Pasta on plate

Chicken Broccoli Rigatoni in White Wine Cheddar Sauce

  • Author: closeenoughcook
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Of all the comfort foods I make, this one is my favorite (and that’s saying a lot).  In this dish the star is the sauce which is made from  three of my favorite ingredients — white wine, sharp cheddar cheese, and garlic.  The key is that the garlic is roasted, giving a more subtle flavor to the sauce.  With this sauce coating tender chicken, tender crisp broccoli and al dente rigatoni you get one amazing dish.



1 lb. Rigatoni

5 tbsp butter

One head of garlic, roasted

1/4 cup + 3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock

2 crowns of broccoli, cut into florets

1 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast, cubed

3 oz. extra sharp white cheddar, grated

1 cup pasta water reserved

Parmesan shavings for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut off top of a head of garlic so that each clove is exposed
  3. Place garlic in tinfoil and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil
  4. Loosely wrap garlic and place in oven.  Roast for approximately 35 minutes or until garlic cloves are lightly brown and tender. 
  5. Once garlic is roasted, open foil and allow garlic to sit until cool enough to handle.  Using a fork remove each clove from the head of garlic and place in a small bowl.  Use the fork, to mash roasted garlic into a paste.
  6. While garlic is roasting, fill a large pot 2/3 full with water and one teaspoon salt. Heat water over medium-high heat until water is boiling. 
  7.  Once water is boiling, add rigatoni and cook, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli florets to pot for the last five minutes of cooking.  Cover broccoli and rigatoni and cook until broccoli is bright in color and rigatoni is al dente.  Reduce heat as needed to prevent pot from boiling over when covered. 
  8. Once pasta and broccoli have finished cooking, drain in colander, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
  9. While pasta and broccoli cook, place large skillet on stove over medium high heat. Place 2 tbsp. of butter in skillet and heat until butter melts.
  10. While butter is melting, salt and pepper cubed chicken and place in a large ziplock bag with 1/4 cup flour.  Seal and shake bag to coat chicken in flour.
  11. Place chicken in skillet and cook until chicken is cooked through and begins to brown.  When removing chicken pieces from ziplock bag gently shake them to remove any excess flour. Once all chicken has been remove there’s likely to be excess flour remaining in ziplock bag.
  12. After chicken has cooked, remove from skillet and add remaining butter.  
  13. When butter has melted, add remaining flour.  Mix flour and butter together and cook for one minute.
  14. Add white wine and deglaze skillet, stirring to incorporate any remaining chicken fond.
  15. Add chicken stock and garlic paste to skillet, stirring until no lumps of flour remain.  Cover and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.  
  16. Remove from heat, add grated cheese to sauce and stir to incorporate.  Salt and pepper sauce as needed. 
  17. Add chicken, broccoli and pasta to sauce and stir to coat.  If sauce is too thick, add 1/4 cup pasta water at a time until sauce is desire consistency. 
  18. Garnish with parmesan shaving, if using, and serve.