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Chicken penne pasta is a quick and easy dinner that is delicious, rich, creamy, and flavorful. It’s a family favorite that’s ready in under 30 minutes. |

Chicken Penne Pasta

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5 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Chicken penne pasta is a quick and easy dinner that is delicious, rich, creamy, and flavorful. It’s a family favorite that’s ready in under 30 minutes.


  • 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound penne pasta (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (or reserved hot pasta water)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add penne pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions, about 8-10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water in a bowl (if using instead of chicken stock). Drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. Use a paper towel to pat the chicken breasts completely dry. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until the hot oil sizzles, about 1-2 minutes. Add chicken and sear until golden brown, 6-8 minutes per side. Slice the chicken into 1/2-inch strips, transfer onto a plate, and cover with aluminium foil to stay moist.
  4. In the same skillet, add butter and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook until thickened into a paste, about 1 minute.
  5. Add heavy cream, chicken broth (or reserved hot pasta water),  and Parmesan cheese. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened to a desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the chicken and pasta to the skillet and toss well to coat. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.


How to use shredded chicken: Skip the first few steps with the chicken and toss in 3 cups of shredded chicken to the sauce at the end. Heat it until warmed and then toss in the pasta. 

How to store: Allow leftover chicken penne pasta to cool in the pan or in a container with the lid off. Once the pasta reaches room temperature, place it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you don’t allow it to cool before covering, the pasta can become mushy.

How to reheat: Reheat in a pan on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through. If the sauce has thickened too much in the fridge, add a splash of water. You can also reheat in the microwave in 30 second increments until warmed through.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian