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With a rich, from-scratch sauce and juicy, tender chicken breasts, this Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo has it all! Ready in just 30 minutes, this easy pasta dish with perfectly seasoned, pan-seared chicken and homemade alfredo sauce is perfect for weeknights when you need a satisfying meal in no time at all! It tastes 1,000x better than your Olive Garden favorite!

Thick and creamy pasta dishes are ultra comforting and always a hit at our house! Some of our other favorites are Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta, Chicken Spaghetti Casserole, or this Copycat Costco Mac and Cheese!

A pan of chicken fettucine alfredo

The Best Recipe for Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Between my recipes for Zuppa Toscana, Olive Garden Salad Dressing, and Soft Garlic Parmesan Homemade Breadsticks, you might have already guessed that I’m a fan of Olive Garden. Or at least I used to be! It’s been ages since I have eaten there. And to be honest, we now prefer making our Olive Garden favorites at home anyway! It’s fun to see if I can recreate our menu favorites myself at home, like this Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo recipe!

You won’t believe how quickly this recipe comes together in just 30 minutes! To make this Olive Garden Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo recipe I used simple pantry staples like cream, cheese, pasta, and chicken – all of which I already had on hand. Quick and easy are two very important things when it comes to making mid-week meals for my family!

fettucine being added by tongs to the alfredo sauce

The Alfredo sauce itself is so creamy and buttery, with a hint of cheese and the tiniest kick from cayenne pepper. Sorry Olive Garden, but I think it may even be better than the original!

Then I pan-fried the chicken with some butter as well. It was cooked absolutely perfectly – succulent, juicy, and tender. Not a hint of dryness at all! Although this would also be delicious with pan seared salmon instead.

A white bowl of chicken fettucine alfredo

I serve this chicken fettuccine alfredo with a side salad along with our Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe and also Soft Garlic Parmesan Homemade Breadsticks to make it a complete Olive Garden Copycat dinner. It feels like we went out for an amazing meal, but we never even left our doorstep!

A pan of chicken fettucine alfredo with fresh parsley

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Ingredients

To make the Chicken:

  • Chicken breasts: Chicken is a light and easy-to-cook healthy protein, that takes on other flavors so well! My trick for pan-searing chicken breasts and keeping them perfectly cooked and juicy is to slice them in half horizontally.
  • Seasoning: Kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder help to balance the chicken, and give the taste a great boost!
  • Paprika: I opted for smoky paprika here. It’s one of my favorite ingredients and the smokiness tastes absolutely amazing with the creamy chicken fettuccine alfredo sauce!
  • Butter: Butter gives dishes an added layer of richness – it’s so dreamy! I toss the butter into the chicken pan just before it finishes cooking so that it doesn’t over-cook, as butter can brown and burn easily.

Homemade Alfredo Sauce:

  • Butter: Yes, more butter! This is alfredo sauce, not diet food. I’ve made and enjoyed “skinny” alfredo sauce recipes before, and while good, they just don’t compare to the real thing. As long as we aren’t making fettuccine alfredo on a weekly basis, I prefer to go all-in on my sauce.
  • Garlic: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo is quite a garlicky dish, so I added in plenty of fresh garlic cloves.
  • Cream: Cream turns all of these ingredients into the sauce! I wanted it to be nice and thick, with plenty of creamy flavor so I used heavy cream as opposed to something lighter like light cream, half and half, or whole milk. It just wouldn’t be the same without it!
  • Parmesan: Freshly grated parmesan brings a cheesiness as well as an amazing tangy kick.
  • Seasoning: Salt and pepper elevate the entire dish.
  • Cayenne pepper: Just a hint of heat from the cayenne pepper makes this alfredo sauce super addictive. I promise it doesn’t taste spicy. My husband sometimes even asks me to double the cayenne pepper because he loves it in this sauce.
  • Parsley: Fresh Italian parsley is the perfect garnish to this dish! It helps to cut all of the richness a little with a refreshing herb.
  • Fettuccine: The pasta of choice for Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta! Feel free to use less if you like this dish to be extra saucy.
Ingredients for chicken fettuccine alfredo: pasta, cream, garlic, butter, parmesan, and seasoning

How to Make Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo like Olive Garden!

Cook the chicken:

  1. Slice the chicken. Firstly, use a sharp knife to slice each chicken breast in half horizontally. This will make them much easier to cook through evenly and have a better ratio of seasoning.
  2. Mix, pat, and sprinkle. Secondly, in a small bowl, mix together the salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and smoked paprika. Pat the chicken dry, then sprinkle evenly over both sides of the chicken cutlets.
  3. Heat and sear. Next, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot (about 2-3 minutes), then add the olive oil and let it get nice and hot. Once the oil is so hot it is shimmering, carefully arrange the chicken cutlets in the pan. Be sure not to move the chicken at all once it touches the pan so it can get a really nice sear!
  4. Continue cooking. Immediately turn the heat down to medium then cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes on the first side, letting the chicken sear without moving it. When the chicken is well-seared, it should easily release from the pan. Flip and immediately add the butter to the pan. Cook another 2-3 minutes on the other side until the chicken is cooked through and reaches 160 degrees F when tested with an instant-read digital meat thermometer (affiliate link).
  5. Rest and slice. Finally, remove the chicken from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes. The temperature of the chicken will continue to rise to 165 degrees F while it rests. Keep warm, then slice just before serving the chicken fettuccine alfredo.

Boil the Pasta:

  1. Boil and salt. Meanwhile, as the chicken cooks, heat a large pot filled with water to boiling. Salt the water generously with about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
  2. Cook and toss. Next, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, then drain, reserving about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water. Drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta and toss it to coat so the noodles don’t stick together.

Whip up the Fettuccine Alfredo sauce:

  1. Melt the butter. First of all, in a clean skillet or the same pan used for the chicken, melt the butter for the chicken fettuccine alfredo sauce.
  2. Sauté the garlic. Secondly, once the butter has melted and starts to bubble just a bit, add the garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Stir in cream, seasoning, and spice. Next, slowly add the heavy cream while stirring. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Let this cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the cream is just starting to bubble around the edges, but do not let the cream come to a boil.
  1. Melt in the cheese. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then sprinkle 1 cup of the freshly grated parmesan cheese over the sauce, stirring while adding until the cheese is melted in.
  2. Coat the pasta. Add the pasta to the chicken fettuccine alfredo sauce, tossing to coat evenly. You can add some of the reserved pasta water, a couple tablespoons at a time, to loosen the sauce a bit if it starts to thicken up more than you would like.
  3. Serve! Finally, slice the chicken into thin strips and serve on top of the pasta with a sprinkle of freshly chopped Italian parsley and the remaining parmesan cheese.
fettucine pasta in alfredo sauce, in a pan

How to store chicken fettuccine alfredo leftovers

Store this chicken fettuccine alfredo recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat it in a pot or pan on the stove until it is cooked through. You can reheat the chicken separately by wrapping it in aluminum foil and baking it in the oven until hot all the way through.

close up of pasta and sauce

What’s the difference between white sauce and alfredo sauce?

White sauce is more of a roux, made by mixing butter with flour to form a paste and then adding milk or cream to create the sauce. On the other hand, chicken fettuccine alfredo sauce is a creamy white sauce made with butter, cheese, and cream, skipping the flour entirely.

a pan of fettucine pasta on alfredo sauce for chicken fettuccine alfredo

Can I use milk instead of heavy cream in Alfredo Sauce?

Yes, you can substitute milk, light cream of half and half if that’s what you have on hand. The sauce will be thinner, and won’t taste quite as rich and decadent, but you’ll save on calories overall.

How do you thicken Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce?

If your sauce seems too thin, you can add in extra butter and mix it until it’s nice and thick, or you can add in more parmesan cheese. This shouldn’t affect the flavor too much, but may make it heavier and tangier. Keep in mind though that the sauce will thicken as it cools, and it gets absorbed into the pasta a bit, so you don’t want it too thick to start out.

overhead, a pan of fettucine pasta on alfredo sauce

More Pasta Recipes Like This

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Chicken Fettucine Alfredo

With a rich, from-scratch sauce and juicy, tender chicken breasts, this Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo has it all! Ready in just 30 minutes, this easy pasta dish with perfectly seasoned, pan-seared chicken and homemade alfredo sauce is perfect for weeknights when you need a satisfying meal in no time at all! It tastes 1,000x better than your Olive Garden favorite!
4.67 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 1273kcal
Author: Amy Nash

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 2 large chicken breasts about 1 and 1/2 pounds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Pasta

  • large pot of water
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt for pasta water
  • 12 to 16 ounces fettuccine use the lesser amount if you prefer saucier pasta

Sauce

  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Instructions

Chicken

  • Use a sharp knife to slice each chicken breast in half horizontally. This will make them much easier to cook through evenly and have a better ratio of seasoning.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and smoked paprika. Pat the chicken dry, then sprinkle evenly over both sides of the chicken cutlets.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot (about 2-3 minutes), then add the olive oil and let it get nice and hot. Once the oil is so hot it is shimmering, carefully arrange the chicken cutlets in the pan. Be sure not to move the chicken at all once it touches the pan so it can get a really nice sear!
  • Immediately turn the heat down to medium then cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes on the first side, letting the chicken sear without moving it. When the chicken is well-seared, it should easily release from the pan. Flip and immediately add the butter to the pan. Cook another 2-3 minutes on the other side until the chicken is cooked through and reaches 160 degrees F when tested with an instant read digital meat thermometer.
  • Remove from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes. The temperature of the chicken will continue to rise to 165 degrees F while it rests. Keep warm, then slice just before serving.

Pasta

  • Meanwhile, heat a large pot filled with water to boiling. Salt the water generously with about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, then drain, reserving about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water. Drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta and toss it to coat so the noodles don't stick together.

Alfredo Sauce

  • In a clean skillet or the same pan used for the chicken, melt the butter for the alfredo sauce.
  • Once the butter has melted and starts to bubble just a bit, add the garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds until fragrant.
  • Slowly add the heavy cream while stirring. Season with the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Let this cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the cream is just starting to bubble around the edges, but do not let the cream come to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low, then sprinkle 1 cup of the freshly grated parmesan cheese over the sauce, stirring while adding until the cheese is melted in.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat evenly. You can add some of the reserved pasta water, a couple tablespoons at a time, to loosen the sauce a bit if it starts to thicken up more than you would like.
  • Slice the chicken into thin strips and serve on top of the pasta with a sprinkle of freshly chopped Italian parsley and the remaining parmesan cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 1273kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 88g | Saturated Fat: 49g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 392mg | Sodium: 4142mg | Potassium: 805mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3031IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 547mg | Iron: 3mg
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