Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta

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This Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta is a simple weeknight comfort food your entire family will love. Using roasted garlic gives this dish a gourmet feel while still being quick and easy for busy nights. 
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Pan of garlic parmesan chicken pasta.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This garlic parmesan chicken pasta recipe is easy to put together with minimal ingredients and pantry staples.
  • Make this dish once and reheat it throughout the week for creamy delicious leftovers. 
  • Substitute chicken for other proteins to easily change the dish. 
  • Add zoodles and other vegetables to the pasta as desired.
  • Both kids and adults will love this recipe. 

Me and pasta are two peas in a pod. From Philly cheesesteak stuffed shells to zucchini lasagna or white cheddar Mac and cheese, I love pasta in all forms. But, this newest pasta addition has become one of my most favorites.

This garlic parmesan chicken pasta is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser with its simple ingredients and quick prep time. Perfect for times you want a gourmet restaurant-type dish but are low on time. The end result is a creamy and rich pasta everyone will enjoy. The secret is in the roasted garlic that is worth every extra minute it takes to roast! 

For more easy pasta dishes, try sausage and bok choy pasta, tuna pasta salad or vegetarian hamburger helper.

Garlic parmesan chicken pasta on a plate.

How to cut and roast garlic

Roasting garlic is something every chef (and non-chef!) should utilize. Roasted garlic elevates a dish like no other! Using a knife cut the top off the head of garlic leaving the protective leaf on. Drizzle with olive oil and place the bottom down on foil. Wrap the foil around like a heresy’s kiss and place it on a baking sheet in the oven. Roast the garlic for 30-40 minutes until the cloves are golden brown and your house smells like a gourmet kitchen. Remove the garlic from the foil and using a heat pan simply squeeze out the soft cloves. If the cloves do not pop right out then the garlic is not done roasting. Use the garlic in the sauce for this garlic parmesan chicken pasta and you will not be disappointed. 

Collage of roasting and smashing garlic.

What other protein can I use?

This pasta dish uses chicken breast but you could also use thighs, steak, shrimp, sausage or even a ground meat. 

Is this good for meal prep?

I love this for meal prep! Simply weigh your final pasta dish and divide by 6. Place into meal prep bowls and add the desired amount of protein to each bowl. This chicken pasta is a great meal prep as it reheats well and stays nice and creamy. 

Plate of garlic parmesan chicken pasta.

Ingredients and Substitutes:

These are the main ingredients and substitutions. See the recipe card below for the full ingredients list and instructions for Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta.

Chicken: this recipe uses chicken breast but you could also use thighs, pre-cooked chicken, steak, shrimp, sausage, or ground meats. 

Penne Noodles: any style of noodle will work with this recipe. Use your favorite. 

Garlic: if you do not want to roast the garlic you can add 2-4 minced cloves to the butter while making the sauce. Roasted garlic has a much more muted flavor than raw garlic so be sure not to add a full clove of raw garlic or you might have to sleep in the garage. 

Butter: butter adds great flavor to the sauce but you can substitute it with ghee, olive oil, or even coconut oil.

Half and Half: this recipe calls for fat-free half and half. You can substitute with a 50/50 milk and cream, milk and cornstarch to make it thicker, heavy cream or full-fat half and half. I would not recommend trying this with almond or coconut milk. 

All-Purpose Flour: this recipe used 2 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour to create the roux. You can use arrowroot powder or gluten-free flour. 

Parmesan Cheese: I would not omit this one. The cheesiness of this sauce is perfect with just 1/4 cup. If you need extra cheese add it on top at the end.  

Ingredients including nutmeg, protein powder, and butter.

How to make this garlic parmesan chicken pasta

Step 1: Roast the garlic

Leaving the garlic intact cut the tip off so that the garlic is showing on the top. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Place on a baking sheet with the cut side up and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes until golden brown on the inside. 

Once the garlic is done roasting remove the garlic from the foil and squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves. Mash with the back of a fork and save for your sauce. 

Step 2: Cook the chicken

Collage of cooking chicken.

While the garlic roasts, pound the chicken breasts to 1/2″ thickness with a meat pounder. To avoid this step buy thinly cut chicken breast. 

Season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, and barbeque on medium heat until cooked through. Approximately 4-5 minutes on each side, the cooking time will vary based on the thickness of your chicken. You can also pan sear, air fry, use an indoor countertop grill or bake before or after your garlic.  

Step 3: Boil the pasta

When the garlic has approximately 10 minutes left of roasting time, start your water for your noodles. Cook noodles according to the package directions. 

Step 4: Make the sauce

Collage of creating a sauce with butter and flour.

Heat a large pan over medium and add the butter. Cook until melted. Once melted add the roasted garlic and simmer for one minute while stirring so the garlic does not burn. 

Add flour to the garlic butter mixture and mix together well to create your roux. 

Slowly add the half and half and whisk until the roux is completely mixed in. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken and remove from the heat. 

While the pan is off the heat add the cheese and whisk together until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a dash of nutmeg for extra flavor. 

Collage of adding cheese and seasonings to a pan.

Step 5: Combine and Serve

Add the cooked pasta noodles to the sauce and mix well to combine. Slice the cooked chicken into strips and add to the dish or serve on top. Top with fresh parsley for garnish. Enjoy your delicious and easy garlic parmesan chicken pasta.

Plate of garlic parmesan chicken pasta with a fork.

Nutrition Facts

This recipe makes 6 servings. You will need to measure your final cooked pasta dish and divide by the number or servings for the must accurate measurements per serving. 

Nutrition facts for pasta only: 264 calories 9 P / 43 C / 7 F 

Nutrition facts with 4 oz. (raw) chicken: 400 calories 35 P / 43 C / 10 F 

How to serve

You can serve this chicken pasta by itself, with a side salad, or roasted vegetables or my Air Fryer Carrots and Potatoes. 

Check out some of our other easy weeknight meals!

Pan of garlic parmesan chicken pasta.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta

Danielle Lima
This Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta is a simple weeknight comfort food your entire family will love. Using roasted garlic gives this dish a gourmet feel while still being quick and easy for busy nights. 
4.96 from 25 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 400 kcal

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Ingredients
  

  • 1.5  lbs Chicken Breast, raw
  • 10  oz Penne Pasta, uncooked
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp  salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Creamy Roasted Garlic Sauce

  • 1  head roasted garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp  All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/3 cup fat free Half and Half
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Roast the garlic

  • Leaving the garlic in tact cut the tip off so that the garlic is showing on the top. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Place on a baking sheet with the cut side up and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes until golden brown on the inside.

For the chicken

  • While the garlic roasts, pound the chicken breasts to 1/2" thickness with a meat pounder. To avoid this step buy thinly cut chicken breast.
  • Season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and barbeque on medium heat until cooked through. Approximately 4-5 minutes on each side. You can also pan sear, air fry, use a indoor countertop grill or bake before or after your garlic.

Pasta & Sauce

  • When the garlic has approximately 10 minutes left of roasting time, start your water for your noodles. Cook noodles according to the package directions.
  • Remove the garlic from the foil and squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves. Mash with the back of a fork and save for your sauce.

For the sauce

  • Heat a large pan over medium and add the butter. Cook until melted. Once melted add the roasted garlic and simmer for one minute while stirring so the garlic does not burn.
  • Add flour to the garlic butter mixture and mix together well to create your roux.
  • Slowly add the half and half and whisk until the roux is completely mixed in. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken and remove from the heat.
    While the pan is off the heat add the cheese and whisk together until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a dash of nutmeg for extra flavor.
  • Add the cooked pasta noodles to the sauce and mix well to combine.
    Slice the cooked chicken into strips and add to the dish or serve on top. Top with fresh parsley for garnish. Enjoy your delicious and easy garlic parmesan chicken pasta.

Notes

  • Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary with substitutions. 
  • Use any type of noodle.
  • Use rotisserie chicken to make this easier. 

Nutrition

Calories: 400kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 35gFat: 10gSodium: 177mgPotassium: 1049mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

26 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this several times, but it had been awhile. After dinner tonight my husband said, “Yeah this definitely needs to go in the rotation more often!” Haha! This recipe is AMAZING – my son and husband even had seconds, and I’ve got leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Delicious. (And roasting the garlic in the oven makes the whole house smell incredible too lol!)

  2. 5 stars
    My picky 3 year old will eat this and I feel like that tells you how good it is! We make it once a week and the whole family loves it! It’s high in protein which is just the cherry on top!!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for my family and a guest and all but one loved it! (He’s a picky 12 year old so we won’t count his vote!) easy and relatively quick to make. I followed all the steps but didn’t roast the garlic as I already had minced garlic to use. Leftovers will go fast (what little there was) and everyone agreed this will go in the regular rotation!

  4. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe a few times and my husband and adult son loved it. I was not sure there would be English for me.

  5. 5 stars
    This tasted like a 2000 calorie cream sauce. Don’t skip out roasting the garlic. It’s worth the wait! This will be a regular rotation in my meal prep!

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