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Would it be out of line to say I’ve discovered my life’s purpose and it is cutting down on dishes? If so, then healthy pasta recipes like this Chicken Broccoli Ziti that cook entirely in ONE PAN (including the pasta itself) are my vocation.

Delicious and creamy chicken broccoli ziti recipe in a skillet

Dedicating one’s life to streamlining dish duty (while eating carbs) might be demanding, but I can’t say no to divine authority—especially when it tastes like heaven.

In addition to getting all of us out of washing a separate pasta pot (you’re welcome), cooking the pasta in the same skillet as other ingredients can actually make it easier to create a creamy pasta that tastes decadent but, like this broccoli pasta, is actually healthy for you.

As it cooks, the pasta releases starches that make the sauce taste velvety and rich, without the need for actual cream.

You also don’t have to sit around and wait for the pasta water to boil, an amount of time that seems to increase the hungrier I am.

This creamy chicken broccoli ziti is so many wonderful things that we need right now. It’s reasonably light and healthy—the amount of cheese is moderate without being stingy, the chicken is lean and filling, and just look at that broccoli green!—but it is substantial enough to be craveable on a chilly winter night.

I jazzed up this pasta with artichokes, a convenient item to keep in your pantry. I’m already envisioning future versions made with sautéed spinach added or even peas.

If you share my devotion to carbs that cut down on dishes, be sure to check out a few of my other one-pot pastas like this Sweet Potato Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, this Cauliflower Pasta, this Taco Pasta, and this Italian Sausage Butternut Squash Gnocchi.

I also have a whole section of one-pan meals!

This recipe has a fairly high vegetable-to-noodle ratio, which is exactly how we love our pasta, and it makes a more balanced meal. You can serve the pasta with an extra side of veggies if you like, but honestly we found it filling and healthy just as it is. Dinner, done!

Easy and healthy pasta recipe in a skillet with Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs

How to Make One Pan Chicken Broccoli Ziti

This recipe will work with any tube-shaped pasta. Feel free to try it with rigatoni, rotini, or penne in place of the ziti. You’ll need to keep an eye on the pasta as it cooks to make sure it doesn’t dry out, but it’s highly doable and fairly easy-breezy.

The Ingredients

  • Chicken. A source of lean protein and something we always have in our freezer. If you like, you could also try this recipe with cooked Italian chicken or turkey sausage. For a shortcut, make this chicken broccoli ziti with rotisserie chicken instead.
  • Broccoli. Not only is this little green veggie is a tasty addition to our pasta dish, but it’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta. Pasta is universally loved for its delicious flavor, texture, and ability to grab on to sauces. I prefer to use whole wheat pasta, which contains B vitamins, fiber, and minerals, making it a healthy choice compared to regular white pasta.
  • Non-Fat Milk. Cooking the pasta in milk yields a lightly creamy sauce reminiscent of Alfredo sauce, but it’s made without cream or even cream cheese. Result: a decadent tasting chicken broccoli ziti that is healthy for you.
  • Chicken Broth. In addition to the milk, the chicken broth helps create the scrumptious garlic sauce.
  • Spices. My perfect combination was salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. It’s a little heat and a lot of flavor!
  • Veggies + Aromatics. In addition to the broccoli, I added garlic, onion, and canned artichoke hearts to this ziti recipe. They turn delightfully tender and give the sauce a more complex flavor.
  • Lemon Juice. For a touch of acid, balance, and brightness.
  • Parmesan Cheese. I can’t resist stirring in this wonderfully nutty cheese. It perfectly complements all the other flavors in the recipe, especially the lemon garlic sauce.

The Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven or large, deep skillet, saute the chicken, then remove it to a plate. Next saute the onion.
  2. Stir in the broth and milk, bringing it to a boil. Add the ziti. Once boiling, add in the broccoli. Boil until the pasta is al dente, stirring often.
  3. Add the artichoke hearts, lemon juice, Parmesan, parsley, and chicken. Serve warm with additional cheese and herbs. ENJOY!

A skillet with chicken, pasta, and vegetables

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Pasta

  • To Store. Store leftover ziti in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently reheat the ziti in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat, adding additional broth as needed. You can also rewarm the pasta in the microwave until hot.
  • To Freeze. Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

More Favorite Chicken and Broccoli Recipes

A tasty pasta dish made with vegetables, chicken, and Parmesan cheese

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

  • Dutch Oven. One of my most prized kitchen tools. It’s ideal for one-pot recipes like this ziti.
  • Chef’s Knife. A sharp chef’s knife will cook beside you for years. Plus, it makes prepping your veggies and chicken easier.
  • Cutting Board. I love this non-slip cutting board.

Creamy chicken broccoli ziti in a skillet with artichokes and Parmesan cheese

More time eating, less time washing. I think we can all support this idea!

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment and let me know how it goes. I love to hear from you! Your feedback and knowing you enjoy the recipes I post keeps me energized to continue creating easy, healthy recipes like this one.

Chicken Broccoli Ziti

4.73 from 76 votes
This creamy Chicken Broccoli Ziti cooks in one pan for easy clean up. Ready in 30 minutes! This healthy pasta recipe is lighter but doesn't skimp on flavor.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch strips
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional; or reduce to 1/8 teaspoon if sensitive to spice
  • 1 14-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk plus additional as needed
  • 6 ounces dry whole wheat ziti pasta or similar pasta such as penne, rigatoni, or fusilli (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 1 medium head broccoli cut into florets (about 3 cups)
  • 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts in water drained, cut into quarters, and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice for even more lemon flavor, add the zest also
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley plus additional for serving


  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium high. Once the butter is melted, add the chicken and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Saute until the chicken is golden on the outside and completely cooked through, about 5 minutes. With a large spoon, remove the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm. Set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the onion. Cook until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Do not let the onion brown (adjust the heat as needed if it starts to brown). Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Slowly stir in the broth and milk. Bring to a boil, then add the ziti. Let the ziti boil for 5 minutes, then stir in the broccoli florets. Continue boiling until the ziti is al dente, about 5 to 7 minutes more. Stir often to make sure the ziti cooks evenly. If at any point the pasta looks too dry, splash in additional milk as needed.
  • Stir in the artichoke hearts, lemon juice, Parmesan, parsley, and reserved chicken. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like. Enjoy hot, with a sprinkle of extra Parmesan and parsley as desired.


  • TO STORE: Store leftover ziti in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently reheat the ziti in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat, adding additional broth as needed. You can also rewarm the pasta in the microwave until hot.
  • TO FREEZE: Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 514kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 37gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 1067mgPotassium: 946mgFiber: 7gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 2178IUVitamin C: 91mgCalcium: 281mgIron: 3mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Not only is this one pan but also one burner which, for some of us, is very important. You may be missing a market – those with extremely cramped kitchens e.g. dorm rooms, efficiency apartments, broken ranges, etc. :-)

    1. Yes Linda I agree! I have a small apartment kitchen and is hard to find recipes! Thanks well plated

  2. I made this for my husband and dinner guest and we all thought it was great! I was worried that the pasta would not be cooked through or that it would be bland. I was fortunately wrong on both points. I followed the recipe except that I used whole wheat penne and did not add the red pepper flakes. This recipe will be a keeper! I will probably add mushrooms to the dish next time to increase the vegetables … but the proportions of broccoli, pasta, chicken and sauce were perfect in the recipe. I will add this to the rotation of my Well Plated favorites (IP Beef Stew, IP Mexican Chicken and Egg Roll in a bowl)

    1. YAY! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this kind review, Linda! I’m so happy the recipe was a hit!

  3. This was truly delicious.  I only had 2% milk, so used that.  Next time I’ll try almond milk.  I also used chickpea penne.  A truly delicious meal!5 stars

  4. The timing instructions were perfect for this recipe; get the ingredients prepared before beginning and it becomes an easy and great meal. The non-fat milk keeps it light and a nice blend of tasty spices, cheese, and veggies.5 stars

  5. This was a real crowd pleaser for our family, Erin. We cook from your website all the time, and can’t wait for the cookbook! Wonderful flavors. It was hearty like a comfort food but also tasted light and refreshing with the lemon. The kids weren’t as fond of the artichoke hearts, so next time we’ll try it with peas. We will definitely make again.5 stars

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Elizabeth! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  6. This did not come out well for me. I followed the recipe carefully. Sauce did not thicken, but otherwise tasted ok. Probably not going to use this recipe in the future. 

    Tom2 stars

    1. Hi Tom, I’m very sorry to hear that this recipe wasn’t to your tastes. I (and other readers) enjoyed this dish, so I really wish it would’ve been a hit for you too!

    1. Hi Michelle! If your Dutch oven or skillet is large enough to comfortably hold double of all the ingredients, then I think you could try it. Or if you happen to have two large, deep skillets or Dutch ovens, you could also try making the recipe in each one, so you end up with double. If you decide to experiment with it either way, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    1. Hi Katie! For this recipe, you’ll use 6 ounces of dry whole wheat pasta. I think ziti, penne, rigatoni, or fusilli would all work great. I hope this helps!

  7. Like Tom I ended up not with a creamy sauce but a soupy liquid using the recipe’s amounts of broth and milk. I’ll start with less of each next time.

    1. Hi Michael! I’m sorry to hear that this turned out too liquidy for you. I hope it goes better next time!

  8. I love quick and efficient flavorful recipes! Some people assume the are not as good as detailed meals but they are wrong. The wonderful note as stated by others is the ability to add and remove ingredients to sculpt a flavor best for your pallet. Thank you Erin and please continue to share the delicious discoveries!5 stars

  9. OMG…GREAT Recipe, pretty easy and um…was skeptical about not cooking the pasta, but add to the deliciousness….*****5 Stars and Thank You!5 stars

  10. Restaurant quality! And so easy! Satisfying and creamy without all the added heavy cream. We will definitely be making this again!5 stars

  11. Wow I made this for dinner and it was truly delicious! Seconds and clean plates by all! I didn’t have any artichokes on hand so made w out but excited to try next time w them! Thanks again for another winner!5 stars

  12. This recipe was so good!  My toddler and husband ate it up.  I am not a fan of broccoli but didn’t even mind it in this recipe.  I used frozen broccoli and cooked it separately, then added it in the end with the chicken, and it worked out well.   This is definitely being added to the rotation in my house.5 stars

  13. This was a great hit!  I confess I didn’t have quite enough broccoli so I added fresh spinach, and it worked well. Thinks ire ones me how user-friendly your recipes always are. We didn’t need any additional side dishes, as it’s a substantial meal in itself.  Truly enjoyed the sauce and spices that gave great flavor, plus lemon juice brightens the dish well.  As always, very happy with the results from trying your recipes, Erin!  And congrats on your GMA appearance as well as your cookbook. Wishing you continued success in all you do. 5 stars

  14. Hi Erin,

    Can coconut milk or dry milk powder be used in place of milk? If so, what would the measurements be? Thank you!

    P.S. I’ve been enjoying your new cookbook!

    1. I’m so happy that you’ve been enjoying it, Brittany! I’ve never tried a swap for the milk in this recipe, so it would be a complete experiment. If you try using coconut milk, make sure that it’s unsweetened. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  15. This was so good I could have licked my plate. And it couldn’t have been any easier. I did sub half the milk for heavy cream but I think it would have been just as good with milk. I shared this recipe with family and will be making it again!5 stars

  16. Delicious, doesn’t weigh you down like creamy alfredo but doesn’t skip on flavor! I love being able to do it all in one pan too.5 stars

  17. Yum yum yum! I made a few variations only because I didn’t have exactly the ingredients in my cupboard, but we loved it. Good one Erin! I’ll check out the rest of your recipes!5 stars

  18. I loved it for ease of cooking, flavor and variety. It can also be adjusted for sodium by using a blackened seasoning instead of the kosher salt. Great recipe!5 stars

  19. Can you use almond milk instead of low fat milk and can you use chickpea pasta instead of whole wheat pasta for this recipe?

    1. Hi Kiran! I’ve never tried either of these swaps, so it would be a complete experiment. If you try using almond milk, make sure that it’s unsweetened. Since you generally need to drain and rinse chickpea pasta to remove the chickpea starch, you may want to cook the pasta separately and rinse it before adding it to the pot. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  20. I’d have to rate all of the recipes from this site a 5 Star. I’ve literally been cooking from this site for two weeks now. I just served this up. The hub’s just said, Ooooo that has good flavor! I did make it GF so I could enjoy. It’s filling, yet light! Thank you for this website. I actually started a FB page with a few friends and we share recipes and healthy tid bits.5 stars

  21. sorry just saw this now will be making this soon with few subs perfct for my after office meals will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

  22. Can frozen broccoli florets be used instead of fresh? Just did not know if would be same cook time, etc. thanks.

    1. Hi Robin! I think frozen broccoli will work fine here. However, I’d recommend cooking it separately, then adding it in later with the cooked chicken. I hope this helps!

    1. Hi Sue, I’m very sorry to hear that this recipe didn’t turn out for you as expected. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I truly wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  23. Great recipe!! Easy to follow and came out delish! I added too much Italian seasoning. Besides that it was delish!!5 stars

  24. Made this last night! Wow! It was excellent! Tasty and in one pan! I do like spicy so I added a jalapeño. This will now be in the dinner rotation!! Thank you!!5 stars

  25. My entire family of picky eaters devours this! I roasted the broccoli first bc that’s how we love it. So easy and delicious. Thank you!5 stars

  26. My family says it’s a keeper! We made a couple of adjustments because I didn’t have non-fat milk or whole wheat pasta. It still turned out fantastic and it’s very easy to make.5 stars

  27. We liked this recipe very much. I loved that it was one pot and very quick to make.

    I used almond milk and it worked fine. Also used frozen broccoli that I cooked, chopped up and added at the same time as the chicken (which was leftover Costco chicken). Very light creamy sauce.

    I can see modifiy this recipe to use up leftovers or adding just a little pesto sauce also.

    Thanks5 stars

  28. This recipe turned out really well and had great flavor. My sauce broke but I just stirred it a bunch until it blended in and when I added the Parmesan that took care of any visual problems. I will definitely make it again.5 stars

  29. Yummy my new favorite chicken broccoli ziti recipe. I did not have any artichokes so I made dinner without them but will get some for the next time. Just enough red pepper flakes to give it a little zip. Husband loved it . I am making a double batch this weekend for my son to take back to college5 stars

  30. We all loved this despite changes I had to make because I had neither broccoli or artichoke hearts. I used red pepper and mushrooms instead, and I have to say, it was delicious! I’ll definitely make this again.5 stars

  31. Easy and very good!
    I did marinate the chicken in Wishbone Zesty Italian and I omitted the artichoke hearts.
    I will definitely make this again!5 stars

  32. Hi Erin,

    Major hit with everyone, and some of them are very fussy. I followed the recipe to a T without the artichokes and a little extra milk. Thank you!5 stars

  33. Excellent!!! Used whole milk, and a bit of mozzarella cheese, my extremely picky husband loved it and requested we have it again!
    Extremely quick and easy!5 stars

  34. Great recipe. I omitted the artichokes and just added extra broccoli. Also used some heavy cream in place of 1 cup of milk. Didn’t have fresh parsley, but dried worked well too. Will definitely be making this again and might try adding some pancheta or bacon for added flavor5 stars

  35. This was so quick & easy. I left out the artichoke hearts and Italian seasoning and it still had plenty of flavor. Definitely a go-to for a quick dinner.5 stars

  36. Good recipe, but it does not take 30 minutes to make. Sure, it tastes good once it’s done, but it took me about 1.5 hours. Lots of ingredients. Lots and lots of chopping. This can put you in a bad spot if you’re under a deadline to feed your family like I was. Why just say how long it would really take a normal person to make it? I doubt the average person could do all that work so quickly.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry you to hear had trouble with the recipe, James! I know it’s frustrating to try a new recipe and things not work out. The timing has worked well for myself (and many other readers), so I really wish it would’ve been worked for you too!

    1. I’m sorry this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Jolene. I (and many other readers) have truly enjoyed it, so I wish you would’ve too!

  37. Excellent. I’ve made this dish the hard way boiling pasta separately for years. Loved this method, but I added mushrooms instead of artichoke. Yummy 😋5 stars

  38. This is the best chicken broccoli & ziti recipe I’ve found. It came together quickly and my family enjoyed it. My husband doesn’t like artichokes, but didn’t mind them in this. It would be just as good without them. Thank you!5 stars

  39. Hi Erin,
    Do you think substituting almond milk in this recipe, for a dairy free version, would work?

    1. Hi Jahrens, I’ve never tried a swap for the milk in this recipe, so it would be a complete experiment. If you try using almond milk, make sure that it’s unsweetened. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  40. I thought it was great. My wife doesn’t do well with garlic so I only used one clove, still tasted great.5 stars

  41. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a while now and I made it tonight. It was delicious!! The only changes i made were I left out the artichoke hearts and I used almond milk. For anybody out there wondering about the almond milk, it totally works. And I also doubled the recipe which also works. I have made so many of your recipes and they are all so easy and good. Keep them coming Erin and thank you.5 stars

  42. Are you sure it only calls for 6 ounces? That is such a tiny amount for 4 servings. Should it be 16 ounces?

    1. Hi Shannon! Yes that is correct, 6 ounces. But you can definitely adjust if you need to. ENJOY!