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!
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.
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.