Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

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Our Chicken and Broccoli Pasta recipe is a perfect blend of tender chicken, fresh broccoli, and creamy sauce. Easy and delicious, ideal for a weeknight family dinner since it takes just 35 minutes.

Looking for a comforting meal that’s both easy to make and a sure hit with the family? Our Chicken and Broccoli Pasta ticks all the boxes! This delicious pasta dinner combines tender chicken and colorful broccoli with a rich, parmesan sauce, all swirled together with hearty penne pasta. 

This creamy pasta dish is straightforward, quick, and packed with flavor. Plus, we offer tips for making it healthier with whole wheat pasta and how to get the sauce just right. 

You may also love our cheesy broccoli casserole and chipotle chicken pasta.

cream chicken and broccoli pasta in a skillet

Ingredients

ingredients for chicken and broccoli pasta on a table
  • Half and half. This adds creaminess to your sauce. For a lighter version, you could use whole milk, but the sauce will be less rich.
  • Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan gives the best flavor and texture to your sauce. Buy a block and grate it.
  • Italian seasoning blend. This blend of herbs adds a classic Italian flavor. Make your own homemade Italian seasoning mix
  • Fresh parsley. This adds a fresh, herby touch to the finished dish. If you don’t have fresh parsley, a sprinkle of dried parsley can also work, but won’t taste as bright.
  • Broccoli. Use fresh broccoli for a crisp texture and vibrant color. If fresh is unavailable, frozen broccoli can be a convenient substitute.
  • Cooked chicken. Chicken breasts, boneless skinless chicken thighs or rotisserie chicken are all excellent options for this easy dinner recipe. Just prepare to cook the chicken in advance, but keep in mind this is a great recipe to use up leftovers. 

✨ See the recipe card for the full list of ingredients. ✨

How to Make Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Make this tasty chicken broccoli pasta dinner in just 4 steps:

collage of how to make chicken broccoli pasta
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. In the last five minutes of cooking the pasta add the broccoli florets to the pasta water. Drain and set aside. 
  •  In a large skillet over medium heat, add the chicken broth and half and half, stirring to combine. Heat until the mixture is steaming and hot, but not boiling.
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top, then add in the warmed cream cheese. Whisk continuously until the cheeses are melted and the sauce is smooth. Sprinkle in the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Whisk to mix. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  • Add the cooked chicken and the cooked pasta to the skillet with the sauce.Toss everything together until the pasta is well-coated with the cheesy sauce.

Recipe Variations

  • Add a Kick: Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes while cooking the sauce to introduce a spicy note.
  • Cheese Variations: Experiment with different cheeses like sharp cheddar or Gouda for a different flavor profile. You can even use traditional cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese.
  • Protein Options: Try fried crispy chicken from the freezer. Thaw, cook and cut into bite-size pieces. Kids love this! For non-chicken eaters, grilled shrimp or even sliced sausage can be excellent substitutes.
  • Vegetarian Version: Replace chicken with grilled tofu, tempeh, or a mix of other vegetables like bell peppers and mushrooms. 
  • Gluten-Free Adaptation: Use gluten-free pasta and check all other ingredients, like broth and cheeses, to make sure they are gluten-free.
  • Add More Greens: Stir in spinach or kale for an extra nutrient boost.
about tastes of lizzy t

Make it a meal.

Although this comfort food meal is a complete meal in one skillet, add a light salad and garlic bread for a well-rounded meal.

You could also serve with oven roasted potatoes or corn on the cob.

Storage Instructions

  • Storing Leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The pasta may absorb some of the sauce upon sitting, so it might be thicker when reheated.
  • Reheating Instructions: Gently reheat on the stove over medium heat, adding a splash of chicken broth or water to loosen up the sauce. You can also use the microwave, stirring halfway through heating to ensure even warmth.
overhead view of chicken, broccoli and pasta in cheesy sauce
overhead view of chicken, broccoli and pasta in cheesy sauce

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

5 from 4 votes
Our Chicken and Broccoli Pasta recipe is a perfect blend of tender chicken, fresh broccoli, and creamy sauce. Easy and delicious, ideal for a weeknight family dinner since it takes just 35 minutes.
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

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Ingredients
 

  • 4 cups penne pasta
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly shredded
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese warmed to soft
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked chicken shredded or diced
  • fresh parsley chopped (for garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. In the last five minutes of cooking the pasta add the broccoli florets to the pasta water. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add the chicken broth and half and half, stirring to combine. Sprinkle in the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Whisk to mix. Heat until the mixture is steaming and hot, but not boiling.
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top, then add in the warmed cream cheese. Whisk continuously until the cheeses are melted and the sauce is smooth. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  • Add the cooked chicken and the cooked pasta to the skillet with the sauce.Toss everything together until the pasta is well-coated with the cheesy sauce.
  • Spoon the creamy broccoli chicken pasta onto plates or into bowls. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and an additional sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

  • Use any kind of pasta you wish! Follow the instructions on the back of the box for cooking times.
  • Garlic is a great addition to this dish. Add ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon minced garlic.
  • Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
  • The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 6, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the pasta. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 455mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 556IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 490
Keyword chicken recipe, easy chicken dinner, easy pasta recipe

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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