Chicken Alfredo

$10.62 recipe / $2.66 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.80 from 5 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, this 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 leftovers 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

4.80 from 5 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 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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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Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 756kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 47gFat: 42gSodium: 719mgFiber: 2g
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

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.
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Comments

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    1. You can, but add a few pats of butter to make up for the difference in fat content. XOXO -Monti

  1. Followed it to the “T” absolutely delicious! What wine would pair best, anyone?

  2. Loved your recipe’s instructions on the Chicken Alfredo recipe. Thanks for such amazing words.

  3. This is so good! It was quick to do on a weeknight and feels fancy. I will absolutely make it again. (And again!)

  4. I’m going to try this tonight. A tip on leftovers….  I add a little bit of milk or cream when I reheat. It’s never as good as fresh but makes it a little less “clumpy,” I guess is the word. 
    Blackened chicken is also delicious with fettuccini Alfredo! 

  5. Hey Beth,

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe with us. I tried it today and my whole family liked it.

  6. My chicken breasts were a bit too thick for this to be in the right timeframe so I would recommend halving them, but this recipe was very quick and easy after cooking the chicken! I feel like salt and peppering the chicken along with the Italian seasoning would be good prep. 

    I also wondered about cooking the minced garlic for 2 minutes— usually garlic can be cooked and tender within 30 seconds when being added fo a hot pan (or cooking until fragrant), which is what I did. 

    The flavor was really good (almost surprisingly good for being so simple) and the portion was perfect for 2 people! Thank you for creating such a simple and flavorful recipe!

    1. Hi Holly, unsure what you’re asking for here as we have a very deep database of over a thousand recipes. You can download the recipe you want by clicking print on the recipe card.
      Thanks for being here! XOXO -Monti

  7. This looks wonderful. My family loves eating chicken alfredo. If I know there will be leftovers, I add 1 teaspoon of corn starch to the sauce as I’m cooking it so that the sauce reheats to the same consistency as the first time around. Looking forward to trying this.

    1. This was really good, and easy. Made it just as described except used frozen cauliflower fettuccini from Walmart frozen section.

      1. This recipe is fabulous. Ive never been successful w alfredo, now i found a great recipe.

  8. Sounds great.  We often have Alfredo without any meat at all because some are vegetarian but the chicken sounds like a plus to me.  To reheat noodles like this or even macaroni and cheese, I add a couple tablespoons more cream as I heat it and it all re-blends very well using the microwave or the stove.

  9. This looks so good! As someone who doesn’t like chicken, I love finding recipes like this that I can make and only add chicken to certain plates.