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Quick Weeknight Chicken Penne Alfredo {Skinnier, too!}

Two words ~ fast & flavorful.  Which make this Chicken Penne Alfredo {with fresh carrots and broccoli} just perfect for a quick weeknight meal.  And another bonus?  It's a skinnier Alfredo version, too!

With all the craziness going on in my life right now, I've needed to rely on quick and easy recipes lately {or take out!} to get meals on the table.  Fortunately, this Chicken Penne Alfredo is ready in a flash.
Yes, as I wrote about in my last post {Baked Buffalo Wings & Life Happenings}, there's a lot of 'life' going on here at The Kitchen is My Playground right now.  In case you missed it, here's a little of what's going on ...

1. Mark and I are moving soon to be closer to our families ... so there's house-hunting trips, keeping our current house 'show-ready' since it's on the market {can you say pain in the pa-too-teeeeeee???}, and general getting-ready-to-move stuff.

2. My Dad continues his recovery from his fall back in March.  He slipped on ice and sustained a brain injury.  It's been a long road already for our family and Dad still has a long road ahead of him, but overall he's recovering well and making positive gains each and every day.  {We are so thankful for that.}

3. It's the end of the school year, which is always C.R.A.Z.Y. for us teachers.  This coming week is the last full week of school for the students, so the year is truly in wind-down mode.  And along with that comes ... paperwork!  Oh joy of joys.  {Not.}

So in dealing with all of 'that,' I've been grabbing a lot of take-out lately.  And you know what? ... A person can only 'take' so much take-out!  {ha, ha ... pun totally intended}.

So I'm glad to have this quick and easy Chicken Penne Alfredo dish in my recipe box.

What makes this dish so quick and easy, you ask?

Well, to start with, you cook the pasta, carrots {packaged baby carrots that are all ready to go!}, and broccoli florets all in one pot at the same time ... in the pasta water.  Score!  How quick and easy is that??

If you want, you can even buy the packaged pre-cut broccoli florets, saving the step of cutting up the head of broccoli.  Yes, I know it's not super tough to cut up a head of broccoli.  But hey, if you're totally pressed for time and looking to save every  moment possible, then this is one or two more moments that can be saved!

The Alfredo sauce is super quick and easy, too ~ taking advantage of light flavored cream cheese spread and low-fat milk to make a skinnier, lower fat, fast and easy version of Alfredo sauce.

And if you use precooked rotisserie, leftover, or packaged chicken instead of sauteing boneless chicken, you can cut out even more time!

See?  Totally  quick and easy!

Just perfect for a weeknight.  Or for those crazy 'life' times we all seem to have from time to time.  Here's to hoping I get through this  crazy life time!  Quick Chicken Penne Alfredo may just be on the menu quite a bit for a while to help.

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Quick Weeknight Chicken Penne Alfredo
Source:  Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Eat Well Lose Weight magazine
(Printable recipe)
  • 1 1/2 c. dry penne pasta {I use whole wheat}
  • 2 c. baby carrots {from 'the package' ~ already peeled & ready}
  • 3 c. fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts OR about 2 1/2 c. chopped fully-cooked chicken
  • 1 (8 oz.) tub light chive-flavored or garden vegetable-flavored cream cheese spread
  • 1/2 c. 2% or skim milk
  • 1/3 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. olive or canola oil
  1. In a large pot, cook pasta and carrots in salted water according to pasta package directions. When 6 minutes of pasta cooking time remain, add broccoli florets to the pot. Drain pasta and vegetables; return to the pot.
  2. While the pasta and vegetables cook, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through.
  3. Stir cream cheese, milk, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and cooked chicken into the pasta mixture. Stir over low heat until the cream cheese is melted.
  4. If desired, sprinkle individual servings with additional Parmesan.


Please enjoy these other quick weeknight dinners from The Kitchen is My Playground ...

Pizza Spaghetti Bake

Sweet BBQ Pork Chops

Avocado & Basil Pasta

Spicy Tortilla Lasagna

Tex-Mex Ravioli Lasagna



  1. A delightful quick and easy Afredo and all the other dishes look wonderful too. Blessings, Catherine

  2. Omg this looks soooo hubby doesn't like pasta and I can't understand it. I'm bookmarking this to make for myself when he is gone. Thanks for the recipe~~

    1. I'm with you, Gina ... can't understand not loving pasta!!

  3. Two words - I love it. OK, I guess that's three, but I do. Anything that's fast & flavorful fits the bill for me. I found your delicious recipe today on The Weekend Potluck link party, I think it looks wonderful and I am hoping you would bring it or one of your other delicious creations to my link party The Yuck Stop Here. You can find us this week until Sunday evening at 8pm ET at or starting next Tuesday at 8pm ET at Hope to see you there! Thanks for sharing & HUGS

  4. Looks delish! What a wonderful summer pasta dish! Thanks for linking with us at The Yuck Stops Here. Hope to see you next week! Chrystal @

    1. Thank you, ladies, for inviting me over!

  5. Love chicken penne alfredo...heck I love almost everything alfredo. :) This looks very delish!

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. WOW!, I'm getting side tracked by all your yummy pictures/recipes!! pinned & followed & found you from the Yuck stops here :) Michelle

  7. What a delicious chicken pasta dinner! This looks so good, I wish I had a big bowl of this for dinner! It looks amazing!

  8. Yum! Love Alfredo but have never made it- I will be trying this method! Thanks!!

  9. I have been wanting to add in more broccoli dishes and this looks great!


I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience.}

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