chicken broccoli pasta
Pasta Poultry Uncategorized

Buttery Chicken + Broccoli Pasta

Combine leftover chicken, fresh or frozen broccoli, bowtie pasta, butter, chicken broth, seasoning, and a little bit of cream cheese for a delicious one pot meal you’d never know was made from leftovers!

chicken broccoli pasta

Ever since my son started calling bowtie pasta “butterfly pasta,” it’s become my favorite thing. There is nothing more adorable than hearing a two year old poke at his pasta and call it butterfly pasta. So really, you can make this meal with any kind of pasta you want. But if you use bowtie pasta, it’s just about the perfect size to complement and not take over this meal, and as a bonus, you can imagine a two year old who lisps his s’s and f’s calling it “butterfly pasta” and if your heart doesn’t explode, then you are far tougher a salt than I am.

The idea for this meal came, as I’m sure many one-pot meals do, from me looking at a couple of really small grilled chicken breasts in a container in my fridge and thinking not only did I not want to face dried out microwaved chicken for the meal, but it wouldn’t stretch well for three people. Even if I’m cutting back on my calories these days, the aforementioned two year old, who is now 37 inches tall and 35 pounds, makes up the difference. The boy can eat.

When I’m short on protein, I usually look for a way to combine it with veggies and fillers to round it out, usually in a soup, stew, or pasta. Enter the “butterfly” pasta. And because we want to try to make it somewhat healthy, let’s chop up a full head of broccoli and add it to the mix.

chicken broccoli pasta

So that’s a good start to it all, but a good one-pot pasta meal needs something pretty critical. And that’s sauce. A good savory lip-smacking flavorful sauce that will both give you the taste you’re craving from a pasta dish and keep everything from going dry.

This is dangerous territory. Once upon a time, I probably would have made a creamy béchamel with cheese or an alfredo and then you would have had a bunch of healthy ingredients just drenched and drowned in cream. Delicious, but you’d have to hibernate for three days afterward just to digest everything. Not to mention I’m trying to make things much more friendly for my lactose intolerant husband these days {he can handle about a cup of dairy a day but we try to keep it way less}.

So instead, with this recipe, I leaned heavily on a combination of butter and chicken broth to form the base of the sauce, and then stirred in a healthy bit of Italian seasoning and about 4 ounces of whipped cream cheese. Given that this recipe makes about 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are, that keeps the dairy down but still gives you that creamy taste you crave!

chicken broccoli pasta

Throw on a little salt and pepper and you’ve got all you need for a delicious one-pot dish that will cover you for a couple meals, keeps well in the fridge, and will never have people guessing that you used it to disguise leftovers!

You can use fresh chicken in here as well. While your pasta is cooking, dice and sauté your chicken in olive oil over medium heat until the chicken is cooked, or at least white on the outside. It will cook the rest of the way in the broth when you combine everything. The chicken I used for this dish was my grilled chicken with a honey balsamic marinade {recipe coming soon – it’s a good one!}.

[lt_recipe name=”Buttery Chicken + Broccoli Pasta” summary=”Combine leftover chicken, fresh or frozen broccoli, bowtie pasta, butter, chicken broth, seasoning, and a little bit of cream cheese for a delicious one pot meal you’d never know was made from leftovers!” servings=”6″ total_time=”25M” print=”yes” image=”×683.jpg” ingredients=”2 cups bowtie pasta;2 cups broccoli florets;4 tbsp butter;1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and cubed;1 cup chicken broth;1 tbsp Italian seasoning;4 oz cream cheese;salt and pepper to taste” ]Over medium-high heat, bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Boil the pasta until tender, about 7-8 minutes, or according to package directions for al dente. It will continue to cook when you add in the other ingredients.;Add the broccoli florets to the pasta and cook 3-5 more minutes, or until the broccoli is nice and tender.;Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander. Add 2 tbsp butter to the broccoli and pasta and stir to keep them from sticking together.;Add the chicken to the skillet with 2 tbsp butter and cook until the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and allow it to heat. Add the cream cheese and Italian seasoning and stir until the cream cheese has melted and you have a nice smooth sauce.;Add the pasta and broccoli to the skillet with the chicken and stir to coat everything in the cream sauce. If the sauce is thicker than you want, add a couple more tablespoons of chicken broth.;Season with salt and pepper to taste.;Serve and enjoy![/lt_recipe]

chicken and broccoli pasta

Just because at this point in my life it’s bragging rights, but this sauce makes my kid and my husband eat their broccoli. Booyah.

Here’s wishing you all a great week!

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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