I love when I am able to make a dish from start to table in 30 minutes or less. I especially love it when I am able to use fresh ingredients because I feel like I am serving my family better food. But fresh ingredients doesn’t mean I don’t find shortcuts that still allow me to control what goes into the food.
My chicken Alfredo is a mostly homemade dish that is a crowd-pleaser in my house. I have served it for dinner parties, unexpected dinner guests, and just for us. It is a great way to use up leftover chicken or even canned premium white meat chicken. It is quick, easy, and tasty. Win-win-win! My favorite.
Quick and Easy Chicken Alfredo
You can use any kind of pre-cooked chicken that you have. I have used my leftover roasted chicken. Sometimes, I bulk-grill chicken along with other meats when I grill out, and I can use that. Or I quickly bake a chicken breast in my air-fryer before going to work. Sometimes, I have used canned chicken.
Each kind will give a different flavor, but it will always taste great. My recipe feeds three people, which can easily be doubled or tripled for more guests or divided into servings for quick lunches.
Ingredients — 5 minute prep time
¾ pound shredded precooked chicken(2 cups)
½ cup diced onion (about 1 small onion)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup of sliced mushrooms, about 3–4 caps (optional)
½ jar of Bertolli Alfredo sauce (about 1 cup)
2 cups farfalle (bow-tie) pasta(uncooked)
Salt and pepper to taste
Before you begin cooking, you want to start boiling your water for the pasta. If you prefer, you can substitute thin egg noodles, linguini, or plain spaghetti noodles for the farfalle. Add a teaspoon of kosher salt to the water. This will salt the noodles while they cook, but you will pour off most of it.
Cooking the dish — 15 minutes
While you wait for your water to boil, prepare your diced onion and any side dishes you wish to have. This meal pairs well with a salad and breadsticks or New York® garlic toast from the freezer section at your store. We often make Pillsbury® crusty French bread, so I start that first.
When the water starts to boil, drop in your pasta and start baking the bread. In a 10-inch skillet, saute the onion until translucent, about 3–5 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cover and heat through.
Check the doneness of the pasta. Once it is almost cooked (al dente — where the outside is tender but there is a slight firmness to the very inner part of the pasta), remove it from the heat, but do not drain it. You will need to reserve half a cup of the pasta water to thin the Alfredo sauce.
Add the Alfredo sauce to the chicken mixture and heat until bubbly. Drain the pasta, but reserve a half cup of the water to mix into the chicken when you add the pasta. This will allow the sauce to create an even coat over the pasta. Stir in the pasta and reserved water and mix until all ingredients are coated.
Serve it with a salad and garlic bread, and you have a quick, tasty meal.
Get the kids to eat their veggies!
You can add a cup of veggies to this to add color and variety to this dish. Fresh or frozen broccoli florets can be sauteed with the onions, or you can add a can of drained English peas, fresh baby spinach, or kale when you add the sauce to the chicken.
This dish is great to serve at a dinner party. Your guests will be impressed, but you won’t spend all your time in the kitchen.
Pat Davis, a retired teacher and editor of Simply Living and Living Simply, lives with her husband and neurotic cat, Neko. She loves to read, write, travel, bake, garden, sew, and craft—top writer in Food and Cooking.