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Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

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chicken broccoli alfredo pasta, how to make chicken alfredo with broccoli

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Penne Pasta – chicken breast, broccoli, garlic in a simple homemade cream sauce. Delicious, creamy, Italian-style pasta dinner.  Everybody (both kids and adults) love this pasta dish!

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, chicken broccoli pasta, pasta with chicken and broccoli

If you’re tired of dry, tasteless chicken breast recipes, then it’s time to try different ways to cook chicken. This cheesy chicken and broccoli pasta dish is super easy to make, and the chicken breast is moist and tender, as it is smothered in a creamy, white cheese alfredo sauce.

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This pasta has become one of my most favorite chicken dinner recipes! This recipe is perfect for boneless skinless chicken breasts you might have sitting idly in your fridge!

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Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Ingredients

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  • 10 ounces broccoli
  • 8 ounces penne pasta (for gluten free, use gf brown rice penne)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 pound chicken breast (1 large chicken breast)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 and 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese or monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook broccoli in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain well. Cut into small florets.
  2. Cook pasta al dente, drain.
  3. In a large skillet heat olive oil and butter on medium-high heat (until hot but not smoking) and saute chicken breast (seasoned generously with salt and pepper on both sides) for about 5 minutes on each side. Remove the skillet from heat, cover with the lid, and let the chicken rest, off heat, covered, until chicken is no longer pink in the center and cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
  4. Add minced garlic to the same skillet and cook it in chicken juices and oil remaining in the pan, scraping up the chicken bits from the bottom of the pan, on medium heat for about 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant, making sure to avoid burning. Add cooked and sliced broccoli and mix in with garlic. Remove from the pan.
  5. To make the creamy sauce, in the same skillet heat up 1 cup of heavy cream until it boils. Immediately add the cheese and stir until melted and nice and creamy. Reduce heat to medium-low, and slowly, in small portions, add milk, constantly stirring, simmering, until nice and creamy consistency is reached.
  6. Add cooked pasta to the creamy sauce, then add broccoli. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Top with sliced, cooked chicken.
http://juliasalbum.com/2015/09/chicken-broccoli-alfredo-recipe/

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{ 69 comments… add one }
  • Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking September 9, 2015, 10:38 am

    You make this sound so easy! It is all made in one pot and it is a creamy treat! Love this, Julia! Pinned!

  • Daniela September 9, 2015, 3:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing this fantastic pasta recipe, Julia.
    It’s healthy, tasty and easy to prepare and of course on my to do list for the weekend.

  • Angie October 15, 2015, 6:55 am

    You’re recipes are great for teaching teenagers how to cook! Thanks for making so many easy to recreate recipes that are also easy to follow!!

  • Katie October 16, 2015, 7:32 pm

    It was tasty, but my cream sauce didn’t work out at all. I have made many cream sauces, and this one seemed different. My mozzarella just melted and clumped together so that I had a few huge globs of cheese and watery cream sauce. Suggestions? I’d like to fix issue and use recipe again in the future because my boys loved it.

    • Jennifer February 10, 2016, 10:40 pm

      I had the same problem with the sauce have blobs of cheese. Otherwise, I thought it was tastey.

      • Ashley July 5, 2016, 9:54 am

        Next time, use grated Parmesan or Asiago. Soft cheeses tend to clump together in a sauce.

    • Cate December 8, 2016, 3:50 pm

      Use a whisk!

  • Tiffany January 17, 2016, 3:33 pm

    What can I use if I don’t have cream in hand?

    • Sandy August 3, 2016, 7:45 pm

      You can make your own heavy cream. 1/3 cup unsalted butter 2/3 cup whole milk

  • Sharon January 23, 2016, 8:31 pm

    Does this freeze well?

  • Tabitha Nelson February 2, 2016, 12:49 pm

    This looks so good!!!

  • Mel February 24, 2016, 5:37 pm

    Agree with Katie. I made it but my cheese was one big gloppy mess. Not sure what went wrong but maybe I will try next time to make the cream sauce like I make my mac and cheese sauce, starting with a roux then adding the milk and cheese.

    • Lu October 25, 2016, 9:30 am

      To make a really goood Sause make a roe and add about 2 tbs of flour to butter. I would add less garlic and add some onion to.

  • Vonnie February 25, 2016, 9:26 pm

    My cream sauce didnt work! All was wonderful until I added the cheese. It melted but never incorporated into the cream sauce. I had a lumpy clumpy mess:\ Did I maybe add it too fast?

    • Julia May 25, 2016, 8:50 pm

      I actually prefer making it with shredded Mozzarella (I use low-moisture, part-skim shredded Mozzarella) – works great! Make sure to bring the cream + milk to boil, ADD THE CHEESE, WHILE THE CREAM IS BOILING, stir WHILE THE CREAM IS BOILING AND THE CHEESE IS BUBBLING, until nice and creamy about 30 seconds. ONLY THEN, reduce to simmer, and continue stirring. I make creamy sauce like that with Mozzarella all the time and it works! Also, the patience is key here, keep stirring on low simmer and even if you have a clump of the cheese – it will melt, it will melt even faster if you increase heat a little bit, just be patient and keep stirring. Just to repeat myself – even the clump of cheese in a cream is easily fixable by stirring on low-medium heat!

  • Kim March 2, 2016, 5:42 pm

    This was a mess. Should have used parmesan instead of the mozzarella or Monterrey jack. Had to send my Fiancé to the store to buy the *right* ingredients and had to start all over.

  • Denise March 3, 2016, 6:05 pm

    What exactly is heavy cream? or what brand is this

    • Rose March 16, 2016, 10:52 am

      Hi! Heavy cream is the same as “Whipping Cream”. It’s NOT half and half. You should have it in your dairy case 🙂

  • Kim March 4, 2016, 10:08 am

    I made this earlier in the week and it was a complete mess. The cheese “sauce” wasn’t so much a sauce as it was a glob of melted cheese with cream swishing around the pan. I should have used parmesan instead of mozerella or Monterey jack. I had to send my fiancé to the store to get more ingredients and I used a completely different recipe to make the alfredo sauce that actually worked. This was a good idea in theory, but horrible in execution.

    • Keisha September 13, 2016, 7:07 pm

      You have to wait until the heavy cream starts to boil and immediately add the cheese and then work the rest of the milk in slowly on medium heat. I used mozzarella and it turned out great. Hope this helps.

  • Anne March 13, 2016, 6:54 pm

    I made this last night with bow tie pasta and it came out great. Some users have mentioned issues with their sauce coming out gloopy or the cheese not melting but I didn’t have any problems. I just kept everything on low heat and stirred the mozzarella constantly so it blended into a thick sauce with the cream, then added the milk little by little. I actually thought it would be too watery at first but once I added the chicken, broccoli, and pasta it came together. Will definitely make again.

  • Milly March 14, 2016, 8:56 pm

    I’m not sure why people are having trouble with the sauce, I made this tonight and it turned out perfectly. I also added some crimini mushrooms and it was wonderful.

  • Teresa March 22, 2016, 9:54 pm

    The first time I made this, I used Monterey Jake cheese, and it was amazing! The second time my fiancé sujested we try it with mozzarella… What a mistake! It was clumpy and stringy! I recommend using a nice quality Monterey Jake or parmesan cheese.

    • Julia May 25, 2016, 8:46 pm

      I actually prefer making it with shredded Mozzarella (I use low-moisture, part-skim shredded Mozzarella) – works great! Make sure to bring the cream + milk to boil, ADD THE CHEESE, WHILE THE CREAM IS BOILING, stir WHILE THE CREAM IS BOILING AND THE CHEESE IS BUBBLING, until nice and creamy about 30 seconds. ONLY THEN, reduce to simmer, and continue stirring. I make creamy sauce like that with Mozzarella all the time and it works!

      • Teresa October 25, 2016, 12:50 am

        I’ve made this recipe many times and I use your advice every time now. It really does the trick! The only thing I change is I double the recipe. We can’t get enough lol.

        Thank you for sharing, and for the helpful advice!

  • Marianne April 5, 2016, 2:19 am

    I rarely make a recipe the same day I pin it but I had all the ingredients on hand. I had some leftover Alfredo sauce, broccoli and grilled chicken. I used fettuccine instead of penne which I didn’t have, but it turned out fine. I’ll be making this on a regular basis. It was easy, 15 minutes or so, and delicious. Thank you. Marianne, Modesto, Ca.

    • Julia May 25, 2016, 8:47 pm

      Marianne, thank you! So glad you liked it!

  • Emily May 11, 2016, 7:37 pm

    It was okay. I had the same problem with the sauce. The cheese just clumped up and the sauce was just watery. Nothing creamy about it at all.

  • Christy May 21, 2016, 11:34 am

    I’m glad I didn’t read the comments before I made this; I think I would gave been scared off. When making the sauce, bring the heavy cream to a boil and then REMOVE from the burner. Slowly whisk in shredded cheese ( I used pepper jack). Once you have a smooth creamy sauce, you can return to the burner to incorporate the milk. Hope this helps!

  • Kayla Colglazier May 24, 2016, 12:51 pm

    When I made this it went wonderfully!
    The problem that the others might be experiencing could be because of they type of pan used. When I made it I used a large wok that I had.
    In addition another problem could be the cheese. I have learned in the past that you never used pre shredded cheese. Instead, buy a block of cheese and shread it yourself! I did this with the mozzarella and it worked wonderfully. It incorporated great, the only problem I had was that I added too much cheese and that changed the flavor to a little bland. But it all melted. Also be sure the half and half is simmering and bubbling a lot before adding cheese. Just be sure it doesn’t burn.

    • Julia May 25, 2016, 7:22 pm

      Kayal, thank you for your tips! Yes, I agree – it should be a large pan and the half and half should be brought to boil and then simmering – only then add the cheese. I applaud you for grating your own cheese. 🙂 I always use store-bought grated low-moisture, part-skim Mozzarella cheese – and it works great, melts and blends into the sauce perfectly!

  • Britta May 31, 2016, 7:44 pm

    Very delicious! I’m cooking chicken this way from now on. The sauce turned out great, I shredded my monterrey jack before putting it in. The sauce was pretty thin, but it still worked when added to the rest. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Julia July 6, 2016, 6:46 pm

      Thank you – I am glad you liked it!

  • Kelly June 3, 2016, 9:34 pm

    It was easy and turned out perfectly, thank you. Great recipe.

    • Julia July 6, 2016, 6:47 pm

      Thank you, Kelly, – I am glad you enjoyed it!

  • Denise July 6, 2016, 8:06 pm

    Made this tonight with cheesy toasted bread. The husband suggested fresh mushrooms and bell pepper for the next time. A hit!!!

    • Julia July 9, 2016, 3:21 pm

      Thank you, Denise! Yes, this pasta would be great with mushrooms and bell pepper!

  • Rachel July 10, 2016, 10:21 pm

    I made this tonight and it was tasty! Kids loved it! The only thing I’d do next time is make the sauce thicker since the sauce seemed too thin for me. I also just added already cooked chicken strips and cut them down which made it easier to make this.

  • Rebecca July 14, 2016, 8:42 am

    Made it a couple of days ago, didn’t have issues with the cheese clumping maybe because I shredded the cheese myself instead of buying preshredded mozzarella and it was great. We had leftovers and just like any pasta dish it was soooooo much better a couple of days later. I’d recommend reheating on the stove with a small splash of water, I didn’t it like that and it was perfect.

  • Bonnie Logan July 17, 2016, 7:00 pm

    I made this tonight. I doubled the recipe and used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. There were NO leftovers whatsoever! We absolutely loved it! I can’t have noodles so I left out a chicken thigh out for me and used the sauce and broccoli on mine and then mixed the rest together for the family. FANTASTIC. We will keep this in rotation for sure! I also had no problems with the sauce. I cooked the chicken and sauce in a cast iron skillet and had zero problems. I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  • LaDonna July 27, 2016, 9:52 pm

    This was a tasty meal, but not as quick as I had hoped it would be. It took me ~75 mins. I also didn’t wind up using a full cup of milk… More like 1/2-3/4 cup. My family loved it! Very tasty! Just a little time consuming.

    cheers!

  • Marissa July 31, 2016, 3:13 am

    Thx for the recipe! I loved it! I made it for my family and they said it was one of the best things I ever made! Btw I’m a young chef in training!

  • Hilary August 22, 2016, 10:39 pm

    This recipe was great up until adding the parmesan cheese, it didn’t melt properly for me and ended up being gritty. Will use a different cheese next time.

  • Corie September 3, 2016, 7:09 pm

    Would I be able to use half and half with colby jack cheese for this?

  • Ashley September 6, 2016, 7:19 pm

    I made this recipe tonight for dinner. It took about 30 minutes from start to finish. I cut up the chicken before cooking and after I made the sauce I mixed everything together. I used pregrated mozzarella cheese and I didn’t have any issues. Everything turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Rob O. September 15, 2016, 9:59 pm

    Loved it, the family loved it, and it was fun to make! I will fallow, interested in seeing what I can make next.

  • Rob O. September 15, 2016, 10:01 pm

    Loved it, the family loved it, and it was fun to make! I will follow, interested in seeing what I can make next.

  • Debbie October 11, 2016, 7:11 pm

    I didn’t have any issues getting the cheese to incorporate in the sauce. I used pre-grated monterey jack and mozzarella but did mix them in after the cream boiled so that may be the difference. Next time I will reduce the cooking time on the broccoli to 4 minutes. I cooked it for 5 minutes and it was way too soft, actually mushy. It was a good very mild cream sauce but didn’t taste anything like an alfredo sauce since it didn’t have any parmesan and almost no butter.

  • Jennifer Ayala October 13, 2016, 12:13 am

    This was perfect to help teach and cook with my daughter. The steps were easy to follow and had no problems. This recipe is amazing, felt like I was eating at an Olive Garden restaurant.

  • Robin October 28, 2016, 6:53 am

    What is the nutritional breakdown for this recipe? My family is trying to lose weight & this sounds delicious but I’m concerned with the calories due to the heavy cream.

  • Monique October 29, 2016, 9:33 am

    I had no problems with the sauce at all. Generally, I’m dairy-free, but I just couldn’t pass this up! I did use Everyday Essentials heavy cream and a blend of six cheeses (I don’t remember the brand) — some kind of Italian blend since I didn’t have time to stop by Trader Joes or anything to look for lactose-free cheese. For the milk, I used Market Pantry lactose-free skim milk. The cheese was the stuff from the grocery store that’s pre-shredded in a bag. We added it little by little and sprinkled it around the pan. We added a bit more at the end (after the milk) because the cream wasn’t as thick as we would have liked. We also just dumped the chicken and broccoli back in the pan and let it cook some more. Then we took our noodles and tossed them in to really soak up the flavor.

    Anyone have any good substitutions for the heavy cream that would be lactose-free? 😉

    My boyfriend and I loved it so much, we’ll be making it again for dinner next week! This is going to become a staple in my household! THANK YOU!!!

  • Ashley November 1, 2016, 4:46 pm

    I read comments before cooking and 5th original recipe can out perfect. I didn’t have any issues with the cheese clumping or anything. So I encourage whom ever is reading to stick to the recipe. Just make sure you keep stirring the cream and cheese, make sure cream is boiling first. It came out delicious!!!!!!!

    • Julia December 20, 2016, 6:11 pm

      Thank you, Ashley, for your comment! That’s exactly how I make the creamy cheese sauce – I bring the cream to boil first, add the cheese, and keep stirring, then reduce the heat to low or medium simmer, while constantly stirring the cream and the cheese into a creamy sauce. The key is to make sure both your pan and the sauce are hot enough before the cheese is added.

  • Angela December 5, 2016, 7:55 pm

    I had high expectations for this meal! Super easy to prepare and love the one dish idea. HOWEVER- do not use mozzarella or Monterey Jack. With those cheeses it becomes one giant glob of cheese- and I followed the specific directions. A harder cheese is needed for this meal.

    • Julia December 17, 2016, 7:46 pm

      Add Mozzarella cheese gradually, to make sure it melts, stirring constantly. Almost immediately, keep adding milk to thin it out, on low-medium simmer. Make sure your pan and the liquids are heated enough to keep the cheese melting.

  • Simone Choong January 16, 2017, 1:57 pm

    I really enjoyed this dish Julia thumbs up from someone who hates cooking. I always look for fast recipes and this one caught my eye my daughters enjoyed this also. I cut up some Birdseye chillies and sprinkled them over my serving. Goes well with Garlic Bread

    • Julia January 31, 2017, 3:14 am

      Thank you, Simone! So glad to hear you and your daughters enjoyed the recipe! Garlic bread is delicious with this pasta!

  • Kim January 17, 2017, 5:35 pm

    What a mess! It was a glob of melted cheese floating in soupy cream! I used fresh mozzarella and I feel like what a waste of time and money. I’ve made other alfredo sauces that turned out just fine.

    • Julia January 31, 2017, 2:43 am

      It’s important that the pan is really hot before you add the heavy cream. That’s why everything is cooked in the same pan in this recipe. After you cook the chicken, then you cook the garlic in the same pan, and then you mix the garlic with broccoli and remove it from the pan. Immediately after that, add the heavy cream and bring it to boil. Don’t let the pan cool down before adding the heavy cream. Once the heavy cream is added, bring it to boil, add the shredded cheese, start stirring. Once you see the cheese melting, reduce the heat to medium or low and keep stirring until all the cheese melts nicely, stirring constantly. The globs of melted cheese can easily be avoided if 3 rules are followed:

      1) the pan is hot
      2) the liquids (heavy cream) in the pan are hot (boiling) BEFORE adding the shredded cheese
      3) there is some fat content in the liquid (that’s why we’re using heavy cream).

      I hope this helps.

  • Tabitha @ Tabitha Talks Food January 18, 2017, 7:16 pm

    This was so delicious! I love recipes that take 30ish minutes of cooking time to make. Best of all, the boyfriend loved it! 😀

    • Julia January 31, 2017, 2:20 am

      Thank you, Tabitha, I am glad you and your boyfriend liked it! 🙂

  • Brittani January 26, 2017, 11:17 pm

    Pinned it today. Made it today. Everything turned out perfect. Chicken took a little longer to cook than the 10 minutes suggested in the recipe, and I did add a little special seasoning of my own. All in all it was great! Trick with the sauce is adding cheese and milk slowly pause in between add ins. Thanks again! Going to make it again.

    • Julia January 30, 2017, 11:36 pm

      Thank you, Brittani, for a great feedback on how this recipe turned out for you! I am really happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • may February 22, 2017, 5:00 pm

    I tried this last week and it was so easy and delicious!! My whole family loves it a lot! I highly recommend this recipe.

    • Julia March 11, 2017, 10:46 pm

      Thank you! I am very glad your whole family likes it! 🙂

  • Gina pine February 22, 2017, 9:48 pm

    Yes use a wisk!! Mine came out perfect no clumps and it was absolutely delicious. The only thing different I did was used on heavy cream and cheese I didn’t bother adding extra milk.

    • Julia March 11, 2017, 10:46 pm

      Whisk is a great idea, too! Thank you for your tips! 🙂

  • Dana March 6, 2017, 7:01 pm

    Hi!
    I made this recipe for dinner tonight with slight modifications.
    I used meat from a rotisserie chicken I got on sale for $2.50!
    I used an entire 16 oz box of penne
    I used 1.5 cups of heavy cream
    I used 14 oz of frozen broccoli florets
    I used mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
    I used a ton of fresh cracked black pepper
    (We like to make extra for leftovers and lunches)

    I have tried many alfredo recipes and this one takes the cake! It’s a WINNER!

    Thank you so much for posting. This is going on the dinner rotation list.

    I look forward to trying more of your recipes!!!!

    Dana

    • Julia March 11, 2017, 12:26 am

      Thank you, Dana, for taking your time to leave this thoughtful and detailed comments with lots of great tips! So glad you liked it!

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