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Dive into a cheesy delight with my Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Pasta – it’s like a big, warm, comforting hug in a bowl. Loaded with chicken, broccoli, and oodles of cheese, this pasta is your ticket to a quick, easy, and oh-so-satisfying dinner tonight in just 30 minutes!
Easy Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Pasta Recipe
Imagine a weeknight dinner bursting with the perfect harmony of tender chicken bites, vibrant broccoli florets, and creamy cheddar – that’s my Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Pasta! It’s a one-pot wonder that turns simple pantry staples into a drool-worthy dish. Your family will be scraping the bottom of the pan for those last cheesy morsels – yes, it’s that good!
Let’s not forget, this pasta is as comforting as it is quick. In under 30 minutes, you’re serving a meal that’s not just hearty and flavorful but also fills your kitchen with a mouthwatering aroma that says ‘home.’ So why wait? Treat yourself and your loved ones to this cheesy pasta goodness tonight!
For the best Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Pasta, be sure to cook your pasta al dente in the sauce itself, as it absorbs the flavors, resulting in a tastier dish. Also, don’t forget to add the cheese at the very end, off the heat, to avoid it becoming grainy and instead melt into creamy perfection.
- Olive oil – A nice neutral tasting oil to cook our chicken down in.
- Chicken – Boneless and skinless cut into small bite sized pieces. Feel free to substitute thighs in its place if you’d like.
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper added to taste.
- Garlic – Use as much or little as you like.
- Onion – I like to use an onion that cooks down well like white or yellow.
- Pasta – Be sure its uncooked, you can use any shape you’d like.
- Chicken broth – We want something low sodium to control our salt intake.
- Milk – You can use any fat content you’d like to make this dish nice and creamy.
- Broccoli – I used an entire head of broccoli cut into small florets for this cheesy chicken pasta recipe.
- Spices – Just a bit of nutmeg, if you’ve never tried nutmeg in a cheesy pasta sauce like this one, you’re about to discover a game changer.
- Cheese – I like to use a melty cheese with flavor and color like cheddar. If you’d prefer to use mozzarella or even Gouda I won’t stop you!
Let’s whip up this Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Pasta – it’s super easy and ridiculously tasty. You’re going to love it!
First off, grab your chicken breasts. Cut them into bite-sized pieces, season with a little salt and pepper, and let’s get cooking. In a large skillet, heat some olive oil and toss in your seasoned chicken. Cook them up until they’re beautifully browned – it’ll take about 5 minutes.
Next, let’s layer in some flavors. Chop up an onion and mince a few garlic cloves. Toss these into the skillet with your cooked chicken and give them a couple of minutes to soften and mingle with the chicken. Your kitchen should be smelling fantastic by now!
Grab your pasta of choice and add it to the skillet. Then pour in the chicken broth and milk. Once it’s all boiling nicely, turn down the heat, give it a good stir, cover the skillet and let it simmer. In about 15 minutes, your pasta should be perfectly cooked.
Now, uncover your pot and stir in the broccoli. Let it cook for a couple more minutes. We’re almost there!
Finally, it’s cheese time! Sprinkle in your nutmeg, then add the cheddar cheese. Give everything a good mix and wait until your cheese melts into gooey, creamy deliciousness. And that’s it! Serve it up while it’s still warm, and watch those faces light up around the dinner table.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different type of cheese in this pasta dish?
Absolutely! While this recipe uses cheddar cheese for its rich flavor, you can certainly swap it for other types of cheese. Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or Gouda would work well. Remember, the key is to use a cheese that melts well to give your pasta that lovely creamy texture.
I’m short on time. Can I use store-bought rotisserie chicken?
Of course! Using pre-cooked chicken can save some time. Just shred or chop the rotisserie chicken and add it to the skillet after you’ve softened the onions and garlic. Heat it through before proceeding to the next steps.
Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh?
Yes, frozen broccoli can be a great time-saver. You don’t even need to thaw it. Just add it directly into the skillet. It might need an extra minute or two to cook compared to fresh broccoli, so keep that in mind.
How can I make this dish vegetarian?
You can omit the chicken and add more of your favorite veggies or use a plant-based protein like tofu or tempeh. Just remember to replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth to keep it fully vegetarian.
Can I make this dish gluten-free?
Certainly! To make this dish gluten-free, you can use gluten-free pasta. Make sure to check the labels of all other ingredients to confirm they’re also gluten-free.
- Season as You Go: It’s important to season at every step of the cooking process. This means seasoning the chicken before you cook it, and adjusting the salt and pepper to taste after adding the pasta, and once more after adding the cheese and broccoli. This helps to build layers of flavor.
- Use Freshly Grated Cheese: Pre-shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents that can lead to a grainy texture when melted. Freshly grated cheese will melt more smoothly and create a creamier sauce.
- Don’t Overcook the Broccoli: When adding the broccoli, make sure not to overcook it. You want it to still have some bite and vibrancy. Overcooked broccoli can turn mushy and lose its bright green color.
- Let It Rest: After adding the cheese and stirring it in, let the pasta sit for a couple of minutes before serving. This allows the cheese to melt fully and the flavors to meld together, and the sauce to thicken a bit more upon standing.
To store this Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Pasta, allow the dish to cool down to room temperature. Once cooled, place it in an airtight container and pop it into the fridge. It’ll keep nicely for about 3 to 5 days. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, just reheat it in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of milk or broth to loosen up the sauce, stirring frequently until heated through. Remember, for the best food safety, don’t leave the pasta out at room temperature for more than two hours.
Other Delicious Pasta Recipes To Try
- One Pot Beef Ragu Pasta
- Broccoli Pasta
- Creamy Avocado And Spinach Pasta
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Chicken Pesto Caprese Pasta
- Three Cheese Hamburger Helper
- One Pot Chili Mac And Cheese
- Chicken Pot Pie Pasta
- One Pot Creamy Parmesan Pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breasts (boneless and skinless cut into small bite size pieces)
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 8 ounce pasta (uncooked, such as penne, shells, rigatoni, etc.)
- 1 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cup broccoli (cut into small florets, 1 head of broccoli)
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and season them with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and starts to lightly brown.
- Add the onions, garlic and cook for another 2 minutes until the onions softens a little bit.
- Add the pasta, chicken broth, milk and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, stir, cover the pot/skillet and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta cooks through.
- Uncover the pot and stir in the broccoli. Continue cooking for a couple more minutes until all the liquid evaporates.
- Stir in the nutmeg and cheddar cheese. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
- Pasta Choices: You can use any pasta you prefer or have on hand. Penne, rigatoni, and shells work especially well as they hold the sauce nicely.
- Chicken Substitute: This recipe is versatile. You can substitute the chicken with turkey, shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian option.
- Cheese Options: While cheddar is used in this recipe, feel free to experiment with other cheeses that melt well, like Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or Gouda.
- Leftovers: This dish stores well in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. To reheat, add a splash of milk or broth to help revive the creaminess of the sauce.
- Spice it Up: If you like a bit of heat, consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes along with the salt and pepper when seasoning the chicken.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.