Chicken Alfredo

November 6, 2022

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Such a rich and satisfying Chicken Alfredo recipe! It’s a hearty dish made with fettuccine pasta, a creamy parmesan white sauce, and garlicky pan seared chicken. 

Chicken alfredo in a blue pasta bowl.

Chicken Fettucine Alfredo

Something about the colder seasons makes us ready for all the cozy meals. Bring on the pastas, casseroles, and all the carby goodness. We all need a good splurge meal sometimes.

This classic chicken alfredo is just that. It’s a family friendly recipe that has stood the test of time.

It’s such a loved dish because of it’s rich cream and butter based sauce and all that flavorful parmesan to make it so crave-able. And the addition of browned chicken adds another layer of flavor and texture to it.

Alfredo sauce and chicken were just made to go together. It’s such a simple yet delicious pairing.

This recipe doesn’t require a whole lot but it always set to impress.

Since this is a rather heavy dish I recommend serving it with steamed or roasted broccoli or asparagus to finish off the meal.

Chicken alfredo in a large skillet. Ingredients for chicken alfredo.

Chicken Alfredo Recipe Ingredients

Scroll down to recipe box below for amounts and print option.

  • Olive oil
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh garlic
  • Heavy cream
  • Unsalted butter
  • Fettuccine pasta
  • Shredded parmesan cheese

Steps of chicken alfredo.

How to Make Chicken Alfredo

  1. Boil water in pot and season with salt.
  2. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and cook through in a skillet while adding garlic during the last minute.
  3. Cook pasta and reserve some pasta water for sauce.
  4. Simmer and reduce cream slightly, about 5 minutes, stirring it frequently.
  5. Stir butter into simmered cream to melt.
  6. Off heat toss in parmesan, pasta and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Toss in cooked chicken. Thin with more pasta water as needed (it thickens as it sits).
  8. Serve immediately with desired garnish.

Continued steps of making chicken alfredo in skillet.

Helpful Tips for the Best Alfredo

  • Cook pasta in less water than you’d traditionally use, that’s why I’ve listed an amount of 10 cups. It makes it more starchy which will help hold the sauce together better.
  • Measure parmesan in ounces if possible to ensure you are using the proper amount. Finely shredded vs. grated (tiny bits) will yield quite a different weight. Even the tool used to shredded can as well (a zester vs a cheese grater).
  • Use best quality parmesan for the best tasting dish. Imported Parmigiano Reggiano is what I recommend. And freshly shred it, don’t use pre-shredded cheese.
  • Cook chicken breast pieces just to 165 degrees Fahrenheit in center otherwise they’ll be dry and chewy. And cook in a hot pre-heated skillet so they brown on the exterior.
  • Be ready to serve dish just after it’s prepared. The sauce really starts to cool and thicken as it sits.

Finished chicken alfredo.

Possible Substitutes

Make it lighter: Use half and half in place of cream. Then near the end thicken the sauce with a few teaspoons cornstarch mixed with water.

Use a different cut of pasta: Spaghetti, linguine, bucatini are all good choices here.

Fresh pasta: You could also use fresh pasta in this recipe instead of dried. If doing so use 1 lb.

Cheese blend: This would also be delicious with half Romano cheese in place of half of the parmesan cheese.

Rotisserie chicken: Skip cooking raw chicken and just opt to use the meat from a cooked rotisserie chicken from the store. Use 3 cups pre-cooked chicken.

Reduce carbs: Instead of using pasta you can use cooked spaghetti squash instead.

Storage

  • Keep any leftover in an airtight container.
  • Store in the fridge up to 2 days.
  • Freezing is not recommended.

How to Reheat Fettuccine Alfredo

  • Alfredo sauce and chicken breasts are both known to be tricky with reheating so a more gentle reheating is recommended.
  • The sauce can separate a little so it’s best to reheat individual servings in the microwave on 50% power and stir occasionally.
  • Heat in 30 to 45 second increments tossing between each until heated through.

Overhead photo of chicken alfredo in blue bowl.

More Crave-Worthy Recipes to Try

Chicken Alfredo

Such a rich and satisfying Chicken Alfredo recipe! It's a hearty dish made with fettuccine pasta, a creamy parmesan white sauce, and garlicky pan seared chicken. 
Servings: 6
Prep15 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Ready in: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 10 cups water
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut into 1-Tbsp pieces
  • 12 oz dry fettuccine pasta
  • 4 oz finely shredded parmesan cheese (1 1/2 cups)

For serving (optional)

  • Fresh lemon zest, or fresh grated nutmeg, parsley, red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Bring 10 cups water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Season water with salt (I use about 2 Tbsp) once it reaches a boil.
  • While water is coming to a boil, heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Dab chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  • Spread chicken into skillet spacing evenly apart. Let sear until golden brown on bottom about 4 minutes. Turn and cook 1 minute, add garlic (sprinkling it around chicken) and cook chicken through, about 1 minute longer.
  • Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • Cook pasta to al dente in boiling water according to times listed on package. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water before draining.
  • Return pan to low heat, pour in cream and let simmer and reduce slightly for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir butter into cream to melt. Remove from heat, toss in parmesan, pasta and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water. Toss while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss in cooked chicken. Thin with more pasta water as needed (it thickens as it rests).
  • Serve immediately with desired garnish.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Alfredo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 727 Calories from Fat 405
% Daily Value*
Fat 45g69%
Saturated Fat 25g156%
Trans Fat 0.4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 219mg73%
Sodium 523mg23%
Potassium 583mg17%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 1465IU29%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 313mg31%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.