This Creamy Chicken Pasta dinner takes less than half an hour from start to finish. Serve it with a salad and bread, and you’ve got a satisfying meal for the whole family! Recipe includes a how-to video!
A Quick & Easy Chicken Dinner
This quick & easy creamy chicken pasta is ideal for those nights when you want to serve your family something filling and fast. This dish takes only 25 minutes to make and the spice level can easily be customized for either younger or more sophisticated palates.
The sauce is rich, creamy, and perfectly garlicky, and it pairs so well with the seasoned chicken. I highly recommend serving your pasta with a salad (I like to do broccoli salad, but a traditional garden salad works, too) and homemade breadsticks for a hearty and satisfying meal!
I hope your family loves this chicken pasta recipe as much as mine does. Let’s get cooking!
What You Need
This creamy chicken pasta is anything but bland! We’ll be adding lots of seasonings, a few veggies, and some optional herbs for maximum flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Linguine. You could substitute a different kind of pasta, but long, thin noodles like spaghetti, fettuccine, or even bucatini will work best.
- Seasonings & spices. Including salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper (if you like a little heat), and Italian seasoning.
- Flour. We’ll dredge our chicken in just a little all-purpose flour after seasoning it. This won’t create a thick breading, but it will give the chicken a golden-crisp exterior.
- Chicken. Once its seasoned and dredged, you’ll cook your chicken in olive oil and butter. After its done cooking, there will likely be brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Don’t discard them! They’ll create a flavorful base for our sauce.
- Chicken broth. This will help us scrape up those brown bits from cooking the chicken. If you’d like, you could substitute the broth with white wine.
- Garlic & onion. As with my rigatoni, we’ll use these two vegetables for lots of flavor.
- Heavy cream. For just the right amount of creaminess!
- Parmesan cheese. Just ¼ cup flavors the sauce. Make sure it melts into the cream before serving.
- Fresh parsley. This adds freshness to what could be a somewhat heavy dish. You can always skip it if you’re not a fan though!
SAM’S TIP: I always break my linguine in half before cooking (it makes it easier to eat) and drizzle it with a very small amount of oil afterward (to prevent sticking). I know I’m going to get some complaints about this, but it works for me and will make things easier for you too. If it really bothers you though, you can cook whole.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Creamy Chicken Pasta
- Whisk together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Sprinkle each chicken breast with seasoning, then use your hands to rub the seasoning into the chicken and make sure everything is coated.
- Dredge each chicken breast in flour and set them aside while you heat your butter and oil in a pan.
- Cook the chicken on one side for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook until done.
- Place the cooked chicken on a plate and add your chopped onion to the pan.
- Cook the onion until it softens, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Slowly drizzle in the chicken broth and use a spatula to scrape any browned bits up from the bottom of the pan as you pour.
- Add the heavy cream, remaining salt, and Italian seasoning. Stir very well. Let the mixture come to a simmer, then add your parmesan and cook until it melts into the sauce.
- Test test for any additional seasonings before adding your pasta and chicken to the sauce. Cook until the sauce is thickened and the pasta and chicken are warmed through. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
SAM’S TIP: The sauce will seem thin at first, but it will thicken the longer it sits and as the pasta soaks it up. If you have leftovers, the sauce will be mostly absorbed by the noodles, so I like to add a splash of chicken broth if I am reheating the next day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whole milk might work, but it would definitely thin things out (probably too much!). I recommend sticking with cream for a perfectly thickened, velvety, chicken pasta sauce.
Kind of. This sauce is a twist on the Americanized version of alfredo sauce (cream, parmesan, and butter). I dilute it slightly with chicken broth and add seasonings and veggies to keep it from being too rich though.
I wouldn’t recommend it. The sauce gets a lot of its flavor from the seasoned chicken as it cooks in the pan (and thickens some thanks to the flour used to cook the chicken, too), and you’d greatly miss that if you used pre-cooked chicken. Spend the few extra minutes (really, it’s less than 10!) and just cook your chicken yourself!
More Recipes You Might Like
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Creamy Chicken Pasta
- 8 oz dry linguine (226g)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (63g)
- ¾ teaspoon table salt divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ heaping teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper optional
- 1 lb chicken breast cut into 4 portions (453g)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion about 1 medium-sized onion (140g)
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 ⅓ cup chicken broth (315ml)
- 1 cup heavy cream (236ml)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (22g)
- Fresh parsley for garnish optional
- Begin cooking pasta in heavily salted water according to package directions. Once pasta is finished cooking, drain and set aside (if pasta is finished far in advance of the sauce, drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent sticking).
- Meanwhile, set aside flour in a shallow dish. In another dish, whisk together ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using).
- Sprinkle chicken breast with spice mix and rub over the surface of the chicken, then dredge each breast in flour.
- Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, transfer chicken to the pan, spacing so the meat is not touching. Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes until browned, then flip and cook on the other side until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add onion to the pan and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Slowly drizzle in chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pan as you do. Add heavy cream, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and Italian seasoning and stir well.
- Stir well, bring to a simmer and add parmesan cheese. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until melted. Taste-test and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Add pasta to the pot and return chicken as well (you can slice the chicken before returning to the pot or leave it whole). Stir well, allow to simmer until chicken and pasta are warmed through and sauce is thickened enough to coat noodles then serve. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley if desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.