Hello and welcome to solsarin. This post is about “fettuccine alfredo with broccoli“.
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) is an edible green plant in the cabbage family (family Brassicaceae, genus Brassica) whose large flowering head, stalk and small associated leaves are eaten as a vegetable. Broccoli is classified in the Italica cultivar group of the species Brassica oleracea. Broccoli has large flower heads, usually dark green, arranged in a tree-like structure branching out from a thick stalk which is usually light green. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. Broccoli resembles cauliflower, which is a different but closely related cultivar group of the same Brassica species.
It is eaten either raw or cooked. Broccoli is a particularly rich source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Contents of its characteristic sulfur-containing glucosinolate compounds, isothiocyanates and sulforaphane, are diminished by boiling but are better preserved by steaming, microwaving or stir-frying.
Rapini, sometimes called “broccoli rabe,” is a distinct species from broccoli, forming similar but smaller heads, and is actually a type of turnip (Brassica rapa).
BROCCOLI FETTUCCINE ALFREDO
- 16 oz. dry fettuccine ($1.63)
- 16 oz. frozen broccoli florets ($1.29)
- 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
- 4 Tbsp butter ($0.45)
- 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.06)
- 3 cups milk ($0.94)
- 1 cup grated parmesan ($0.96)
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg ($0.02)
- to taste salt & pepper ($0.05)
Begin to boil a large pot of water to cook the pasta. When it reaches a full boil, add the pasta and cook for 7-10 minutes or until al dente. When the pasta is finished cooking, reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water and then drain the pasta in a colander.
While the pasta is cooking, thaw the broccoli in the microwave and begin to make the parmesan sauce. Mince the garlic and cook it over medium heat in a medium sauce pot with the butter until the garlic has softened slightly (3-5 minutes). Add the flour, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more. This is the “roux” that will thicken the sauce.
Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the milk mixture until it comes up to a light simmer. As soon as it reaches a simmer it will thicken and should be able to coat a wooden spoon (see photos below). Turn the heat off and whisk in the parmesan cheese. Add freshly cracked black pepper, nutmeg, and salt to taste. Make the sauce slightly saltier than you’d prefer if you were eating the sauce alone. Once it’s spread out over the pasta and broccoli it will taste more mild.
Return the cooked pasta to the large pot that it was boiled in (with the burner turned off). Add the reserved pasta cooking water and toss the pasta to loosen it up. Add the thawed broccoli and then pour the parmesan sauce over top. Stir to coat everything in the sauce and then serve!
Broccoli Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
What Makes This Recipe Great
Fettuccine Alfredo is classic comfort food that tastes like it took all day but is actually really quick and easy to make. Throw in some broccoli and cubed chicken and creamy homemade alfredo sauce, and you have the most delicious chicken alfredo broccoli pasta you never knew you could make so easily!
- 1 pound fettuccine pasta
- 2 heads of broccoli, chopped, about 3-4 cups
- 24 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated or finely minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- salt + pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a bowl. Season the water with salt.
While waiting for the water to boil, heat a cast iron skillet (or any large skillet) over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the broccoli, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook the broccoli uncovered for 4 minutes until bright green. Add in 1/4 cup water, and cook uncovered until the water has evaporated, and the broccoli is crisp tender. Transfer the cooked broccoli to a medium size bowl.
Add the fettuccine to the boiling water, and cook according to manufacturers instructions.
In the same skillet you cooked the broccoli, heat another tablespoon of olive oil, and cook the chicken in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook about 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked thru, turning the chicken several times. Transfer the cooked chicken to the same bowl as the broccoli.
In the same skillet, melt the butter, then cook the garlic for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Then add the heavy cream, and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the grated parmesan cheese, and cook until melted and just starting to bubble. Turn the heat to low.
When the pasta is done cooking, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta from the water, then add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the sauce, and toss to coat the noodles. Add in the cooked chicken and broccoli, toss to combine. If necessary, add in pasta water to thin the sauce to desired consistency.
Serve this broccoli chicken alfredo warm, topped with grated parmesan cheese.
See the Recipe Notes below for more tips, FAQ’s and ingredient substitutions.
Using Frozen Broccoli: You can use frozen broccoli if that’s what you have! About 1 pound. Thaw and add in to warm through.
Pasta: If you don’t have fettuccine on hand, 1 pound of any pasta would work. Even gluten free. Jovial makes my favorite gluten free pasta.
Storing: Leftover broccoli chicken alfredo will keep in an airtight container refrigerated for at least 5 days. Reheat in the microwave on in a skillet.
Freezing: Any leftovers can be frozen! Freeze in an airtight container for at least 6 months.
ONE POT BROCCOLI FETTUCCINE ALFREDO
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE FETTUCCINE ALFREDO?
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups chicken broth I use full-salt broth
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 8 oz fettuccine noodles broken in half
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 bag (12 oz) steamable chopped broccoli
In a large skillet (with a lid), over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is very fragrant.
Add the chicken broth, heavy whipping cream, halved fettuccine noodles, Italian seasoning, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir together to separate noodles as best as you can.
Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pan with the lid and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
* If the milk is bubbling over out of the pan then the temperature is too high. Reduce temperature slightly and continue cooking.
** I like to take the lid off halfway through the cook time and give it a good stir. This helps ensure that the noodles are not clumping up together.
Add the parmesan cheese and steamed chopped broccoli into the pan. Stir it until cheese is melted and everything is combined.
Garlic : Use 4 cloves of fresh garlic that you mince or press with a garlic press. Or use the equivalent in chopped garlic from a jar (usually ½ teaspoon = 1 clove garlic) or use garlic paste from the tube.
Fettuccine Noodles : 8 oz is half of a 16 oz package of fettuccine. You can weigh it or be like me and just eyeball it, and grab half the noodles in the package
Broccoli : You can also chop up fresh broccoli and steam it. Or buy a bag of frozen steamable broccoli and cook it in the microwave according to package instructions. I like to chop up my broccoli into smaller pieces but you can leave it larger if wanted.
Parmesan Cheese : Please grate your own from a wedge on the cheese grater. It melts so much better and tastes better too. You could try and use pre-shredded cheese from the bag and it will probably work fine. I just prefer fresh grated parmesan cheese because it melts smoother.
This recipe is a meal in itself but a creamy pasta benefits by being paired with something slightly acidic for a balance of flavours. Try serving our Tuscan Panzanella Salad with a zesty vinaigrette or Tomato Salad with Herb Vinaigrette and see for yourself.
Or you can make our Healthy Eggplant Parmesan if you are craving a hot dish on the side of pasta.