Here’s a quick recipe that I make from time to time. If you cut up the chicken and broccoli a day ahead, this meal comes together in 30 minutes. As much as I love my creamy Alfredo type of dishes, this recipe is much lighter and lower in fat. Everything cooks fast, so it’s important to have everything cut-up and ready before you start cooking.
Here’s how I make it!
Before you start, cook the pasta as directed, drain, and set aside in a colander.
Slice the chicken into bite-size pieces. You could also use chicken tenders.
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or sauce pan over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt & pepper and brown on both sides. *Add the broccoli and garlic to the pan when the chicken still has a little bit of pink on it. (If you wait until it’s fully cooked, the chicken could end up too tough and overcooked when it’s done.) Toss together and cook for a few minutes.
Melt the butter in the pasta pan.
Place the cooked pasta in the melted butter and mix well.
Add the buttered pasta to the chicken & broccoli. Add the milk, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes. Toss together and heat for 2 minutes. Add more salt & pepper, if desired, and up to 1/4 cup more of the Parmesan cheese. Toss well and serve immediately.
Easy Chicken, Pasta, and Broccoli
1/2 – 3/4 lb. penne pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenders
salt & pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 crown of broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 – 1/2 cup milk (I use 1%)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided (I prefer Parmigiano Reggiano)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Cook the pasta as directed on the box. Drain in a colander and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or sauce pan over medium heat. Add the chicken to the pan and season with salt & pepper. Brown on both sides. **Add the broccoli and garlic before the chicken is fully cooked. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.
3. Melt the butter in the pasta pan on low heat. Add the cooked pasta to the butter and toss well. Add the buttered pasta to the chicken, pasta, and broccoli pan.
4. Add the milk, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes. Toss and cook for 2 more minutes. Adjust seasonings. See if it needs more salt & pepper and up to 1/4 cup more of the Parmesan cheese. Stir and serve immediately.
If your family loves chicken dishes as much as mine, check out these Reader’s Digest Chicken Recipes! Yum!