Chicken Broccoli Ziti combines pasta and broccoli with tender bites of chicken in a rich and healthy alfredo sauce. You’ll love how easy this creamy and comforting dish is to throw together!
If you haven’t tried my healthy alfredo sauce, there’s no better time than now. It’s lighter than a classic alfredo sauce and sets a variety of dishes up for success, like this chicken alfredo pizza and this Cajun shrimp alfredo.
The sauce is showcased in this Chicken Broccoli Ziti as well, enhancing every bite with creamy and comforting goodness. Filled with chicken, broccoli, and tender pasta, this is a quick 30-minute meal that’s sure to please the entire family during dinner.
You only need one skillet to make this chicken and broccoli pasta. While the pasta and broccoli cook together, you’ll brown the chicken with garlic, then toss everything together. In the end, you’re left with a skillet full of restaurant-quality ziti!
- It’s an easy, low-fuss ziti recipe that’s perfect for beginners.
- This isn’t as heavy as classic alfredo dishes. The sauce is made with almond milk, helping to lighten up each bite while maintaining those classic smooth and creamy qualities.
- A perfect 30-minute weeknight comfort meal everyone will love.
- Ziti pasta - Ziti is a short, tube-shaped pasta that scoops up creamy sauce really well. You can substitute it with a similar hollow pasta, like penne, mostaccioli, rigatoni, or sedani.
- Broccoli - Fresh or frozen broccoli florets will do. If using frozen broccoli, boil them separately until they turn bright green. Drain the water and run the broccoli under cool water to prevent it from cooking further.
- Chicken - I used boneless chicken breasts, but boneless thighs or leftover rotisserie chicken works just as well.
- Alfredo sauce - My healthy alfredo sauce lightens up this usually dairy-rich meal. It’s made with almond milk instead of cream and is ready in just 5 minutes. If you don’t want to make it yourself, use store-bought alfredo sauce instead.
Step 1: Cook the pasta and broccoli. Cook your pasta in a pot of boiling water. Throw the broccoli florets in the pot when the pasta is a few minutes away from being done. Drain the water and set aside.
Step 2: Sauté the chicken and garlic. Season the chicken breasts and cook in an oiled skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté it along with the chicken.
Step 3: Combine. Take the chicken off of the heat and add in the pasta and broccoli. Pour the alfredo sauce over top and stir to combine. Season to taste, then serve!
Tips and FAQs
- It’s important to dice or thinly slice the chicken into even pieces. Larger pieces will be more difficult to cook and could become chewy.
- Make sure the skillet you use for the chicken is big enough to also fit the pasta and broccoli. If you plan on baking the chicken and broccoli ziti, use a cast iron pan or oven-safe stainless steel pan.
- Sear the chicken undisturbed to achieve even browning on each side. Don’t walk away from the stove! The chicken cooks quickly, so you’ll want to keep an eye on it.
- Make this recipe gluten free by using your favorite short gluten free pasta noodles.
Can you bake it in the oven instead?
Oven-baked chicken broccoli ziti is so warm and comforting. I love to add a layer of seasoned breadcrumbs on top for extra crunch too. Once it’s all combined in the skillet, bake the ziti in a 375ºF oven until the sauce is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, transfer the chicken, pasta, and broccoli mixture to a baking dish instead.
What else can you add to this?
There are many ways to make this creamy ziti recipe your own. Try adding:
- Vegetables - Like sautéed bell peppers, onion, or mushrooms.
- Parmesan and lemon - Enhance every flavor in this meal with freshly grated parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Protein - Replace the chicken with large shrimp or chicken sausage, or use some of each.
What goes with chicken broccoli ziti?
Absorb every last drop of this creamy ziti dish with crusty bread or a French loaf. Serve a simple mixed green salad or Caesar salad on the side to make this dinner extra crowd-pleasing.
Refrigerator: Store the leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Reheating: Warm the leftovers in a skillet over medium heat. You can add a splash of chicken broth or almond milk to help loosen up the alfredo sauce as well.
More creamy and comforting pasta recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Chicken Broccoli Ziti
- 1 cup healthy alfredo sauce
- 1 lb. chicken breast diced
- salt and pepper
- 2 broccoli crowns cut into florets
- 10 oz. ziti pasta (approx. 3 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- If you haven't already, make this 5-minute healthy alfredo sauce.
- Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water; when it's almost done, add the broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes; drain.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper; cook the chicken in a large, deep skillet with olive oil over medium heat until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Then, add the garlic to the skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Remove skillet from the heat, then add the pasta and broccoli and stir to combine. Pour in the sauce and stir until coated, then taste test and add salt and pepper to taste, along with the red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
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