Easy Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo in 30 Minutes

Easy Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo in 30 Minutes

Easy Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo in 30 Minutes

Craving a comforting, cheesy pasta dish but short on time? Look no further than this Easy Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo recipe! This weeknight wonder comes together in just 30 minutes, making it the perfect solution for busy weeknights or whenever that hankering for creamy pasta strikes.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simple and Quick: This recipe requires minimal prep and cook time, meaning you can have a delicious dinner on the table in under an hour.
  • Family-Friendly: The combination of tender chicken, broccoli florets, and a creamy Alfredo sauce makes this dish a crowd-pleaser, perfect for families with picky eaters.
  • Customizable: Feel free to swap the fettuccine for your favorite pasta shape, or add in additional vegetables like peas, carrots, or bell peppers.
  • Pantry Staples: This recipe relies on ingredients you might already have on hand, making it a budget-friendly option.

Key Ingredients:

  • Fettuccine: The classic choice for chicken Alfredo, fettuccine’s flat, ribbon-like strands provide a perfect canvas for the creamy sauce. However, feel free to experiment with other pasta shapes like penne, rigatoni, or even spaghetti.
  • Broccoli Florets: Fresh broccoli florets add a vibrant pop of green and a delightful textural contrast to the creamy sauce. You can use frozen broccoli florets in a pinch, but fresh offers a superior flavor and texture.
  • Chicken Breasts: Lean boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a perfect protein choice for this dish. Diced into bite-sized pieces, they cook quickly and evenly.
  • Alfredo Sauce: This recipe uses a shortcut by incorporating Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing, milk, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese to create a creamy and flavorful Alfredo sauce.
Easy Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo in 30 Minutes

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Cook the Pasta and Broccoli: Get a large pot of salted water boiling. Add the fettuccine according to the package instructions. In the last two minutes of cooking time, add the fresh broccoli florets to the pot. This ensures the broccoli is cooked through but still retains a slight crunch.
  2. Prepare the Chicken: While the pasta and broccoli cook, heat the Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced chicken breasts and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center.
  3. Create the Creamy Sauce: Once the chicken is cooked, reduce the heat to medium. Add the milk, cream cheese cubes, Parmesan cheese, and dried basil leaves to the skillet with the chicken. Stir constantly until the cream cheese melts and the sauce becomes smooth and creamy. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer for another minute or two to allow the flavors to meld.
  4. Assemble and Serve: Drain the cooked pasta and broccoli mixture. Add the drained pasta and broccoli to the skillet with the creamy Alfredo sauce and chicken. Toss gently to coat everything evenly. Serve immediately, topped with additional Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh black pepper if desired.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Don’t Overcook the Pasta: For the perfect al dente texture, cook the pasta according to the package instructions, minus one minute. The pasta will continue to cook a bit after it’s drained.
  • Thicken the Sauce: If your Alfredo sauce seems a bit too thin, you can add a cornstarch slurry. In a small bowl, whisk together a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water until smooth. Stir the slurry into the simmering sauce and cook for an additional minute or two, until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
  • Leftovers: This dish can be reheated for leftovers. However, the cream cheese can sometimes separate upon reheating. To avoid this, add a splash of milk or cream to the pan when reheating, and stir frequently over low heat until warmed through.
  • Vegetarian Option: To make this recipe vegetarian, simply omit the chicken. You can add in additional vegetables like sliced mushrooms, zucchini, or bell peppers for extra flavor and texture.
Easy Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo in 30 Minutes

Beyond the Basics: Creativity in the Kitchen

This Easy Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo recipe is a fantastic foundation, but feel free to get creative and customize it to your liking! Here are some ideas to inspire your inner culinary artist:

Protein Swap:

  • Shrimp Scampi Twist: Replace the chicken with cooked, deveined shrimp and add a teaspoon of lemon zest and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce for a light and flavorful seafood twist.
  • Spicy Sausage Sensation: Ditch the chicken and swap it for diced Italian sausage. Brown the sausage in the skillet before adding the remaining ingredients for a smoky and spicy kick.
  • Tofu Scramble Scramble: Crumble firm tofu into bite-sized pieces and marinate it in a mixture of soy sauce, cornstarch, and a touch of sriracha for a few minutes before adding it to the skillet with the vegetables. This vegetarian option adds a satisfying protein element.

Veggie Power:

  • Spinach Surprise: Add a cup of fresh spinach or kale to the skillet along with the cream cheese mixture. The greens will wilt slightly, adding a subtle bitterness and a dose of vitamins.
  • Roasted Veggie Medley: Roast a variety of chopped vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes in the oven while the pasta cooks. Add them to the sauce for a burst of color and extra flavor.
  • Sun-Dried Tomato Bliss: Chop up a handful of sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil) and add them to the sauce along with the cream cheese. The sun-dried tomatoes will impart a tangy and concentrated tomato flavor.

Flavor Fusion Fun:

  • Lemon Lovers Rejoice: Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of lemon zest to the finished sauce for a bright and refreshing touch.
  • Garlic Goodness: Saute a few minced garlic cloves with the chicken for an extra garlicky flavor boost.
  • Herbed Heaven: Fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or chives can be added to the finished dish for an extra pop of flavor and color.

Beyond the Plate: Serving Suggestions

  • A Touch of Green: Pair your Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo with a simple green salad for a well-rounded meal.
  • Crusty Bread Heaven: Serve this dish with crusty bread for dipping into the creamy sauce – it’s the perfect way to soak up every delicious bit.
  • Wine Recommendation: A crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc complements the creamy Alfredo sauce beautifully.

The Final Touch: A Personal Culinary Journey

This recipe is just a starting point! Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and flavor combinations to create your own signature Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo. With a little creativity, you can transform this weeknight wonder into a culinary masterpiece that your family and friends will love.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 511
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g27%
Saturated Fat 10g48%
Cholesterol 139mg46%
Sodium 514mg22%
Total Carbohydrate 32g12%
Dietary Fiber 3g12%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 47g94%
Vitamin C 51mg57%
Calcium 259mg20%
Iron 3mg14%
Potassium 774mg16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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