Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta Recipe

Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta: A Culinary Delight

Indulge in the rich and comforting flavors of Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta, a dish that promises to satisfy your cravings for a creamy, cheesy, and flavorful meal. This Italian-American classic combines tender chicken, aromatic garlic, and savory parmesan cheese with pasta, creating a dish that’s both easy to prepare and deliciously rewarding.

The Perfect Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta Recipe

Creating the perfect Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta dish involves a harmony of rich flavors, tender pasta, and succulent chicken, all brought together with a golden-brown, cheesy crust. This dish combines the comfort of pasta with the indulgence of crispy chicken and a creamy garlic parmesan sauce, making it a favorite for family dinners or special occasions. Below, you’ll find a carefully curated list of ingredients and step-by-step cooking instructions to guide you through making this delicious meal.

Ingredients List

The key to a great Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta lies in the quality of its ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pasta: 8 oz of your choice, though linguine or fettuccine works best for holding onto the sauce.
  • Chicken: 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally to make them thinner. This ensures quicker cooking and more surface area for the crispy coating.
  • Cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the sauce, and a mix of Parmesan and mozzarella for topping the chicken. Freshly grated cheese melts better and offers a superior flavor.
  • Garlic: 4 to 6 cloves, minced, depending on your taste preference. Garlic is the star, so don’t be shy!
  • Cream: 1 cup of heavy cream for the richest, most indulgent sauce. Half-and-half can be substituted for a lighter version.
  • Broth: Half a cup of chicken broth to add depth to the sauce.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes for a little heat.
  • For the coating: Flour, beaten eggs, and Italian breadcrumbs mixed with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Extras: Olive oil for frying, and fresh basil or parsley for garnish.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare the Pasta: Cook your pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water for the sauce, then drain and set aside.
  2. Bread the Chicken: Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, dip into beaten eggs, and coat with a mixture of breadcrumbs and Parmesan. This triple layer ensures a crispy exterior.
  3. Cook the Chicken: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside on a plate.
  4. Make the Sauce: In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Pour in chicken broth to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in heavy cream, half of the grated Parmesan, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.
  1. Combine: Return the chicken to the skillet, spooning sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and broil until bubbly and golden. Meanwhile, toss the drained pasta in the skillet with the remaining sauce, adding reserved pasta water as needed

Customizing Your Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta

Tailoring your Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta to meet various dietary needs and preferences can make this classic dish a versatile option for any table. Whether you’re accommodating gluten sensitivities, dairy restrictions, or vegetarian diets, a few simple substitutions can transform this meal.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Gluten-Free Options: Swap traditional pasta for a gluten-free variety made from rice, corn, quinoa, or a blend of gluten-free flours. For breading the chicken, use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs. These alternatives allow you to enjoy the dish without compromising on taste or texture.
  • Dairy-Free Modifications: Replace heavy cream with coconut cream or a dairy-free cream alternative to achieve a rich, creamy sauce. Nutritional yeast or dairy-free parmesan can be used in place of traditional parmesan cheese, offering a similar cheesy flavor profile.
  • Vegetarian Adaptations: Omit the chicken and add plant-based protein like chickpeas or tofu to maintain the protein content. For a simpler variation, increase the quantity of vegetables and use a vegetarian parmesan cheese alternative or nutritional yeast for that cheesy aspect.

Variations of the Recipe

Adding vegetables or a hint of spice can elevate the nutritional value and flavor of your Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta.

  • Adding Vegetables for a Nutritional Boost: Incorporate spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes to the pasta for added vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Not only do they enhance the nutritional profile, but they also introduce beautiful colors and textures to the dish.
  • Spicy Version: For those who appreciate a bit of heat, incorporating chili flakes or finely chopped fresh chilies into the sauce can add a spicy kick. Adjust the amount based on your heat preference. This version adds an exciting dimension to the creamy, savory flavors of the traditional recipe.

By customizing the Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta with these substitutions and variations, you can cater to a wide range of dietary needs and taste preferences, making it a perfect dish to serve to a diverse group of friends and family.

Cooking Techniques & Tips

Cooking Techniques & Tips

Mastering the Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta recipe requires not just quality ingredients but also skillful cooking techniques. Here are some tips to elevate your dish:

Best Practices for Sautéing Chicken

  • Even Thickness: Pound chicken breasts to even thickness for uniform cooking. This prevents the thinner parts from drying out before the thicker parts are fully cooked.
  • Preheat the Pan: Always start with a preheated pan and hot oil. This ensures a good sear, locking in juices and flavor.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: Cook in batches if necessary. Overcrowding the pan lowers the temperature, causing the chicken to steam rather than sauté.
  • Resting Time: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and tender bite.

Secrets to a Creamy, Rich Sauce

  • Low and Slow: Cook the sauce on a low to medium heat to prevent the dairy from curdling and to achieve a smooth consistency.
  • Fresh Cream: Use fresh, heavy cream for a richer, more luxurious sauce. It thickens the sauce beautifully without the need for flour or cornstarch.
  • Stirring Constantly: Keep stirring the sauce as it simmers. This prevents it from sticking to the pan and ensures even cooking and flavor distribution.

How to Properly Combine Ingredients for Balanced Flavors

  • Layering Flavors: Start by cooking the garlic and then deglazing the pan with chicken broth. Each step builds layers of flavor that enrich the final dish.
  • Season at Every Step: Season your chicken before cooking, season the sauce as it cooks, and adjust seasoning after combining with pasta. This ensures depth and balance.
  • Finish with Freshness: Adding a sprinkle of fresh herbs before serving introduces a bright note, balancing the rich flavors of the sauce and the savory chicken.

Advanced Cooking Tips and Serving Suggestions

Advanced Cooking Tips and Serving Suggestions

How to Serve Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta

  • Presentation: Serve the pasta and chicken together on a platter or individually plated. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan and fresh basil or parsley to enhance both flavor and appearance.
  • Accompaniments: A simple side salad with a light vinaigrette or steamed vegetables complements the richness of the pasta. Garlic bread is perfect for mopping up any leftover sauce.

Pairing with Wines or Side Dishes

  • Wine Pairings: A medium-bodied white wine like Chardonnay or a light red such as Pinot Noir pairs beautifully with the creamy sauce and savory chicken. The acidity and fruitiness of the wine can cut through the richness of the dish, providing a pleasant contrast.
  • Side Dishes: For a more rounded meal, consider side dishes that offer a textural contrast, such as a crisp green salad or roasted vegetables. These sides can provide a refreshing counterpoint to the creamy pasta.

By following these cooking techniques and serving suggestions, you can elevate your Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta from a simple meal to a memorable dining experience.

Nutritional Information

The Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta is a delectable dish that, while indulgent, can be part of a balanced diet with mindful preparation. On average, a serving contains approximately 700-800 calories, with significant contributions from proteins and fats, primarily due to the chicken and creamy sauce. Macronutrients include about 40-50 grams of protein, 35-45 grams of fat, and 50-60 grams of carbohydrates. To make this dish healthier, consider using whole wheat pasta to increase fiber content, substituting heavy cream with a lighter alternative such as half-and-half or a milk-based sauce, and increasing the proportion of chicken and vegetables to pasta.



Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?
Yes, chicken thighs can be a flavorful substitute for breasts in this recipe. They tend to be juicier and more forgiving during cooking, though slightly higher in fat.

How can I make this pasta dish gluten-free?
To make this dish gluten-free, opt for gluten-free pasta available in most grocery stores. Additionally, use gluten-free flour for breading the chicken and ensure that your breadcrumbs and chicken broth are certified gluten-free.

Best tips for storing and reheating leftovers?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet over medium heat, adding a splash of chicken broth or water to loosen the sauce. Avoid microwaving as it can make the chicken rubbery and the pasta mushy.

Can I freeze Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta?
While you can freeze the dish, the creamy sauce may separate or become grainy upon thawing and reheating. If you plan to freeze it, consider freezing the breaded and cooked chicken separately and making the sauce fresh when you’re ready to serve.

Conclusion: Why Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta Stands Out

Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta is more than just a meal; it’s a comforting experience that brings together the best of Italian-American cuisine. Its versatility in ingredients and preparation methods makes it a favorite among home cooks looking to impress their guests or enjoy a delightful dinner with family. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with your own variations, this dish is sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire.

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The Perfect Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta Recipe

Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta Recipe

  • Author: Wendy Balderas
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta recipe combines tender chicken, savory parmesan, and aromatic garlic with pasta for a comforting, easy-to-make meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights or casual dining.


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz pasta (e.g., spaghetti, fettuccine, or penne)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add chicken and cook until golden brown. Remove chicken and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add Italian seasoning, heavy cream, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Stir in parmesan cheese until melted and sauce is creamy.
  5. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and add to the skillet with the sauce.
  6. Return chicken to the skillet; toss everything together.
  7. Garnish with parsley before serving.


  • For a lighter version, substitute heavy cream with half-and-half.
  • Gluten-free pasta can be used.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Italian-American


  • Serving Size: per serving
  • Calories: 650
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 690mg
  • Fat: 35g
  • Saturated Fat: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 40g
  • Cholesterol: 150mg

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