This creamy chicken pasta recipe is a rich, comforting creamy chicken pasta with vegetables like Brussels sprouts and roasted red bell peppers.
I’m normally not a huge fan of creamy pasta recipes because I prefer tomato sauces with my pasta. Every now and again, though, I get a hankering for a rich, creamy pasta dish. Last night I was hit with that craving and I had to whip up something to satisfy it.
This creamy chicken pasta recipe can be made in a few different ways:
- Raw split chicken breasts that you turn into a homemade chicken stock
- Leftover shredded chicken from a homemade or store-bought roasted chicken
- Raw, boneless chicken that you simply chop up and sauté until cooked through before starting the sauce
For the recipe below, I used raw split chicken breasts that I turned into very simple chicken stock. However, this does add more time to the recipe. If you’re in a pinch and you have leftover shredded chicken already, you can skip the steps for making the stock and move right into the sauce preparation.
What you need:
For this recipe, you’ll primarily need chicken, pasta, vegetables, and heavy cream. Take a look at some of my substitution suggestions so you can modify this dish any way you like:
- Chicken: Omit for vegetarian. You could also use shrimp but you would skip baking the dish to avoid overcooking them.
- Brussels sprouts: Use your favorite vegetables in this meal! Try it with zucchini, broccoli or broccolini, cauliflower florets, eggplant, or use spinach.
- Roasted red bell peppers: Chopped sun-dried tomatoes
How to make this creamy chicken pasta recipe:
First, prepare the stock. Cover split chicken breasts with water and add lots of salt. Cut a head of garlic in half cross-wise and throw it in, paper and all! Quarter the onion–no need to peel it–and add it to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30–40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a plate and let it cool. Bring the stock back to a boil and boil for 15 minutes until significantly reduced. You only need a cup and a half for the recipe, so if you have excess, you can save it for another use. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl and set the stock aside.
While the stock cooks, prepare the roasted red peppers. You can use store-bought roasted red peppers to save yourself some time! If not, simply broil the peppers until blackened. Transfer to a Tupperware dish with a lid or a gallon freezer bag. This helps the skins come off easily! Peel the peppers and roughly chop and set aside.
Next, cook the pasta Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then cook the pasta until mostly al dente.
Next, cook the sauce. In a wide, oven-proof pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion until softened and then turn the heat to high. Cook the Brussels sprouts for 5-6 minutes until well-charred. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for 1–2 minutes more. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
From there, simply melt butter and add dry thyme. Add flour and then slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and continue whisking until smooth. Add the heavy cream and whisk until smooth. Turn off the heat.
Bake the pasta:
If your pot isn’t big enough, you can transfer everything to a large baking dish or you can keep everything in the ovenproof pot. Simply combine the cooked chicken, pasta, and sauce with the reserved vegetables and toss to coat and evenly distribute everything. Sprinkle lots of parmesan cheese on top and transfer to the oven for 10–15 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are fork-tender and the cheese is nice and melty. If you like, you can broil for 2–3 minutes to char the top of the pasta.
You can serve this creamy pasta with fresh parsley or basil on top.
Looking for more chicken recipes? Check my archives!
If you made this recipe, please rate the recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it! If you take a picture of it, please tag me on Instagram so I can feature you in my feed!
Creamy Chicken Pasta Recipe
- Large pot
- Baking sheet
- Wide ovenproof pot
Chicken stock (optional):
- 1 pound bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- 1 yellow onion quartered, paper left on
- 1 head of garlic halved, paper left on
- Salt and pepper to taste
Creamy chicken pasta:
- 16 ounces pasta of your choice like strozzapreti, rigatoni, penne, rotini, or fusilli
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 2 red bell peppers trimmed, seeded, and quartered
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts halved
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper plus more if desired
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups homemade chicken stock from above or use store-bought stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Freshly minced parsley optional, for garnish
Prepare the stock:
- Cover split chicken breasts with water and season liberally with salt. Add the quartered onion and halved head of garlic. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30–40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Skim off the foam that floats to the top as the chicken cooks.
- Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a plate and let it cool. Bring the stock back to a boil and boil for 15 minutes until significantly reduced. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl and set aside. You will need 1½ cups stock for the recipe, and any extra stock can be saved for another use.
- Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers, two forks, or dice it up. Discard the skin and bones.
- Wipe out the pot used for the stock and fill it back up with salted water and return it to the stovetop. You'll use it for the pasta later on.
Broil the red bell peppers:
- While the stock cooks, prepare the red bell peppers. Arrange the prepared peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Place under a broiler and cook for 7–8 minutes until blackened all over. Keep an eye on them, so they don't burn to a crisp!
- Immediately transfer the peppers to a Tupperware dish with a lid or a gallon freezer bag. The trapped steam will help the skins come off easily. Peel the peppers and roughly chop and set aside.
- Turn the broiler off and turn the oven's heat to 400ºF.
Cook the pasta:
- Bring the pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until 2 minutes under al dente. Drain and set aside.
Cook the vegetables:
- In a wide, oven-proof pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onion until softened–about 7–10 minutes–and then turn the heat to high. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 6 minutes until well-charred. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
Prepare the sauce:
- Melt the butter in the pot over medium heat. Once bubbly, add dry thyme and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add flour to the butter and cook for 2–3 minutes until lightly golden. Slowly whisk in the reserved chicken stock. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat and continue whisking until completely smooth.
- Stir in the heavy cream and whisk until smooth. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and more crushed red pepper if you like. Turn off the heat.
Bake the pasta:
- To the sauce, add the cooked chicken, cooked pasta, and the reserved vegetables and toss to coat and evenly distribute the ingredients. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top and transfer to the oven for 10–15 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are fork-tender and the cheese is melted. If you like, broil for 2–3 minutes to char the top of the pasta.
- Garnish the pasta with fresh minced parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy!