Colorful Chicken Alfredo
This fresh, colorful pasta dish is *perfect* for summer. The sweet, crisp bell peppers add such a wonderful flavor to the chicken and creamy alfredo sauce. The color and taste really bring this dish to life! :) Pour over some funky farfalle pasta and top with a little fresh basil if you’ve got some- this dish is definitely pasta perfection! :)
To start we’ll need…
1 lb chicken breasts (I used bone-in, skin-on chicken cause it was on sale- but you could definitely use boneless/skinless too)
9-10 bouillon cubes (or 3 tbsp bouillon granules- I like to use these because it’s easier than peeling the paper off 10 cubes! ;))
2 cups farfalle pasta
1/2 cup reserved chicken broth
4 tbsp butter, divided
1 cup half and half
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 green bell pepper
6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
Let’s go ahead and get that chicken simmering- add your chicken and bouillon cubes (or granules) to a large pot and cover with 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, and simmer over medium heat for 20 mins, or until chicken is done.
While the chicken is simmering, grab one of your bell peppers and lop off the top and bottom.
Cut the remaining piece into 4ths, and cut out the seeds and membrane and stuff.
Until you’re left with 4 pieces that look like this.
Now take a piece and flatten it skin side up on your cutting board and cut it into matchsticks. Or french fries. Or “julienne” if you want to get all Food Network on me. ;)
Now since it’s just me and Kevin, and this dish serves 2-3 people, I only use about half of the peppers.
I put half aside to use and the other half in a ziploc bag in the freezer for when I need bell peppers again. They are good in the freezer for up to a year, but they never, ever last that long around here. ;) If you want to double this recipe, feel free to go ahead and use all the bell peppers- or save for next time like me. Because oh yes, trust me, there will *definitely* be a next time. ;)
When all your bell peppers are sliced and your chicken is done, remove the chicken to a plate to cool and go ahead and strain that chicken broth. (This probably would have been better done in the sink. ;)) Before I got this fancy wire mesh strainer, I was known to use a sifter… But don’t tell anybody that, ok? You’ll need 1/2 cup of the broth for the alfredo sauce and definitely *save* the rest of that broth! :) I freeze mine in 2 cup containers and pull it out whenever I make rice. Rice made with chicken broth is so-so-so-so good! :) (If you want to make rice like I do…2 cups broth, 1 cup rice, 1 tsp salt, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 mins. no more, no less. But that’s for another day. No rice in this recipe! ;))
Anyway! At this point, you’ll probably want to go ahead and get started boiling the pasta. Add 2 cups of farfalle pasta to a large pot and cover with at least 1 quart of water. Add 1 tbsp salt and boil for 10 mins (or according to package directions). I rinsed out the big pot I boiled the chicken in and used the same pot for the noodles. I only have one big pot.
Now for the creamy alfredo sauce… Heat 3 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup of the reserved chicken broth to a sauce pan over medium heat until the butter is melted.
Then add 1 cup half and half- wait. Stop. I know. I know. Half and half?? Half and half?? It’s not really alfredo sauce without HEAVY cream. I know. But it’s bathing suit season people. Bathing suit. *shudder*. You can understand right? Besides- I’ve made it both ways and this sauce tastes *just* as divine with half and half. The heavy cream really only makes the sauce thicker, it’s not like using half and half changes the taste or anything. :p That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. ;)
After the half and half, add the minced garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and then slowly whisk in 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Simmer over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally.
While the sauce is simmering, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium high heat.
Saute bell peppers for 5-6 mins, stirring occasionally until they’re crisp tender and look like this. :D
While the bell peppers are sauteing, go ahead and chop up that chicken, which should be cooled by now. But don’t forget to give your sauce and peppers a quick stir every now and then. :) Add the chopped chicken to the bell peppers, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Turn the heat down to low, then pour the alfredo sauce over the chicken. Oh man- the sweet bell peppers bring out such a *sweet*, amazing flavor in the alfredo sauce! :) Not to mention it makes it pretty and colorful. :D Let it simmer to combine flavors while you drain and plate the noodles.
I like to put my pasta in a large bowl and toss with the chicken, bell peppers and sweet, creamy alfredo sauce. Tonight I topped it with some fresh genovese basil from my garden, since I had it on hand. Man, oh man was it good! :)
Make this tonight! You (and your bathing suit ;)) won’t regret it!
Colorful Chicken Alfredo
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 quarts water
- 8-10 bouillon cubes
- 1 quart water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 lb farfalle noodles
- 1/2 cup reserved chicken broth
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper each
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
- Place rinsed chicken and 8-10 bouillon cubes in a large pot and cover with 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 20 mins until chicken is done. Remove chicken to a cutting board and let sit until cool enough to handle, then cut into bite sized pieces. Strain the broth and save 1/2 cup. Keep the rest of the broth in the fridge (up to 1 week) or freezer for later use (great for making rice!).
- Boil farfalle noodles with at least 1 quart of water in a large pot with 1 tablespoon salt for 11 mins (or according to pkg instructions).
- In a small saucepan, heat the 1/2 cup reserved chicken broth and 3 tablespoon butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add 1 cup half and half, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each. Stir to combine, then slowly whisk in the 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Let simmer, whisking occasionally.
- Slice bell peppers into matchsticks. Melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat, then saute bell peppers for about 5-6 mins. Add in chopped chicken and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine flavors. Turn heat down to low and pour the cream sauce over the chicken and bell peppers. Stir to combine- let simmer.
- Chop the basil, drain and plate the noodles, then toss with the chicken, bell peppers and sweet alfredo sauce. Top with basil.