This Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta is a great family meal that can be on the table within 30 minutes.
Tender chunks of chicken and spaghetti smothered in an irresistible creamy garlic parmesan sauce. It's a dish that screams comfort food.
Pair this pasta dish with some crusty bread, a simple side salad, or veggies, and you have a delicious, easy weeknight dinner that will become a sure family favorite.
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These notes are here to help make this recipe a success; they cover some but not all ingredients. For a complete ingredient list, check out the recipe card below.
Pasta: The creamy garlic sauce is perfect with a long noodle like spaghetti or linguine. It also works with a chunky shape like rigatoni, penne, or cavatappi.
Chicken: The recipe suggests chicken breasts, but you can substitute chicken thighs. To keep the chicken super juicy, the breasts are flattened, pan-fried, and left to rest. They then get sliced and added to the sauce at the end.
Garlic: Feel free to add more garlic to the sauce; like I always say, we measure garlic with your heart!
White wine: Use any dry white wine; if you don't consume alcohol, you can substitute it with additional broth.
Cream: Opt for heavy cream, thickened cream, or double cream for the sauce. If you pick a thinner alternative like half and half or single cream, the sauce won't thicken.
Broth/Stock: I recommend chicken broth for the sauce, but vegetable is a great alternative. I love Better than Bouillon for a quick broth/stock.
Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated parmesan melts far better than the store-bought pre-grated kind. So it is best to buy a block of parmesan and grate it yourself to get a luscious smooth sauce.
We've tested this recipe at least 3 times to ensure it works well for you. Have a look at our tips for getting the best dish you can!
- Don't overcook the chicken; the flattened chicken needs around 2 minutes on each side.
- Turn the heat to low before adding the garlic to the butter. You want it to mellow and perfume the butter without burning or going crispy. I like to have the wine measured and ready to add to the pan. If the pan gets too hot, I can cool it with the wine.
- Remember to salt the water generously before adding your pasta; the recipe suggests 1 tablespoon of salt.
- To help get a perfect sauce consistency and allow it to coat the pasta, reserve 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water. Around ½ cup of pasta cooking water is added to the sauce, but it is a good idea to reserve extra in case the sauce thickens too much.
Why You'll Love This Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta
These are all just suggestions and things that have worked in our test kitchen, but it is your dinner, so adapt it to suit your family. That is the beauty of cooking; we can all create our own delicious meals.
- This dish is delicious with sliced pork loin chops.
- You can use leftover chicken. Just add it to the sauce as you add the pasta so that it can heat through.
- Add some baby spinach at the end of cooking or steamed asparagus spears for extra veg.
- Fry some mushrooms in butter and add them to the creamy sauce when adding the pasta.
- Add crumbled, cooked bacon to the top of the pasta for a crispy, salty, smoky hit.
- Add a crunchy topping. Pangrattato is an Italian crunchy, crispy topping that can be added to creamy dishes. It is essentially toasted breadcrumbs with some seasoning. See pangrattato post.
Serving Suggestions for Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta
Sides: Serve this Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta with a simple side salad and some bread to mop up the creamy sauce. Alternatively, I love it with a side of steamed asparagus or some roasted broccoli.
Wine Pairing: For white wine drinkers, pair this creamy garlic parmesan chicken pasta with a lightly oaked buttery chardonnay, oaked Chenin Blanc, or Viognier. They will all complement the velvety-rich sauce. If you're a fan of red wine, try a Pinot Noir, a Chianti, or, if you can find it, an Italian Teroldego. They can balance the parmesan and garlic without overpowering the chicken.
If you make this Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta, please come back and comment. You can also tag me on social media.
Any questions about the recipe? Use the comments section below.
For other Chicken Pasta Recipes try:
- Grilled Chicken with Red Pepper Pasta
- Creamy Tomato Chicken and Chorizo Pasta
- Garlic Butter Pasta with Garlic Chicken
- Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta
- Tuscan Chicken Gnocchi
Get the Recipe
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta
For the chicken
- 2 chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the pasta
- 12 oz pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- ⅓ cup dry white wine (see note 1)
- ½ cup broth low sodium ((see note 2))
- 1½ cup heavy cream (see note 3)
- 1¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (see note 4)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- extra parmesan garnish
To prepare the chicken
- Lay each chicken breast flat on a chopping board and pat them dry.2 chicken breasts
- Cover the chicken breast with parchment paper to protect the meat, and use a meat mallet (or a heavy pan) to bash the chicken to an even thickness.
- Repeat with the second chicken breast.
- Season with salt and pepper½ teaspoon salt½ teaspoon black pepper
Cook the pasta
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add the salt and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the packet instructions.1 tablespoon salt12 oz pasta
- Once cooked, reserve 1½ cups of the pasta cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based skillet over medium-high heat.1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate and keep covered.
- Reduce the heat to low, melt the butter in the same skillet, add the minced garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.2 tablespoons butter6 cloves garlic
- Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the broth and simmer for 2 minutes.⅓ cup dry white wine½ cup broth
- Add the cream, then sprinkle over the parmesan. Stir until the parmesan has melted, then let the sauce simmer for 1 ½ minutes until it thickens slightly.1½ cup heavy cream1¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Chop the cooked chicken into thin slices.
- Add the drained pasta to the sauce and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water.
- Stir the pasta gently until it's coated in the sauce, then add the chopped chicken (and any juices that have collected) and cook everything for 1 minute, tossing gently. Add more pasta cooking water if the sauce gets too thick.
- Add most of the parsley and the black pepper.3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley½ teaspoon black pepper
- Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining parsley and extra parmesan to taste.extra parmesan
- Use any dry white wine; if you don't consume alcohol, you can substitute it with additional broth.
- I recommend chicken broth for the sauce, but vegetable is a great alternative. I love Better than Bouillon for a quick broth/stock.
- Opt for heavy cream, thickened cream, or double cream for the sauce. If you pick a thinner alternative like half and half or single cream, the sauce won't thicken.
- It is best to buy a block of parmesan and grate it yourself. It will melt much more smoothly into the sauce.
Nutrition is per serving