This garlic chicken pasta recipe is simple to make, uses everyday ingredients, and tastes like restaurant comfort food! It's ready in about 30 minutes.
It's based on my iconic skillet Creamy Garlic Chicken recipe. I elevated it even more to turn it into the best chicken pasta ever!
Creamy garlic chicken pasta
I have a feeling that this might just become your new favorite no-fuss pasta recipe. It's absolutely perfect for a weeknight treat since it's really quick, but it's also something that you can pull out of your back pocket when you've got company or want to make something memorable for date night at home!
I love a simple cream sauce for pasta, and this one is over-the-top delicious with all the garlic, parmesan, and luxurious cream. Brighten it up with a touch of lemon, and you've got a winning dish. It's hard to explain just how decadent this sauce tastes, you guys! When I think of cozy pasta, this is definitely the first thing that comes to mind. I'm so excited to let you know all about it.
Ingredients you'll need
- Pasta - I chose spaghetti because the sauce coated it really well in every bite, but any pasta shape will work just fine
- Chicken - we're cutting chicken breasts in half lengthwise so that it cooks even faster
- Garlic powder - adding it to the chicken cutlets along with salt & pepper immediately gives that garlic essence
- Olive oil and butter - classic combo for sautéing aromatics
- Garlic cloves - the star of the dish. We're using both garlic powder and minced garlic cloves to infuse even more garlicky flavor!
- Flour - to thicken the sauce
- Chicken broth - you could use a dry white wine instead
- Lemon juice - to balance the creamy element and add a vibrant touch
- Cream - a bit of heavy cream pulls the luscious sauce together!
- Parmesan cheese - the crown jewel to top it all off. Always use fresh parm as opposed to the stuff in a bag.
How to make it
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Boil the pasta. Meanwhile, cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise and sprinkle them with the garlic powder and some salt & pepper. In a skillet, cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes/side or until golden and cooked through, then transfer to a plate. You'll make the sauce in the same skillet by doing a quick roux with the butter and flour, then whisk in the chicken broth and lemon juice, followed by the cream.
Once the sauce has thickened a bit, stir in the parmesan cheese. Cut the chicken into strips and add it to the sauce along with the drained pasta, then toss!
Substitutions and variations
- You could throw in a handful of fresh spinach towards the end of the recipe if you want to add some greens.
- If using wine instead of chicken broth, go for something dry like sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or even chardonnay.
- Try swapping the chicken breasts for chicken thighs if you prefer. I'd cook them a little longer to ensure that they're nice and tender.
- I don't recommend subbing the heavy cream for a lower fat alternative as it can affect the taste and texture of the sauce. It'll likely end up thinner than intended and may even curdle. You could probably get away with using half-and-half, but you may need to add a little more flour.
Tools for this recipe
- Chicken is cooked when an instant read thermometer indicates it's 165F in the thickest part. It's the safest and most reliable way to tell if chicken is done or not, and you're less likely to overcook it this way too!
- I recommend grating your own parmesan cheese for best results. I use my Microplane to easily grate it.
Leftovers and storage
- Store this pasta in the fridge for 3-4 days after making it in a covered container.
- It's best to reheat it in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring every so often, so the sauce doesn't separate.
- I wouldn't recommend freezing leftovers because of the dairy.
Questions about this garlic parmesan chicken pasta? Let me know in the comments below!
Easy Garlic Chicken Pasta
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta
- 2 chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Boil a salted pot of water and cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thinner pieces. Sprinkle them with the garlic powder and some salt & pepper.
- Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Let the pan heat up for a few minutes. Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes/side or until golden and cooked through (165F). Transfer to a plate.
- To the same skillet, add the remaining butter. Once it melts, stir in the garlic and flour and cook for 30 seconds or so.
- Whisk in the chicken broth and lemon juice (and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet). Let it bubble for about a minute.
- Add in the cream and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes or so until it thickens up a bit (turn down the heat if it starts bubbling like crazy).
- Meanwhile, cut up the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Stir the parmesan into the sauce.
- Add the chicken and the drained pasta to the skillet and toss until coated (I add a tablespoon or so of the pasta water to the sauce prior to draining it, especially if it's become a tad too thick). Serve immediately with extra salt & pepper if needed.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.