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.