I really liked chicken and broccoli Alfredo until I realized that the average serving has upwards of roughly one billion calories. Luckily, the classic Italian dish, which usually includes fettuccine or another type of rod shaped pasta tossed with butter and Parmesan cheese, but can be lightened with milk and olive oil instead.
Whether you opt for the delicious fatty version of the pasta or the equally delicious less fatty version, chicken and broccoli Alfredo is quick and easy to make. U.S. versions of the dish usually include chicken or shrimp, which I like to add for a little extra protein and broccoli for obligatory greenery. Whatever your choice, with three simple steps and about 20 minutes in the kitchen, you can have a hearty dinner on the table in no time.
- 2 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt & pepper then cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups cooked broccoli
- 12 ounces fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti (or any pasta shape)
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup 2% reduced fat milk
- 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley, optional as garnish
- Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for about one minute, stirring occasionally, until the garlic becomes fragrant. Sprinkle with the flour and sauté for an additional minute to cook the flour until all is combined.
- Add chicken broth slowly, whisking continuously until the garlic mixture is smooth. Add milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for an additional minute until thickened, then stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese is fully melted. Reduce heat to medium-low and add pasta to the pan. Turn the heat off and toss until the pasta and sauce are combined, then stir in chicken breasts and broccoli.
- Toss until sauce coats pasta, chicken and vegetables. Add a little reserved pasta cooking water if sauce is too thick. Serve immediately, topped with chopped pasta if needed.