Chicken Alfredo

$10.62 recipe / $2.66 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.41 from 20 votes
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When it comes to indulgent comfort foods, I don’t know if anything beats Chicken Alfredo. I just can’t say no to a big ol’ plate of carby pasta drenched in an ultra-rich and creamy sauce and topped with juicy strips of seared chicken, can you? (That was a rhetorical question.) And now that I know how easy it is to make it at home, I have a feeling this is going to become my new favorite special occasion meal. And yes, sometimes just making it through to the end of the week is a special occasion in this house. ;)

close up overhead view of a bowl full of chicken alfredo pasta.

Can I Substitute the Heavy Cream?

While authentic alfredo doesn’t use any heavy cream, our American alfredo does use heavy cream as the base for the sauce, which helps the Parmesan melt in smoothly instead of clumping or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Most other dairy products or dairy substitutes contain too much water to allow the cheese to melt into the sauce properly, so I do not suggest substituting the heavy cream.

Fresh vs. Grated Parmesan

Freshly shredded Parmesan always trumps grated Parmesan from a can, there’s no argument there, but we’re cooking on a budget here so I made sure this recipe tastes great even when using less expensive Parmesan. If you have room in your budget for a wedge of fresh Parmesan, by all means, use it! But just know that you can still make a tasty alfredo even if you can’t afford the good stuff.

What to Serve with Chicken Alfredo

With any heavy dish like this, I like to pair it with a light and simple side salad. The delicate texture and fresh flavor of a simple side salad perfectly balances the thick and creamy alfredo sauce. Some Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus or Lemon Pepper Zucchini would also pair well. And of course, it wouldn’t be pasta night without some homemade garlic bread!

How Are the Leftovers?

The rich nature of this sauce means that it does start to thicken up quite a bit as it cools, so you definitely want to serve and enjoy this pasta when it’s hot out of the skillet. That being said, I would never turn down the leftovedrs of something so creamy and delicious. Just know that the texture when reheated will not be as silky smooth.

Close up side view of chicken alfredo in the skillet.
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Chicken Alfredo

4.41 from 20 votes
This Chicken Alfredo features pasta drenched in an ultra-rich and creamy sauce, topped with juicy strips of seared chicken.
Overhead view of chicken alfredo in the skillet.
Servings 4
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 40 minutes


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lb. total) ($6.49)
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.22)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced ($0.32)
  • 1 cup heavy cream ($1.25)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan ($1.08)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) ($0.10)
  • 8 oz. fettuccine ($0.88)


  • Season both sides of the chicken breast with Italian seasoning and a pinch of salt.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 7-8 minutes on each side, or until browned on the outside and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken to a clean plate and turn the heat under the skillet down to medium-low.
  • Add the butter and minced garlic to the skillet. Stir and cook the garlic in the melted butter for about two minutes, dissolving the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet as you stir.
  • Add the heavy cream and whisk to combine, dissolving any remaining browned bits. Allow the cream to come up to a simmer.
  • While waiting for the cream to simmer, bring a pot of water to a boil for the fettuccine. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until tender (about 7 minutes). Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining the pasta.
  • Once the cream is simmering, add the grated Parmesan to the skillet. Continue to whisk and stir until the Parmesan has melted into the sauce and the sauce has begun to simmer. Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, or until it becomes slightly thicker. Add salt and pepper to the sauce to taste.
  • Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce and toss to combine. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and toss to combine with the sauce.
  • Slice the cooked chicken breasts and serve it atop the creamy pasta. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

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Serving: 1servingCalories: 756kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 47gFat: 42gSodium: 719mgFiber: 2g
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Love alfredo? Check out our Shrimp Alfredo, too!

Overhead view of chicken alfredo in the skillet.

How to Make Chicken Alfredo – Step by Step Photos

Seasoned chicken breast on a cutting board.

Season two boneless, skinless chicken breasts with two teaspoons of Italian Seasoning and a pinch of salt.

Seared chicken in the skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Once fully preheated, add 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Add the chicken breasts and cook on each side for 7-8 minutes, or until the chicken is well browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a clean plate.

Butter and minced garlic in the skillet.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, then add 2 tablespoons of butter and 4 cloves of minced garlic to the skillet.

Deglazed pan with butter and garlic.

Cook and stir the butter and garlic over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, dissolving the browned bits as you stir.

Heavy cream being poured into the skillet.

Add one cup of heavy cream to the skillet and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium and bring the cream up to a simmer.

A box of fettuccine open on one end with pasta coming out

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add 8oz. of pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender. Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.

Parmesan being added to the skillet.

While waiting for the pasta to boil, continue with the sauce. Once the cream is simmering, add ¾ cup Parmesan and continue to stir and cook until the sauce comes back up to a simmer.

Finished alfredo sauce in the skillet.

When the sauce comes back up to a simmer the Parmesan will begin to melt. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens slightly (3-5 minutes). Add salt and pepper to the sauce to taste.

Fettuccine being tossed in the cream sauce.

Add the cooked and drained pasta to the alfredo sauce and toss to combine. If the sauce is too thick or too dry, add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and toss to combine.

Sliced chicken added on top of the pasta alfredo.

Slice the chicken breast and add it on top of the pasta, then serve. (You can garnish with chopped parsley if desired).

Overhead view of chicken alfredo in a shallow bowl with a fork.

WOW, how yummy does that look?!

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  1. Not a good recipe. The Italian seasoning did not go with the flavors and more cheese was needed.

  2. I have used this recipe numerous times, and it’s always delicious! I serve it with red lobster biscuits, and it’s the perfect dinner! My family appreciates y’all!

  3. not good for a beginner
    took over an hour to make.
    by the time the pasta was done the chicken was cold as a rock

    1. How the h**l did your sauce take an hour 😂😂 this sounds like a YOU problem, not a recipe problem.

  4. I’ve tried many recipes which used so much heavy cream, oils etc but this one just got everything right! It tastes great and will be a good to recipe.

  5. Really easy and very tasty. The dish is comparable to any alfredo one would buy at a restaurant.

  6. The best alfredo we have tried. Have made this so many times and now we prefer it to restaurant alfredo. We do reduce the Parmesan just a touch to make it less salty because we add salted pasta water. Just delicious!

  7. As a “non-cooker” followed this recipe to the T && wow, can’t believe I made me some an excellent Alfredo! Thank you all for the step by step recipe! Super helpful, and more importantly yummy!

  8. Excellent. Made as written and doubled for my family of four. Best alfredo recipe I have ever tired. I’ve tried a lot ! I enjoy budget bytes. I do find that the portions are small. For my family of four I always have to double them. Thanks so much!

  9. Made this as a meal prep and the noodles soaked up all the sauce. Is there any way to prevent this other than keeping the sauce separate? Thanks

    1. No, I think keeping them separate is probably the only solution there because pasta will always continue to absorb liquid as it refrigerates.

  10. I made this last night and I would recommended starting your pasta/water when you start frying the chicken. I have a glass/flat top stove and I used a nice copper bottom pan, but I ran into an issue with needing to recruit my husband to whisk the garlic, butter and heavy cream to keep it from burning while I started the water and pasta and WAITED for that to boil and then cook. Possibly I had too much deglazing going on from the chicken bits or my pan stayed too hot (after turning to med-low) but my “sauce” was more of a brown color. I did add some half and half (I had used all my heavy cream, I had just enough for this recipe) and I added some of the pasta water as recommended as well. The flavor was still good, but my husband couldn’t help but comment that he thought Alfredo sauce was supposed to be white. :(

    1. I had the same issue (smooth top stove), our burners don’t change temperature as quickly as turning down a flame. I also had to add more cream, but it was still good in the end.
      I only gave 4 stars because I just am not an Alfredo fan.