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Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

This Chicken Broccoli Alfredo is a rich and filling dinner with tender pasta, crisp bacon, succulent chicken, and crisp-tender broccoli. We swap a few ingredients to bring you all the Alfredo flavors you know and love, but with a fraction of the calories.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 570kcal
Cost $5.12

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (175g) cooked chicken (See Note 1)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon (2 cloves) minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup (30g) white flour
  • 1 cup (235g) chicken broth or stock
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (340g) 1% milk (2% or whole will work, not skim)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH: chicken bouillon, fine sea salt, freshly cracked pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg, optional
  • 2 ounces (45g) 1/3 reduced-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (55g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese separated
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (150g) uncooked broccoli
  • 8 ounces linguine
  • 6-8 slices Turkey (or regular) bacon
  • Optional: 1 lemon, fresh parsley, red pepper flakes (for a kick)

Instructions

  • CHICKEN: Prepare the chicken. (See Note 1) Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • PASTA AND BROCCOLI: Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Once water is boiling, generously salt the water (I add 1 teaspoon salt to every 4 cups of water). Add in the linguine and cook according to package directions for al dente. Two minutes before the pasta will be done, add in the broccoli. Drain both together.
  • BACON: While pasta is boiling, add the bacon to a large dry skillet or griddle. Cook and turn strips every 2 to 3 minutes (adjusting heat as necessary) until bacon is browned and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let slightly cool and then chop coarsely.
  • ALFREDO SAUCE: Using the skillet from cooking the chicken (if chicken was pan-seared), heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high; then add in the minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the flour and briskly whisk until a thick paste forms. Cook for about 1 minute over medium heat. Slowly and gradually pour in the chicken broth while vigorously whisking. Whisk until completely smooth.
  • SAUCE CONT.: Again, very slowly add in milk, whisking constantly. Whisk until mixture is slightly thickened. Add seasonings: the Italian seasoning, chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper (adjust salt to personal preference; chicken will be salted, chicken broth is salted, and pasta water is salted). If desired, add in a tiny pinch of nutmeg. Stir in the softened cream cheese and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Reduce the heat to medium low and stir until cream cheese is smooth and Parmesan is melted. Taste and adjust sauce to taste preference adding in any additional seasonings if desired. If the sauce tastes too heavy, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • FINISHING: Add the chicken, pasta, bacon, and broccoli to the Alfredo sauce. With tongs, toss until combined. If desired, add fresh parsley and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Enjoy immediately.

Video

Notes

Note 1: There are three ways to prepare the chicken for Chicken Broccoli Alfredo:
  • Grilled: We prepare grilled chicken frequently, so we always have leftovers of I can add to something else (like this dish). If you're planning on grilling, add a few extra breasts or thighs to the grill to use in this dish later on in the week.
  • Rotisserie chicken: Again, since this recipe only needs 1 and 1/2 cups, you can use a rotisserie chicken for a different recipe (I'd recommend these chicken tinga tacos) and use the leftovers for this chicken broccoli Alfredo. For an even quicker prep time you can purchase rotisserie chicken already pulled from the bones.
  • Pan-seared: This route will take a little extra time, but adds additional flavor to the dish. Here's the process:
    • Pat dry 1-2 chicken breasts (about 1 pound total) with paper towel. Cut chicken into small, 1-inch sized pieces.
    • Sprinkle pieces generously with salt, pepper, and a chicken seasoning blend (like Mrs. Dash's® or this seasoning blend)
    • Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large non-stick skillet and brown the chicken pieces until cooked through (6-10 minutes; chicken juices should run clear or read 165 degrees F on a thermometer). 
    • Once cooked, transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
    • No need to wipe out the skillet; there will be bits of flavor left by the chicken! Proceed with preparing the sauce in the same skillet.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servings | Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 58.8g | Protein: 32.1g | Fat: 22.9g | Cholesterol: 83.1mg | Sodium: 769.8mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 8.2g