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An extremely cheesy, creamy, flavorful one-pot dish, this broccoli cheddar pasta with chicken will please even the pickiest palate! And it truly uses only one pot!
Lots of chicken broth and a healthy dose of paprika add lots of flavor along with the heaping portion of shredded cheddar cheese. The bell pepper also adds a nice touch of flavor as well as color. You will end up with full tummies and lots of compliments!
Easy to double for more than four people. Eating it right after it’s done is best, but if you have leftovers you will want to add a bit of liquid (just a little water or broth) before warming it up covered on low heat.
This dish is VERY CHEESY – so beware! You can use mild, medium, or sharp cheddar – whatever your preference. BUT, I highly recommend that you freshly shred your cheese. It takes a little time, but it’s worth it for a better melt. Store-bought, already-shredded cheeses have additives that make it more difficult to melt properly and can sometimes come out grainy. So just trust me on this one and take the time to freshly shred your cheese.
This broccoli cheddar pasta recipe was inspired by one of Amy’s frozen bowls. My friend Julie asked me if I could recreate it because her family loves the store-bought version so much. I love a good challenge – hopefully she and her family will enjoy this version! Let me know what you think as well in the comments below!
I used my Milo Cast Iron Dutch Oven for this recipe!
I love using jarred minced garlic when I need to save time in the kitchen.
This Spice Hunter paprika is delicious and very high quality!
You may also like my Five Cheese Marinara recipe.
Broccoli Cheddar Pasta with Chicken
- 2 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1/2 pound boneless/skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in medium-sized pieces (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, chopped small (about 1 cup)
- 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
- 3 cups uncooked pasta (I used rotini)
- 4 cups chicken broth (1 quart)
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (more or less to taste)
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Heat oil to medium in a large heavy pot (such as a Dutch oven).
- Add onion, garlic, and chicken and cook uncovered about 10 minutes or until chicken is done, turning a couple times during cooking.
- Add bell pepper, carrot, and paprika and blend. Cover and cook 5 minutes (still on medium heat).
- Uncover and add pasta and broth and blend. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to low-medium (about 3). Cover and cook 5 minutes.
- Uncover and add broccoli. Cover and cook another 10 minutes.
- Uncover and turn off heat. Add cheese and blend thoroughly. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
- Best eaten right away, but leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Add a bit of liquid (water or broth) when reheating on low heat.
Tips for Chicken Broccoli Pasta
Cooking in a heavy pot is pretty important for this dish, as you will be able to turn up the heat higher than if you’re using a thinner-walled pot. I highly recommend using cast iron, as it can stand up to the high heat needed.
Another tip is to not overcook your broccoli. You want it to be slightly firm but not crunchy. It’s better than mushy and falling apart.
Having enough liquid to hydrate the pasta is crucial. And you don’t want the pasta to overcook or it will be falling apart and possibly sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Don’t Forget to Pin For Later!
Other Recipes to Love:
- Spaghetti Bolognaise (Southern Style, of course!)
- Chicken & Bacon Pasta Bake
- Corn Potato Chowder (Easy, Hearty & Delicious!)
- Baked Mahi Mahi Recipe (Simple & So Flavorful!)
- Authentic Jambalaya Recipe (Lots of Spicy Flavors!)
- Turkey Ala King (Using Leftover Turkey or Chicken)
- London Broil Crock Pot Recipe (with Built-In Gravy)