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Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Ziti & Asiago Cheese


America's Test Kitchen, October 2006

This dish is very filling. It's mildly time-consuming, because the prep can take 20-30 minutes, depending on your knife skills. The beauty of this dish is that the chicken and pasta is cooked in the same skillet. Garlic, red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes and oregano is a perfect seasoning-- and at the end, fresh broccoli is added until cooked to al dente. The sauce is finished with a little heavy cream, lemon juice and Asiago cheese (you can use Parmesan) for a delicious comfort food pasta dish that even kids will love.

For step-by-step photos, please visit my food blog:

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  • 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch squares
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces ziti (2 1/2cups)
  • 2 3/4 cups water, divided
  • 1 2/3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets (4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes , rinsed and chopped coarse
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ounce grated Asiago cheese (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Note: This recipe also works well with 8 ounces of penne. Parmesan cheese can also be substituted for the Asiago.


Servings 6
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 50mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.

Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring.

Stir the chicken and continue to cook until most, but not all, of the pink color has disappeared and the chicken is lightly browned around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the ziti, 2 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.

Add the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining 3/4 cup water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Uncover and return the heat to high.

Stir in the cream, Asiago, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing more grated Asiago at the table, if desired.


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