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Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta is a quick and tasty dinner recipe that the whole family loves.  Your favorite pasta is tossed in a delicious garlic cheese sauce and topped with pieces of juicy tender chicken breast in this simple recipe.  

A blue bowl of pasta in a cream sauce topped with browned chicken strips.

Garlic parmesan chicken pasta has become one of our favorite pasta recipes.  I am always looking for easy weeknight dinners that deliver a ton of flavor. This recipe checks all of the boxes!  Some of my other go to recipes for when I am short on time are Casarecce Pasta with Sicilian PestoGrilled Chicken LegsSteak Pizzaiola and  homemade Shake and Bake Pork Chops.

Creamy restaurant quality dishes include Tortellini Alfredo, Ravioli Carbonara, Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Parmesan or Lobster Ravioli Sauce.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta

There is a lot to love about this parmesan chicken pasta recipe.  It is loaded with grated parmesan cheese and just the right amount of garlic flavor. I say that because in Italy, we love the flavor of garlic, but it should never overpower any dish.  This recipe has just the right balance between garlic and parmesan in the creamy cheese sauce.   In fact, if you like Alfredo sauce, you will love this garlic infused version.  

I have not met anyone that did not like this parmesan garlic pasta.  This creamy sauce has so much flavor and it is topped with pieces of tasty juicy chicken.  It is a recipe that really will please the entire family!

Best of all, this delicious meal can be on the dinner table in about 30 minutes. That means you can make busy weeknights feel like a special occasion.   

Labeled ingredients to make garlic parmesan chicken pasta including seasonings, heavy cream, white wine, chicken, parmesan, garlic and pasta.

Simple Ingredients in Parmesan Garlic Chicken Pasta

Get the specific quantities in the recipe card below:

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts or Chicken Breast tenders that have been cut into 3–4-inch pieces.  
  • Italian Seasoning – you can substitute a combination of dried herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, sage, marjoram, and rosemary. 
  • SeasoningsGarlic Powder, Onion Powder, Paprika, Salt and Black Pepper. A combination of these seasonings makes a delicious coating on the chicken and helps to season the sauce.
  • Olive Oil:  You are going to use this to cook the chicken and sauté the garlic. So you will need an oil that has a higher smoke point but adds flavor to the dish.  You can substitute vegetable oil, but you won’t get the same flavor. Extra virgin olive oil will burn too quickly. If you can’t use olive oil, then butter is a good alternative.
  • Fresh Minced Garlic:  I highly recommend that you use fresh garlic and mince it yourself in this dish for the best flavor.  
  • Dried or fresh Thyme: If you use fresh thyme you will need to double the quantity in the recipe 
  • White Wine – such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.  If you don’t want to use white wine, you can use chicken stock or broth in its place.
  • Heavy Cream: You will want to use full fat cream to get a sauce with a nice creamy consistency. Milk or half and half will result in a thinner sauce. 
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano can substituted for the parmesan.
  • Pasta – I love “riccioli” pasta which means “curly” in Italian.  Spiral (such as rotini pasta) or curly shapes are perfect for holding creamy sauces.  You can also use penne pasta or any other shape that you like.

How to Make This Creamy Pasta Dish

Cook the pasta according to package instructions until it is al dente.  While the pasta cooks, make the chicken and sauce.

  1. Season the chicken:  Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika salt and pepper in a small bowl then sprinkle it on both sides of the chicken.
  2. Cook the chicken:  Cook the chicken in a large skillet, just until it is cooked through, for about 3-4 minutes per side over medium-high heat. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
  3. Sauté the garlic and thyme:  Add the garlic and thyme to the same skillet and cook just until the garlic is tender.  Do not let it burn.
  4. Reduce the wine: Add the white wine and cook until it is reduced by half.  Scrape up the bits of fond from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Finish the Sauce: Add the heavy cream and cook for 2-3 minutes until it is hot, then stir in the parmesan cheese.
  6. Toss the pasta:  Add the strained cooked pasta to the skillet and toss it in the sauce, then top the juicy chicken breast pieces.  
A blue bowl of creamy pasta and chicken next to a skillet with the same pasta dish, sitting on a flowered blue towel.

Tips and Variations

  • Don’t overcook the pasta.  When you add the pasta to the hot sauce it will continue to cook a bit, so if it is cooked beyond al dente you may end up with soft pasta noodles.
  • Start cooking the pasta while the chicken cooks so that the pasta and sauce are done at about the same time.
  • Using chicken tenders or cutting your chicken breast into thin small pieces will cut cooking time down.  The chicken will cook through quickly while staying moist.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat before you add the parmesan cheese so that it melts nicely and does not seize.  
  • Reserve about a cup of pasta water.  The sauce may thicken while it cools, so if you want to thin it out a bit, a splash of pasta water will do the trick.
  • If you want to change it up a bit, fresh spinach makes a great addition to the creamy parmesan garlic sauce.
  • Turn up the heat on this sauce by adding some red pepper flakes to the garlic and thyme while you sauté them or,
  • Add some cayenne pepper to the chicken seasoning for a little heat.
Pasta in a cream sauce topped with chicken strips and grated cheese.

Storing Leftovers

You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for several days if they are placed in an airtight container.  They can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove top over low heat.

I don’t recommend freezing the sauce as the dairy may separate.

Other Easy Chicken Recipes

If you are looking for other easy chicken recipes that are perfect for busy weeknights, you will love my Chicken LimoneChicken Pomodoro with Spinach or Italian Chicken Cutlets.  They all make quick easy meals when paired with a salad, vegetable or side of pasta.

More Easy Pasta Dishes

A good pasta dish makes life so much easier.  These are some of my family’s favorite pasta recipes that are easy to make and use simple ingredients.  Penne PomodoroPaccheri alla Amatriciana,  and Radiatori with Spinach.  

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for more recipes your family will love!

A blue bowl of chicken and pasta in a cream sauce.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta Recipe

An easy weeknight dinner recipe of pasta in a garlic parmesan cream sauce topped with seasoned strips of tender chicken. Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta is a quick and delicious way to prepare a meal that everyone will love.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 783 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pasta pot
  • 1 Large Skillet

Ingredients
  

Chicken

  • 1 lb Chicken Breast or tenders, boneless, skinless, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning dried
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • tsp Salt
  • ¼ tdp Black pepper

Garlic Parmesan Sauce

  • tbsp Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Thyme dried
  • 1 cup White wine or chicken stock
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 lb Riccioli Pasta or any shape you like

Instructions
 

  • Mix the chicken seasoning ingredients in a small bowl. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and sprinkle the season on both sides.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium high heat. Working in batches, add the chicken pieces to the skillet and cook through on both sides. About 3-4 minutes per side.
  • While the chicken is cooking, cook the pasta following package instructions.
    Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and set it aside.
  • In the same skillet, sauté the garlic and thyme for one minute. Lower the heat and add the white. Cook the wine until it is reduced by half, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the heavy cream into the skillet and stir, cook over low heat for 2 -3 minutes. When the cream is hot and starting to thicken, remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.
  • When the pasta is cooked, strain it, reserving about a cup of pasta water. Add the pasta to the cream sauce and toss to completely coat it. Top the pasta with the chicken and serve with additional cheese.

Notes

Tips and Variations

  • Don’t overcook the pasta.  When you add the pasta to the hot sauce it will continue to cook a bit, so if it is cooked beyond al dente you may end up with soft pasta noodles.
  • Start cooking the pasta while the chicken cooks so that the pasta and sauce are done at about the same time.
  • Using chicken tenders or cutting your chicken breast into thin small pieces will cut cooking time down.  The chicken will cook through quickly while staying moist.
  • Don’t overcrowd the chicken in the skillet or it will steam rather then brown. 
  • Remove the skillet from the heat before you add the parmesan cheese so that it melts nicely and does not seize.  
  • Reserve about a cup of pasta water.  The sauce may thicken while it cools, so if you want to thin it out a bit, a splash of pasta water will do the trick.
  • If you want to change it up a bit, fresh spinach makes a great addition to the creamy parmesan garlic sauce.
  • Turn up the heat on this sauce by adding some red pepper flakes to the garlic and thyme while you sauté them or,
  • Add some cayenne pepper to the chicken seasoning for a little heat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowlCalories: 783kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 34gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 22gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 965mgPotassium: 594mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1423IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 285mgIron: 2mg
Keyword easy, 30 minute, parmesan cheese, garlic, chicken breast, chicken tenders., Heavy cream, white wine sauce,
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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