Oh, for the love of Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pasta.
My kids are in love with this meal, and have been for a very long time. I’m in love with this meal because it’s super-simple, especially on busy weeknights when time is tight for dinnertime.
I also love this meal because it’s the perfect blend of food groups for a balanced meal. Just add a serving of fruit and dairy and you’ve got a nutritious meal your kids will love.
Last, as you know, I have athletes in the house. And, I’ve written a few books on athlete nutrition (check them out below!). This meal checks off all the qualities of a carb- and protein-rich meal for young athletes.
- Eat Like a Champion: Performance Nutrition for Your Young Athlete
- Fuel Up! Dinner Recipes for Young Athletes and
- Fast & Nutritious Breakfasts for Young Athletes
A Dinner Recipe in 2 Pots (Only)
I haven’t shared this dinner recipe with you before because it is embarrassingly simple.
I don’t know why that has stopped me! I thrive on simple. In fact, it’s one of my first criteria for selecting recipes!
I cook the pasta and broccoli together, which makes it super fast. I wait to add the broccoli until the pasta is almost cooked, about 10 minutes in. I do this because I want the broccoli to be bright green and have a little crisp bite to it.
Meanwhile, as the pasta is boiling, I cook the chicken tenders. I season them with a bit of Kosher salt and pepper and just use non-stick cooking spray to prevent them from sticking. (I also use a non-stick pan.)
The chicken tenders brown up quickly.
A Semi-Homemade Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pasta Recipe
I call this dish ‘semi-homemade’ because I cheat with jarred Alfredo sauce. I like Newman’s Own as a brand for this. But, you can choose your favorite brand, or make your own. If you have my book, Fearless Feeding, you know there’s a recipe for low-fat Alfredo sauce in there (it’s in the teen cooking section).
While this is not a one pot meal, it is close.
Give it a try and let me know how your family likes it!
My kids ask for it All. The. Time!
- 1# large shell pasta
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1# chicken tenders
- 1 jar of your favorite Alfredo Sauce (I used Newman's Own)
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Bring 8 to 10 cups of water to a boil.
- Wash and chop broccoli.
- Add pasta to boiling water. Add chopped broccoli to the pasta water when pasta is almost cooked through (on top of pasta). Cook until the pasta is al dente and the broccoli is bright green and fork-tender.
- Meanwhile, add about a tablespoon of oil or spray non-stick cooking spray to a large, deep skillet and heat using medium-high heat.
- Add chicken tenders. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking. Turn off heat when done and leave in the pan.
- Drain pasta and broccoli and add to the skillet with chicken.
- Pour the Alfredo sauce over the chicken, broccoli and pasta. Toss to coat thoroughly. You may add a bit of water (or pasta water) to the jar to get most of the sauce out.
I serve this meal with a side of fruit.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 140 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 23mg Sodium: 303mg Carbohydrates: 12g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: May 13, 2015
Updated on: September 12, 2019