This easy chicken spinach alfredo is made in less than 15 minutes, making it the perfect option for quick weeknight dinners.
This chicken alfredo with spinach is a fantastic creamy pasta dish, and comfort food at its finest. It's creamy and rich, and packed with amazing flavors.
Best of all, this easy chicken pasta recipe is made in less than 15 minutes. This makes it a great choice for an easy lunch or dinner. With an endless amount of variations available, you can also customize the recipe to fit your preference and dietary requirements.
Why you'll love it
- Easy to make in only 15-minutes
- Affordable and accessible ingredients
- Easy to customize, with several variations available
- Filling weeknight dinner option
Chicken: I use chicken breast, but you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
Spinach: Fresh spinach is great in this dish. You can also use frozen spinach, or substitute it with kale. Baby spinach and regular spinach will both work well.
All-purpose flour: Thickens the sauce. You can also use cornstarch.
Butter: A key ingredient when making a thick, creamy sauce.
Heavy cream: Also known as double cream, this is the base ingredient of the sauce. You can substitute this with a variety of ingredients, like half and half, creme fraiche, cream cheese or alfredo sauce.
Garlic: Use garlic cloves, garlic paste or garlic powder.
Onion: Any onion will work well in this recipe. Try yellow or brown onions, red onions or even shallots.
Pasta: You can create this dish with your favorite pasta shape. I like to use a short type of pasta, like penne, rotini or fusilli. You can also use spaghetti or macaroni if you prefer.
Parmesan: Freshly grated parmesan cheese adds a lovely flavor and texture to the dish.
Seasoning: Red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt and freshly ground black pepper add fantastic flavor to the chicken pasta dish.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Boil the pasta in salted water in a separate pot according to the package instructions.
Two: Warm up olive oil in a larger pot or skillet over medium heat. Add diced or sliced chicken breasts, and cook for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked through and slightly golden brown on the surface. Remove the chicken from the pot, and set it to the side.
Three: Add diced onion and garlic to the pan, and sautee for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning, and sautee for another minute.
Four: Add butter to the onion, and melt it. Add flour, and stir to form a paste around the onion. Gradually add the cream while you stir to incorporate the liquid evenly. A thick sauce will form.
Five: Add drained cooked pasta, shredded cooked chicken and washed spinach to the creamy sauce.
Six: Stir to combine the ingredients evenly. Add Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Make sure that the chicken has cooked through completely before you remove it from the pot.
- Keep an eye on the food as it cooks. Pay attention to the chicken, onions and sauce to prevent from from overcooking or burning.
- You can vary this dish endlessly. See the Variations section below for some suggested adjustments you can try.
- Make a quick version of this recipe by using precooked chicken, leftover roast chicken, or rotisserie chicken.
Chicken and spinach alfredo is best served as an entree for lunch or dinner. You can serve it on its own as a one pot dinner, or pair it with a side dish or two.
I love to serve pasta with toasted bread. You can also serve it with garlic bread, or homemade bread rolls.
Healthier swaps: Some healthy swaps can include using whole wheat pasta or chickpea pasta, light butter, and creme fraiche in place of heavy cream. You can make one or several of these swaps.
Added veggies: You can add extra vegetables to the dish if you like. Cauliflower, broccoli, kale, mushrooms or sliced peppers would be excellent alternatives.
Alternative seasoning: Replace the Italian seasoning with mixed dried herbs, dried basil, parsley, rhyme or oregano. You can also omit the red pepper flakes, or add extra if you want to make a spicy version of the dish. Try adding Dijon mustard, lemon zest or smoked paprika to change the flavor of the dish.
Other cuts of chicken: Use any shredded chicken, or boneless skinless chicken thighs. You can also cook chicken thighs or drumsticks, and remove the skin and bones before you add them to the pasta dish.
To make this recipe, you will need two pot: one to boil the pasta in, and a large pot cook the sauce in.
Additionally, you will need a sharp knife and cutting board to prepare the meat and vegetables. Use different cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables.
I like to use a colander to drain the cooked pasta. You will also need a wooden spoon, or any other utensil, like a spatula, to stir the ingredients.
You can store leftover chicken and spinach alfredo in a sealed container for up to 2 days. Reheat the dish in a microwave or on the stove, and serve it warm.
I don't recommend freezing this dish, as the heavy cream tends to split after thawing.
Frequently asked questions
Chicken isn't traditionally cooked with pasta in Italy, but it's a really common and well loved combination in the US and across most of Europe. Pasta and chicken go well together both when they are cooked together, and when served side by side.
Traditional alfredo is cooked pasta with Parmesan cheese and butter. The cheese and butter melts into a thick, rich sauce. Alfredo is generally known as a creamy pasta sauce, and most recipes include cream and various herbs or spices.
Yes! For a lighter option, you can make alfredo sauce with milk instead of heavy cream. The consistency of the sauce will be similar, but the sauce will have less flavor and contain less fat.
You might also like these recipes
- Bacon and Mushroom Pasta
- Kielbasa Pasta
- Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake
- Roasted Tomato Pasta
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- Sausage Pasta Bake
- Halloumi Pasta
- Spicy Harissa Pasta
If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
Chicken Spinach Alfredo
- Boil the pasta in salted water in a separate pot according to the package instructions.8 ounces pasta
- Thinly slice or dice the chicken into bite sized pieces. Peel and finely dice the onion, and grate the garlic. Wash the spinach.1 pound chicken breasts, 4 garlic cloves, 1 onion, 2 cups spinach
- Warm up olive oil in a larger pot or skillet over medium heat. Add diced or sliced chicken breasts, and cook for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked through and slightly golden brown on the surface. Remove the chicken from the pot, and set it to the side. Shred or dice the chicken into smaller pieces.1 teaspoon olive oil
- Add diced onion and garlic to the pan, and sauté for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning, and sauté for another minute.⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Add butter to the onion, and melt it. Add flour, and stir to allow the flour and butter to form a paste around the onion.1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Gradually add cream to the onion paste while you stir to incorporate the liquid evenly. A thick sauce will form.1 cup heavy cream
- Add drained cooked pasta, shredded cooked chicken and washed spinach to the creamy sauce.
- Stir to combine the ingredients evenly. Add Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.½ cup Parmesan cheese, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days. Serve cold, or reheat on the stove or in a microwave.
- You can replace the heavy cream with milk, cream cheese or creme fraiche if you prefer. Using milk or creme fraiche will significantly reduce the amount of calories in the dish.
- Feel free to add extra vegetables, like sliced peppers, mushrooms, washed kale or small broccoli florets.
- For a quick version of the dish, you can use precooked chicken like rotisserie chicken, or leftover roast chicken.
Food safety tips
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove