This creamy chicken parmesan garlic pasta cooked in one pot is a delicious and easy dinner recipe, perfect for the whole family.
The chicken parmesan garlic pasta recipe is one of our fastest and best weeknight pasta recipes. An easy one-pot dinner that even the children have learned to cook and make for themselves whenever I don’t manage to cook dinner myself.
A perfect meal cooked in one large skillet with a few basic ingredients and ready in about 20 minutes. For more quick recipes, check out our Easy Cream Cheese Pasta, the Hummus Sauce for Pasta, or Chicken Pomodoro with spaghetti.
- Pasta: Your favorite pasta, preferably in short shapes. We had rigatoni this time, but farfalle, penne, rotini, macaroni, etc are all good. The cooking time remains pretty much the same, but you will check anyway to see if the noodles are cooked to your liking.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces. Boneless skinless chicken thighs are also great.
- Parmesan: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese from a wedge. I don’t recommend using pre-grated cheese; it doesn’t taste nearly as good and doesn’t melt well.
- Garlic: I use 3-4 large cloves, and we love it; it imparts the dish with fantastic garlic flavor.
- Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter, but adjust the seasoning accordingly. I use unsalted most of the time; it’s easier to check the salt this way. Olive oil is also okay.
- Chicken stock: Homemade or store-bought are both okay. Just adjust the seasoning accordingly; store-bought chicken stock is saltier.
- Milk: I prefer to use whole milk for making the sauce for the garlic parmesan pasta with chicken, but fat-reduced (2%) works, too (you might need a bit more cream cheese for a creamy sauce). Don’t go any lower than that.
- Cream cheese thickens the sauce slightly and makes it so creamy and delicious.
- Seasoning: Fine sea or kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, oregano (or Italian seasoning), and fresh parsley.
Possible additions or swaps
- Steamed vegetables like small broccoli or cauliflower florets, sauteed mushrooms, peas, or fresh spinach leaves.
- Use sausage instead of chicken. If the sausage releases too much fat during browning, drain the fat before adding the pasta and the rest of the ingredients.
- Bacon: Cook the bacon until crispy, remove it from the pan, drain most of the bacon fat, and continue with the recipe. Crumble the cooked bacon slices over the finished pasta dish before serving.
- Substitute the chicken with shrimp or canned tuna. If using these ingredients, add them to the creamy garlic pasta pot during the last few minutes of cooking.
- Add some red pepper flakes for a bit of heat, or squeeze some lemon juice into the pot.
How to make garlic parmesan chicken pasta?
- Chicken: Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and oregano. Melt butter in a deep-sided skillet large enough to hold all the ingredients (or use a pot). Sauté chicken on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes until lightly golden brown (1).
- Sauté: Add the grated garlic and sauté for another minute until it is fragrant and golden. Don’t let the garlic get brown.
- Cook: Add the rigatoni, chicken broth, and milk. Stir well to combine (2).
- Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot leaving a crack open, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat, remove the lid, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally (3).
- Check the pasta; it should be cooked al dente and not too soft.
- Finish: Turn off the heat and stir in the freshly grated Parmesan, cream cheese, and chopped parsley. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper (depending on the stock, you might not need salt) (4).
- Serve: Leave the dish stand for about 2 minutes, stir again, and serve immediately (5).
- Garlic: I recommend grating it. Mincing it’s okay, as long as you do it very finely, but it takes longer, and the garlic is never as fine as when grated. I am not a fan of garlic presses; I gave up on them like 10 years ago and never looked back. Grating garlic is the best way of dealing with it.
- I don’t recommend using garlic powder. While the powder is excellent in many recipes, in this case, the flavor of fresh garlic is unbeatable.
- Resting time: Leave the garlic parmesan chicken pasta for 2-3 minutes before serving. The noodles will absorb more of the sauce, making the dish thicker and creamier. Don’t leave it for much longer, or the pasta might get too soft, and it will cool down pretty fast.
- Double the recipe: This recipe for Parmesan chicken pasta serves 2-3 people. You can easily double it; ensure that your pot can hold everything.
Sure, you can cook this dish with spaghetti or linguine, for instance. But, in this case, ensure that the pot is large enough to hold the noodles or break the pasta in the middle so it can fit in the skillet.
Check the cooking time, most pasta types have more or less the same cooking time, but you should always check.
You can. You might not need the cream cheese at the end if you choose cream, as the creamy cheese sauce will be thicker.
The one-pot chicken parmesan garlic pasta is best served immediately. If it stands too long, the pasta will absorb most of the liquid and become a bit softer. However, that never stopped us from devouring any leftovers of this delicious dish; they still tasted amazing.
Store leftovers for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Reheat on the stovetop or the microwave. Add a splash of milk, stir well, and reheat, often stirring. When reheating pasta on the stovetop, I prefer to use a nonstick pan.
How to serve garlic parm chicken pasta?
Salad: A fresh green salad with vinaigrette is my favorite side dish for the garlic chicken parmesan pasta. A simple arugula salad with finely chopped onions and balsamic honey dressing is fantastic! Or try our Beet Apple Salad.
Steamed or roasted vegetables: Broccoli or Brussels sprouts are my favorites, but green beans, asparagus, or sauteed mushrooms are also great. Steamed leafy greens like spinach, kale, pak choi, or a simple tomato and onion salad.
Bread: Crusty white bread, French baguette, ciabatta, or dinner rolls.
More creamy pasta recipes
- Creamy Spinach Gnocchi Recipe
- White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Easy Ricotta Pesto Pasta
- Creme Fraiche Salmon Pasta
- Creamy Tuna Carbonara
Chicken Parmesan Garlic Pasta (One Pot)
- Deep-sided skillet or a pot
- ½ lb chicken breast boneless skinless, 225 g/ 8 oz, Note 1
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons butter Note 2
- 3 large garlic cloves
- ½ lb short pasta 225 g/ 8 oz, Note 3
- 1 cup chicken stock 250 ml, Note 4
- 1 cup whole milk 250 ml
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- ½ cup Parmesan freshly grated, 30 g/ 1 oz
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- fine sea salt or kosher salt if required
- freshly ground black pepper
- Chicken: Cut the breast into bite-size pieces. Toss the pieces with salt, pepper, and oregano. ½ lb/ 225 g chicken breast + ¼ tsp salt + ⅛tsp pepper + ½ tsp oregano
- Melt the butter and cook the chicken for about 3 minutes until lightly browned on all sides. 2 Tbsp butter
- Sauté: Add the grated garlic and sauté for another minute until fragrant and golden. Don’t let it get brown. 3 large garlic cloves
- Add pasta, chicken stock, and milk. Stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot leaving a crack open, and turn the heat down to low. ½ lb/ 225 g pasta + 1 cup/ 250 ml chicken stock + 1 cup/ 250 ml milk
- Simmer for 6 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 1-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the pasta repeatedly during the last few minutes; it should be cooked al dente and not too soft.
- Add: Turn off the heat and stir the Parmesan, cream cheese, and parsley. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper (depending on the stock, you might not need salt).½ cup/ 30 g Parmesan + 2 Tbsp cream cheese + 2 Tbsp parsley
- Leave to stand for about 2 minutes, stir again carefully, and serve immediately.
- The recipe can be easily doubled.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted butter, but adjust the seasoning accordingly.
- Short pasta shapes: Rigatoni, rotini, farfalle, penne, macaroni, etc.
- Stock: Homemade or store-bought chicken stock. Adjust the seasoning accordingly; some stocks are saltier than others.