Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Recipe

The original Italian Alfredo sauce was nothing like the sauce we know today. It was actually a rather simple preparation made from nothing but butter and Parmesan cheese tossed with noodles. American cooks, however, helped Alfredo evolve into a far more elaborate affair involving lots and lots of cream and maybe even a few herbs. The cream and other embellishments combine to make a dish that recipe developer Catherine Brookes calls "creamy, rich, [and] indulgent." "This chicken Alfredo pasta," she tells us, "feels like a fancy dish despite being made with simple ingredients and an easy method."

The one slightly tricky part of this recipe, as you will see, involves the need to cook the noodles and the sauce simultaneously. Right before the noodles are done, you'll be dipping out a bit of the pasta water to stir into the sauce. This technique, Brookes says, "helps to make [the sauce] extra silky and brings it to just the right consistency to coat the pasta." Be careful not to overcook the pasta, however, as it will get even softer when stirred into the hot sauce so you'll need to be quick about draining it when it's just shy of al dente.

Assemble the ingredients for the chicken Alfredo pasta

To make this chicken Alfredo pasta, you'll be using boneless and skinless chicken breasts. You will also need some noodles for the pasta part. Brookes is using tagliatelle here, but as she tells us, "You could also use fettucine or linguine," and even plain old spaghetti could work. Don't opt for angel hair, though, as the heavy Alfredo sauce might overwhelm those delicate noodles.

Other ingredients you'll need to have on hand include olive oil for cooking the chicken, salt and pepper for seasoning it, and butter, garlic, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, and heavy cream for the sauce. If you want to cut down on the calories and fat (and maybe shave a buck or two off the price, as well), Brookes does say "half and half would also work well to make the dish a little lighter."

Slice and cook the chicken

Before you cook the chicken breasts Brookes suggests butterflying them. She tells us this is done by cutting through the middle, but not quite all the way through, so the breasts can be opened up into butterfly shape (hence the name). "No problem simply slicing them in half," she notes, if you so desire, as the cooked chicken will later be cut into strips.

Once the chicken's been sliced, season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil on medium-high, then fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side. After 8-10 minutes in all, the chicken should be browned on both sides and no longer pink in the middle. Once this is the case, take it out of the pan and let it cool a bit.

The noodles and sauce must be cooked simultaneously

Start a pot of water boiling, then stir in the noodles and cook them according to the package directions. As soon as they hit the water, melt the butter over medium-low heat in the same pan you used to cook the chicken. Fry the garlic in the butter for 2 minutes, stirring it the entire time since garlic can burn pretty quickly if you're not watching. When the garlic is soft and fragrant, add the cream and Italian seasonings and let the sauce cook for a few minutes. Now add the Parmesan, plus some additional salt and pepper, and cook the sauce for a few minutes more.

Finish the dish by combining the pasta, sauce, and chicken

About a minute before the noodles are due to hit al dente, scoop out ¼ cup of pasta water and stir it into the sauce. Immediately drain the noodles and add them, as well. Slice up the chicken, put it on top of the pasta, and your chicken Alfredo pasta is ready to eat. If you have fresh parsley on hand, though, you can always snip a bit of the green stuff over the top to pretty up your pasta.

If you're not able to finish the chicken Alfredo pasta the same day you cook it, Brookes says you'd better use up the remainder pretty quickly. As she tells us, "Leftovers can be kept in the fridge up to 2 days."

Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Recipe
5 from 30 ratings
This creamy chicken Alfredo recipe is a masterclass in decadent dining, and it's easier to make than you may think.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken Alfredo pasta in bowl
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces tagliatelle
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
Optional Ingredients
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts and season on both sides with some salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, high-sided frying pan on a medium-high setting. Fry the chicken for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until browned and completely cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
  3. Boil the pasta in salted water as per the package instructions.
  4. Add the butter to the pan you cooked the chicken in and reduce to a medium-low setting. Allow the butter to melt, then add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the cream and Italian herbs and stir well. Let it bubble for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the Parmesan cheese and some salt and pepper to taste, stir and let everything cook for another few minutes.
  7. Add ¼ cup of the pasta water to the sauce and stir it in. Then drain the pasta and add that too, stirring to combine it with the sauce.
  8. Slice up the chicken breasts and serve on top of the pasta. Add some fresh chopped parsley to garnish if desired.
Calories per Serving 910
Total Fat 55.9 g
Saturated Fat 29.9 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 248.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
Total Sugars 4.1 g
Sodium 759.6 mg
Protein 53.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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