Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Pasta serves as a versatile dish that can fit into any meal plan, and when you combine it with chicken and broccoli, you get a balanced blend of carbs, protein, and vegetables. This article guides you through making a savory chicken and broccoli pasta dish that promises to be both delicious and nutritious.

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Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

  • Author: recipstep
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


A comforting and nutritious dish, Chicken and Broccoli Pasta combines tender chicken, fresh broccoli, and creamy sauce with your favorite pasta for a hearty meal. Perfect for family dinners, this recipe is both delicious and easy to make, ensuring a satisfying meal any day of the week.



2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 tablespoons butter
16 ounces pipe rigate pasta (or your favorite pasta)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2½ cups milk
2 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama® seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
3-ounce bag sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped


In a large pot, cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente. Add broccoli to the pasta in the last three minutes of cooking. Drain and return to the pan. Add chopped dried tomatoes.
In a large skillet or frying pan, melt butter over medium heat.
Add chicken, onions, seasonings, and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and onions are tender.
Sprinkle flour over the chicken mixture, stir, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Pour milk and chicken broth into the skillet, stir, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add cheese and stir until combined.
Pour the sauce mixture into the pasta and broccoli. Stir to combine.
Enjoy with a side salad or crusty bread with butter or garlic bread. Bon appétit! 🍽️


  • For a healthier version, use whole wheat pasta or a low-carb alternative.
  • Dairy-free cream can substitute heavy cream for a vegan version.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Omnivore (with options for modifications to vegetarian, dairy-free).
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Sautéing
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Calories: 650
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 690mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 68g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 38g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg

FAQs about Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Can I make this dish ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare chicken and broccoli pasta in advance. Cook the pasta and prepare the sauce and ingredients separately, then combine and reheat when ready to serve. This method ensures the pasta remains al dente and the sauce keeps its creamy texture.

Is there a dairy-free alternative for the sauce? For a dairy-free version, substitute the heavy cream with coconut cream or a dairy-free alternative like almond or soy milk thickened with a little flour or cornstarch. Use a dairy-free cheese substitute or nutritional yeast to achieve a cheesy flavor without actual cheese.

How can I make this dish gluten-free? Easily make chicken and broccoli pasta gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free pasta. Also, ensure that any broth or other packaged ingredients used are certified gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination.

Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh? Yes, frozen broccoli is a convenient alternative to fresh broccoli. Thaw and drain it before adding it to the dish to prevent excess water from diluting the sauce. Frozen broccoli might not need as much cooking time as fresh, so add it later in the cooking process.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before diving into the cooking process, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound of pasta, preferably penne or fusilli
  • 1 pound of chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Optional: red pepper flakes for a bit of heat

Preparing Your Ingredients

Start by boiling the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Drain and set it aside. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli florets until they are just tender, then set them aside as well.

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Cooking the Chicken

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces, season them with salt and pepper, and cook until they are golden brown and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.

Creating the Sauce

In the same skillet, add a bit more olive oil if necessary and cook the minced garlic until it’s fragrant. Pour in the chicken broth to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Stir in the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a simmer. Allow the sauce to thicken slightly, then stir in the grated Parmesan cheese until it’s melted and smooth.

Bringing It All Together

Add the cooked pasta, steamed broccoli, and cooked chicken back into the skillet with the sauce. Toss everything together until the pasta and vegetables are coated evenly in the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the chicken and broccoli pasta hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and optional red pepper flakes for extra flavor. This dish pairs wonderfully with a simple side salad or some crusty bread for dipping into the creamy sauce.

Adjusting the Dish to Your Preferences

Adapting this chicken and broccoli pasta to suit your dietary preferences or to work with what you have on hand is simple. For a healthier version, consider using whole wheat pasta or a pasta substitute like zucchini noodles. Those looking to add more vegetables can include bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, or spinach to the mix. If you prefer a different protein, shrimp or tofu make great substitutes for chicken.

Tips for Perfect Pasta Every Time

Achieving the perfect pasta dish goes beyond following the recipe. Ensure your pasta water is well-salted; it should taste as salty as the sea, enhancing the pasta’s flavor. To avoid overcooked pasta, start tasting it a couple of minutes before the package suggests—it should be al dente, or firm to the bite. Additionally, reserving a cup of pasta water before draining can help adjust the sauce’s consistency. If it’s too thick, a splash of the starchy water can thin it out while adding flavor.

Enhancing Flavor with Herbs and Spices

To elevate the dish further, fresh herbs can make a significant difference. Basil, parsley, or thyme can be stirred in with the sauce or sprinkled on top before serving. A squeeze of lemon juice or a zest can add a fresh, bright note to the creamy sauce, balancing the richness. For those who enjoy a spicy kick, don’t hesitate to increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add a dash of cayenne pepper.

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

If you have leftovers, they store well in the refrigerator for up to three days in an airtight container. To reheat, you might find that adding a little bit of milk or chicken broth helps revitalize the sauce, preventing it from drying out. Reheat gently in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave, stirring occasionally until heated through.

Enjoying Your Meal

As you serve your chicken and broccoli pasta, remember that the beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity and the joy it brings to the table. Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, this dish promises to satisfy cravings and bring smiles to your dining table. Enjoy the fruits of your labor with a glass of your favorite wine or a refreshing drink for a complete dining experience.

Making It a Complete Meal

To turn your chicken and broccoli pasta into a more comprehensive meal, consider including a side that complements the creamy richness of the pasta. A crisp, green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette offers a refreshing contrast. For something heartier, garlic bread or focaccia serves as a delicious option for soaking up any remaining sauce. If you’re aiming for a balance of textures and flavors, roasted vegetables or a simple tomato bruschetta can add both color and variety to your meal.

Pairing with the Right Beverage

The choice of beverage can enhance your dining experience. For wine enthusiasts, a light white wine like a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio pairs well with the creamy sauce and the delicate flavors of the chicken and broccoli. If you prefer red wine, choose a lighter variety such as Pinot Noir to complement the dish without overpowering it. For non-alcoholic options, a sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime, or even a flavored iced tea, can refresh the palate between bites.

Engaging the Senses

Presenting the dish is as important as its taste and aroma. Take a moment to garnish the pasta with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan and a few fresh basil leaves before serving. The visual appeal of vibrant green broccoli against the creamy pasta, along with the aromatic hints of garlic and cheese, invites everyone to dive in. Remember, the first bite is with the eye, and taking that extra step can turn a simple meal into a memorable experience.

Creating Leftover Magic

If you find yourself with leftover chicken and broccoli pasta, get creative with transforming it into a new meal. Pasta frittatas are a fantastic brunch option—simply mix the pasta with beaten eggs and bake until set. Alternatively, you can stuff bell peppers with the pasta, top them with cheese, and bake for a delightful dinner. These innovative approaches not only minimize food waste but also add variety to your meal plan.

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Sharing the Joy

Cooking is an expression of love and creativity. Sharing this chicken and broccoli pasta dish with family and friends not only nurtures them but also offers an opportunity to create lasting memories around the dinner table. Whether it’s a casual weeknight dinner or a gathering to celebrate a special occasion, the warmth and joy of shared meals strengthen bonds and create a sense of community. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the laughter and conversations that flow as freely as the wine, knowing you’ve created more than just a meal—you’ve created a moment to cherish.


Chicken and broccoli pasta stands out as a versatile and beloved dish, perfect for weeknight dinners, special occasions, or meal prep for the week ahead. It harmoniously combines the comfort of pasta, the lean protein of chicken, and the nutritional benefits of broccoli. With the ability to customize it to your dietary needs or flavor preferences, this dish caters to a wide audience. Whether you’re cooking for one, a family dinner, or a gathering with friends, chicken and broccoli pasta promises a delicious and satisfying meal. Remember, the best part about cooking is the joy it brings to those around the table, so don’t hesitate to share this delightful dish with your loved ones.

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