Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts

Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts ~ 1 pan ~ seared chicken, brussels sprouts + gruyere/white cheddar cheese sauce topped with toasted bread crumbs.

Dinner | November 10, 2018 | By

Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts ~ tender pasta, bites of caramelized chicken and sliced brussels sprouts blanketed in a luxuriously creamy smoked gruyere-white cheddar cheese sauce.

Few foods are more comforting than pasta and gooey melted cheese sauce. This dish has both, plus bites of caramelized chicken and thinly sliced brussels sprouts and it’s all topped with toasted bread crumbs.

This is the sort of slow moving Sunday Supper that you whip up while wearing your favorite comfy pants but it’s so quick and easy to make you can enjoy it (comfy pants too) any night of the week.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts ~ 1 pan ~ seared chicken, brussels sprouts + gruyere/white cheddar cheese sauce topped with toasted bread crumbs.

Why do brussels sprouts have such a bad rap?

When I was a kid I wouldn’t have eaten even a single brussels sprout. Did anyone really like those boiled, lifeless stinky little cabbages?

Today brussels sprouts are one of the most popular vegetables and that all changed with the way we cook them.

Gone is the mushy and smelly brussels sprout of the 60’s and 70’s and maybe on into the 80’s. I did a lot of cooking in the 80’s, but it didn’t include brussels sprouts. I think I was still scarred.

Now we roast or saute vegetables until their edges are golden and crispy and sometimes even get crazy and caramelize their entire bottoms. Whooah. Stop the presses.

This recipe started as Cheesy Brussels Sprouts, roasted then blanketed in a gooey cheese sauce because shouldn’t all holiday dishes be taken to the next level? 

But as the recipe developed, a  pasta craving and a desire to turn it into decadent but simple weeknight meal meant chicken was added.

Capping things ~ literally and figuratively, I toasted a handful of Pankow breadcrumbs, cooked everything (including the pasta) in one pan. Voila! A delicious any night dish that feels as special as Thanksgiving but is as simple as Hamburger Helper.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts ~ 1 pan ~ seared chicken, brussels sprouts + gruyere/white cheddar cheese sauce topped with toasted bread crumbs.

Ingredients:

  • dry penne pasta
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • Pankow breadcrumbs
  • chicken breasts boneless, skinless cut in bite size pieces
  • garlic powder
  • dry sage 
  • brussels trimmed and sliced thin
  • all purpose flour
  • whole milk
  • smoked Gruyere cheese grated
  • white cheddar cheese grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Any quick tips to make this dish?

Yes! To make this recipe go quickly and effortlessly gather, chop, slice and grate all the ingredients before you start cooking (known as Mise en place).

Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts ~ thinly sliced brussels sprouts

Instructions:

Bring the water to a boil in a deep skillet and cook the pasta until it’s almost done but still firm. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water then drain it and set it aside.

In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat then sprinkle in the bread crumbs and toast 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally until they’re golden brown. Remove from the skillet and reserve. Wipe any remaining crumbs from the skillet.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat then add the chicken. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of sage. Sear on both sides and cook until no longer pink inside then transfer the chicken to a medium size bowl.

cheesy chicken pasta with brussels sprouts ~ pan seared chicken and brussels sprouts in a creamy, cheesy sauce topped with toasted bread crumbs.

If the skillet is dry, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and the sliced brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium to medium-high heat 3-4 minutes until the brussels sprouts are tender with lightly browned pieces stirring occasionally then add them to the bowl with the chicken.

Add the butter to the skillet over low heat and once it’s melted, sprinkle in the flour, whisking and cook 1-2 minutes.

Add the milk and whisk until it’s smooth. Season with salt and pepper and the remaining sage. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes as the sauce thickens and bubbles.

Finally the cheese. . .

Stir in the grated cheeses stirring constantly until it’s melted and the sauce is smooth. Turn off the heat then taste the sauce again and adjust salt and pepper to your preferences. It’s important to adjust the salt level to your taste before adding the pasta.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts ~ 1 pan ~ seared chicken, brussels sprouts + gruyere/white cheddar cheese sauce topped with toasted bread crumbs.

Fold in the pasta then the chicken and brussels sprouts. Sprinkle the crispy breadcrumbs over the top and serve right away. Optional: serve the breadcrumbs separately at the table for guests to help themselves.

Enjoy!

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Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts ~ 1 pan ~ seared chicken, brussels sprouts + gruyere/white cheddar cheese sauce topped with toasted bread crumbs.

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cheesy chicken pasta with brussels sprouts ~ pan seared chicken and brussels sprouts in a creamy, cheesy sauce topped with toasted bread crumbs.
Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

One pan chicken, pasta and sliced brussels sprouts in a cheesy sauce topped with toasted bread crumbs. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta bake, chicken pasta bake
Servings: 4
: A Gouda Life
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups dry penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup Pankow breadcrumbs
  • ½ pound chicken breasts boneless skinless cut in bite size pieces
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry sage divided
  • 4 cups brussels sprouts trimmed and sliced thin
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup smoked Gruyere cheese grated
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring water to boil in a deep skillet or pot and cook until it’s almost done but still firm. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water then drain and set it aside.

  2. In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat then sprinkle in the bread crumbs and toast 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and reserve. If necessary, wipe any remaining crumbs from the skillet.
  3. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat then add the chicken. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of sage. Sear on both sides and cook until no longer pink inside then remove from the skillet.

  4. Add  the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and the sliced brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium to medium-high heat 3-4 minutes until the brussels sprouts are tender with lightly browned pieces then remove from the skillet with the chicken. 

  5. Add the butter to the skillet over low heat then sprinkle in the flour, whisk until smooth and cook 1-2 minutes.

  6. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and the remaining sage. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes as the sauce thickens and bubbles.

  7. Stir in the grated cheeses stirring constantly until they're melted and the sauce is smooth. Turn off the heat. Taste the sauce and adjust salt and pepper to your preferences.

  8. Fold in the pasta then the chicken and brussels sprouts. Once combined, sprinkle the crispy breadcrumbs over the top and serve right away. Optional: serve the breadcrumbs separately at the table.

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