As easy to put together as it is delicious, this seemingly indulgent but surprisingly healthy one-pot creamy chicken pasta will no doubt become a family favorite!
I say seemingly indulgent because the sauce in this chicken pasta dish is so thick and creamy and deliciously tasty, you’d swear that it was loaded with all kinds of cream and butter and flour…
The truth is though, that sauce is made with nothing but super healthy homemade chicken broth that gets naturally thickened by the starch that the pasta releases into it as it cooks. Then, to finish it off, a very little quantity of cream gets added at the end, along with a tiny little tablespoon of cornstarch, just to help boost that feeling of thick and creamy, buttery richness.
Plus, the true stars of this pasta dish are not the pasta itself, but rather the plentiful and generous pieces chicken, broccoli and carrots that it harbors. That makes the overall dish so much more nutritious, AND delicious too, if you ask me!
To make it, I chose to use regular penne pasta, but I’m pretty sure that you could play around with that and use your own favorite kind of pasta. I’m even thinking that next time, I may try using rice instead. A creamy chicken rice casserole, that can’t be a bad thing, can it? If anyone ends up trying that before I do, please report back and tell me how it turned out.
In the meantime, I’ve absolutely no doubt that this creamy chicken pasta dish right here will become a part of your regular rotation: my guess is the fam will adopt it unanimously and request that you make it for them all the time!
That’s very much okay, me thinks. No one needs to know just how good this actually is for their body. Let them focus on how good this feels to their taste buds.
The first thing you need to do is bring the chicken broth to the boil in a medium saucepan; you want to make sure that it’s nice and hot by the time you get to add it to the dish. You wouldn’t dream of starting pasta in cold water now would you? Well, the same principle applies here. That liquid needs to be good and hot before it meets with the pasta.
While the broth is heating up, melt some cooking fat in a large saute pan — choose one that has a matching fitting lid — set over medium-high heat. Once the pan is well heated, add the pieces of chicken to it, sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper and cook until the chicken is slightly golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Next, add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, oregano, salt and pepper; stir to coat and cook for about 1 minute.
If you want your carrots to look just like mine (aren’t they like super cute?) you’ll need to use one of those neat little crinkle cutters. I’m not one to own millions of kitchen gadgets, but this one I truly like. It doesn’t cost much at all, takes up no space and makes veggies so much fun! I might not use it every day, but when I do, it never fails to make me smile. I’m really glad I chose to treat myself to it!
Okay, enough about my neat little crinkle cutter, let’s attend to our recipe… dinner isn’t going to make itself!
Time to add the [hot] chicken broth and dry pasta, then give everything a good stir; Bring this to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Put the lid on and simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring delicately from time to time, until the pasta is slightly undercooked.
You want that pasta to be just a tad under al dente. If you cooked it too much now, it would turn to complete mush on you by the time you were ready to serve the dish.
Add the raw broccoli florets and stir them in gently…
Finally, dilute the corn starch in the cream (or milk, if you prefer to stay away from the heavy cream) pour it into the sauce and stir well.
Bring the dish back to a simmer and continue cooking for one full minute – this will ensure that the corn starch is completely cooked and has reached its full thickening power.
Allow the finished dish to rest uncovered for about 5 minutes. This will allow the pasta to finish cooking and absorb a little bit of that delicious sauce, which will in turn become thicker and creamier.
Trust me, that little pause is entirely worth it!
When ready to serve, garnish your pasta dish with a handful of chopped parsley and a little bit of grated fresh Parmesan, if you feel like it…
Then there’s but one thing left to do: sit back, and enjoy the ride!
- 1-2 tbsp cooking fat of your choice
- 680g (1-1/2lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups (340g | 12oz) dry penne pasta (or other dry pasta of your choice)
- 3 cups (255g | 9oz) broccoli florets
- ½ cup (120ml) heavy cream or whole milk
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring the chicken broth to the boil in a medium saucepan.
- Meanwhile, heat the cooking fat in a large saute pan with fitting lid set over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the pieces of chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until slightly golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, oregano, salt and pepper; stir to coat and cook for about 1 minute, then add the chicken broth and dry pasta. Stir well, bring back to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring delicately from time to time, until the pasta is sligthly undercooked.
- Add broccoli and stir it in. Dilute the corn starch in the cream or milk and stir well into the sauce.
- Bring back to a simmer and continue cooking for one minute to ensure that the starch is completely cooked and has reached its full thickening power.
- Allow to rest uncovered for 5 minutes, garnish with chopped parsley and grated parmesan, if desired, and serve.