With a new season starting what better way to celebrate than with a big pan of creamy chicken and broccoli pasta? It’s a cozy, decadent, and a delicious way to welcome Fall.
Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
After months of hot and humid is-it-ever-going-to-end weather, a switch flipped this past weekend ushering in the first signs of Fall. The first leaves started floating down from the trees and the air, just last week stagnant and sticky, suddenly felt crisp and cool in the morning and evenings. I welcome the change – I am so ready to say goodbye to the summer and turn the page to a new season.
These early signs of Fall are enough of an excuse to make a big pan of something warm and comforting and nothing (nothing!) is more comforting than a pan of cheesy, creamy pasta and this chicken and broccoli pasta hits all the right cozy notes. It’s a meal all in itself with orecchiette pasta, broccoli, chicken, and cheese. It’s decadent, rich, and best served on a night that requires an extra layer to keep the chill off.
Some Ingredients You’ll Need
- Fresh broccoli florets add a pop of color and a taste of freshness, although you can substitute frozen florets if that’s what you have on hand. Add them to the pan frozen and cover with a lid until they’ve thawed out. Remove the lid and let any moisture evaporate from the pan before the next steps in the recipe.
- Cook the chicken breasts in the pan so they leave behind all kinds of browned bits, aka flavor, that is incorporated with the broccoli and the cream sauce. I used thin sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts because they cook fast, but regular boneless skinless breasts will work fine. Just be sure to increase the cooking time.
- Orecchiette pasta, also known as “little ears”, holds the sauce well and its shape makes it easy to get a bite of broccoli, chicken, and pasta on your fork. Look for it at your local grocery store, but if you can’t find it any short pasta, like penne, will work fine.
- Cream. Yes, we are using heavy cream as the base for the sauce and it is deliciously decadent.
- Parmesan cheese melts into the cream to make a velvety, cheesy sauce.
So let’s welcome Fall with a big bowl of creamy, cheesy comfort. It’s a delicious way to start the new season.
More Decadent Dinner Ideas
Orecchiette, or “little ears” pasta, hold the sauce and all the bites of tender chicken and broccoli and makes for a wonderfully comforting dinner.
- 8 ounces orecchiette pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound thin sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper on both sides
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- Zest from 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook the chicken breasts on both sides until browned and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove the chicken from the pan.
- In the same pan, cook the broccoli florets and garlic for about five minutes or so before adding the lemon zest. Add the chicken stock and scrape up the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking another five minutes, or until the broccoli is fork tender. While the broccoli is cooking cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Remove the broccoli and garlic from the pan.
- Melt the butter in the same pan and sprinkle the flour over the top. Whisk the butter and flour together until it forms a paste. Add the cream and whisk it with the flour and butter until incorporated. Cook the cream for 5-10 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Add the cheese and whisk until it’s melted into the cream. Stir in the parsley.
- Add the chicken, broccoli, and pasta to the cream sauce. Stir well to coat everything in the sauce.
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 632
- Sugar: 4.2g
- Sodium: 310.9g
- Fat: 40.4g
- Carbohydrates: 36.8g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Protein: 31g
Keywords: chicken pasta, chicken and broccoli pasta