Need a quick weeknight meal that only dirties one pan?! This. is. it. Chicken and pasta all done in one pot. Even better than that – it’s creamy without cream.
This creamy Italian chicken and pasta dish is jam packed with seasoning and cheese, similar to a bold-seasoning Alfredo sauce. If you happen to have leftovers, they warm up and are a delicious lunch the next day. —Nicole Matheson
Salt and pepper you chicken breasts and set aside.
In a large pan, over medium heat melt the butter with the garlic, let the garlic become fragrant. I buy my garlic already minced from the store, it helps save time and no one actually likes chopping cloves of garlic.
Pat the chicken breasts dry and place in the pan to brown. You want to do the top-side (presentation side) down first so that you can get a beautiful brown. Browning creates something called the Maillard reaction which develops the flavor. Brown each side for about 3-5 minutes.
If the chicken becomes “stuck” let it cook just a little longer before flipping it over, don’t try to force it up because you may cause it to tear. You can do with in a non-stick pan as well.
Remove the chicken. They are not cooked all the way through yet, but they will finish in the sauce as the pasta cooks so no worries. The sauce will also keep the chicken breasts tender and juicy as it finishes to cook to the perfect 165F.
Make the roux. Sprinkle in your flour. If your flour is not turning into a “paste” with the remainder of the butter, then you will need to drizzle in a little olive oil. It should be the consistency of wet sand.
Add in your milk. I add a little (1 cup) at first. It’s easier to stir, scraping the bottom of the pan gently to get chicken flavor up and combine, then add in the rest of the milk. Whisk continuously until the lumps are out.
Once the lumps are out, add in the seasonings (Italian, garlic salt, pinch of pepper).
Add your chicken back into the pan. Let the sauce come to a high simmer, stirring occasionally. The sauce will start to thicken. Cook for about 6-8 minutes.
Add in the broccoli and regular pasta (or gluten free pasta if it takes 10-12 minutes to cook according to the package) Cook for 3 minutes.
Add in lentil penne (if you’re using it, it’s my favorite guilt-free pasta). Cook for another 7 minutes until pasta and broccoli are fork tender.
Remove from heat. Take the chicken out to make it easier and add in the parmesan cheese.
Stir to combine, and add your chicken back in.
There you have it! Dinner in one pot under an hour with pantry ingredients (most of them).