A recipe for beginners and extremely busy people. I have worked in the restaurant business all my life. Close to 30 years of experience is what my resume would say. Yes, everything is better when it’s made from scratch. Yes, it’s best to cook all that you eat yourself, in your own kitchen. But today, Let’s make some quick and tasty chicken and broccoli alfredo.

Bookmark this link to the Top 10 recipes to make in the Instant Pot – These you can make later!

With all that being said, sometimes I don’t want to cook or clean up after. However, I get serious dirty looks from the family if I put a Stouffer’s family size entrée on the table.

So what do I do when I don’t feel like cooking but have to make it look like I put in some effort.

I make this dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Cavatappi (corkscrews) pasta.
  • 8 oz Pre Cooked Chicken cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 7 1/2 oz Fresh Broccoli
  • 15 oz Jar of store bought Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • Red Chili Flakes to taste
  • Pre-Grated Parmesan Cheese

One-Pot Clean-up

My double boiler steamer pot is key to keeping the cleanup quick with this recipe. I use the same water to steam the broccoli and cook the pasta. Only one pot to clean, I know… genius.

Start by putting some water on to boil. If you have a steamer pot, only fill it about halfway. Just enough water to cook the pasta, and add about a tbsp of salt. If you have a stand-alone steamer, you only need to add maybe an inch of water. Of course, get some water on for the pasta as well.

Add Broccoli

Next cut the broccoli to more or less equal sizes. Just cut lengthwise down the stem of each floret so they are all the same thickness. When the water is boiling add the broccoli to the steamer, and cover for about 3 minutes. Use a fork to test its tenderness, take it off the steam when it seems ready to you.

When the broccoli is done, remove it to a bowl or plate, and set it aside. Next, add the pasta to the water, cook to the directions on the box, usually about 8 minutes.

I place the empty steamer pot in the sink to act as a colander to drain the pasta when it’s ready.

Workin’ Hard.

Spend these 8 minutes clanking around a lot, and making a fuss like you are working really hard in there. Trust me, the family will think you are working your butt off for this chicken and broccoli alfredo.

When the pasta is ready drain it, and lower the heat to medium on the stove. Let the pasta hang out in the colander for a few minutes while we prepare to finish the dish.

Warm The Sauce

Return the empty pot to the stove and add the entire jar of alfredo sauce, along with the garlic powder and black pepper. Give it a stir and let it warm up a bit, next add the broccoli and chicken, and keep stirring while everything warms through.

Don’t overthink it, it’s all cooked already, we just need it warm enough to eat, and the pasta is going to warm it up a lot when we add it. When you are satisfied with your stirring and warming efforts, add the pasta, and give it a final stir.

More Workin’ Hard

Be sure to grunt, and use grandiose flourishes during this phase of the recipe, adding to the drama of how hard you are working to prepare a fancy home-cooked meal for the people you love.

I won’t tell if you won’t. wink

Ready to Serve

I like to serve my chicken and broccoli alfredo in pasta bowls, topped with red chili flakes and parmesan cheese. If you have fresh basil around that would make a nice garnish as well.

That’s it. This whole recipe should take… For a beginner 20 -25 minutes. For an experienced cook, 15 minutes tops.

Of course, feel free to riff on this any way you like: maybe try some cooked bacon or ham, red bell peppers mixed in with the steamed broccoli would add some nice color.

Until next time, eat well – Chef Eric

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo for Beginners

Chef Eric
This quick easy dish is great for any occasion. Everyone will think you worked all day to create it, when in fact it only takes 15 minutes.
Prep Time 4 mins
Cook Time 11 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, pasta
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 3 people

Equipment

  • Standard Stove
  • steamer pot, or equivalent
  • medium pot for cooking pasta
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • colander

Ingredients
  

  • 4 oz Cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta. Penne, Rotini, Farfalle etc… would all work well
  • 8 oz Pre Cooked Chicken cut in 1 inch cubes
  • 7 1/2 oz Fresh Broccoli
  • 15 oz Jar Alfredo Sauce Whatever your favorite brand is is fine
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • garnish to taste Red Chili Flakes
  • garnish to taste Grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions
 

  • Place a pot with an inch of water for steaming on high heat, and a pot with 4 cup or so of water with a tbsp of salt for cooking pasta on high heat.
  • Trim Broccoli florets so all the stems are roughly equal thickness to ensure even cooking
  • Add broccoli to steamer and cover for approx. 3 minutes, or to desired tenderness. Set finished broccoli aside.
  • Add pasta to boiling pasta water and cook to the box instructions, usually about 8 minutes.
  • Strain pasta, and hold in colander
  • Reduce heat to medium and place empty pasta pot on stove then add the jar of alfredo sauce, along with garlic powder, and black pepper. Warm to a comfortable eating temperature
  • Add chicken and broccoli to sauce and continue warming for 2 minutes, while stirring frequently.
  • Add pasta to sauce pot, and stir well.
  • Serve topped with red pepper flakes and grated parmesan cheese.

Discover Delicious

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The Perfect Side!

Check out Chef Eric’s Amazing Parmesan Garlic Toast to accompany your alfredo. No regrets!

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