Chicken Alfredo pasta is a creamy and comforting dish of silky pappardelle noodles, butter, garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano, and heavy cream, and topped with blackened chicken and some fresh parsley for brightness. This pasta is stick to your ribs good!
There is nothing quite like a creamy and comforting bowl of pasta.
This chicken Alfredo pasta made with egg pappardelle is one of my go-to's when I'm craving a hearty and creamy pasta but want to keep it fairly simple.
This version includes a few non-traditional ingredients, including cream, garlic, and blackened chicken, and while this dish is not authentic Italian in any way, it's still worth sharing with you because I think you'll love it as much as I do.
Plus, it's picky eater-approved.
If you're looking for the more "traditional" Roman-style Alfredo, check out my recipe for fettuccine alfredo.
How to make chicken alfredo pasta
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Bring a large pot of salted (2 tablespoons kosher salt per gallon) water to boil. Also, finely mince 3 cloves of garlic and grate 1 ¼ cups of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and set it aside.
- Butterfly 1 pound of chicken breasts and flatten the pieces to about ⅜ to ½" thick. Using a plastic bag and meat mallet is the easiest way to do this.
- Season the flattened chicken with blackened seasoning on both sides. Use about 2 to 2 ½ teaspoons of seasoning. You can also just use salt and pepper (1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoons pepper) if you like.
- Heat a stainless steel pan to medium heat. Once the pan gets hot (wait 3 minutes) add a touch of olive oil and lay down the chicken to sear. After 2 minutes toss in 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan as well.
- The chicken should take approximately 3 minutes per side to cook. Place the cooked blackened chicken on a cutting board and tent with foil.
- Using a new clean pan, heat 7 tablespoons of butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. Note: You don't want to use the pan that blackened the chicken for fond/deglazing since it will be burnt and will ruin your alfredo sauce!
- Once the garlic turns golden (about 2 minutes) add in 1 ¼ cups of heavy cream and the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Stir the sauce and bring to a simmer. At this point, you can cook your pasta in the boiling water to al dente.
- The sauce will thicken and begin to bubble. Once it does you can turn the heat down to low. When the pasta is al dente, drain it well and add it to the alfredo sauce. Toss well, then taste test. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add 3 tablespoons of minced parsley. Turn off the heat. Slice the blackened chicken into bite-sized pieces and either toss it all together with the pasta or serve it individually on plated portions of pappardelle. Enjoy! Note: If the pasta dries out use a couple of tablespoons of reserved pasta water at a time to bring back the creamy consistency.
More on the chicken
In Italy, it is frowned upon to serve chicken mixed with pasta. Typically, chicken would be part of the main dish while pasta would be served separately.
Italian-American cuisine is different in the sense that it takes liberties with ingredients.
The combining of chicken with pasta is definitely a more American thing to do.
And the addition of blackened spiced chicken is most definitely not traditional.
Blackening is usually associated with Cajun-Creole cuisine and involves cooking meat or seafood in a combination of spices and butter, usually in a cast iron pan, to give it a blackened color.
If you can't find blackened spice, you can use Cajun seasoning, although keep in mind that it will likely have more heat than blackened spice.
Alternatively, you can opt for salt and pepper and the chicken will taste just as good!
I like to serve the chicken on top of the pasta, but you can also toss with the pasta to evenly distribute it if you prefer.
Note: Make sure you take the time to pound out the chicken cutlets to ⅜ to ½" thick to ensure even cooking and to create maximum surface area for the seasoning.
More simple creamy pasta recipes
Cooler nights call for ultra-creamy and comforting pasta recipes that are simple and tasty. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Creamy mushroom pasta bake - Fontina cheese, roasted mushrooms, spinach, thyme, ricotta, and nutmeg are tossed with rigatoni and baked until bubbly.
- Pasta alla Norcina - Paccheri pasta is tossed with a white wine-pork sausage and Pecorino sauce.
- Linguine al limone - Lemon juice, lemon zest, Parmigiano Reggiano, butter, and pasta water create the simplest silky sauce.
- Creamy Cajun chicken pasta - Seasoned chicken, Smoky andouille, bell peppers, and green onions tossed in a spicy tomato-cream sauce.
- Chicken marsala pasta - Mushrooms, prosciutto, and sliced chicken tossed in a buttery marsala sauce.
- Garlic mushroom pasta - Silky ribbons of pappardelle are tossed with garlic, Pecorino Romano, and loads of mushrooms in this super easy pasta.
- Cacio e pepe - It doesn't get any simpler than black pepper, Pecorino Romano, pasta water, and bucatini!
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For the chicken
- 1 pound chicken breast filleted and pounded to ⅜" thick cutlets
- 2 ½ teaspoons blackened spice optional, otherwise use 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the pasta
- 8 ounces egg fettuccine or egg pappardelle
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ¼ cups Parmigiano Reggiano grated, plus more for serving
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley minced
- 1 cup reserved pasta water for thinning, will not need it all
- Bring a large pot of salted (2 tablespoons kosher salt per gallon) water to boil.
- Dry the chicken cutlets with paper towels then season with the blackened spice on both sides.
- Heat a stainless steel or cast iron pan to medium heat and wait 3 minutes. Coat the pan with olive oil and add the chicken to the pan. After 2 minutes add the butter. The chicken should take about 3 minutes per side to cook. Place the cooked chicken on a cutting board and tent with foil. Begin cooking the pasta to al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking heat a large clean pan to medium-low heat and add the butter and garlic. Cook garlic until golden (about 2 minutes) then add the cream and cheese and bring to a simmer. The sauce will begin to thicken after a couple of minutes of simmering.
- Add the al dente pasta to the alfredo sauce and mix or toss to coat. If the pasta is too dry add some of the reserved pasta water, a bit at a time, to get a perfect consistency.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the parsley. Cut the chicken into slices and top on individual plates or mix it straight into the pasta in the pan. Serve with more grated Parmigiano Reggiano on the side. Enjoy!
- Substitute blackened spice for salt and pepper or whatever seasoning you like.
- Buy thin-sliced chicken cutlets or fillet 1 pound of chicken breasts. Pound out cutlets to about ⅜ to ½" thick for even cooking that will only take approximately 3 minutes per side.
- Use the reserved pasta water to thin out the pasta if it is too thick or dries out. Just add a couple of ounces at a time to get a perfectly creamy consistency.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge. Reheat in a pan over medium heat.
Awesome & I learned a couple of things I never thought of until you suggested them.
1) alway make the sauce first then the pasta. Never leave the pasta waiting on the sauce.
2) reserve some of the pasta water. I like the sauce thick but my wife likes it thin. Tonight I made my plate first then added some of the pasta water before serving hers. Thank you so much for these tips.
Hi John. Glad you enjoyed it and that the tips were useful!
Oops! Missed the clean pan for the sauce note. Turned out ok. Just a spicy cream sauce! Wasn’t any burnt bits from the chicken. Happy accidents? Next time will do the clean pan though.That’s way they say always read the recipe first!
Hi Jeff. I almost always recommend using the same pan, but for this one, in order to get a clean alfredo sauce, I suggest a new pan. Glad it worked out for you!
Just made it for dinner - it's delicious:) Thank you:)
Hi Lidia. Really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the comment.
Hey there, Well, I used grana padano as cheese and the sauce wouldn't come together. Tasted wonderful though!! Thx
Hi Holger. Sorry to hear that. Butter is used to help the sauce more easily come together. I demonstrate how to make this in the YouTube video in the recipe card if you want to give it another go. Thanks for the comment.
I love how detailed you are from the video format, the pictures with number format, and the straight to the point recipe!
Hi Robert. Thanks for the feedback!
Gave this a first try today, it was pretty good! I know with more tries it'll get easier and faster. Thanks!
Hi Marie, thanks for the comment and happy you enjoyed!
I made this tonight!!! The only thing I did different was sautéed my chicken with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. It was delicious its a keeper. Thanks
Gina De Luca
Delicious. Your recipes remind me of my childhood and encourages me to make them. Thanks !
Thank you, Gina! So happy you're enjoying the recipes!
Super delicious. This is the first time I've actually pulled off alfredo sauce that I was satisfied with.
Hi James, thanks for the comment and so happy you liked the recipe!
First, I want to say I've been making alfredo sauce for years and they've come out good. However, I have made this twice now and it is so freakin' good!!! I made the slight mistake the second time of adding a little more garlic and cheese. Still tasted super yummy. While I LOVE garlic & cheese, I think the recipe amounts of both are perfect. This is such a simple, easy recipe, but, delivers BIG on flavor. Thanks for the recipe! By the way, I just watched your Italian hero video and guess what I'm doing tomorrow?? LOL!
Hi Heidi, thank you for the comment and so happy you liked the recipe! Let me know how the Italian hero works out for you - hope you enjoy it!
Jim, I printed the recipe to make this for my sister while visiting her in Seattle. As I watched the demo you dredged the chicken in flour but the recipe doesn’t tell me to dredge? But it does make sense. Love your recipes and watching you cook!🍝
Hi Penny, thank you for your comment. You don't need to dredge the chicken. If you do dredge, the chicken may turn out a little browner with a bit more texture thus allowing the sauce to cling a little better. That being said, you definitely don't need to do that. When I wrote this recipe I did so to make it a little simpler (than my video) and with less steps. So that's my long way of saying do what works best for you and either way you'll have good results! Thank you for watching and so happy you're enjoying the recipes!
I love watching your videos. You give me alot of ideas on what to cook and you make it so simple.
Thank you, Donna! So happy you enjoy the recipes!
First time cooking pasta and the recipe was easy to follow! Started by just making the garlic Alfredo sauce and it was great! Will try making the chicken later.
Hi Torbjoern, thank you for the comment and so happy you liked this one!
Christine Ward and Claire
My niece and I made this for dinner tonight. It was so easy and so flavorful! 😍😍😍
Hi Christine, I'm so happy you and your niece enjoyed this one! Thank you for the comment!
Love this father-son duo!
Jim, I got to this page from a Cajun pasta recipe you posted. You referenced your homemade Cajun seasoning. I’ve searched your blog and videos and can’t find.
I started watching you a little over a year ago before you hit 100k. I really like your cooking and ideas to make homemade sauces vs shelf stable ones.
Hi Janet, thanks for the comment and appreciate your support! I don't have the recipe up on the website but I usually just mix based on recipes that come up on a Google search and then adjust it to add more heat depending on what I'm in the mood for. Also, I've been using Slap Ya Mama cajun seasoning lately and enjoy that one.
This is one of our favorites over here
Hi David, so happy you enjoyed this one and really appreciate the comment and review!
Hi Jim – I have been following – and collecting your recipes for a while, and I find them inspiring!
I am an experienced cook, and from Long Island, as well. When I see an email from you, I always stop to read it, and if there's time, I try to prepare it as soon as possible. I have a grandson (btw your son is a great addition to the show!) who is about the same age, and he's a bit of a foodie, too!
Thank you for the brightest part of my day!
Hi Binnie, thank you for brightening my day with this comment! I'm so happy you're enjoying the recipes and appreciate you following along!