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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
Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.
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.
Serve with your favorite green veggies, like Air Fryer Green Beans or Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or start the meal with a Caesar Salad and Air Fryer Garlic Bread.
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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Can you make it ahead? Freeze?
You can make it ahead and reheat it, but it’s best fresh. The cheese sauce can separate when reheated. Same with freezing.
Made this for dinner this evening.. super super delicious!! Love how easy this was to make! And the ingredients was on the spot perfect!
Thank you for sharing this recipe!
My family loves it!! ❤️
5 stars highly recommend!!
Hi Kathleen, thank you so much for the awesome comment! Thanks for stopping by.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I just made it with different pasta, but WE LOVE it. It’s so delicious it came out perfectly 👍🏼. Kids are so into it🤣. I definitely wants more recipes from you🙂.
That’s awesome Ana! Love the feedback! Thanks for stopping by.
Made this tonight. My picky eater loved it as I knew she would. It is delicious!!
Awesome feedback Sunnie! Thanks for stopping by.
This was delicious! It was actually better than the best I’ve had in restaurants. Definitely a keeper.
Awesome comment Melanie! Thank you so much for stopping by.
I used this recipe to make dinner a few days ago. My wife and I agree that it turned out very well and deserves a 5 star rating. I’ll definitely be making this dish again. There were leftovers so we ate the leftovers the next night and as suggested by some of the other reviewers, I added a cup of frozen summer peas; that was also very good (the peas added a little texture). The best part was that I could make it all gluten free using Barilla brand GF Penne and some Bob’s Red Mill GF all purpose flour. Delish!
That’s so awesome Dan! Thank you so much for the positive feedback.
Absaloutly beautiful added peas corn double sauce mix had no stock used just home brand chicken noodle soup into 2cup mixture and lil bit more garlic definatly cook again even then fussy child is eating it
Nice! Thanks for stopping by Sarah.
Wow! This was fantastic and super easy to put together! If yu wanna Impress someone, this is the recipe to do it! I had two rashers of bacon ? that I sliced not crumbled, I used an Asiago/parm/Romano cheese mix. I threw in about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning in as well! Holi Hannah my older son who is an extreme picky eater ate it! High fives ✋all around my table! Thank yu Kristin for yur inspiration! Will so make this dish again! ?
That is so awesome Nettie! Thank you so much for the outstanding feedback.
Thanks for stopping by.
Amazing recipe. I added a little cilantro and my picky two year old gobbled it up. I couldn’t stop eating myself. Definitely going to be making this again
Thank you so much for the positive feedback Jessica. Glad you guys loved it.
Cooking it now, thinking about adding spinach. Thoughts?
Spinach would be a delicious addition!
I added basil and arugula and a cup of frozen peas. Very good one dish meal.
Nice! Thank you for stopping by Ruthanne.
Just made this! Looks delicious and my kids are wondering what smells so good!
Nice! Thank you Harmoni.
I did it, and it was amazing!! This time around, I will be putting more garlic in the sauce. But beside that; excellenté! Miam!!
That’s awesome Camilla! thank you so much for stopping by!
Has anyone ever tried doubling it? I have a family of 5 (3 which are males) and they sure can eat! Curious if I doubled the recipe If it would come out just as good
You could double it. Just make sure you use a big enough pan, definitely 5 quarts.
I love this recipe..can’t wait to try it out.
This was very good! We loved it! Creamy with great garlic flavor, will make again for sure!
Thank you Crissy!
We made this today and it turned out amazing, but instead of chicken we put ham in it and we made double of it and stilled turned out. Thxs for showing us how to make this, were gonna make this again soon
ham sounds delicious for this recipe!
Looks amazing! Trying to cut down on dairy though; would almond milk work?
I’ve never tried almond milk. You could give it a try, it might work.