This mouthwatering Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta recipe combines tender breaded chicken, al dente pasta, and a rich creamy sauce infused with garlic and parmesan, making it the ultimate comfort food for pasta lovers. With the addition of fresh kale, you've got a complete, one-dish family dinner.
This is a fun chicken and pasta meal. You get that satisfying crispy breaded chicken goodness of chicken parm while also enjoying a creamy cheesy white sauce. There's plenty of garlic flavor and even a bunch of kale tossed into the mix that cooks down and is coated with cheese and cream. With fresh basil on top, this dish is an all-around winner.
Speaking of winning pasta dishes, I have a few other recipes you'll want to check out. This Creamy Corn Pasta is also rich and satisfying thanks to corn, bacon, and white beans. This Zucchini Mushroom Pasta is an easy meal and a good vegetarian pasta dish for summer. And this Pea Pasta with Pistachio Mint Pesto is so fresh and simple for when you're looking for something out of the ordinary.
It's all about the simple, fresh ingredients in this creamy garlic parmesan chicken pasta.
- Pasta, such as linguine or fettuccine
- Chicken breasts without skin or bones
- Breadcrumbs with plenty of texture, such as panko
- Broth, either vegetable or chicken broth
- Half and half to create the creaminess of the sauce
- Parmesan cheese, preferably a fresh block for grating
- Garlic because what's a pasta dish without it?
- Kale for a fresh vegetable component, though spinach or chard are also good
- Fresh basil
See the recipe card below for the quantities.
🥬Substitutions and Variations
- For a richer dish, add an additional ½ cup of half and half and/or use light or heavy cream. I bet a few spoonfuls of cream cheese would also be a wonderful addition.
- Try swapping in another green in place of kale, such as spinach.
- Add some spice by including red pepper flakes when sauteeing the garlic.
- For more flavor, use an Italian season blend in place of the oregano in the chicken breading. This Italian Herb Mix from Penzey's would be great.
Start by chopping up the kale, slicing the garlic cloves, and shredding the parmesan cheese.
Set up three dishes for breading with flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Dip the pieces of chicken in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess after each dip.
Cook the chicken in a pan with olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes per side. Add more oil to the pan if it goes dry.
Remove the chicken, wipe the pan, and saute the sliced garlic. Then add the flour, broth, then cream, and cheese, pausing between each addition to whisk and cook for a minute or two.
Add some kale to the pan and let it wilt. Continue adding as it wilts down until it's all incorporated.
Cut the chicken up into smaller pieces and add it back to the pan with the pasta. Toss with tongs to coat in the sauce and heat everything until warm.
- To prevent the breading from sticking to your hand when coating the chicken, use one hand for the dry ingredients (the flour and the breadcrumbs) and the other for the wet (the eggs).
- Keep an eye on how hot your pan gets when pan-frying the chicken. It tends to get hotter as you go, so you may want to lower the heat to prevent burning. The chicken will cook quickly, so don't leave it unattended, either.
- If you prefer the chicken to retain crispness, you may want to simply place it on top of the pasta instead of tossing it all together with everything in the sauce. It's still delicious if you, it just loses some of the crunch.
You don't need any special equipment to make this dish. That said, here are a couple of tools that I think would make cooking it easier.
- A non-stick pan will help prevent the breading from sticking behind on the pan when you cook the chicken. Is there anything more disappointing than having your breading fall stick and burn? I'm liking this 10-inch frying pan from Oxo.
- Tongs make it easy to toss the pasta and everything together right in the pan. They're one of the handiest and most overlooked tools in most people's kitchens.
Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to four days. You may want to add a splash or two of water when reheating to thin out the sauce.
💭Frequently Asked Questions
In some cases, it's fine to use garlic powder in place of whole garlic. But this recipe isn't one of them since it's a main component for the creamy garlic chicken pasta.
You might be able to make components of the dish using the saute function on the Instant Pot, such as browning the chicken and making the sauce. But the pressure cooking feature won't be useful here. Neither would your crockpot, as it's just not a dish that could easily convert to slow cooking and come out well.
I tried to create a recipe with a cream sauce that won't overwhelm you with fat and calories. If you want a really rich and thick sauce made with heavy cream and butter, this probably isn't the recipe for you. However, you can easily substitute heavy cream for the half and half, as I mentioned above.
I suggest using half and half, which is made up of equal parts cream and milk. It's already a lighter option and I don't think the sauce will have enough flavor if you use just milk instead.