Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. Other pasta recipes you'll love.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

This quick and simple chicken fettuccine alfredo recipe is truly a weeknight workhorse. Only three simple steps are required to make this meal that’s packed with tons of creamy, hearty flavor. While it’s not a traditional recipe by any means, no one is going to complain if this is what is on the table for dinner. You’ll love it!

Why this recipe works.

This is a weeknight alfredo that has the flavor of an authentic recipe. This recipe is quick and delicious without any fuss. The flavor starts with the chicken. Instead of using plain chicken breasts, the meat is marinated in a bright lemon and oil mixture. The lemon juice helps to tenderize the meat and adds a flavor to cut through the rich sauce. Once the chicken marinates, the meat is browned to add more flavor and cooked through. In the same skillet, the sauce is made in a matter of minutes with heavy cream and Neufchâtel cheese, which is similar to cream cheese but has less fat. The cheese melts easily into the sauce and adds a creamy, smooth texture that is undeniably perfect. The cheese offers a slightly tangy counterpart to the cream. After the pasta cooks al denté, the fettuccine is added to the sauce and finished with some pasta water and parmesan cheese. The result is an indulgent rich alfredo that will leave everyone happy.

White plate filled with serving of chicken fettuccine alfredo topped with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese with fork resting on side of plate with small glass on white wine in background.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Chicken breasts are boneless and skinless. They quickly marinate and offer a great protein for a weeknight meal.
  • Lemon juice is the acid needed in the marinade to help tenderize the chicken and add a flavor that cuts through the rich sauce.
  • Heavy cream is used in this alfredo sauce because it can be brought up to a simmer and then subsequently thickened. Not all types of milk can do this, so heavy cream is the solution.
  • Neufchâtel cheese is a traditional french cheese that is similar to cream cheese but has less overall fat content. The cheese has a slightly tangy flavor and melts to a creamy and smooth consistency.
White marble surface filled with all ingredients needed to make chicken fettuccine alfredo including pasta, chicken breasts, lemon, olive oil, salt, heavy cream, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Marinate the chicken. Slice the chicken breasts into strips and place them in a medium bowl. On top of the chicken, add salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. Mix the chicken with the flavorings until the chicken is well-coated. Cover the chicken and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for as little as 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  1. Brown the chicken. Once the chicken has marinated, place it in a large stockpot on the stove with neutral oil and butter. Spread the chicken out into an even layer to allow for even cooking. Once a piece of chicken has browned on one side, flip it over to brown on the other side. After all of the chicken has browned on both sides, remove it to a plate and set it aside, leaving any liquid still in the stockpot.
  1. Prepare the alfredo sauce. To the liquid remaining in the stockpot, add the minced garlic. Stir the garlic into the liquid and let it cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then add in the heavy cream and Neufchâtel cheese and stir those into the garlic, letting the cheese melt slowly.
  1. Cook the pasta. While the minced garlic is cooking, begin cooking the pasta. Follow the package directions to cook the pasta to al dente. Once cooked, do not drain the pasta.
  1. Combine everything. When the fettuccine has finished cooking, remove it from the heat and add all of the pasta to the simmering alfredo sauce. Stir the fettuccine and sauce together and add in the grated Parmesan cheese, mixing it in until well-combined. Remove the mixture from the heat and add back in the browned chicken. Mix it into the pasta to ensure it is fully coated by the sauce. When serving, sprinkle on some fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • When browning the chicken, make sure to spread them out into an even layer. This will ensure that the chicken can cook evenly without certain pieces getting done before others. When ready to flip each piece of chicken, ensure it releases naturally from the pan. If you need to peel it from the bottom of the stockpot, it likely means it is not ready to be flipped to brown on the other side.
  • While it may seem like several pots to watch on the stove, cooking the pasta while the alfredo sauce is thickening makes sure that everything is done at the same time. Just make sure that the pasta water does not boil over while the pasta is cooking.
  • Do not be concerned about getting some of the pasta water in the alfredo sauce when transferring the fettuccine to the sauce. The pasta water will actually thin down the sauce slightly, which is desirable. Also, make sure to reserve the pasta water to adjust the thickness of the sauce, as the noodles will soak up some of the liquid from the sauce, creating a thicker sauce. Simply add some pasta water to thin it to the desired consistency.
Tongs pulling up fettuccine with creamy alfredo sauce on noodles with pieces of chicken resting on pasta in large stockpot.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can cream cheese be used in place of Neufchâtel cheese?

Yes, cream cheese can be used in place of Neufchâtel. Cream cheese will be richer since it has a higher fat content. And the resulting sauce will be slightly thicker.

Can the chicken be left out to make this meal vegetarian?

Definitely! The chicken can easily be left out for a vegetarian option.

How long does this recipe last once prepared?

Once prepared, the leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

Watch how to make this recipe.

YouTube video

More pasta recipes to try

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

Large metal stockpot filled with fettuccine alfredo with pieces of chicken resting on top along with tongs all on white marble surface.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

5 from 5 votes
This quick and simple chicken fettuccine alfredo recipe is truly a weeknight workhorse. Only three simple steps are required to make this meal that’s packed with tons of creamy, hearty flavor. While it’s not a traditional recipe by any means, no one is going to complain if this is what is on the table for dinner. You’ll love it!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb fettuccine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz Neufchâtel cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Cut the chicken breasts into ¼-inch strips and place them in a medium-sized bowl. Add the salt, black pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Cover and store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
    1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1 tsp kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 3 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • Once the chicken has marinated, heat a large saucepan over medium heat with the butter and oil. Once the butter is melted, add the chicken, and spread the pieces into an even layer. Sauté the chicken until browned on both sides and cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the saucepan and set it aside on a plate.
    1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente.
    1 lb fettuccine
  • While the pasta is cooking, add the minced garlic to the saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds. Add the heavy cream and the Neufchâtel cheese. Stir the mixture until the cheese is smooth and creamy, 3-4 minutes. Keep the sauce at a simmer.
    3 cloves garlic, 8 oz Neufchâtel cheese, 1 cup heavy cream
  • Once the pasta has cooked, add the noodles to the sauce. Stir in the noodles over low heat. Add the Parmesan cheese and ½ cup of pasta water. Stir the pasta to incorporate and add more pasta water as needed for a smooth and creamy consistency. Add the cooked chicken and stir to combine. Serve immediately with fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Notes

  • When browning the chicken, make sure to spread them out into an even layer. This will ensure that the chicken can cook evenly without certain pieces getting done before others. When ready to flip each piece of chicken, ensure it releases naturally from the pan. If you need to peel it from the bottom of the stockpot, it likely means it is not ready to be flipped to brown on the other side.
  • While it may seem like several pots to watch on the stove, cooking the pasta while the alfredo sauce is thickening makes sure that everything is done at the same time. Just make sure that the pasta water does not boil over while the pasta is cooking.
  • Do not be concerned about getting some of the pasta water in the alfredo sauce when transferring the fettuccine to the sauce. The pasta water will actually thin down the sauce slightly, which is desirable. Also, make sure to reserve the pasta water to adjust the thickness of the sauce, as the noodles will soak up some of the liquid from the sauce, creating a thicker sauce. Simply add some pasta water to thin it to the desired consistency.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 739kcal
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Difficulty Easy
Method Cooking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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7 Comments

  1. You are right. If you can do it anyone can do it. I just made this tonight. OMG! This is so good. I added onion to it and dried tomato and garlic. But it is good!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight. It’s cold and rainy here in SoCal and this was a perfect comfort meal for the wife and me! So easy. Not much for clean-up either!