First Published: August 11, 2011… Last Updated: May 14, 2020
This Cheesy Penne Chicken Pasta is a quick and easy dinner full of creamy cheese sauce, penne pasta, and chicken baked with a seasoned crumb topping in a casserole dish.
Is there anything better than a cheesy pasta? I love this creamy Penne Chicken Pasta dish. It is quick and easy to put together full of creamy cheese flavor with that toothsome pasta bite.
Casserole recipes equals comfort food
Sometimes, when a person is sick, all they want is some comfort. In our busy, busy world, comfort can be hard to find when you want it. I’ve been sick most of the week. I’m not sure if it is allergy or cold that got me down but it got me down.
I decided that I needed some comfort food. Cheesy pasta casseroles speak those words to me, so I decided to throw something together with what I had on hand. It turned out so well that I decided I had to also share it with my readers!
What you need to make this Penne Chicken Pasta
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Whole Grain Penne Pasta (this is the brand I used)
Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
Tips for an easy recipe
- If you have it on hand, use leftover chicken breasts. Or, use canned, drained chicken.
- Once the pasta is cook, toss it with about 1/2 tablespoon of oil to keep it from sticking together
- Use 1-1/2 teaspoons pre-minced garlic in place of the garlic clove
- If the breadcrumbs haven’t browned by the time the dish is ready, turn the broiler on and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden.
Make this chicken pasta recipe your way
- Substitute 1 can of tuna fish for the chicken
- Stir 1 cup of chopped tomatoes into the pasta dish with the cream (step 5)
- Substitute chicken broth for the vegetable broth.
- Use one of your favorite cheeses. A hard cheese is best. Parmesan cheese, asiago, colby, and swiss.
- Sprinkle a teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Other pasta comfort food dishes you may like
Cajun Chicken Pasta is a little bit of spice and a whole lotta nice. Quick, easy, and delicious.
Chicken Parmesan Casserole is one of the easiest recipes to make. Few ingredients, and kids (and my picky eater) love this!
Cincinnati Style Chili is a delicious way to enjoy two favorites, chili and pasta! Topped off with a pile of cheese and onions, this is a delicious pasta meal.
Creamy Chicken Riggies is a creamy, spicy, indulgent dish that is pure comfort food in your bowl.
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is a good old fashioned pasta casserole just like mom made. No boxes required.
Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi is an Applebee’s knock off that I created so we could enjoy it at home. This recipe was my favorite dish to order every time we went out to eat!
Velvet Shrimp is exactly how it sounds. Velvety and creamy, this old bay infused cheese sauce with shrimp is served over pasta for a light dinner. Yes, this recipe only sounds indulgent. It is a lower calorie recipe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Whole wheat penne pasta and chicken in a creamy, cheesy sauce.
- 8 oz whole wheat penne pasta, cooked until al dente
- 6 cooked chicken tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 1 cup vegetable broth (I use better than bouillon)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
- 2 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon butter, sliced very thin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package until al dente. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil In a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken tenderloins and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until chicken is lightly browned and no longer pink inside.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside to cool. Once the chicken has cooled, chop it into bite sized pieces.
- Using the same skillet the chicken was cooked in, add the remaining olive oil. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Stir in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, allowing broth to reduce slightly.
- Stir in the heavy cream and bring back the broth mixture back to a low boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, until cream sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
- Add the gruyere and cheddar cheese and stir until well blended.
- Mix the cooked pasta, peas, chicken, and sauce together and transfer to a baking dish.
- Sprinkle the top of the casserole with breadcrumbs and dot with the butter.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly around the edges and top is lightly browned.
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 437Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 102mgSodium 411mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 25g
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy but will vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients you use. Please consult with your doctor regarding specific health needs.