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Creamy Garlic Chicken Pasta is a delicious and comforting dish that is sure to please. This easy-to-make recipe features tender chicken and al dente pasta smothered in a rich and creamy garlic sauce.
Perfect for a cozy night in or a dinner party with friends, this creamy garlic chicken penne pasta recipe is a crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone wanting seconds. Start the meal with a hearty Steakhouse Chopped Salad and end with a delicious Strawberry Ice Cream Cake!Pin this recipe for later!
Table of Contents
This chicken penne pasta recipe is a thing of beauty. Tender pasta and chicken coated in a rich creamy, and incredibly flavorful sauce with so much garlic – the aroma alone will have you melting.
The sauce is super creamy and flavorful with tons of garlic. You can adjust the amount if you want a little less.
- Penne pasta – The preferred pasta cut for this recipe, but honestly any type of pasta will work.
- Chicken Breast – boneless and skinless. While you can use thighs, I don’t recommend it because they can be a little greasy.
- Garlic – Fresh is generally preferred, but especially for this recipe it adds a lot of the flavor.
- Flour and butter – To make a roux that will thicken the sauce.
- Milk – I use nonfat milk but a higher fat percentage will give you an even creamier finished dish.
- Chicken broth – Opt for the low sodium variety or make your own.
- Italian seasoning – If you don’t have this particular blend you can use some dried basil and oregano.
- Parmesan Cheese – Freshly shredded off the block. The pre-grated cheese will not melt into the sauce.
- You will also need fresh parsley, olive oil and salt and pepper.
How to Make Creamy Garlic Chicken Pasta
See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
The Pasta: Get a good quality penne pasta like De Cecco and cook it according to the instructions on the package. Usually, the amount of time needed to cook is universal, but it can vary by brand. You want to cook to “al dente” which means that it’s tender but still has a bite to it.
The Chicken: Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season them with salt and pepper. You could also cook the breasts whole, it will just take a bit more time. Cook them in olive oil or butter in a large skillet until browned and cooked through.
The Sauce. The garlic cream sauce starts with a roux made from butter and flour. There’s a ton of garlic cooked into it, for that deep garlic flavor you’d expect from something called Garlic Chicken Penne Pasta. Add some milk and chicken broth to form the sauce, then add Parmesan for another layer of flavor. finish it off with some fresh chopped parsley.
Combine. Stir the chicken and pasta into the sauce and mix everything together, then it’s time to dig in!
We love this meal, because it’s easy, it’s quick and it’s super creamy and flavorful.
This is tough to make in advance because the pasta absorbs some of the sauce as it reheats. You can certainly prep things in advance like the pasta and the chicken, but I recommend making the sauce fresh.
Pre-grated cheese, whether in a green can or a plastic bag, has a starchy anti-caking agent that keeps the cheese from sticking together. It also prevents proper melting, so I don’t recommend it.
You can, but thighs are more greasy so they don’t work as well in the cream sauce.
For a complete one-dish meal, stir in some steamed broccoli
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently in the microwave.
- If you want an extra cheesy sauce, add more Parmesan or an additional cheese like Mozzarella.
- Add the cheese a little at a time for the best melting.
- Wait to add salt until the end. Parmesan can be salty and you want to taste before adding more.
- Stir in some steamed broccoli to the finished dish for a complete meal.
More Pasta Recipes
- One Pot Chicken Alfredo
- One Pot Cheesy Chicken Pasta
- Chicken Spaghetti
- Tortellini with Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce
- Authentic Pasta Carbonara
Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta with Chicken
- 12 ounces penne pasta cooked to al dente
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into small pieces
- 5-6 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/4 cup milk Any % milkfat is fine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese divided
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley plus some for garnish
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil. Add chicken and season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside with the pasta.
- Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and melt, then stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in flour and italian seasoning cook for about 1 minute or until golden.
- Whisk in milk and chicken broth and simmer for several minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in half of the Parmesan cheese until melted.
- Toss the cooked pasta and chicken with the sauce to coat, then stir in remaining Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley.
- Serve immediately, garnished with fresh grated Parmesan and fresh chopped parsley.