- 1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 c. fresh broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 c. dry small shaped pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4–1 c. chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Step 1: Following the package directions, cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Stir in the broccoli florets in the last 2 minutes of cooking the pasta. Drain when done and set aside.
Step 2: Toss the chicken with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper in a bowl.
Step 3: In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken to the pan and sear for a couple of minutes until browned.
Step 4: Pour in the chicken broth and allow it to come to a simmer. Add the cream cheese once the broth is simmering and stir well until melted. Then, add 3/4 c mozzarella. Stir well until melted and the sauce has slightly thickened.
Step 5: Turn the heat off and gently toss in the cooked pasta and broccoli.
Step 6: To a baking dish, transfer everything and cover with foil. Place in a 375 degrees F preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven when topped with the rest of the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and continue to bake for another 3 minutes, uncovered, until the cheese has melted.
Step 7: Before serving, allow the chicken and broccoli pasta to rest for about 5 minutes.
For this recipe, you can use your preferred small-shaped pasta. Or use whole wheat pasta for a nutrient-dense meal. You can also use chicken thighs, chicken breasts, and chicken tenders. I prefer chicken thighs as they are incredibly tender and give the most delicious flavor. For some kick and great contrast, sprinkle some red pepper flakes.