Chicken Alfredo with Asparagus


12 ounces penne pasta , or other bite size pasta

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut in small pieces

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 bunch fresh asparagus spears , ends removed

1 1/2 Tablespoons garlic , minced

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup half and half , or substitute whole milk or cream

4 ounces cream cheese , cut into pieces

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the asparagus to the water.

Drain pasta and asparagus.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes, browning it on all sides.

Reduce heat to medium.

Add the garlic, onion powder, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes to the skillet.

Cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, half & half, cream cheese, and half of the parmesan cheese.

Stir until well combined. Cook until cream cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through.

Add cooked pasta and asparagus toss to combine.

Add remaining parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, to taste.

Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.

You could also add a splash of milk or chicken broth to thin the sauce, if needed.
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