Chicken Broccoli Pasta is an easy weeknight meal that is ready in only 30 minutes! Cook broccoli in the same boiling water as the pasta while you make the simple lemon chicken with creamy parmesan sauce. 

For another dinner winner, try my Buffalo Chicken Tacos or Spicy Chicken Pasta!

Pan of broccoli, chicken and pasta with lemons and a wooden spoon.

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Why I Love This Recipe

  • 30 Minute Meal – A quick and easy dinner that’s perfect for a busy weeknight!
  • Little Clean Up – You’ll use the same skillet to cook the chicken and make the sauce to keep clean up simple.
  • Lemon Flavor – Lemon zest adds a fresh lemon flavor that pairs perfectly with the broccoli and chicken.

Ingredients You’ll Need

I love that this recipe uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients! I bet you have most in your pantry already.

  • Penne Pasta – Any small pasta shape will work here. Tube pastas work the best as they have great nooks and crannies to hold the sauce.
  • Bite-Sized Broccoli Florets – You can buy the pre-cut broccoli florets at the store or buy a head of broccoli and cut it up yourself.
  • Chicken Breasts or Tenders – For easy cutting into 1” cubes, use boneless, skinless chicken.
  • Spices – Lemon Pepper Seasoning, Garlic Powder
  • Neutral Oil – Like canola oil or avocado oil
  • Butter – You can use salted or unsalted and just adjust salt to taste.
  • Minced Garlic – Freshly minced is best, but the kind in a jar is okay too to save time.
  • Flour – You’ll combine this with the melted butter to make a roux.
  • Chicken Broth – You can also use chicken stock. 
  • Half and Half – This makes the pasta creamy! You can substitute the half and half for heavy cream, but the sauce will be a little thicker, alternatively you could use whole milk, and the sauce will be a bit thinner. 
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Lemon Zest
  • For Serving and Garnishing – Fresh chopped parsley, lemon slices and extra grated Parmesan cheese.

How To Make Chicken Broccoli Pasta

See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

This chicken and broccoli pasta recipe comes together while you cook the pasta and broccoli in boiling water. Easy enough for a weeknight dinner!

Broccoli and noodles in water in a large pot.

Cook Pasta and Broccoli – Cook the pasta according to package directions and add the broccoli florets in the last 3 minutes.

cooked chicken pieces in a white skillet.

Cook Chicken – Meanwhile, season the chicken pieces with the lemon pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Heat a large skillet with the oil then add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through. Set chicken aside.

White cream sauce with lemon zest and a whisk.

Make Garlic Lemon Sauce – Add the butter to the same skillet and cook the garlic for just a minute. Add the flour and cook for another minute to make a roux before whisking in the chicken broth then reduce heat and whisk in half and half and salt. Finally remove from heat and whisk in the parmesan cheese and lemon zest.

Broccoli, penne pasta, chicken pieces with a lemon cream sauce all mixed together in a skillet.

Toss in Pasta – Add the cooked pasta, broccoli, and chicken to the skillet and toss to coat evenly. Serve and enjoy!

Hot Tip!

Boil the broccoli in your pasta water! Add broccoli florets to the boiling water while you cook the pasta. Broccoli will cook faster than most pasta shapes, so you’ll want to add in the last few minutes of cooking. Save time, and a pan!

Depending on how done you’d like the broccoli to be, it can take anywhere from 3-6 minutes to cook the broccoli. Check it by piercing one floret with a fork. It should be tender enough to be pierced but still have a slight bite so it isn’t mushy.

Serving Suggestions

I love that this recipe is a complete meal on its own! But if you want to round it out, especially to feed a large family, I like to pair it with a salad like a classic caesar salad or lemon kale caesar salad, and a loaf of crusty bread or cheesy garlic bread.

Storage

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave.

Expert Tips

  • Lemon Flavor – If you want extra lemon flavor, serve the pasta with a lemon slice to squeeze over individual portions. You can add lemon juice to the sauce, but if heated too much after the addition of lemon juice, you risk the sauce separating and curdling the half and half. 
  • Baked Casserole Version – You could turn this into a casserole by placing the final dish into a buttered casserole dish, topping with extra parmesan or buttered bread crumbs and broiling on high until the top is browned and bubbly. 
  • Freshly Grate Parmesan Cheese – It’s best to grate cheese from a wedge of parmesan vs buying pre-shredded as it will melt much better.
  • Frozen vs Fresh Broccoli – You can use frozen broccoli instead of fresh. Still add to the pasta in the last few minutes.
Chicken broccoli and pasta on individual plates.

More Pasta Recipes

Recipe

  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 2 cups bite sized broccoli florets
  • 1 pound chicken breasts or tenders cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil Canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • Fresh chopped parsley, lemon slices, and extra grated Parmesan for garnish

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • In a large pot of boiling water, cook penne according to package directions, adding broccoli florets to the last 3 minutes of cook time. Drain and set aside.

  • While the pasta cooks, in a medium bowl season the chicken pieces with the lemon pepper, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the garlic powder.

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot add in the seasoned chicken and cook, turning often, until browned all around and cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover.

  • In the same skillet add the butter and melt.

  • Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, then sprinkle with the flour and cook, whisking often, for one minute.

  • Whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and whisk in the half and half and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.

  • Once mixture returns to a simmer, remove from heat and whisk in the Parmesan and lemon zest.

  • Add pasta, broccoli, and chicken to the skillet and toss to coat evenly.

  • Serve immediately with fresh chopped parsley, lemon wedges and extra grated Parmesan cheese.

  • For more lemon flavor, squeeze some fresh lemon over individual portions. Do not add lemon juice to the sauce – there is a risk of the sauce separating and curdling.
  • You can substitute the half and half for heavy cream, but the sauce will be a little thicker, alternatively you could use whole milk, and the sauce will be a bit thinner.
  • You could turn this into a casserole by placing the final dish into a buttered casserole dish, topping with extra parmesan or buttered bread crumbs and broiling on high until the top is browned and bubbly.

Calories: 591kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 39gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1541mgPotassium: 833mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 821IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 227mgIron: 2mg



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