Easy, cheesy, creamy chicken and broccoli pasta! This dish cooks in 30 minutes or less, making it a great weeknight dinner.
8 ounces sea shells, penne pasta or pasta of your choice
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
2 tbls. oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbls. unsalted butter
2 to 3 large cloves garlic
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into cubes
3/4 cup grated Monterrey Jack or Sharp Cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Stir the penne into the boiling water and cook according to the pasta package directions, or about 8 minutes, until al dente adding broccoli florets during last 2-3 minutes of cooking time. Scoop out 2 cups of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the noodles and broccoli (do not rinse) and return to the pasta pot, stirring in 1 tlbs butter. Cover and keep warm
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high until sizzling. Pat the chicken dry and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through. Remove and keep warm.
Add remaining 1 tbls. butter to the skillet. Once melted, add the garlic and cook for 20 to 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Whisk in 1 cup of the reserved pasta water, a little at time, until smooth, followed by the Monterrey Jack or sharp Cheddar.
Add the cooked cut-up chicken, to the noodles and broccoli and pour the sauce over al tossing to coat. If it's not quite creamy enough, or too thick, add a little of the remaining pasta water. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4-6 servings
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