Chicken Penne Pasta- creamy, cheesy, chicken pasta with a fresh bruschetta topping. Serve with garlic bread for the most amazing meal! This easy pasta dish is a family favorite!
This easy Chicken Penne Pasta is another favorite, my boys request it often. They love the creamy, cheesy sauce that covers the penne pasta and chicken. I also add a fresh and simple bruschetta topping that makes the dish extra special.
You are going to LOVE this easy pasta recipe, it is a weeknight favorite!
Before we get to the pasta, let’s talk about the bruschetta topping. We LOVE classic bruschetta so I decided to jazz up this creamy chicken pasta with a fun and fresh bruschetta topping.
The ingredients are simple: tomatoes, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix them all together and you are good to go! I like to make the bruschetta topping first so the flavors have time to hangout.
Of course, you can skip the topping and the pasta will still be delicious, but if you ask me, it is the perfect way to finish the dish! It takes it to a whole new level.
Now, let’s talk pasta. I like to use penne pasta for this recipe because we always have it in our pantry and the noodles are the perfect size. They are a cylinder-shaped noodle with slanted edges and a hollow center. The ridges make it easy for catching the creamy sauce.
Of course, you can use any pasta to make this recipe. Fusilli, farfalle, spaghetti, fettuccine, orecchiette, and rigatoni are all good options.
You can use whole wheat pasta or gluten-free pasta. There are lots of good options out there these days. Check the pasta aisle at the grocery store and buy what looks good to you!
How to Make Chicken Penne Pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and salt the water generously! Salting the water will flavor the pasta from the beginning so don’t skip this step. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook the chicken in olive oil until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside so you can make the sauce.
- Melt the butter in the pan and add the shallot and garlic. Cook for about one minute. Whisk in the flour. Slowly pour in the chicken broth, whisking continuously so the flour doesn’t clump up. Pour in the white wine. Cook on low until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Add the chicken back into the pan. Stir in the heavy cream, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then stir in the Parmesan cheese. Make sure you use GOOD Parmesan cheese. I always buy a wedge and freshly grate it. It is so much better than the pre-shredded cheese.
- Put the pasta back in the pan and stir until it’s well coated. It will smell amazing!
- Spoon the pasta onto plates or bowls and top with extra Parmesan cheese and the bruschetta topping. Eat and enjoy!
If you need some ideas on what to serve with chicken penne pasta, here are a few of our favorite sides that never disappoint.
- Easy Green Salad
- Roasted Green Beans
- Roasted Broccoli
- Roasted Asparagus
- Garlic Bread
- Caprese Garlic Bread
How to Store
If you have leftover pasta, you can keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The bruschetta topping is best the day it is made so I recommend eating it all the first day and making more if you need it.
More Pasta Recipes
Chicken Penne Pasta
For the Bruschetta Topping:
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
For the Chicken Pasta:
- 10 ounces penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup white wine, or white cooking wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- To make the bruschetta topping, combine the tomatoes, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Let sit while you make the chicken and pasta.
- Boil a large pot of water and salt generously. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, in a single layer, and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a clean plate.
- Melt the butter in the pan and add the shallot and garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour. Slowly pour in the chicken broth, whisking continuously so the flour doesn’t clump up.
- Pour in the white wine. Cook on low for 3 to 5 minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Add the chicken back into the pan.
- Stir in the heavy cream, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes. On medium-low, bring the sauce to a simmer and then stir in the Parmesan cheese.
- Add the pasta to the pan and stir until pasta is well coated. Remove the pan from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Spoon the pasta onto plates or bowls and top with extra Parmesan cheese and bruschetta topping. Serve immediately.
Have you tried this recipe?
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Photos by Olive and Mango