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Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta

There’s something magical about this garlic parmesan chicken pasta. It’s full of juicy chicken and has the most creamy-dreamy garlic and cheese sauce. 

It’s 100% made from scratch but tastes just like the classic dish from Buffalo Wild Wings – with pasta!

Every forkful is seriously addictive, and believe it or not, you can have it on the table in under 45 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknights.

Garlic parmesan chicken pasta with red pepper flakes and parsley.
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Why You’ll Love This Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta

Perfect for Busy Families: With its creamy, garlicky sauce and tender chicken, this dish is sure to be a hit with both kids and adults.

Versatile Ingredients: The basic recipe uses pantry staples like pasta, chicken, and Parmesan cheese, saving you a trip to the grocery store.

Customizable: This recipe is highly adaptable; you can easily swap out the chicken for other proteins like shrimp or salmon, or add vegetables like broccoli or spinach to suit your tastes.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts: Tender and juicy pieces of chicken form the base of this flavorful dish.
  • Garlic Powder, Salt, and Black Pepper: Essential seasonings that infuse the chicken with a savory kick.
  • Olive Oil: Used to cook the chicken to golden perfection.
  • Penne Pasta: A hearty, tube-shaped pasta that holds the creamy sauce beautifully.
  • Low-Sodium Chicken Broth: Adds depth to the sauce without overpowering the other flavors.
  • Butter: Creates a rich and creamy base for the garlic Parmesan sauce.
  • Garlic: Minced cloves infuse the sauce with a robust, aromatic flavor.
  • Italian Seasoning: A blend of herbs that enhances the overall taste with a touch of Mediterranean flair.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Provides a sharp, salty flavor that melts smoothly into the sauce.
  • Hot Sauce: Optional, for those who like a hint of heat in their creamy pasta.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Adds a subtle spiciness that balances the richness of the sauce.
  • Heavy Cream: Ensures a luxuriously thick and creamy sauce that coats every piece of pasta.
  • Fresh Parsley and Red Pepper Flakes (for garnish): Add a burst of color and a hint of freshness to the finished dish.
A white bowl of chicken chunks on a white marble countertop.
An overhead view of penne pasta on a white marble table.

How to Make Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta

This is the kind of comfort food that makes you want to kick back, unbutton your pants, and savor every last bite. 

And as promised, it’s a cinch to recreate!

1. SEASON: Toss the chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. COOK: Warm the olive oil in a skillet, and cook the chicken until it’s no longer pink. Remove from the pan.

3. BOIL: Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

4. DEGLAZE: Deglaze the skillet with a splash of chicken broth.

5. MELT: Melt the butter in a skillet, and cook garlic until fragrant. Stir in the Italian seasoning, Parmesan, hot sauce, and red pepper flakes until smooth.

6. SIMMER: Pour in the remaining chicken broth and heavy cream and simmer until thick.

7. COMBINE: Add the chicken back to the skillet, coat it with sauce, then stir in the cooked pasta.

8. GARNISH: Garnish with parsley and red pepper flakes. Serve hot and enjoy!

A plate of garlic parmesan chicken pasta, showing the rich, creamy sauce coating the noodles.

Tips For the Best Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta

This garlic parmesan chicken pasta comes together so easily but tastes like it’s from a fancy Italian restaurant. 

It’s definitely going into my regular dinner rotation from now on. And with these tips, yours will be spot on, too.

  • Pasta options: Use penne, rotini, or fusilli. These shapes hold the sauce well and provide a satisfying texture.
  • Chicken alternatives: Substitute chicken breasts with chicken thighs or use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for convenience.
  • Optional add-ins: Add vegetables like spinach, broccoli, or peas for extra nutrition and flavor.
  • Quality ingredients: Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic for the best flavor and texture.
  • Room temperature cream. If you add cold cream to the sauce, it might split. So, be sure it’s at room temp before mixing.
  • Cooking chicken: Ensure chicken pieces are evenly sized for uniform cooking. 
  • Sauce consistency: If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of pasta water or chicken broth to reach the desired consistency.
  • Seasoning: Adjust salt and pepper to taste after the sauce has simmered to ensure balanced flavors.
  • Serving suggestions: Pair with crusty bread, a side salad, or roasted vegetables like broccoli or asparagus for a complete meal.
A close-up of the cheesy, creamy garlic parmesan chicken pasta, showcasing the rich sauce.

How to Store

One bite of this garlic parmesan chicken pasta and you’ll be in creamy, cheesy heaven. So much so, I doubt you’ll have leftovers. 

But in case you do, here’s how to store them:

To Store: Transfer cold leftovers to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-5 days.

To Reheat: Reheat leftovers gently on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently. Add a splash of milk or broth to loosen up the sauce.

Alternatively, you can reheat portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until heated through.

Note: I don’t recommend freezing this as the dairy-based sauce will likely split after thawing.

More Chicken Pasta Dinners Your Family Will Love

Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Chicken Fajita Pasta

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta

Course: Main CourseCuisine: American
Servings

4

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Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.
servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

1005

kcal

There’s something magical about this garlic parmesan chicken pasta. It’s full of juicy chicken and has the most creamy-dreamy garlic and cheese sauce.

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • For the Pasta and Sauce
  • 1 pound penne pasta

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • red pepper flakes, for garnish

Instructions

  • In a bowl, toss the chicken pieces with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  • While the chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Deglaze the skillet with a splash of chicken broth, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
  • Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, hot sauce, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour in the rest of the chicken broth and heavy cream, stirring until well combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet, stirring to coat with the sauce. Then, add the cooked pasta and toss to combine everything evenly.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and additional red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes

  • For extra thick sauce, add 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese in chunks with the Parmesan. Cook and stir until it melts.
  • Crock Pot Instructions: Add the seasoned chicken to the pot and top with everything but the cream. Cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours. Add the cream at the end and mix it in with the cooked pasta.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta”

  1. I made this for dinner last night, and we all loved it! To make it easy, I cooked the pasta and marinated the chicken early in the day, and it was so quick and easy at dinner time. My mistake was that I used real garlic for both the chicken and in the pan with the pasta, but it was really good. I will do this again. Of course, we all love garlic. Thank you!

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