Creamy Parmesan Pasta with Chicken Breasts is one of our favorite Sunday Suppers. The sauce is amazing. Chicken breasts are simmered in butter, cream and parmesan cheese resulting in a rich, lip-smacking sauce that is perfect served over al dente bucatini or spaghetti.
The addition of onions, chicken stock and black pepper give it a rich, savory flavor that is very different from Pasta Alfredo. The quality of the ingredients is important so be sure to use freshly grated imported Parmigiano-Reggiano.
This recipe makes a lot of juicy goodness to put over pasta. Otherwise I would just end up drinking the sauce like a soup. It is that good.
The Creamy Parmesan Pasta with Chicken cooks in one pot. I especially love the LeCreuset Covered Round Brasier since it can go from stovetop to oven to fridge. I stored the leftover pasta and chicken in the same pot in the fridge. Yay! Less cleanup too. I use the brasier every week.
The moist chicken breasts are served on the side. Serve with a bitter-green salad and a beautiful glass of Pinot Grigio. In Italy they would serve the salad, pasta and meat course separately, but we couldn’t wait that long. This Creamy Parmesan Pasta with Chicken really is the best!
The Best Creamy Parmesan Pasta with Chicken
- 4 lbs whole chicken breasts skinless, boneless
- 8 tablespoons ½ stick butter
- 1 ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 medium sweet onion peeled and sliced
- 2 cups parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes season to taste
- 16 ounces spaghetti
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in covered skillet or braiser over medium high heat.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken in the butter until brown and lightly caramelized on both sides, about 3- 4 minutes per side. Set aside.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and heat until bubbling. Add the sliced onions and cook until starting to caramelize, about 7- 10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and thyme.
- Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock. Add the cream and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil, and simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle and the sauce to slightly thicken. Stir in ¾ cup of parmesan cheese until melted in. Turn off the heat. Check the sauce for seasoning and add more pepper if desired.
- Nestle the chicken breasts in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesan cheese over the top of the chicken breasts. Bake uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water about 6-minutes. Be sure the pasta is slightly undercooked so it can finish cooking in the sauce to just al dente.
- When the chicken is done baking, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to keep warm.
- Put the pan back on the stovetop and heat the sauce over medium heat. Add remaining 1 cup of parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir. Let is simmer for 3-5 minutes to thicken. Add some pasta water if too thick.
- Add cooked, hot pasta to the pot with the sauce and toss to coat evenly. Heat over medium heat for 3 minutes until al dente and the flavors have melded. .Add some pasta water to the pan if needed.
- Garnish with more parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with the baked chicken on the side.