Are you looking for an easy Chicken Alfredo recipe? This creamy chicken pasta is simple enough for busy weeknights, yet fancy enough to impress on date night with a nice salad and garlic bread. Once you make this creamy pasta sauce you will want to serve it with everything!
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Published September 2019, updated September 2023
Confession time… The creamy pasta dish currently topping the charts chez Supergolden Bakes is extremely simple and VERY rich. It’s a quick and easy recipe offering a great dinner option any night of the week and the whole family cannot get enough of it… Have you guessed what it is?
Chicken Alfredo of course – the ultimate comfort food! We don’t call it that in our house, my daughter just asks for ‘pasta with cream sauce’ or ‘chicken pasta’. But if I am feeling fancy, I will tell her she is having restaurant style Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo! It’s the perfect dish for picky eaters.
The truth is that this velvety sauce is so darned tasty that you could serve it at a dinner party and be hailed a culinary genius! Look at this and tell me your mouth isn’t already watering 😉
What is Alfredo Sauce?
Alfredo is a very simple cream pasta sauce made with butter, cream, and grated Parmesan cheese. That’s right, three ingredients! It has the same magic properties as Carbonara which is equally simple and just as addictive.
What does cream sauce taste like?
Heaven… or my idea of heaven! It is rich, delicious and goes with pretty much anything and everything. You can serve it plain, add chicken, salmon, shrimp, mushrooms… I swear it could make cardboard taste good.
Plus, homemade Alfredo pasta is such an easy 20-minute meal, everyone should try it at least once. This is THE recipe I make whenever I am craving carbs… I just try to limit myself to a small portion. But that is so hard, I won’t lie to you.
Who invented chicken Alfredo?
Some origin stories link this sauce with an Italian chef in Rome who named a butter and cheese linguine recipe after himself.
But is Chicken Alfredo an Italian dish? I have my doubts as to how authentically Italian this sauce is… but it really doesn’t matter. The indisputable fact is that it is extremely delicious and quite versatile.
Here’s what you will need…
- Cream – heavy cream or pouring cream. Alfredo will be rich no matter what – this is not a recipe for the calorie conscious but, as an occasional treat, you can’t beat it!
- Parmesan – do yourselves a favor and buy a wedge of good quality cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan will make this Alfredo sauce irresistible.
- Chicken – chicken tenders or large boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you prefer dark meat you can use skinless chicken thighs.
- Garlic – freshly minced garlic and garlic powder. If garlic has you running for the hills just leave it out. Not a deal breaker!
- Pasta – fettuccine and Alfredo sauce are linked but you can use any kind of pasta you like.
- Plenty of chopped fresh parsley.
How to make Chicken Alfredo
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!
PREPARE THE CHICKEN
STEP 1. If you are using large chicken breasts you need to open them up or “butterfly” them so they cook faster and more evenly. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Slice the side of your chicken breast but don’t cut all the way to the other side.
STEP 2. Open the breasts up. Cover the chicken with grease proof paper and use a rolling pin to pound (gently) to flatten it. Season the chicken liberally with freshly ground salt and pepper.
COOK THE CHICKEN
STEP 3. Heat a large skillet and add a little olive oil (we prefer extra virgin olive oil, but it’s not essential). Pan fry the chicken breasts over medium heat, until golden brown and cooked through. This can take 8-10 minutes or longer if they are thick. Set the chicken aside for a couple of minutes then slice on the diagonal (thin slices are preferable).
STEP 4. While the chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta until al dente (cooked but still firm). Set a timer to cook the pasta for one minute less than the package instructions.
STEP 5. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add a tablespoon of butter to your skillet and let it melt.
STEP 6. Add the minced garlic cloves once the butter is foaming and cook for about 30 seconds over low heat, giving it a good stir until fragrant. Use a wooden spoon to stir any browned bits from the chicken at the bottom of the pan into the butter.
STEP 7. Pour in the cream and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Stir in the salt and garlic granules.
STEP 8. Add the sliced chicken back into the sauce and stir in the Parmesan cheese and a handful of chopped parsley.
STEP 9. Drain the cooked pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing everything to combine. If you need to loosen the sauce at all then add a little of the starchy pasta water.
STEP 10. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with more parsley and serve immediately perhaps with a side of my garlic dough balls!
RECIPE TIPS & FAQs
WORTH REPEATING… Always cook your pasta in SALTED water. This truly is non-negotiable if you want the best results – if you skip the salt, the pasta will be bland!
Avoid using boxed cheese, it just won’t taste as good. You can also use Romano cheese or Grana Padano instead of the Parmesan.
What can I substitute for heavy cream in Alfredo sauce? If you want to keep the sauce non-dairy (but for the cheese of course) then Soya Single Cream is a good substitute. You can also use pouring cream (single cream) which is lower in fat.
STORING & REHEATING: Any pasta dish is best served straight after it is prepared – after all you can make it in about 20 minutes. If you make it ahead of time and need to reheat it, place in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it the next day. Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in a saucepan adding a little hot water to loosen the sauce.
If you loved this Chicken Alfredo recipe, you might also enjoy these popular pasta dishes:
Chicken Alfredo – Creamy Chicken Pasta
- 500 g (1 lb) large chicken breasts (or skinless boneless thighs)
- Salt and pepper , to season
- ½ tbsp olive oil , to fry the chicken
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 500 ml (2 cups) double / heavy cream (or you can use single cream)
- 50 g (½ cup) Parmesan cheese , freshly grated
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder , optional
- 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley , to garnish
- Salt and pepper to season , if needed
For the pasta
- 300 g (10 ½ oz) fettuccine , or tagliatelle pasta (dried)
- 1 tsp salt for pasta water
Prepare the Chicken
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board (use a separate cutting board for handling raw meat). Slice the side of your chicken breast but don’t cut all the way to the other side.500 g (1 lb) large chicken breasts
- Open the breasts up. Cover the chicken with grease proof paper and use a rolling pin to gently flatten it. Season well with freshly ground salt and pepper.Salt and pepper
- Heat a large skillet or frying pan and add the olive oil. Pan fry the chicken breasts over medium-high heat, until golden brown and cooked through. This can take 8-10 minutes or longer if they are thick.½ tbsp olive oil
- Use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature has reached 75°C / 165°F. Set the chicken aside for a couple of minutes then slice on the diagonal.
Make the Alfredo Sauce
- Lower the heat to medium-low. Add a tablespoon of butter to your skillet and let it melt. Add the garlic once the butter is foaming and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds until fragrant.1 tbsp unsalted butter, 3 garlic cloves
- Pour in the cream and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the salt and garlic powder.500 ml (2 cups) double / heavy cream, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Add the sliced chicken and parsley.50 g (½ cup) Parmesan cheese, 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
Meanwhile Prepare the pasta
- While the chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and cook your pasta until al dente. Set a timer to cook the pasta for one minute less than package instructions.300 g (10 ½ oz) fettuccine, 1 tsp salt for pasta water
- Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing everything to combine. If you need to loosen the sauce at all then add a little of the reserved pasta water.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately!Salt and pepper to season
Nutritional information is always approximate, and will depend on quality of ingredients and serving sizes.
Originally published in partnership with Amarula