Creamy Chicken Pasta with veggies that blend right into the sauce? Win! This pasta recipe is legit delicious and so crazy comforting. Plus, you can make the sauce ahead and take some shortcuts along the way. Win-win!

creamy chicken pasta in three bowls.

Creamy Chicken Pasta

I love simplifying meals so that we can dirty fewer dishes and still enjoy a delicious meal, and this dinner is a mash-up of two of our favorites. My fan-favorite Cauliflower Mac and Cheese combined with chicken—Pan-Seared, Crispy Breaded Chicken Tenders, or store-bought rotisserie or grilled chicken all work—makes for a most delicious meal.

You can make the sauce ahead of time to get a jump start on the process if you want, or you can make it all in the moment. This recipe works with fresh or frozen cauliflower (the flavor of both is very mild and not very noticeable) and whichever type of pasta your family prefers, too.

This is a favorite weeknight meal and delish toddler pasta recipe to share. (You may also like my Chicken in Tomato Sauce with Pasta for another riff on a similar idea.)

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Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at the ingredients you need to make this easy chicken and pasta recipe so you know what to pick up at the store and have on hand.

Ingredients for creamy chicken pasta on countertop.
  • Cauliflower: You can use any type of raw cauliflower you like here, whether a bag of florets, a chopped-up full head, or frozen cauliflower.
  • Milk: I make this recipe with whole milk, but you can use a different type if preferred. To make this dairy-free, use plain, unsweetened nondairy milk. 
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: You can grate cheese from a whole block or use shredded cheese from the store. They both work similarly.
  • Butter: Butter adds flavor and richness to the creamy sauce, so I add it to the mix. I usually use unsalted butter, but salted works if that’s what you have.
  • Salt: This recipe does need a little salt to be flavorful—a pinch ensures the rest of the flavors pop through.
  • Garlic powder: You can add a hint of garlic to this recipe with garlic powder, which is a nice flavor component in the mix with the other ingredients.
  • Pasta: I like to use a small pasta shape such as elbows, wheels, or the mafalda corta shown here.
  • Chicken: You can use any fully cooked chicken you like in this recipe, whether you buy rotisserie or grilled chicken from the store or you make Pan-Seared Chicken Tenders or Breaded Chicken Tenders.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is an overview of how to make this recipe so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full recipe, including the amounts and timing.

how to make creamy chicken pasta in grid of images.
  1. Cook the cauliflower in a pot of water until tender.
  2. Use a fine-mesh strainer or slotted spoon to remove the cauliflower and add to a blender. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients.
  3. Blend the sauce very smooth.
  4. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water from Step 1 and cook. Stir the cheese sauce into the pasta and serve warm.
Creamy chicken pasta close up in pan.

How to Store

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Warm for 30-60 seconds in the microwave to serve. Sprinkle with a little water and cover to warm to trap in moisture and return the pasta to its soft, creamy texture.

(You may also like my Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce and my easy Meatball Soup.)

creamy chicken pasta in pink kids bowl.

Best Tips for Success

  • You can make the cheese sauce up to 3 days ahead and store it in an airtight container. Warm for 15-30 seconds in the microwave before stirring into the pasta.
  • Use whichever kind of pasta your family likes best.
  • I usually buy blocks of cheese and grate the cheese since it tends to be less expensive, but you can use purchased grated cheese if you prefer.
  • Omit the garlic powder if you’re at all worried that the kids may not like it.
  • Stir the sauce into the pasta right before serving.

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creamy chicken pasta in three bowls.

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pasta with veggies that blend right into the sauce? Win! This pasta recipe is legit delicious and is so crazy comforting. See the Notes for variations and storage information.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dinner
Calories 361kcal
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 small head cauliflower (stem discarded and chopped into small pieces; or about 4 cups florets)
  • cup milk (warmed slightly)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound pasta (such as elbow or other mini pasta shape)
  • 2 cups fully cooked diced or shredded chicken
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Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook for 8-10 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork.
  • Use a fine-mesh strainer or slotted spoon to remove the cauliflower and add to a blender. Add the milk, cheese, butter, salt, and garlic powder. Blend until smooth.
  • Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water from Step 1 and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Add the chicken.
  • Stir the cheese sauce into the pasta, using as much or as little as you like to completely coat the noodles and chicken. (Or, you can serve the chicken on the side if your family prefers.) Serve warm.

Notes

  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Warm for 30-60 seconds in the microwave to serve.
  • You can make the cheese sauce up to 3 days ahead and store it in an airtight container. Warm for 15-30 seconds in the microwave before stirring into the pasta.
  • Use whichever kind of pasta your family likes best.
  • I usually buy blocks of cheese and grate the cheese since it tends to be less expensive, but you can use purchased grated cheese if you prefer.
  • Omit the garlic powder if you’re worried that the kids won’t like it.
  • Stir the sauce into the pasta right before serving.
  • Dairy-free: Use plain, unsweetened nondairy milk, vegan butter, and nondairy cheese.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 257mg, Potassium: 458mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 273IU, Vitamin C: 25mg, Calcium: 151mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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  1. 5 stars
    THE BEST pasta for my 15-month-old baby! I’ve never seen him enjoying a dish so much. Thank you for all the great recipes- we’ve been loving (baby + the whole fam) the Spinach banana muffins, Yoghurt muffins, the applesauce ones, pancakes etc.
    Honestly you have got the most delicious, easy to make recipes. I’ve never enjoyed cooking for my baby as much as I do now since I’ve discovered your website.