Chicken Broccoli Pasta with White Wine Sauce

Richly flavorful and topped with parmesan, this healthy chicken broccoli pasta includes fresh spinach and a garlic and shallot white wine sauce.


The story of this chicken broccoli pasta recipe all began when I wanted to do a healthier makeover of a dish Chris loves: chicken and broccoli fettuccine Alfredo.

I tried several creamier pastas before I landed on the recipe I’m presenting for you here today.

This particular chicken broccoli pasta has no butter, no cream, not even any milk.

And I like it better than anything else I’ve tried.


It was a surprising discovery that the lighter dish was the one Chris and I both preferred.

But we both love this version of chicken broccoli pasta, and I’ve been making it weekly since I created it.


This particular chicken broccoli pasta sauce is made with olive oil, white wine, garlic, and shallots.

(Plus one secret ingredient we’ll discuss soon…)

It’s really light but still very flavorful.

And I feel healthy after eating a bowl, rather than super uncomfortably stuffed.


Oh, and the secret ingredient I mentioned earlier: it’s pasta water!

Many times, I’d seen T.V. chefs incorporate the water they’d used for boiling their pasta into their final pasta dish.

But I never bothered to try it.

I just thought, what major difference could a little splash of pasta water honestly do to transform a dish?


It turns out, the pasta water makes a difference!

In this chicken broccoli pasta recipe, the pasta water helps to bulk up the sauce, so it thoroughly coats all of the chicken and broccoli.

And one other thing: the starchiness from the pasta water really helps to thicken up the sauce.


This is an easy chicken broccoli pasta recipe, but I should mention that it’s important to get the timing right.

There are a lot of different elements that need to come together perfectly at the end in order to serve the dish piping hot.

Here’s the method I’ve figured out that works best:

  • Read over the recipe before you begin, so you can plan your timing. I still do this step, even though I created the recipe! It helps to know what’s coming next.
  • Prep everything first: get a stock pot of water boiling for the pasta, cube the chicken, chop the spinach, mince the garlic, dice the shallot, and thaw the broccoli.
  • When you begin cooking the penne pasta, also begin sautéing the chicken.
  • When the chicken is cooked, scoop it out with a slotted spoon, leaving the olive oil in the sauté pan. Then begin cooking the white wine sauce in the same sauté pan.
  • At the end, stir all of the ingredients into the sauté pan containing the white wine sauce.


Here’s the recipe for Chicken Broccoli Pasta with White Wine Sauce:

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Chicken Broccoli Pasta with White Wine Sauce

  • Author: Jen Elizabeth's Journals
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken Dish
  • Cuisine: Italian Inspired


Richly flavorful and topped with parmesan, this healthy chicken broccoli pasta includes fresh spinach and a garlic and shallot white wine sauce.


  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (or substitute arugula or baby kale)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound organic pastured skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 shallot, diced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen petite/mini broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 cup parmesan, grated
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Season water thoroughly with salt. Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package instructions.
  2. When pasta is nearly al dente, use a ladle to scoop out about 2/3 cup of the water the pasta is cooking in. Set this pasta water aside.
  3. When pasta is al dente, place the chopped spinach in a colander. Pour the cooked pasta into the colander to drain. This will wilt the spinach at the same time that the pasta is drained.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the cubed chicken with salt and pepper and place in the skillet. Allow the chicken to cook until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside.
  5. Turn the heat down to low. After the sauté pan has cooled slightly, add the garlic and shallot to the pan. There should still be plenty of olive oil remaining in the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic and shallot are softened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the white wine and turn up the heat to medium-high. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits that are stuck to the pan and stir into the sauce (this adds lots of flavor!) Cook until the wine is reduced and sauce is thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat. Pour the chicken back into the pan, along with the penne and wilted spinach, broccoli (thawed), thyme, and reserved pasta water. Season everything thoroughly with salt and pepper. Stir until everything is well combined and thoroughly coated in sauce.
  8. Transfer pasta to serving plates. Top each plate of chicken broccoli pasta with generous handfuls of grated parmesan. Serve.


  1. Don’t skip the pasta water! It helps to create enough sauce to coat all of the chicken broccoli pasta, and it helps to thicken the sauce too.
  2. Don’t stir the parmesan into the sauce or it’ll create a lumpy texture. Simply top each plate of chicken broccoli pasta with parmesan before serving.

Keywords: chicken, broccoli, pasta, white wine, spinach, penne, healthy

Read Next:

30-Minute Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake

Cheesy Broccoli Skillet Potatoes

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry

Easy Slow Cooker Dijon Chicken with Winter Vegetables


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