Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

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Easy to make, this one-pot Chicken Broccoli Alfredo is perfect for family dinner. Chicken and broccoli make this pasta dish a full meal, but you’ll find some extra veggie side dish options listed below as well. This recipe is made with gluten-free pasta, but you can use any pasta brand you’d like.

Chicken broccoli Alfredo in a large white pot and a wood spoon in the pasta on a white background.

We rarely went out to eat when I was growing up. But when we did, I was always excited to see Alfredo on the menu. It seemed ‘fancy’, and with my bottomless appetite, it was a favorite.

But once you learn how incredibly easy it is to make Alfredo, you’ll probably just make it at home. That way, when you go out to eat, you can order something way more complicated!

While Alfredo is a classic dish, I wanted to make a version that is perfect for weeknight family dinners or entertaining. We’re going to be adding some chicken and broccoli to make this a one pot dinner everyone can love.

This recipe is inspired by my Gluten Free Mac and Cheese which is also made in one pot. But instead of cheddar cheese, we’re adding parmesan cheese and a touch more cream to create the Alfredo sauce.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo in a large white pot with a wood spoon in it and a brown and white striped linen in the background.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Broccoli, bowtie pasta, butter, cream, chicken breasts, parmesan cheese, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper in small bowls on a wood cutting board.
  • Pasta – I use Jovial 100% brown rice gluten-free pasta, but you can use any gluten-free pasta or regular pasta you’d like. I would not recommend any pasta containing corn because it has a tendency to break down easily. Short pasta shapes like penne, shells, or fusilli work best. Spaghetti or fettuccine can clump more easily in this one-pot method.
  • Chicken breasts – boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs both work here.
  • Broccoli—small florets work best in this recipe, but you’ll find more tips in the recipe. You can also omit the broccoli and serve your favorite veggie on the side. Use bagged broccoli florets for a shortcut, but make sure they’re small enough, or chop them up a bit.
  • Butter – is a classic ingredient in Alfredo, but you can also use ghee.
  • Garlic – a small amount of minced fresh garlic adds depth to this sauce, but it’s important to keep it subtle. Alfredo is a simple sauce all about the creaminess and parmesan flavor. You want to resist the temptation to add more garlic and overwhelm these delicate flavors. Fresh minced garlic, (a garlic press works great) is also essential because jarred garlic has a harsh flavor.
  • Heavy cream – creates the perfect silky smooth creamy sauce. Milk and half-and-half don’t work well as substitutes. This recipe uses about 50% less heavy cream than usual Alfredo because it’s cooked in one pot, so it’s worth using cream.
  • Parmesan – again this is the time to break out the best option you can get. Freshly grated good quality parmesan is where this sauce gets a lot of flavor. Pre-grated does work but it often has a rubbery texture, and the ‘green can’ kind doesn’t bear mentioning in this recipe! Not to get on a soapbox or anything, but Alfredo is a delicate sauce that rewards quality. One major complaint is that it’s a ‘bland’ sauce. But it should not be bland with good ingredients and proper seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Nutmeg – a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg does wonders for this sauce and it’s also used in the classic preparation.

How to make this Chicken Broccoli Alfredo recipe step by step

Cutting up the broccoli into small florets on a large wood cutting board.

Step 1: Start by cutting the broccoli up into very small florets, about 1/2″ across. If you buy a bag of florets, cut them smaller if needed, they often come in very large pieces.

It’s important that the broccoli is small enough to cut into bite-sized pieces so that it will cook completely.

Sautéing the cubed chicken in the large white pot.

Step 2: Place a large pot over medium-high heat and sauté the chicken in 1 tbsp of the butter. When the chicken is almost done, but not quite, remove it from the pan and set it aside.

It’s important not to overcook the chicken in this step. It will continue to cook as it sits, and will finish cooking in the pasta sauce at the end.

Sautéing the garlic in butter in a large white pot.

Step 3: In the same large pot, melt the remaining butter and sauté the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Adding pasta, water, and cream to the garlic butter mixture in a large white pot on the stove top.

Step 4: Add the pasta, water, part of the heavy cream, and salt. Stir to combine while bringing the mixture to a boil. Cover and cook stirring occasionally until the pasta is barely softening, about 2-3 minutes.

Adding the broccoli to the partially cooked pasta.

Step 5: Add the broccoli florets to the pasta, cover, and continue to cook over a simmer, stirring occasionally until the broccoli and pasta are tender. Add more water if necessary if there is too much evaporation.

You can also follow the recipe notes for cooking the broccoli separately to help with timing.

Adding the parmesan and remaining cream to the finished broccoli pasta.

Step 6: When the pasta is al dente, add the chicken back to the pan to finish cooking. Add the remaining cream and part of the parmesan, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with more parmesan cheese.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo in a large white pot with a wood spoon in the pasta and a brown linen on the side.

Ways to serve this


How do you fix bland chicken alfredo?

The best way to avoid bland Alfredo is to use the highest-quality ingredients and season well with sea salt and pepper.

What can I add to Alfredo for more flavor?

You can add dry white wine to an alfredo sauce, a few scoops of Creme Fraiche, or even softened cream cheese. It’s no longer alfredo with these ingredients added in, but it does add depth of flavor. Another option it to make another recipe, something like a Tuscan Sausage Pasta is loaded with flavor from the sausage and sun-dried tomato. Alfredo is a subtle sauce that benefits from the best quality ingredients, but it may not be your thing. Try my Garlic Parmesan Sauce instead, and consider using some Italian seasoning in it.

Storing leftovers

  • To store – place any leftover pasta into an airtight storage container and refrigerate for 2-3 days. The broccoli continues to get stronger the longer it sits in the fridge.
  • Make ahead – I don’t recommend making this ahead, but you can prep the broccoli florets up to 2-3 days ahead.
  • Reheating – place any leftover pasta into a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook stirring until heated through. Add water or more cream to keep the sauce from breaking. Most cream sauces will break when reheated, a little water added in as you stir will bring the sauce back together.
Close up of the bowtie pasta, chicken, and broccoli in a creamy sauce.

Tips & Tricks

  • I don’t buy ground nutmeg because I don’t use it often. Instead, I buy the whole spice which looks like a ‘nut’. From there I use my microplane grater to freshly grate the tiny bit I need in the occasional recipes. This works like a charm because fresh nutmeg is incredible, and there’s no way I would ever use up a spice jar before it loses flavor.
  • The timing of the broccoli can be tricky to add it soon enough that it cooks until tender without overcooking the pasta. It’s important to add it in 2-3 minutes after the pasta is simmering so both cook correctly.
  • To simplify you can also steam the broccoli in a saucepan on the side. If it gets done before you’re ready for it, shock it in a cold water bath, then drain well and add to the pasta to reheat when the pasta is almost cooked. Also if you forget to add it soon enough, just cook it on the side rather than adding late. If you add the broccoli late, it will be crunchy or to cook it properly the pasta will be mush!
  • For a baked version, undercook the pasta by 2-3 minutes. Pour the broccoli chicken alfredo into a baking dish, (or oven-proof large skillet) top with grated mozzarella cheese, and bake at 450ºF for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and browned.
  • Garnish this with chopped fresh basil in the summer when it’s abundant.

Dietary Options & Substitutions

Chicken broccoli Alfredo in a large white pot with a wood spoon in it on a white background.

I really hope you enjoy this Chicken Broccoli Alfredo! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo in a large white pot with a wood spoon in the pasta and a brown linen on the side.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

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Author: Kari Peters
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield: 6
Course: Dinner


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts - or chicken thighs, cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 tbsp salted butter - or ghee
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 12 ounces gluten-free 100% brown rice farfalle pasta - or your choice of pasta
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 5 cups broccoli florets - 1/2"-1" pieces, 1 head, 1 pound

Finishing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese - freshly grated, plus more for serving
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Start by heating a large pot, I use a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add 1 tbsp of the butter and sauté the chicken until it's almost done.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. The residual heat will continue to cook the chicken, and you can make sure it's fully cooked when you add it back to the pan.
  • Add the remaining tbsp of butter to the pan and cook the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pasta and stir to coat it in the garlic-butter mixture.
  • Add the 1/2 cup heavy cream, water, and 1/2 tsp sea salt, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a light simmer and cover the pot.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the broccoli. Stir to combine, then cover and cook until the pasta and broccoli are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking, adding water if necessary.
  • When the broccoli is cooked and the pasta is just tender, about 8 minutes, add the chicken back to the pot. Stir to combine and make sure it's fully cooked.
  • Add the remaining cream, starting with 1/4 cup and adding the full 1/2 cup as necessary to create enough sauce.
  • Add the nutmeg and parmesan and stir to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Alfredo sauce should not be bland; add salt until it tastes right to you!
  • Serve immediately with more freshly grated parmesan and black pepper.
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Chicken thighs are more forgiving than chicken breasts if you’re worried about overcooking them.
I love making this a one-pot dinner, but the timing can be easier to steam the broccoli on the side and add it with the finishing ingredients. Steaming broccoli takes about 6 minutes or 8 minutes for very tender. I find a softer texture to be better in pasta, but the broccoli should still be bright green.
You can also steam the broccoli, drain it, and shock it in ice water. Then, set it aside while you make the recipe. That way, the broccoli is ready to go when you’re ready and won’t overcook.
Category: Dinner
Cuisine: Amercian
Keywords: Broccoli Chicken Alfredo, Broccoli Chicken Pasta, Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli, Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Recipe, Chicken Broccoli Pasta

nutrition facts

Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 630mg | Potassium: 576mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1325IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 1mg
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