Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

I could tell after one bite of this cheesy chicken and broccoli pasta that this was going to be on a frequent rotation of dinners at my house. It probably took me 35 minutes, start to finish, including 30 minutes to cook the chicken. I boiled up some shell pasta and added in the broccoli during the last couple minutes of boiling time, and made a quick roux, which turned into a velvety smooth cheese sauce, all in the time that my chicken was baking in the oven. The result was creamy, cheesy, and fantastic. And 35 minutes is about my standard for what qualifies as a ‘quick and easy weeknight dinner.’ I served this to my 5 year old niece, and she gave her full approval- broccoli and all.

Butter, flour, milk, chicken broth, and a few seasonings turn into liquid gold when combined with shredded sharp cheddar cheese. So much better than the store bought stuff!

You’ll want to start with 2 cooked chicken breasts. Cook them however you normally do then cut into small pieces and set aside. I like to season my chicken with salt, pepper, and a little bit of olive oil, then bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

You also want to cook your pasta shells (the medium sized shells) in a large pot of salted water according to the package directions. Add the chopped broccoli during the last couple minutes of cook time. Drain and set aside. You can do this step while your chicken is in the oven.

Melt some butter in a large skillet and sprinkle in the flour. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to create a roux.

     

Slowly stir in the milk and chicken broth and season with some garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk everything together until the mixture is bubbling and has thickened.

     

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in some sharp cheddar cheese until smooth and melted.

Add in the diced chicken and drained pasta and stir to combine.

Toss in some cut up broccoli and coat everything with that yummy cheese sauce. If your sauce is looking too thick, add in a splash or two of milk to thin it out.

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
Easy weeknight dinner of cheesy chicken and broccoli pasta that's ready in under 35 minutes!
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
Easy weeknight dinner of cheesy chicken and broccoli pasta that's ready in under 35 minutes!
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces pasta shells medium
  • 3 cups broccoli chopped into florets
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and diced
  • 2 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
Instructions
  1. Cook the medium sized pasta shells in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Add in the broccoli during the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta and broccoli and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute to create a roux.
  3. Slowly stir in the milk and chicken broth and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring very frequently, until the mixture is bubbling and has thickened.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, about half at a time. Stir until cheese is melted.
  5. Add in the shells, broccoli, and chicken to the skillet and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

If the sauce becomes too thick, add in a bit of milk until you reach desired consistency. Recipe adapted from Love Grows Wild.

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