Deliciously rich and velvety, my chicken penne pasta is an easy, one-pan chicken recipe that's an ultra comforting pick for a mid-week dinner. Filled with tender chunks of chicken breast, penne pasta, asparagus, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes bathed in a creamy sauce kissed with Dijon, this chicken penne pasta recipe is sure to be a cozy favorite!
A Chicken Pasta Recipe Filled with Lots of Tasty Ingredients
Penne pasta, combined with a handful of other bright ingredients, is terrific for those occasions when we're longing for comfort, but when I prefer not to spend too much time at the stove cooking something too elaborate after a long day.
Enter this chicken penne pasta recipe, filled with lots of earthy ingredients all tossed together with a rich and creamy sauce!
We're talking chunks of quickly-seared chicken breast, crisp-tender pieces of fresh asparagus, sweet-tangy bits of sun-dried tomatoes, plus sliced mushrooms.
It's wonderfully satisfying yet also light, and the bonus? It's cooked up and ready to enjoy in around thirty minutes!
My Recipe for Chicken Penne Pasta
I love how this chicken penne pasta comes together with a handful of pantry staples plus a few other tasty morsels that I usually have on hand...
Because I often have a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts in the fridge or freezer, I use those for this dish by simply cutting them up into bite-size pieces and coating them with a bit of flour and some seasoning to create a bit of a flavorful crust.
Since I also like to add some veggies for texture, flavor, and a pop of color, I add into the mix some earthy mushrooms, a couple of handfuls of thin asparagus spears cut into smaller pieces, plus a small sprinkle of sun-dried tomatoes.
The wonderful thing about this chicken penne pasta is that you can substitute other ingredients that you happen to have on hand instead, opting for something like peas, spinach, broccoli, etc., in place of the asparagus, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.
You can have lots of fun making this dish your own!
And the sauce is simple to prep and works really well with any ingredients you prefer to use, with a bright creaminess to it that makes each bite utterly irresistible.
Here's a sneak peek at my chicken penne pasta recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I cook my penne pasta according to package instructions to have ready, then drain it and keep it warm.
- While the pasta cooks, I season my chicken breast chunks and sear them for a few minutes in a large skillet, just until browned and cooked through, then set them aside.
- Into the same skillet, I add my mushrooms and saute them until browned, then remove and set them aside with the chicken.
- Next, I build my sauce in the skillet, allow it to simmer for a moment, then add in my asparagus pieces, and allow them to soften in the sauce for just a bit.
- I finish the chicken penne pasta by adding back into the skillet the chicken and mushrooms, adding in the pieces of sun-dried tomatoes, and folding in the cooked penne pasta.
- To finish, I sprinkle in some fresh parsley and serve while hot.
Chicken Penne Pasta
by Ingrid Beer
This chicken penne pasta is brimming with crisp asparagus, earthy mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes all in a rich, creamy sauce!
Yield: Serves 4)
Nutrition Info: 706 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 6 to 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small, bite-size pieces
- Black pepper
- ½ teaspoon granulated onion
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ (scant) cup flour, divided use
- Olive oil
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¾ cup half and half
- ½ pound very thin asparagus, trimmed of tough bottom stems, and cut into small bite-size pieces
- ¼ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (if packed in oil, then pat them dry very well with paper towel)
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Cook the penne pasta according to package instructions, then drain and keep warm.
- While the penne pasta cooks, add the chicken pieces to a large bowl, and sprinkle over them a couple of good pinches of salt and pepper, the granulated onion and garlic, and about ¼ cup of the flour. Toss together until the chicken is well coated.
- Place a large, heavy bottom pan or braiser/Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add in about 4 tablespoons of the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the coated chicken pieces in (work in batches, if necessary), and allow them to brown for about 4-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside, and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
- Add a little more oil to the pan (if needed), and add in the sliced mushrooms, along with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Saute the mushrooms for several minutes until they become golden-brown, then remove them from the pan and set them aside with the chicken.
- Turn down the heat to low or medium-low, and add in the butter. Once the butter has melted, add in the garlic, and stir just until it becomes aromatic. Then, sprinkle in the remaining (roughly ¼ cup) flour, and stir it into the butter and garlic, to create your “roux”, or thickener.
- Cook the roux for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly to cook out the raw flour taste. Then, whisk in the chicken stock and allow the sauce to simmer very gently and tighten up a bit for a couple of minutes.
- Next, whisk in the Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, and the half and half.
- Add in the asparagus pieces, and allow those to very gently simmer in the sauce for a couple of moments just until crisp-tender. Check the sauce to see if any additional salt/pepper is needed.
- To finish the chicken penne pasta, add back into the pan the chicken and the mushrooms, plus the sun-dried tomatoes, and allow the sauce to simmer with those ingredients for another couple of moments. Then, add in the cooked penne pasta, along with the chopped parsley, and toss/fold everything together to coat well, and serve hot.
Tips & Tidbits for my Chicken Penne Pasta recipe:
- Skinless, boneless chicken breasts, or tenderloins: While my recipe calls for chicken breast, you can easily substitute chicken breast tenderloins (or even skinless, boneless thighs) if that's what you have on hand, or prefer them. Just cut them up into bite-size pieces, and proceed with the recipe.
- For richer flavor, use cream in place of half and half: To keep things just a touch lighter, I opt for half and half to finish this sauce. But if you'd like a richer sauce, you can use heavy cream and this will add a little more “body”.
- Penne pasta, or other varieties: If you don't have penne on hand and would like to prep this recipe, other terrific options are bow tie (farfalle) pasta or corkscrew (fusilli) pasta.
- Substitutions for the veggies: Some yummy substitutions for the veggies I'm using here are broccoli, spinach, green peas, and even quartered artichoke hearts. And if you're not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes, you can just leave 'em out.
Craving more extra cozy pasta recipes? Check out this Mushroom Pasta, this Penne Pomodoro, this Cajun Shrimp Pasta, this Pasta Puttanesca, this Penne Pasta with Spinach Cream Sauce, or this Bistro Sausage Pasta!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2015, and has been updated with even more love!