Sliced chicken breast with penne pasta in a creamy garlic white sauce. Perfect for those busy weeknights or family weekends.
If I’m ever stuck for ideas about what to make for dinner, I can always rely on pasta. It’s simple to cook and usually anything you add to it tastes great. Whether you opt for a jar of your favorite sauce or decide to create your own, you know dinner is probably going to be a success and usually with leftovers for lunch the next day.
As with most of my cream sauces, this one begins the same way as a roux. Although this sounds fancy it’s really only butter, flour and milk combined to make the sauce. You can see how I used this way to make my easy béchamel sauce which is great for Mac and cheese! Check out the rest of the recipe to see how easy it is to make this garlic chicken pasta!
ingredients list for garlic chicken pasta
- Pasta- Penne is what I used but if you have something else at home such as farfalle, elbow or rigatoni pasta, these will also work.
- Butter- Unsalted
- Flour- All purpose
- Milk- I always use whole milk for as much extra flavor as possible.
- Garlic- I prefer using minced from a jar now just because I use so much of it and it’s a huge timesaver.
- Capers- You can leave these out if you just don’t like them but I think they give the sauce an extra tangy bite.
- Fresh basil
how to make this easy garlic chicken pasta
Melt the butter over a medium heat and add the flour to the pan
Whisk until you get rid of any large lumps
Begin adding the milk gradually making sure to whisk well after each addition
Turn the heat to low and add the garlic, salt and pepper and mix together. You can add a little more milk if you feel the sauce is still too thick. It should coat the back of a spoon. The sauce is now ready to finish the rest of the dish.
- Make the pasta ahead, cover with plastic wrap and save some time.
- Whenever the sauce begins to cool, it will thicken and set. If this happens just add a splash more milk and warm over a low heat making sure to whisk until smooth and creamy again.
- Shrimp, scallops or mixed vegetables would also work well as a substitution for the chicken breast.
- To reheat any leftovers, place them in a pan with some milk, cover and bring to a simmer stirring often. The amount of milk will determine how thin the sauce will be. So roughly two cups of leftovers would need about a half cup of milk.
- Serve the garlic chicken pasta with lots of crusty garlic bread on the side.
more delicious pasta recipes
Creamy Garlic Chicken Pasta
- 3 cups penne pasta uncooked
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 1/2-2 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for sprinkling on top
- fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup capers (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook to instructions on the pack and then drain.
- In a large pan warm the oil and add the diced onion cooking until the onion softens, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness. A temperature reading should say 165 degrees.
- Transfer the chicken and onion to a plate and cover with foil.
- To the same pan melt the butter and add the flour whisking well.
- Gradually add the milk to the pan whisking well after each addition making sure the sauce is smooth.
- Once all of the milk has been added, stir and add the garlic, salt and pepper.
- Add the cheese and whisk until melted and smooth.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce
- Slice the chicken breasts thinly and add to the sauce with the onion and warm over a low heat. If the mixture seems a little thick, you can thin it down with some extra milk.
- Serve with extra Parmesan and chopped parsley on top