This Classic Chicken Broccoli Pasta is a buttery, cheesy, and filling weeknight dinner. Made with simple, wholesome ingredients, it’s an easy 30-minute meal that’s sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters! 

This 30-minute Classic Chicken Broccoli Pasta is a healthy, yet simple meal. You’ll find all of the good stuff in just one bowl: carbs, lean protein, and vegetables. Plus, each bite is coated in a luscious garlic butter herb sauce and garnished with freshly grated parmigiana reggiano cheese. Yum!

I’m always turning to this easy meal during hectic evenings or when I need something simple and quick for meal prep. The best part is you can play with this flexible recipe any way you want to make it your own! Toss it in my garlicky creamy alfredo or roasted tomato sauce, turn it into a cheesy pasta bake, or switch the protein. It’s a great recipe you can always count on, no matter your situation.

Ingredient notes

  • Penne – This hollow, textured pasta does a great job of soaking up the sauce and the other savory flavors. If you don’t have penny, another short-cut pasta like ziti or rigatoni would work well.
  • Chicken breasts – Fresh, boneless, and skinless chicken breasts will add a ton of protein to this easy dinner. Frozen and thawed chicken breasts are my go-to but pre-cooked chicken, storebought rotisserie chicken, diced ham, cooked shrimp, smoked or marinated tofu, or leftover beef brisket would also work well.
  • Broccoli – You can use fresh or frozen broccoli. There’s plenty of room for more vegetables here, making it an excellent clean-out-your-fridge dinner. Cauliflower, green beans, brussels sprouts, peas, or sweet potatoes would all be excellent additions.
  • Parmigiana reggiano – Don’t skimp on this cheese! A high quality parm will add tons of natural cheesy and salty flavors.
  • Garlic herb butter – This simple sauce is made of unsalted butter, fresh oregano, and crushed garlic. To enhance the herby goodness, try adding a bit of extra fresh oregano, sage, basil, or rosemary.

How to make this classic chicken broccoli pasta

This easy chicken broccoli pasta is a healthy, delicious, and super quick weeknight dinner! It can be made in just 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Make the herb garlic sauce by mixing the unsalted butter, fresh oregano, and crushed garlic together in a bowl.

Step 2: Cook the penne according to the package instructions. Add the broccoli into the pot towards the end of the cook time, save about one cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.

Step 3: Heat a skillet with oil over medium-high heat and add the seasoned chicken. Cook for 8-10 minutes per side then transfer chicken to a plate.

Step 4: add butter, oregano and garlic to skillet and sauté until garlic turns golden, then add in parmesan cheese and stir well.

Step 5: Combine the pasta, broccoli, chicken, and melted garlic herb butter in a large bowl or serving dish. Stir to combine and garnish with salt, pepper, and parmigiana reggiano before serving.

What to serve with chicken broccoli pasta

This recipe is filling and satisfying on its own but when you’re serving a crowd, you can include a few healthy sides. I like to pair the tender chicken and buttery pasta with an heirloom tomato salad, kale salad, honey roasted beets, and maple glazed green beans.

Frequently asked questions

Can this recipe be turned into a pasta bake?

Yes! Once the cooked pasta, broccoli, chicken, and sauce have been combined, transfer the mixture to a greased casserole dish and top with parmigiana reggiano and some Italian-style breadcrumbs. Bake in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. 

Can you make it ahead of time?

This chicken and broccoli pasta can easily be made ahead of time for meal prep or delicious leftovers. Prepare the meal as normal and keep some extra herb garlic butter on the side. It’ll store well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How do you reheat leftover chicken broccoli pasta?

The leftovers are best reheated in a skillet with extra butter sauce, but the microwave works well in a pinch.

Looking for more easy pasta dinners?

classic chicken broccoli pasta
5 from 1 vote

Classic Chicken Broccoli Pasta

by Silvia Dunnirvine
This Classic Chicken Broccoli Pasta is a quick, easy, and flexible dinner. Pan-fried chicken breasts, broccoli, pasta, and an herb garlic butter sauce come together in just 30-minutes and is sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb penne or rigatoni pasta
  • 2 medium broccoli heads
  • 4 chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp each, salt and pepper

Garlic herb butter sauce

  • 3 tbsp high quality unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp oregano minced
  • 4 cloves garlic

Instructions 

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Add the broccoli into the boiling pasta about 3-4 minutes before the pasta is fully cooked. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta and broccoli. Set aside.
  • Wash and dry chicken well. Cut chicken into 2 inch cubes* then season with salt and pepper.
  • To a large skillet add olive oil. When hot add in the chicken. Cook the chicken both sides until golden brown (about 6-7 minutes on each site). Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • Add butter, garlic and oregano to the hot skillet and sauté until the garlic turns golden. Then add in the parmesan cheese and stir well. Remove from heat.
  • In a big bowl combine the pasta and broccoli with the cubed chicken and pour over the butter sauce from the pan. Garnish with sea salt, pepper and lots of shaved parmigiana reggiano cheese. Serve

Notes

  • the side of the chicken doesn’t matter but try to cut into even size pieces so it cooks at the same time. 

Nutrition

Calories: 943kcal | Carbohydrates: 107g | Protein: 76g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 1251mg | Potassium: 2084mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2444IU | Vitamin C: 275mg | Calcium: 343mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Keyword: Chicken Broccoli Penne, Kid-Friendly Meals, Pasta Bake
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!
Chicken Broccoli Pasta with herb garlic butter sauce in a white casserole with parmesan cheese on top.

Hi! I’m Silvia.

My goal is to make cooking simple and enjoyable.

Garden in the Kitchen is full of easy and balanced recipes for busy families. Classics get a healthier twist with additions of veggies or alternative ingredients.

I hope my recipes will inspire you to cook more home meals and above all have fun in the kitchen!

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6 Comments

    1. Hi Patti, the reserved pasta water is there in case you want to add to the pasta if it even looks dry and need extra liquid in the sauce