A one-pan meal that comes together in less than 30.
I don’t think my mom ever actually made a chicken noodle casserole for us and yet this skillet somehow tastes like childhood to me. It just has that nostalgic comforting feel… but that might be thanks to the delicious cheese sauce. It has a way of bringing the comfort. Truly a one-pan meal, the chicken, the pasta, the sauce, the broccoli all cooks in the same skillet. There’s no pre-cooking, not a lot of chopping, and it comes together in under a half hour, but for something as delicious as this, that all just feels like an added bonus.
This isn’t a terribly long ingredient list. You’ll need some onion and garlic, a little olive oil to cook them down in, and then of course the chicken (about two small breasts, cubed), some egg noodles, broccoli, and cheddar cheese. The foundation of the sauce is chicken broth and milk, and there’s a few other spices thrown in for flavor too.
Here’s what you’re going to do:
You’re going to cook down the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes and then stir in the cubed chicken. This is raw chicken, you don’t need to use pre-cooked or leftovers — it’s going to cook right along with everything else. Butter, ground mustard, and a touch of cayenne go in next. Basically, you’re going to brown the chicken a bit in that fragrant butter. (It’ll smell great.)
Then, you’ll stir in the broth and the milk. Once that’s at a simmer, the egg noodles and broccoli florets go in. Let that simmer until the chicken is cooked through, the pasta is tender, and most of the liquid is absorbed, but stir it pretty often to keep anything from burning. (That should take about ten minutes and feel free to reduce the heat a bit if the liquid is cooking off too fast.)
Then it’s my favorite time — time for cheese! Stir in a cup of grated cheddar and then top it with the rest of the cheese. Now you have two choices. The easiest route is just to cover the skillet and let it sit until the cheese melts, about five minutes. Or if you’re feeling a little fancier and you’re looking for a crispier cheese experience, you can opt to bake the skillet (uncovered this time) at 425 for about fifteen minutes.
It’s delicious either way, I promise. And it’s also an incredibly quick, simple-to-make meal. That much goodness is just hard to argue with.
Broccoli Cheddar Noodle Skillet
5m prep time
25m cook time
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 lb wide egg noodles
- 3 cups broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large high-sided skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Add butter, ground mustard, and cayenne and continue cooking until fragrant and golden, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in broth and milk. Bring to a simmer, then stir in noodles and broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta and chicken have cooked through and most liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. (Reduce heat if needed.)
- Stir in 1 cup of the cheese until melted. Adjust seasoning to taste, then top with remaining cheese. Cover and let rest off the heat until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
- If desired, brown cheese by broiling skillet uncovered instead or bake 15 minutes in a 425°F oven. Enjoy!