Lightened Up Bowtie Chicken and Asparagus Alfredo
This creamy bowtie alfredo pasta dish is so simple and delicious, you might want to go ahead and add it to your permanent dinner rotation.
Coming off a weekend filled with U10 soccer games, football games (both the kid-kind and the collegiate-kind; go Cougars!), loads of yard work, wrangling pygmy goats, entertaining friends with BBQ pork sandwiches & peach pie, family cornhole tournaments, and a crazy delicious slow cooker lasagna (which has nothing to do with anything except that I’m excited to tell you about it in greater detail later)…phew, I’m in need of another weekend.
Or if not that, please give me some super simple ways to get dinner on the table this week without losing my mind. A bonus. The not losing the mind thing.
While I hunt down other quick and easy dinner strategies, you go ahead and savor the one I’m sharing today.
This creamy bowtie alfredo pasta dish is so simple and delicious, you might want to go ahead and add it to your permanent dinner rotation. Seriously. Right now. Do it.
My sister-in-law, Angela, sent the recipe to me a while ago – it’s been her family’s favorite meal for years. In my current world, it’s passed the company test. The kid test. The make it three times in two weeks and still love it test. The no-fuss dinner test. Basically, it’s as tried-and-true as you can get.
And it’s a keeper. I’ve added some notes to the recipe for substitutions and ways to make it fly together (if prepped responsibly, you can have this on the table in 20-minutes or less). Enjoy, my friends, enjoy.
What To Serve With This:
Green salad (if you’re after a recipe, this amazing romaine salad is…well, amazing)
Fresh, seasonal fruit
One Year Ago: Creamy Chicken and Quinoa Cordon Bleu Casserole
Two Years Ago: Cinnamon and Chili Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Apple Salsa
Three Years Ago: Peaches and Cream Sensation
Bowtie Chicken and Asparagus Alfredo
- 3 cups cooked and cubed chicken (see note)
- 1-2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound bowtie farfalle pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups milk (see note)
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Zest from lemon, about a teaspoon
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 6-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the noodles according to package directions. When there is two minutes left on the cooking time, add the asparagus to the pot and cook for the remaining time. Drain the pasta and asparagus and rinse quickly with cool water (to stop the asparagus from cooking more).
- For the sauce, while the noodles/asparagus cook, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic, cooking for 20 seconds or so, stirring constantly. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring, until the mixture is toasty and sizzling. Gradually add the milk and chicken broth about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the cheese has melted. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
- Place the pasta, chicken and asparagus in a large bowl or serving dish and pour the sauce over the top. Toss lightly to combine. Sprinkle on the bacon and additional Parmesan cheese (if using). Serve immediately.
Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe my sis-in-law, Angela, sent me for their family’s favorite meal (cut down the butter, used milk instead of heavy cream, overall just lightened it up a bit)
30 Comments on “Lightened Up Bowtie Chicken and Asparagus Alfredo”
I can’t believe it took me so long to make this! It was so delicious! My 10 year old told me at least 5 times that it was the best meal ever and how amazing it tasted 🙂 Definitely a keeper!
Wow. Easy and delicious! I added some cauliflower as well. Everyone loved!
Love this recipe! Do you know if you can use almond milk instead of regular milk?
I haven’t tried that; sorry!
Made this tonight for dinner. I grabbed asparagus at the store with no plan for it. Found this recipe while looking for a 30 minute meal. It was so delicious and easy! Another great one and love the idea of using broccoli too.
Made this for the second time tonight using broccoli in place of asparagus. Made 1/2 recipe because just 2 of us. Yummmmm. We both loved it.
This was an excellent recipe. I enjoy alfredo but this took it to a whole new delicious and it truly was a lighter feel and taste with the zesty lemon. We didn’t have bacon on hand, but everyone – including my little ones – loved it. Can’t wait to make it again.
Fabulous recipe. I have been using Mel’s recipes for years and this is one of our favorites. My kids even ate it after I convinced them that asparagus tastes like broccoli. It’s easy to make, and really yummy.
Super delicious, easy and quick! My entire family, including 6 kids love this meal. Today, I used my instant pot to cook my chicken breast for use in recipes this week. First time and it turned out great!
Ok this was an absolute winner tonight! Again, my husband absolutely love this! The lemon flavor in the Alfredo sauce was delicious! I had some bacon but it was frozen solid so I left out but it was just as delicious without it. And my kids seem to like it on my 15-year-old wanted extra helpings. Thank you once again Mel!
This was seriously yummy! I loved the lemon flavor to it and was lucky enough to get some tender baby asparagus that cooked up perfectly in the pasta water. I will be making this often. I love all your recipes and use this site more than any other site/cookbook/mangled old recipe card etc.
Thanks for all the work you put into making me the hero of dinnertime in my home!
Thank you so much!
Could/would you use frozen asparagus?
I think you could although the texture might be different. I’ve only used frozen asparagus a time or two – I usually stick with fresh if I can find it.
Mel! I can’t thank you enough for this recipe! My husband and I are on a low-calorie diet, and we haven’t been able to find a “lighter” pasta that we like (ground up cauliflower does NOT taste like Alfredo, and squash is NOT spaghetti . . . LOL). This dish is seriously better than our (previously) favorite Alfredo pasta dish using full cream! So, so so good, it will definitely become a feature on our monthly recipe rotation. My husband was so ecstatic, that I’m almost certain I’ll get lucky tonight.
For those counting calories, this is the nutrition break-down. Keep in mind that we calculated 8 servings (which was a very generous portion), subbed 1/4 cup milk for cream as suggested, used 1% milk, and only 4 slices of bacon (that’s all we had on hand):
Fat: 14.9 grams
My no mess and super easy way to make bacon is to line a cookie sheet with tin foil and lay bacon on it. Then cook at 375 for 15-20 min. Funny, but a doctor at work taught me that method. I made the bacon so it was done right before everyone got home from school. They all had to have some for a snack and then I crumbled the rest up in the dinner. Creamy and delicious! I added 1/2 cup of cream and 1 cup milk and subbed broccoli for the asparagus. Thank you for another great dinner!
this was sooooo good! not super fast but for how yummy this is it doesn’t have to be!! I used a veggie medially of the bowtie pasta and you couldn’t even tell, my husband got 3rds 🙂
Made this for dinner tonight and I was really surprised at how delicious this was! I used your simple shredded chicken recipe and seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and penzeys mural of flavor seasoning. I also made the asparagus separate and seasoned it with a bit of olive oil, salt ,pepper, garlic powder, lemon zest, and Parmesan cheese. This meal was so so so good! The lemon in the pasta was really delicious and really brought out all the flavors. I will definitely be making this again!
So I want to make this but wondering how important that crumbled bacon is? I seem to recall you mentioning a precooked bacon you used. Was that you? Or am I thinking of someone else?! And if so what was the brand? I don’t want to go to the effort of pan frying bacon for this recipe as want to keep it quick and easy. I’ve also heard about microwaving bacon. Never tried it tho. Was that tip from you and would you use it here? Thank you!
Hi Erika – sometimes I use the Kirkland brand of crumbled, precooked bacon and give it a bit of a lift by microwaving it between paper towels for 15-20 seconds.
Haha! I think both ideas were from you then! Microwaving precooked bacon from costco. That sounds very familiar. Will give it a try. Thank You for your reply!
I made this last night (subbed broccoli for asparagus) and our whole family of 5 loved it!! There was the perfect amount of leftovers for everyone to have lunch today as well. 🙂 Thank you!
It sounds like you had a fun, exhausting weekend! This looks so delicious, Mel. I can’t wait to hear more about the slow cooker lasagna recipe!
I made last night with broccoli and rotisserie chicken – was very tasty and will add it to my routine! I tossed the chicken with the pasta and broccoli after draining – is that when you added the chicken (I didn’t see that in the recipe) Thanks!
Yes, sorry about leaving that part out, Patricia – I’ll edit the recipe!
I made this tonight and we loved it! I have tried so many of your recipes since I found your blog a few months ago and they all have been great! I love that you add suggestions of what to serve the main dish with! It makes dinner planning so much easier!! Thank you!
Thanks for your comment, Hannah! I’m so happy you loved this and you reminded me I forgot to add the “what to serve” with this! I’ll go do that now. 🙂
This looks so delicious! I love the addition of the asparagus in with the alfredo! It sounds like such a tasty combination and a great way to add in a little more vegetables!
Looks good. I’m making a quick bowtie with chicken and spinach for dinner tonight. This looks good, I’ll have to try it next time.
My weekend found me spending all day with my sister in town celebrating my birthday. Then back home to milk goats, can tomato sauce and avoid the garden again.
Hmm soccer and football … Sounds like my weekend .. Oh wait ummm my week too !!! With 2 football players a drill team dancer and a soccer player in the house plus a three year old who spends his life tagging along a sleeping under an umbrella in the stands I hate to admit we’ve grilled way too many hotdogs (actually sausages .. But same thing) the past couple weeks !! I’m thinking its time to plan better and re-vamp meals at my house too !!! Thanks for this one … Looks like a good place to start … Keep’em coming and I can’t wait to hear about slow cooker lasagna !!