresh minced parsley. 

Chicken and Vegetable Fettuccine Alfredo
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 1-2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 - 1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • salt, ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 lb pasta (fettuccine, spiral, ziti, casarecce, etc)
  • fresh parsley, to garnish
  • "Alfredo" Sauce:
  • 8 Tablespoon (1/2 cup) butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1-pint heavy cream
  • 1-1½ cups Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
Instructions
  1. Prep all your ingredients first. It makes the time you spend in the kitchen so much easier. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta and cook it according to how you like your pasta, al dente, firm or soft. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into florets.
  2. Julienne the bell pepper.
  3. Season the chicken breast with salt and ground black pepper. I will often sprinkle some dry herbs and my favorite chicken seasoning mix on top of the chicken for extra flavor.
  4. Heat about 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken. The chicken will easily turn over when it's nice and golden. If you try flipping it when it's not browned yet, it will stick to the skillet and tear if you try to force it, so resist the urge. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, then turn the chicken over, lower the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is cooked through. You can also cut the chicken into about 1-inch pieces and brown it in a skillet. Set the chicken aside and cover to keep it warm.
  5. In the same skillet, add about ½ - 1 Tablespoon oil, turn the heat to medium and add the broccoli.
  6. Cook for about 3 minutes and then add the bell pepper, cooking for another minute, then pour in about ¼ - ⅓ cup water. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to deglaze the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down to low and cook until the broccoli and peppers are as tender as you like them.
  7. For the sauce, combine the butter, cream cheese and heavy cream in a medium pot. Cook on medium heat until the butter and cream cheese are melted and the sauce has an even consistency.
  8. Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk until it melts too. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. I also like to add some garlic powder for extra flavor.
  9. Toss the pasta with the sauce. Add some of the pasta water if you want to thin out the sauce. Cut the chicken into strips and serve with the broccoli and peppers over the pasta. You can also use any kind of vegetables that you like, spinach, kale, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, etc. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese and fresh minced parsley.

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