This Spicy Chicken Pasta is a comforting and filling recipe that the whole family will love! Pasta is tossed in a spicy and creamy tomato sauce spiked with garlic and red pepper flakes and topped with tender slices of seasoned chicken.

Your next chicken pasta dish should definitely be my Chicken Alfredo!

Spicy chicken pasta in a white skillet.

Pin this recipe for later!Pin This

Why We Love This Recipe

  • Fast and Easy I love how simple this spicy chicken pasta recipe is to make!
  • Easy Clean Up – Make the creamy sauce in the same pan that you cook the chicken.
  • Filling Meal – This recipe on its own makes a big, filling dinner. Or you can add sides to feed a crowd!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Penne Pasta – Any short, shaped pasta can be used in place of the penne. Rigatoni, farfalle, or cavatappi are all good shapes.
  • Chicken Breasts – You want smaller, even-sized chicken breasts for this recipe. If your chicken breasts are large, you can cut them in half horizontally to create 2 thin cutlets from each breast. You could also pound them out to an even ½” thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. 
  • Spices – Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Onion Powder
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan – For serving
  • Yellow Onion and Minced Garlic
  • Spices – Red Pepper Flakes, Dried Oregano, Dried Basil
  • Tomato Paste – I love to freeze leftover tomato paste in tablespoon dollops. 
  • Canned San Marzano Tomatoes – If you can’t find San Marzano tomatoes, you can use the best quality tomatoes available. While whole peeled tomatoes will give you the best texture, you could use crushed tomatoes as well. 
  • Cream Cheese and Heavy Cream – If you don’t have heavy cream, you can just use 4 ounces of cream cheese.

How To Make This Spicy Chicken Pasta Recipe

See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Cook Pasta – Boil the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy cooking water.

4 searedChicken breasts in a skillet.

Cook Chicken – Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the salt, garlic powder, cayenne, and onion powder. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken on both sides until chicken is cooked through (165℉ in the thickest part) and browned. Remove to a plate covered with foil to keep warm, and set aside.

Diced and grilled onions and other seasonings in a skillet.

Start Sauce – To the same skillet add the onion and cook until translucent and slightly browned. Add the garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes , remaining teaspoon of salt and tomato paste. Cook for about a minute until tomato paste darkens. 

Browned onions and crushed tomatoes in a skillet.

Add Tomatoes – Add in the can of tomatoes and bring to a simmer, breaking up the large chunks with a wooden spoon until it reaches a crushed tomato consistency. Simmer for 15 minutes. 

Thick creamy light pink sauce in a skillet.

Finish Sauce – Stir in the cream cheese until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in the cream, followed by the pasta. Use the reserved pasta water as necessary to thin out the sauce if it is too thick. For a richer flavor, melt in a few pats of butter.

Penne pasta and sliced chicken in a red sauce in a skillet.

Serve – Slice the chicken for serving. Remove pasta to a large serving platter and top with the sliced chicken, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Recipe FAQs

What are San Marzano tomatoes?

San Marzano tomatoes are imported from Italy and are naturally sweet with a lower acidity than regular tomatoes.

What does pasta water do in a recipe?

The leftover water after cooking pasta has starch in it that not only helps thin and smooth out a sauce, but it helps the sauce stick to the pasta.

Can this recipe be doubled?

This recipe can be doubled! You’ll want to use a bigger pan to have room for the extra chicken and pasta.

Serving Suggestions

This creamy chicken pasta, this dish is quite the heavy meal, so I like to serve it with a simple garden salad on the side. If I’m feeding a larger crowd, I’ll also make a loaf of garlic bread. You can also add veggies to the pasta like fresh spinach or kale.

Storage

Storing: Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, or you can freeze them for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge when you are ready to eat. 

Reheating: I recommend reheating on the stove, at a low heat and adding a couple splashes of milk to keep it creamy. You can also reheat in the microwave, gently, for 60-90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds to keep the sauce from breaking.

Expert Tips

  • San Marzano Tomatoes – San Marzano tomatoes are naturally sweet, and have low acidity. True San Marzanos will say “Imported from Italy.” Tomatoes that say “Italian style tomatoes” are not true San Marzano tomatoes, and will not be as sweet. A pinch of sugar can be added to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. 
  • Make it Spicy – For extra heat, you can add in more garlic, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. 
  • Use Leftover Chicken –  To save time, use leftover or rotisserie chicken breast instead of cooking the chicken. If you do pre-cooked chicken, saute it with some garlic to give it a little flavor, just for a few minutes.
A serving of spicy chicken pasta on a small white plate.

More Pasta Recipes

Recipe

For the chicken:

  • 1 pound chicken breast trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 large yellow onion diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 ounces San Marzano tomatoes canned
  • 2 ounces cream cheese cubed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly grated Parmesan for serving

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Cook the penne pasta in salted water according to package directions, reserve ½ cup of the starchy cooking water.

  • Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the salt, garlic powder, cayenne and onion powder.

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the seasoned chicken and cook on both sides until chicken is cooked through and browned and hits 165℉ in the thickest part of the breast, about 8-10 minutes. Remove to a plate covered with foil to keep warm, and set aside.

  • To the same skillet add the onion and cook until translucent and slightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, remaining teaspoon of salt and tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute until tomato paste darkens.

  • Add in the can of tomatoes and bring to a simmer, breaking up the large chunks with a wooden spoon until it reaches a crushed tomato consistency. Simmer for 15 minutes.

  • Stir in the cream cheese until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in the cream, followed by the pasta. Use the reserved pasta water as necessary to thin out the sauce if it is too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  • Slice the chicken for serving.

  • Remove pasta to a large serving platter and top with the sliced chicken, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, serve immediately.

Calories: 511kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 28gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 1135mgPotassium: 809mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 619IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 3mg



Source link