This is the creamiest chicken alfredo pasta you will ever make! Silky, smooth alfredo sauce made with cream cheese, garlic, and chicken breast. So easy to put together and is ready in less than 30 minutes.
Cream Cheese Chicken Alfredo Pasta
Learn how to make chicken alfredo from scratch using cream cheese. You can make this in just over 15 minutes from start to finish. Prepare the ingredients then set the pot for the pasta. Meanwhile, start cooking the sauce 5 minutes before the pasta finishes cooking. By the time the sauce is ready, your pasta is cooked and ready to be tossed.
You will love this because:
- It’s packed with so much flavor. This is not your ordinary alfredo sauce.
- The sauce is creamy, silky, and smooth but not too rich. By using low-fat milk and cream cheese you won’t even need to add flour or heavy cream.
- It’s an easy alfredo sauce recipe that you can make for your weeknight dinners.
And here’s what you need to make this homemade alfredo sauce:
- Cream cheese – a block of full-fat or low-fat cream cheese or cream cheese spread. I used Philadelphia cream cheese.
- Fresh garlic cloves – toasting the garlic until just brown (but not burnt) makes the sauce fragrant and flavorful. You can also use garlic powder but for this sauce, fresh is best.
- Butter – makes a silky alfredo sauce and prevents it from drying out.
- Low Fat Milk (2%) – or skim milk. If you prefer a less creamy sauce, substitute it with pasta water.
- Pasta water – or chicken broth. to loosen the thick consistency of the sauce without losing its creaminess.
- Parmesan Cheese – not only thickens the sauce but also adds a savory flavor.
- Onion Powder – or fresh chopped onion. I prefer the powder form to make the preparation easier i.e. less chopping.
- Dried Oregano – or Italian seasoning or any similar dried herbs like Herbes de Provence for depth of flavor.
- Fresh Parsley – for flavor and garnish.
Boneless and skinless chicken breast is the best protein for alfredo sauce. It’s lean and perfectly absorbs the flavor of the sauce.
How to Make It
And here’s how to make chicken alfredo with cream cheese:
- Soften the cream cheese so it easily melts and blends into the milk. You can either cut it into cubes and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or microwave it on high for 15 seconds.
- Cook the chicken breast first seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and set aside. Cook the sauce in the same pan, scraping out all the bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan (FLAVOR!).
- Slightly brown the minced garlic (not burnt) for that unique toasted garlic flavor that brings any white pasta sauce to a different level of deliciousness.
- To quickly melt the cream cheese make sure the milk is warm (not boiling). Use medium heat to low heat to prevent the sauce from curdling.
- Whisk constantly until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy.
- If the sauce becomes too thick, just add more milk or starchy pasta water.
- Use freshly grated parmesan as it melts easily in the sauce and has a better taste than jarred ones.
- Add the pasta then toss until the sauce completely coats the pasta. Again, if the consistency is too thick to your liking, you can add pasta water for a thinner consistency.
- Remove from the stove and serve immediately, garnished with extra parmesan cheese and fresh parsley or red pepper flakes.
Type of Pasta
Good quality pasta always works well in any white sauce recipe. Here I used spaghetti but you can also use any of these:
- shell pasta (conchigliette)
- bow tie (farfalle)
- other tube pasta – rigatoni, or ziti.
- fettuccine for all the fettuccine alfredo lovers out there 🙂
Tip: Remember to cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions.
Veggies you can add
Here are some vegetables you can add to this chicken alfredo dish:
- baby asparagus
- mushrooms – white button mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, or portobello mushrooms
How to Cook the Vegetables
For broccoli and asparagus: Slice into serving pieces. Add to the pot of boiling pasta 3 minutes before the pasta finishes cooking. Strain together then add to the sauce.
For spinach and sliced mushrooms: Add to the pan once the garlic starts to turn brown. Stir until softened then follow the rest of the instructions.
What Pan To Use
You need a saute pan or a deep pan to cook alfredo sauce because the pasta is tossed with the sauce to emulsify which makes the pasta extra glossy, thick and rich. This is a key tip for making amazing pasta!
Serve with garlic bread and a simple green salad. Enjoy as a complete meal for an indulgent lunch or dinner.
More chicken recipes for dinner
- Easy Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry
- Cilantro Lime Chicken (Air fryer or Oven)
- Teriyaki Glazed Chicken Meatballs
- Creamy Chicken in Mushroom Soup Gravy
- Instant Pot Chicken Adobo
Chicken Alfredo Pasta with Cream Cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil or any vegetable oil
- 250 grams skinless chicken breasts sliced into thin pieces
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup low-fat milk note 1
- 1/2 cup cream cheese softened, brick style or spreadable
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or pasta water, note 2
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano note 3
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated and divided
- 8 oz pasta note 4
- fresh parsley chopped
- Cook pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan. Add chicken. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly golden. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
- Melt butter in the same pan. Add garlic and cook over medium heat until lightly brown.
- Lower the heat. Pour in the milk and chicken broth or pasta water. Once it starts simmering, add the cream cheese, oregano, and onion powder. Stir until the cheese melts through the sauce.
- Add the cooked chicken, half of the grated parmesan cheese, and half of the parsley. Continue stirring.
- Add the cooked pasta. Gently toss until well-coated. If it becomes too thick, add more pasta water starting with ¼ cup until desired consistency is achieved.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve and enjoy!
- Low Fat Milk – or skim milk. If you prefer a less creamy sauce, substitute it with pasta water.
- Chicken broth – use interchangeably with pasta water. The sauce will of course become more flavorful if using chicken broth. You can also use half chicken bouillon dissolved in ½ cup pasta water.
- Dried Oregano – or Italian seasoning or any similar dried herbs like Herbes de Provence.
- Pasta – cooking time based on package directions, subtract 1 minute for al dente. Note that the pasta will continue cooking with the sauce.