Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

August 7, 2014

This Chicken Asparagus Pasta is tossed in a creamy Alfredo-style sauce, then sprinkled with salty bacon. Photos don’t do this creamy chicken pasta justice! 

Chicken Asparagus Pasta in skillet with wooden spoon

Creamy Chicken Asparagus Pasta

Are you looking for a new recipe to add to the rotation? Then you are most definitely going to want to try this one!

This chicken asparagus pasta may look like somewhat of a mess — I was hesitant to share because the photos don’t do this pasta justice (and it’s one of those things where the noodles absorb all that saucy goodness before you can get a nice pic) — but it was seriously too good not to share!

This chicken bacon pasta is perfectly creamy and it has just the right amount added flavor from the Parmesan, Neufchatel cheese and the garlic.

After the pasta is tossed in the lighter Alfredo-style sauce, it is then upgraded with a few of my favorite dinner ingredients — herbed chicken, fresh asparagus and salty bacon. You can never go wrong with bacon, right?

I listed the bacon as optional in case you want to keep it healthier, but if you are willing to splurge a little it really makes this pasta so delish. Even though this pasta takes a few steps and a few pans, it is more than worth it!

penne tossed with cheesey sauce in skillet

Chicken Asparagus Pasta Ingredients

For this creamy chicken pasta, you’ll need:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Dried herbs (oregano, basil thyme)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Penne pasta
  • Steamed asparagus
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Garlic
  • Milk
  • Cream or half and half
  • Neufchatel cheese
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • Cooked and crumbled bacon

creamy chicken bacon pasta in skillet

How to Make Chicken Asparagus Pasta

  • Sprinkle chicken breasts with dried herb mixture, salt and pepper. Cook in oiled skillet, then dice.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • In a clean skillet, melt butter. Sauté garlic and flour for a minute, then slowly pour in cream and bring mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, then stir in both cheeses.
  • Toss penne with sauce, then stir in steamed asparagus and crumbled bacon.

Can I Use Frozen Asparagus?

Yes, but you’ll need to cook the asparagus before adding it to the pasta. I like my asparagus to have a bit of a bite to it, so try not to over cook it!

Can I Add Another Veggie to This Pasta?

Yes, peas would work well in this recipe, as would spinach (you’d just need to wilt it a bit first).

Chicken Asparagus Pasta in skillet

Tips for the Best Creamy Chicken Pasta

  • If you don’t have penne, you can use another sturdy, short pasta (such as bow tie or rigatoni).
  • It’s very important that you cook the flour for a minute or so in the butter, otherwise your sauce will taste a bit pasty.
  • Taste the cheese sauce before adding in the pasta to see if it needs additional salt or pepper.

More Easy Pasta Recipes You’ll Love:

Creamy Chicken Asparagus Pasta

4.5 from 2 votes

This pasta is perfectly creamy and it has just the right amount added flavor from the parmesan, Neufchatel cheese and the garlic.

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts , pounded with mallet to even thickness
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper , plus more for sauce
  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 1 lb asparagus , trimmed of ends, remaining diced into 2-inch pieces and steamed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/4 cup cream or half and half
  • 3 oz Neufchatel cheese (aka light cream cheese), diced into pieces
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 - 5 slices bacon , cooked and crumbled into small pieces (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together basil, oregano, thyme and 1/4 salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of the herb mixture evenly over tops of chicken. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Once hot, add chicken to skillet, herbed side down, then add remaining herb mixture to tops of chicken. 
  3. Cook chicken until fully cooked through, about 8 - 12 minutes, occasionally rotating chicken (time will vary based on thickness of chicken breasts. If chicken is browning too quickly reduce heat to medium low as needed). Transfer cooked chicken to a plate, let rest 5 minutes then dice into pieces.
  4. Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions listed on package, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
  5. In a clean skillet (large and deep), melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer, stirring constantly. 
  6. While whisking, slowly pour in milk then cream (whisk vigorously to break up clumps). Season with salt and pepper to taste (a fair amount of each) and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. 
  7. Once it reaches a boil and thickens, reduce heat to medium-low, add Neufchatel and parmesan cheese and cook, stirring frequently, until cheeses have melted.
  8. Toss in cooked pasta, then add cooked chicken, steamed asparagus and bacon and toss to evenly coat. Add in reserved pasta water as desired (it will thicken as it rests and the pasta will absorb the liquids, so add up to 1/2 cup as needed). Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Chicken Asparagus Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 495 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 89mg30%
Sodium 290mg13%
Potassium 684mg20%
Carbohydrates 51g17%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 1060IU21%
Vitamin C 5.4mg7%
Calcium 210mg21%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken pasta, creamy chicken pasta
Author: Jaclyn
Chicken Asparagus Pasta on red plate