Chicken Alfredo Pasta is a creamy and comforting dish of silky pappardelle noodles, butter, garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano, and heavy cream, topped with blackened chicken.  This pasta is stick-to-your-ribs good!

Overhead shot of alfredo pasta with pieces of blackened chicken on top.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta with egg pappardelle is one of my go-to’s when I’m craving a simple pasta that’s also hearty and creamy.

This version deviates from authentic Fettuccine Alfredo because it includes a few non-traditional ingredients, like garlic, and blackened chicken.

The addition of the blackened chicken turns this dish into more of a meal than a side dish and while not traditional, I think you’ll love it!

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: egg pappardelle, garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano, butter, blackened spice, chicken breasts, and heavy cream.
  • Chicken. Chicken breasts filleted and pounded thin work best here.
  • Blackened spice. 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 storebought Cajun seasoning, or make your own homemade Cajun seasoning, although keep in mind that it will have more heat than blackened spice.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano. Use imported Parmigiano Reggiano over domestic parmesan if possible.
  • Butter. Unsalted butter contributes to the sauce.
  • Heavy cream. For a silky texture.
  • Pasta water. Starchy pasta water is a key ingredient in making an emulsifed Alfredo sauce.
  • Pasta. I used an egg pappardelle for this recipe but use any pasta you’d like.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. 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 1/4 cups of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and set it aside. (Photo #1)
Chicken alfredo pasta recipe process shot collage group number one showing grated cheese and pounding chicken cutlet thin.
  1. Butterfly 1 pound of chicken breasts and flatten the pieces to about 3/8 to 1/2″ thick.  Using a plastic bag and meat mallet is the easiest way to do this. (Photo #2)
  2. Season the flattened chicken with blackened seasoning on both sides.  Use about 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons of seasoning.  You can also just use salt and pepper (1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoons pepper) if you like. (Photo #3)
Recipe process shot collage group number two showing seasonend cutlets and cutlets cooking in pan with butter.
  1. 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. (Photo #4)
  2. The chicken should take approximately 3 minutes per side to cook.  Place the cooked blackened chicken on a cutting board and tent with foil. (Photo #5)
Recipe process shot collage group number three showing cooked cutlets in pan and new pan with butter and garlic.
  1. 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! (Photo #6)
  2. Once the garlic turns golden (about 2 minutes) add in 1 1/4 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. (Photo #7)
Recipe process shot collage group number four showing sauce in pan with cheese and pasta added to sauce.
  1. 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. (Photo #8)
Chicken alfredo pasta in black pan with tongs.

Top tips

  • Chicken. You’ll save money if you buy whole chicken breasts and fillet them yourself. Be sure to pound them to about 1/2″ thick for best results and faster cooking. This also helps create maximum surface area for the blackened seasoning. Take time to dry the cutlets with paper towels before seasoning.
  • Save your pasta water. Starchy pasta water is a key ingredient in chicken Alfredo pasta, and almost every pasta that’s made with cheese or cream, such as cacio e pepe. It helps emulsify the sauce but can be used to reconstitute a sauce that’s dried out a bit.
  • Eat promptly. As with any cream sauce, I recommend serving blackened chicken Alfredo right away. If you do have leftovers, they will be better be reheated on the stovetop with a touch of pasta water.
Grey plate with chicken alfredo pappardelle.

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 my favorites.  

  • Pasta alla Norcina – Paccheri pasta is tossed with a white wine-pork sausage and Pecorino 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.

If you’ve enjoyed this Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

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Chicken Alfredo Pasta

5 from 33 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Silky ribbons of pappardelle are tossed with a garlicky Alfredo style sauce and blackened chicken in this ultra comforting and hearty dish.


For the chicken

  • 1 pound chicken breast filleted and pounded to 1/2" thick cutlets
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons blackened spice optional, otherwise use 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 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 1/4 cups Parmigiano Reggiano grated, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/4 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 3/8 to 1/2″ 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.  


Calories: 801kcal | Carbohydrates: 43.9g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 48.3g | Saturated Fat: 27.1g | Cholesterol: 210mg | Sodium: 1101mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2.1g | Calcium: 298mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Have tried this recipe several times and it never disappoints! The only thing that is kind of “bad” is that it really is a pain trying to reheat the pasta because it splits and becomes a huge oily mess. Do you have any ironclad methods to stop it from splitting while reheating? Thank you!!!!

    1. Hi Federico, if you add a bit more cream or extremely starchy pasta water when you reheat it, that will help re-emulsify the sauce. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Mike, you do not need to dredge the chicken in flour unless you want to. While Jim did do it in the video, he tries to make the final recipe (which is the one on the website) the best and most simple. For that reason we always suggest relying on the written recipe here on the website vs. the one on video. He’ll edit and tweak the written recipe from time to time, but the video version is impossible to edit once posted. Hope that makes sense.

  2. 5 stars
    Jim and Tara– This is the BEST recipe, you guys! I LOVE IT . . . VERY flavourful and easy to prepare. What I also particularly like is that this recipe has “flexibility” which adds variety, i.e., different seasonings can be used on the chicken, as you have suggested, and I’m thinking that perhaps some finely chopped broccoli florets lightly seared in the same pan after the chicken has been removed might be a possibility occasionally instead of parsley. SIDE NOTE: I thoroughly enjoy your step-by-step preparation videos on YouTube and which are included with each recipe on this Website because I learn best “visually”, and Jim’s commentary is always helpful to me. It’s never TMI for me because there are lots of practical “pointers”!! I am also enjoying your podcasts because of the various topics you cover. Seems as though I constantly learn something new, and I appreciate your accessibility through the online resources that the two of you have created. Many thanks! Keep up the good work!!

    1. Hi Ellen, I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, and that you find the videos and commentary helpful. Thanks for following allowing with us!

      1. 5 stars
        James, thanks for your reply. I am so glad that I found you guys online a couple of years ago. Family-friendly recipes — flavourful, using fresh, often homegrown, ingredients and herbs, including suggestions for variations which create versatility and take into consideration personal preferences/taste or possible food allergies, and also which are budget-conscious. No need to search for “exotic” ingredients or spices from specialty stores. My Dad was an excellent cook without using written recipes and who had a “knack” for being able to think of compatible ingredients or spices that always worked well together. He’s my inspiration for my occasionally varying your recipes — not for me to make better what is already perfection, in my opinion — but simply for me to “keep things interesting”. Thanks again, and best wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season.

  3. 5 stars
    Cooking this for the fourth time today. I absolutely love this recipe. And I’m lactose intolerant so every time I make it I spend the rest of the day in the bathroom. So you know it MUST be good for me to keep remaking it >.<

  4. 5 stars
    I watch a lot of cooking YouTube. Not everything turns out so wonderfully. This is a recipe that my picky eaters keep asking for. Everyone loves it. I must have made this seven times in the past few months. Thank you James!

    1. Hi Austin, we’re so happy to hear you and your family have enjoyed this one multiple times! Thanks so much for the comment!

      1. 5 stars
        Very easy recipe to follow and it turned out sssoooooo good. Very flavorful and comforting. Will def be adding this to my dinner rotation. I paired with some steamed & sautéed broccoli that were blackened just as bit in the cast iron skillet. Everyone LOVED it! Thank you!!!