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Chicken Broccoli Penne Pasta

Chicken Broccoli Penne Pasta is one of those meals that reminds me of my childhood.  My mom used to make a dish similar to this, and I always looked forward to it.  Now that I am a mother of four kids, I am happy to report that three of my four absolutely love this dish too (there’s always got to be one kid that doesn’t agree with the rest!).  In fact, three of my kids love this meal so much, they’ve all requested it on their birthdays before!Chicken Broccoli Penne Pasta is a delicious combination of cream sauce, broccoli and noodles topped with Panko crusted chicken tenders.

I originally started making this back in college, after I got a craving for it one night, and called my mom for the recipe.  Since then, I have changed the recipe so much that it has  morphed into my own, but it still brings me back every time I take a bite!  For my recipe, I use half and half rather than regular milk to add more creaminess, but if you need to reduce fat, feel free to use non-fat or low-fat milk instead.

Chicken Broccoli Penne Pasta is a delicious combination of cream sauce, broccoli and noodles topped with Panko crusted chicken tenders.

What makes this meal absolutely delicious is the Panko-crusted chicken.  While the Panko crusted chicken does add an extra step to the cooking prep, my kids (well, three of the four, that is!) will all assure you that is is well worth it!  The Panko gives the chicken a nice crunch to it, and seals in the juices and flavors. Pair that chicken with the creamy, cheesy penne pasta and broccoli, and you’ve got yourself a little bowl of heaven.

Chicken Broccoli Penne Pasta is a delicious combination of cream sauce, broccoli and noodles topped with Panko crusted chicken tenders.

Absolutely delicious.  Well, three out of the four think so.  Not bad, I’ll take it!

Looking for another way to enjoy Panko chicken?  Click here to get the recipe for Panko chicken tenders with homemade ranch dressing.

Enjoy!

Chicken Broccoli Penne Pasta. A delicious combination of cream sauce, broccoli and noodles topped with Panko Crusted chicken tenders.
Print Recipe
Chicken Broccoli Penne Pasta
A delicious combination of cream sauce, broccoli and penne noodles, topped with Panko-crusted chicken tenders.
Chicken Broccoli Penne Pasta is a delicious combination of cream sauce, broccoli and noodles topped with Panko crusted chicken tenders.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Chicken Broccoli Penne Pasta is a delicious combination of cream sauce, broccoli and noodles topped with Panko crusted chicken tenders.
Instructions
  1. To make the chicken: Line 3 bowls in a row on the counter to make an assembly line to dredge the chicken. In the first bowl, mix the flour, salt, oregano, and pepper. In the 2nd bowl, beat the egg with a fork. In the 3rd bowl, pour in the Panko Bread Crumbs.
  2. Working in batches, dredge the chicken pieces in flour, making sure to shake off the excess. Next, dip the chicken in the egg mixture, and then into the Panko crumbs. Make sure all sides are coated.
  3. Heat a cast iron pan on medium heat. When hot, add 2-3 TBS olive oil. Add the first batch of the Panko-crusted chicken the pan, making sure there is only a single layer (do not crowd pan). As soon as it begins to sizzle, turn down the heat the medium low, and fry the chicken a couple minutes on each side, until golden, (don't let it get too dark!). When the chicken is done (you may need to slice one open to make sure it is no longer pink inside), transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat the process until all batches of the chicken are done. Keep the chicken warm.
  4. To make the Penne pasta: Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and add the Penne pasta. Cook to al dente according to directions on the back of the box.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a large wok or cast iron pot on medium heat. Add olive oil and broccoli, and cook, stirring, until broccoli turns bright green (about 1 minute). Add garlic, cook about 1 minute longer, then pour in the half and half. Turn heat to high, bring to a boil, then immediately turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer until broccoli is fork tender and the half and half has thickened a bit (about 3-5 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp of salt).
  6. When the pasta is done, reserve about a half cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta through a colander.
  7. Add the drained pasta to the broccoli mixture (if there isn't enough room, you may need to mix it all in the big pasta pot). Add the butter pieces, and, with the heat on medium low, stir the pasta mixture until the butter is melted, and the sauce mixes in with the noodles.
  8. Turn off the heat, and add 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese. Mix well. If it becomes too thick, add the pasta water a little at a time until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Top with the chicken, the rest of the Parmesan cheese, and parsley.
  9. Serve hot. Red pepper flakes make an excellent addition to this dish as well. Enjoy!
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