Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Chicken and broccoli pasta is a classic dish that combines tender chicken, vibrant broccoli, and savory pasta in a creamy, cheesy sauce. It’s a meal that brings comfort and satisfaction to the dinner table. This article will guide you through making this dish from scratch, from gathering ingredients to serving it piping hot. Ready to get started? Here’s Part 1 to kick off this delightful culinary journey.

Introduction to Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Chicken and broccoli pasta is one of those meals that just screams “comfort food.” It’s a dish you can whip up quickly on a weeknight or serve at a weekend family dinner. The combination of tender chicken, fresh broccoli, and pasta in a creamy sauce is simply irresistible. What’s more, this dish can be tailored to your preferences—whether you like it extra cheesy, with a hint of spice, or with added veggies for more texture.

The beauty of this dish lies in its versatility. You can use any type of pasta, from rigatoni to penne or even spaghetti. And the chicken can be prepared in various ways—grilled, sautéed, or roasted—depending on what you have on hand. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover chicken or vegetables in your fridge.

In the following sections, we’ll explore the key ingredients needed to make this dish, the essential equipment, and the step-by-step instructions to create a mouthwatering chicken and broccoli pasta. We’ll also cover some tips, variations, and frequently asked questions to ensure you have all the information you need to make this dish a success. So, let’s dive in!

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Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

  • Author: Avani


This Chicken and Broccoli Pasta has every flavor element incorporated into this delicious cream sauce, including butter, white wine, garlic, lemon, Asiago and Parmesan cheese, and the best seasonings and flavor enhancers.


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.


Key Ingredients for Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

To make chicken and broccoli pasta, you’ll need a mix of basic pantry staples and fresh ingredients. These elements come together to create a dish that’s hearty, flavorful, and satisfying. Here’s what you’ll need:

Essential Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breasts: 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts provide the protein base for the dish. You can cut them into bite-sized pieces for easy cooking and eating.
  • Butter: 2 tablespoons to add richness and flavor when cooking the chicken and onions.
  • Pasta: 16 ounces of pipe rigate or your favorite pasta. Other shapes like penne, rigatoni, or fusilli work just as well.
  • Broccoli Florets: 2 cups for that vibrant green color and a healthy dose of vegetables.
  • Onion: 1 medium-sized, diced, to add a savory undertone to the dish.
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced, because garlic makes everything better.
  • Milk: 2½ cups for the creamy base of the sauce.
  • Vegetable Broth: 2 cups to add depth and richness to the sauce.
  • All-Purpose Flour: ¼ cup to help thicken the sauce.
  • Seasonings: 1 teaspoon each of Slap Ya Mama® seasoning, black pepper, and garlic powder for flavor. Add a ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika and red pepper flakes for a hint of heat.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: 2 cups for that gooey, cheesy goodness.
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes: A 3-ounce bag, coarsely chopped, to add a sweet and tangy element to the dish.

These ingredients combine to create a delightful chicken and broccoli pasta that’s creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor. In the next section, we’ll cover the equipment and tools you’ll need to bring it all together.

Equipment and Tools for Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

To prepare chicken and broccoli pasta, you’ll need a few essential kitchen tools to ensure everything goes smoothly. These tools will help you cook, chop, and combine ingredients efficiently. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

Essential Equipment:

  • Large Pot: This is for boiling the pasta and cooking the broccoli. Make sure it’s big enough to accommodate the pasta without it sticking together.
  • Medium Saucepan: Useful for blanching the broccoli before adding it to the pasta.
  • Large Skillet or Frying Pan: This is where you’ll cook the chicken, onions, and other ingredients before mixing them with the pasta.
  • Pasta Strainer: To drain the pasta and broccoli once they’re cooked.
  • Cutting Board and Sharp Knife: For chopping the chicken, onion, and other ingredients.
  • Wooden Spoon or Tongs: These are great for stirring and mixing without scratching your pans.
  • Garlic Press or Mincer: To quickly mince the garlic.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To measure out the ingredients accurately.
  • Grater: For grating cheese if you’re using a block of cheddar.

With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to tackle each step of the recipe with confidence. Having the right equipment makes the cooking process more enjoyable and efficient. In the next section, we’ll go through the step-by-step instructions for creating your chicken and broccoli pasta. Let’s get cooking!

Step-by-Step Instructions for Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Now that you have your ingredients and tools ready, let’s dive into the cooking process. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to making chicken and broccoli pasta. This recipe is designed to be straight forward and easy to follow, even for beginner cooks.

Step1: Cook the Pasta and Broccoli

  • Boil the Pasta: Start by filling a large pot with water and bringing it to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt to season the pasta as it cooks. Once the water is boiling, add 16 ounces of pipe rigate pasta (or your preferred pasta) and cook according to the package instructions for al dente, typically around 10-12 minutes.
  • Add Broccoli: In the last three minutes of pasta cooking time, add 2 cups of broccoli florets to the pot. This allows the broccoli to cook just enough without becoming mushy.
  • Drain the Pasta and Broccoli: After the pasta and broccoli are cooked, drain them and return them to the large pot. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the pot and set it aside.

Step2: Prepare the Chicken and Onion

  • Melt Butter: In a large skillet or frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Let it sizzle, but don’t let it brown.
  • Cook the Chicken and Onions: Add 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (diced into bite-sized pieces), along with 1 diced onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, and your seasonings. Stir and cook until the chicken is no longer pink and the onions are tender.
  • Add Flour: Sprinkle ¼ cup of all-purpose flour over the chicken mixture, stirring to coat everything evenly. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.

Step3: Create the Creamy Sauce

  • Add Milk and Broth: Pour 2½ cups of milk and 2 cups of vegetable broth into the skillet with the chicken and onions. Stir well to combine and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  • Thicken the Sauce: Once the sauce begins to boil, it will start to thicken. Stir frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add Cheese: Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese and stir until it’s fully melted and combined with the sauce.

Step4: Combine Pasta and Sauce

  • Mix Pasta and Sauce: Pour the sauce mixture from the skillet into the pot with the pasta, broccoli, and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir everything together to ensure the pasta is evenly coated with the creamy sauce.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Once everything is well-mixed, your chicken and broccoli pasta is ready to serve. Plate it up, and consider pairing it with a side salad, crusty bread, or garlic bread for a complete meal.

With these step-by-step instructions, you can create a delicious and satisfying dish that’s sure to become a family favorite. In the next section, we’ll explore some tips and variations to keep your pasta dish interesting and customizable. Let’s check out how you can make it uniquely yours.

Variations and Tips for Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

While the classic chicken and broccoli pasta recipe is delicious on its own, there’s always room to get creative and add your personal touch. Here are some variations and tips to customize the dish to your liking and ensure it turns out perfectly every time.

Variations to Try

  • Add More Vegetables: To boost the nutritional content, consider adding other vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or cherry tomatoes. These can be sautéed with the chicken and onions for extra flavor and texture.
  • Change the Pasta Type: Although pipe rigate is great, you can switch to penne, fusilli, or farfalle for a different texture and appearance. Each pasta shape brings its own charm to the dish.
  • Swap the Protein: Instead of chicken, you could use shrimp or sausage for a seafood or spicy twist. Tofu is also an option for a vegetarian version.
  • Experiment with Cheese: Sharp cheddar is classic, but you can try other cheeses like mozzarella, Parmesan, or Monterey Jack for a different flavor profile.
  • Play with the Sauce: If you like a creamier sauce, add more cheese or a splash of heavy cream. For a tangier kick, a squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of white wine can make a big difference.

Tips for Success

  • Cook the Pasta Al Dente: Overcooked pasta can become mushy when mixed with the sauce, so be sure to follow the package instructions and test for al dente texture.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh broccoli, garlic, and onions will give your dish a vibrant flavor. If using frozen broccoli, adjust the cooking time to avoid soggy results.
  • Season to Taste: Adjust the seasonings to your preference. If you like it spicier, add more red pepper flakes. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the amount of seasoning or garlic powder.
  • Mix Thoroughly: When combining the pasta, sauce, and other ingredients, ensure everything is evenly coated for a harmonious taste in every bite.

With these variations and tips, you can create a chicken and broccoli pasta that suits your taste and impresses your guests. In the next section, let’s address some common questions people have about making and enjoying this dish. On to the FAQs!

FAQs About Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Even the simplest dishes can raise questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about chicken and broccoli pasta, covering everything from storage to substitutions and cooking tips.

How Do I Store Leftovers?

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate. They can last for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. To reheat, you can use the microwave or a skillet over low heat, adding a splash of milk or broth to keep the pasta from drying out.

Can I Freeze Chicken and Broccoli Pasta?

Yes, you can freeze this dish. To freeze, let the pasta cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a skillet or microwave, adding a bit of liquid if needed.

What’s the Best Pasta to Use?

While pipe rigate is suggested, you can use any pasta that holds sauce well. Penne, rigatoni, fusilli, and farfalle are all excellent choices. Long pasta like spaghetti or linguine works too, but it might be trickier to mix with the sauce.

What Can I Substitute for Slap Ya Mama® Seasoning?

If you don’t have this seasoning blend, you can make a simple substitute by combining cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of smoked paprika. This creates a similar flavor profile.

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli Instead of Fresh?

Absolutely! If you use frozen broccoli, add it to the pasta a minute or two earlier to ensure it cooks through. Frozen broccoli might release more water, so be sure to drain it well before adding it to the sauce.

These FAQs should cover the common queries about making and storing chicken and broccoli pasta. In the final section, let’s wrap up this guide with a conclusion and a call to action to inspire you to try this recipe yourself. Here comes the conclusion!


Chicken and broccoli pasta is a dish that combines simplicity with satisfying flavors. The tender chicken, fresh broccoli, and creamy cheese sauce come together to create a meal that’s sure to become a family favorite. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, this dish is versatile enough to fit the bill.

Now that you’ve explored the key ingredients, step-by-step instructions, variations, and answers to common questions, it’s time to put it all into practice. Gather your ingredients, prepare your tools, and enjoy the process of creating this comforting dish. Whether you like your pasta extra cheesy, with a hint of spice, or filled with a variety of vegetables, there’s plenty of room to make it your own.

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