A mozzarella sauce makes this 30 Minute Creamy Chicken & Broccoli a family pleasing weeknight dinner favorite!
30 Minute meals, one pan meals, etc. are all my favorite! I like to have dinner ready in as little time as possible, and to have minimal clean-up when I can. I’m not a messy cook. I’m one of those that cleans as I go. I don’t know if it was a learned behavior from watching my parents in the kitchen, because I know that both my momma and daddy always had a soapy dish rag handy to mop up spills and splatters as they happened. So that’s just what I do. While whatever is cooking, I’m usually washing up what can’t go into the dishwasher, like my knives or wooden cutting boards that I used to prep with.
Or I’ll rinse whatever off and toss it in the dishwasher as I’ve used it. I just find that this method keeps me moving from point A (meal prep) to point B (dinner ready) and it makes point C (kitchen clean-up) quicker. I’ve also started to plate up everyone’s plate, and go ahead and grab out leftover containers to get things in those as soon as I plate up dinner. I leave them out so that if Zack or Kelsie want seconds they can grab them, and since I’ve already tossed everything into the dishwasher, the only thing left is to put our dishes in the dishwasher, and wipe down the table. I try and make as little work as possible. And you all may be thinking that I’m crazy that I’m actually creating more work for myself, but I totally think it sort of pans out, and that my way is probably faster. 😉 HA!
So 30 minute meals…that’s where we are at today. This meal is one of those that you have to multi task (sort of) to get it done in 30 minutes, but I’ll take you step by step on how I do things, and you’ll see that it’s not that hard to multi task this one, and have it on the table in 30 minutes!
I love recipes that although aren’t always cooked in one pan, end up in one pan in the end. AND if they include your protein, veggie, and starch, it’s a total winner in our home.
The creamy aspect in this dish is from a white sauce that we made using mozzarella. You could go with straight Parmesan or even cheddar, if your family digs those more. Now that I’m thinking that way, I bet a pepper jack would be amazing in this sauce, if you like a little spice!
Ok, so let me break this down on how exactly I did this in 30 minutes.
The very first thing you are going to do is to get your water boiling for that pasta. So place a pot on the stove full of salty water, cover, and turn that bad boy up on high heat. Next you’re going to get out the pan for the chicken, where your dish will ultimately be served from. While that pan is heating up, get out your chicken, cube it up, and season it liberally, toss in a little oil to the pan, and your pan should be almost hot…and depending on how warm of water you started with, you may be able to toss in that pasta, if your water is boiling. Here is the key…you’ve got to pay attention to that water, because you want to toss that pasta in as soon as it starts boiling. Depending on the type of pasta you use, it could take a while to boil to your liking. We are good with al dente, but I know some who like it cooked a bit more than that. (we should be sitting at 10 minutes in at this point)
Ok, now you should be cooking that chicken, browning it on all sides. While the chicken is browning up, give your pasta a stir or two, and place that broccoli bag into the microwave. (I use steam in the bag broccoli, because it’s quick) With dishes like this, I don’t steam the broccoli the entire time the package says. Remove the chicken from the pan when it’s browned up and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the microwave, open the bag to allow the steam to escape to help slow down the cooking process. So now are at 20 minutes.
Your pasta should be done by now. Drain it. Set it aside. In that same pan you cooked your chicken, make the sauce, less than 10 minutes. Once the sauce is made, toss the pasta, chicken, and broccoli in. Stir it around to coat. Season with parsley and shredded parm, if you want. And you’ve hit the 30 minute mark! Dinner done in 30 minutes! 🙂
Are you a clean and cook as you go? With this dish, I can clean as I go, but it’s because I’ve been doing it for so long. So as soon as I’ve placed the chicken in the pan, I put the cutting board into the dishwasher. As soon as I toss the pasta in with the sauce and other ingredients. I place that pot and colander into the dishwasher. Now I’m left with the one pan that I serve from.
- 8 ounces pasta (I used bow ties)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cubed
- 10 ounces broccoli (I use a steam in the bag)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/4 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta to al dente, drain.
- Cook the broccoli half the time the package says, and open as soon as it's done, and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. While the pan is heating, cube the chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on all sides. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Add minced garlic to the pan and saute it in the pan, with the leftover chicken juices/oil, on medium heat for about 30 seconds, making sure to avoid burning. Pour in 1 cup of heavy cream until it starts to simmer. Immediately add the cheese and stir until melted and nice and creamy. Reduce heat to medium-low, and slowly stir in the milk, constantly whisking, simmering, until nice and creamy consistency is reached. Similar to that of a mac and cheese sauce consistency.
- Add cooked pasta, chicken, and broccoli to the sauce, toss to coat. Serve with parsley or shredded parmesan on top.
Check out my post on the exact steps I used to create this recipe in exactly 30 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 752 Total Fat: 40g Saturated Fat: 21g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 242mg Sodium: 481mg Carbohydrates: 28g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 68g