Chicken Alfredo Pasta has such a rich, luxurious and flavorful sauce that coats the pasta. With juicy morsels of chicken and crisp broccoli and peppers, everything pairs together to make a wonderful, comforting meal that is an American favorite.
Chicken Alfredo Pasta with broccoli and peppers is a perfect dinner for weeknight family meals. The rich, creamy and cheesy sauce is really comforting and coats the pasta. With the crisp golden chicken and colorful vegetables, this meal comes together so quickly. In the time that it takes the pasta water to boil and then cook, everything else can be cooked and ready to be all brought together.
You can also make many variations of an Alfredo pasta dinner – using different pasta, many vegetable variations and instead of chicken, you can use shrimp or sausage. We love to use the alfredo sauce as a dipping sauce with some breadsticks too.
Watch the Video Tutorial of Chicken Alfredo Pasta
What is Alfredo Sauce Made Of?
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 or butter 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. If you reheat classic Alfredo sauce, it will most likely separate and will be greasy and not appetizing.
My 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.
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.
- chicken – I usually use chicken breast, but you can also use chicken thighs, cooked or leftover chicken.
- oil – for sauteing the chicken and cooking the veggies
- salt, pepper, dry herbs and spices
- veggies – broccoli, bell peppers, garlic
- pasta – Casarecce, fettuccine, campanelle, rotini, etc.
- optional: broth (chicken or vegetable broth for steaming the vegetables)
- Alfredo sauce:
- cream cheese
- heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
- optional: garlic powder
How To Make Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- Prep all your ingredients first. Since this is such a quick dinner, it’s important that you have all your veggies chopped and chicken prepped in advance. Place a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta to the doneness that you prefer.
- Cook the chicken.
- If using boneless skinless chicken breast, cut them horizontally and pound out gently into an even thickness. Season with salt, pepper and any of your favorite herbs, spices or poultry seasoning.
- 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.
- Set the chicken aside and cover to keep it warm.
- Saute the vegetables. Use the same skillet that you used for the chicken, add the broccoli, saute for a few minutes, then add the bell peppers and garlic, sauteing for another few minutes. Pour in 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water or broth to the skillet, cover and steam on low heat until the vegetables are as tender as you like them.
- Make the Alfredo Sauce. Combine the butter, cream cheese and heavy cream, cooking on medium – low heat, whisking until smooth. Off the heat, add the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder (optional).
How to Serve:
Drain the pasta when ready, saving a cup of pasta water in case you need to thin the sauce.
Toss the pasta with the Alfredo sauce. Top with sliced chicken, the broccoli and peppers. Grate more Parmesan cheese on top and add fresh herbs, if you want.
Since this recipe has pasta, chicken and vegetables all in one, you don’t need to serve anything else on the side, but you can certainly serve a fresh salad to go along with it, such as a Deluxe Tomato, Avocado and Lettuce salad or an Arugula Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette.
For best results, don’t mix the pasta with the sauce until you are ready to serve, but you can certainly cook everything and then simply reheat on low heat.
When reheating, DON’T BOIL, otherwise the sauce may separate. If you toss the pasta with the sauce and it starts to cool off, you can reheat it on really low heat in a skillet, adding some pasta water to loosen it up a bit.
Helpful Tips For the Best Chicken Alfredo Pasta
Alfredo sauce is thick and creamy, so the best pasta to use is long, and wide like fettuccine, pappardelle. Other great choices are shorter pasta that will be able to soak up the sauce, like casarecce, rotini or campanelle.
Instead of chicken, you can also use sausage, pork chops or shrimp. You can also keep it vegetarian and use only vegetables and the Alfredo sauce with the pasta.
I usually saute the chicken until golden brown in a skillet. (See above.) You can cook the chicken in one piece and then slice before serving, or cut into cubes before sauteing.
Roasting the chicken in the oven is another option. I recommend roasting chicken breast or chicken thighs, with the bone-in and skin on, to get the best flavor and so that the chicken is as juicy as possible.
In all cases, season the chicken on both sides with salt, ground black pepper and your favorite herbs and spices, such as paprika, dry herbs, coriander, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, etc. Cook the chicken until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.
You can also use rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken for this recipe. Add it to the pasta after you cook the vegetables and sauce.
My favorite are broccoli and bell peppers, but there are so many other delicious options. Try spinach, kale, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, peas, asparagus, grape or cherry tomatoes.
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, (although it can be done) 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.
If reheating it the next day, for best results, reheat the Alfredo sauce separately, on low heat, just until it’s warm. Do not bring to a boil.
Place the pasta with chicken, veggies and sauce in a skillet and heat on really low heat, covered, just until it warms through. Again, do not boil. Add some water, broth or cream to loosen it up a bit.
What to Serve With Chicken Alfredo PastaPrint
Chicken Alfredo Pasta
Chicken Alfredo Pasta is an American favorite dinner with good reason. The rich, luxurious and flavorful alfredo sauce coats the pasta, with juicy morsels of chicken and crisp broccoli and peppers.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Entree
- 2 Tablespoons oil (olive, avocado, grapeseed, etc.)
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
- salt, ground black pepper, to taste
- optional, dry herbs and spices to flavor the chicken (dry parsley, chives, basil, rosemary, thyme, granulated garlic/onion, paprika, etc. Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning)
- 1 – 2 sweet bell pepper, julienned
- 1 lb broccoli florets
- 3–6 garlic cloves, minced
- optional, 1/4 – 1/2 cup chicken broth, to steam the vegetables (or just use water)
- 1 lb pasta (fettuccine, linguine, casarecce, rotini, campanelle, etc)
- fresh parsley, to garnish
- 8 Tablespoon (1/2 cup) butter
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 pint heavy cream (2 cups)
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
- salt, ground black pepper, to taste
- 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(s). Prep the chicken breast by cutting it horizontally and pounding it out gently so it has an even thickness.
- 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 1-2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides. Set the chicken aside and cover to keep it warm.
Use the same skillet that you used to cook the chicken. Add more oil, if needed, turn the heat to medium-high, add the broccoli, seasoning with salt and ground black pepper, cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the broccoli gets a bit of color. Add the bell peppers and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour in about 1/4 – 1/2 cup water or broth. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to deglaze the skillet. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 3 minutes, until the broccoli softens, or as long as you like, so the vegetables are as tender as you prefer.
- For the sauce, combine the butter, cream cheese and heavy cream in a medium pot. Cook on medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until the butter and cream cheese are melted and the sauce has an even consistency.
- Off the heat, or at a simmer, 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.
- 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.
- Garnish with more Parmesan cheese and fresh minced parsley.
This recipe makes a large portion (8 servings). Feel free to halve the ingredients if you want less servings. Another option is to make the full portion of Alfredo sauce, halve everything else and serve the other half of the Alfredo sauce as a dipping sauce with bread sticks or any sliced bread.
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