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Chicken Penne Pasta

Chicken Penne Pasta is a simple and delicious dinner that can be made with leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken for a quick and easy meal that the whole family will love. Classic Italian flavors come together for a hearty pasta dish to add to your dinner plans this week.

We make a point of doing a quick chicken brine and then smoke a couple of whole chickens every week or so to make easy meals for busy weeknights. For this recipe, we used this spicy chicken brine smoked chicken. It is one of our favorites to meal prep and it’s great to add into pasta dishes and casseroles.

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chicken penne pasta in a bowl

Chicken Penne Pasta Recipe ~ Easy Skillet Pasta Meal

This is not the typical heavy cream sauce pasta dish like chicken Alfredo. We used a chicken broth base and 5 different kinds of cheese to create a hearty dinner that will leave you full and satisfied without being too heavy. It’s a cross between a hearty soup and a casserole with tons of flavor.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Bell Peppers
  • Fresh Garlic Cloves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Brown Sugar
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Thyme
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chicken Broth
  • Cooked Chicken: cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts or leftover chicken
  • Penne Pasta
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Fontina Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Jarlsberg Cheese
  • Parsley

How to Make Chicken Penne Pasta:

bowl of diced onions, minced garlic, diced red and green bell peppers

  • Dice onions and bell peppers and mince garlic.

cutting board with 5 kinds of cheese, smoked chicken, diced

  • Shred the mozzarella, Parmesan and Jarlsberg cheeses. Cut the cream cheese and fontina into chunks. Chop the chicken into bite size pieces.

peppers and onions cooked in a large skillet with wood spoon

  • In a large pan, add olive oil and butter and place over medium heat.
  • Add onions, peppers and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables start to brown. Next, stir in oregano, thyme and smoked paprika.

diced chicken added to skillet with peppers and onions

  • Add chicken, mixing well.

broth added to chicken and vegetables in a large skillet

  • Stir in broth and cook for about 5 minutes, lower to simmer.

adding 5 kinds of cheese to broth

  • Mix in cheeses and whisk until melted.

adding penne pasta to cheesy sauce in a pan

Cook the pasta al dente, drain and add into chicken mixture. Stir until well combined, cook about 3 – 5 minutes.

cheesy chicken pasta in a skillet

  • Remove from heat and allow to rest about 5 minutes before serving.

skillet of penne pasta with pan of breadsticks

  • Garnish with parsley and additional parmesan cheese if desired and serve immediately.

What to Serve with Pasta Dinners:

A nice green salad, breadsticks or garlic knots are great side dishes for any pasta recipe.

Creamy Chicken Penne Pasta is a delicious family dinner that will become a favorite with the entire family. It’s loaded with rich Italian flavors, tons of cheese, hearty pasta with savory peppers, onions and garlic that blend together for complete deliciousness.

pasta bowl with a breadstick on the side

More Italian Inspired Dinner Recipes to Try:

Italian Pork Chops are delicious on the grill or made in the oven. Tender, juicy and delicious with Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.

Lasagna is a classic casserole that is perfect for entertaining or feeding a hungry crowd. Our tried and true recipe for family dinners.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta is a creamy chicken pasta with a cheesy sauce and crispy bacon. My kids couldn’t get enough of this easy recipe.

Chicken Stuffed Shells is a family favorite dinner. Jumbo shells stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella and pesto with a sweet tomato sauce and topped with grilled chicken. 

closeup of pasta bowl with chicken and cheesy broth

Add this Chicken Penne Pasta to your meal plan this week for an easy option to get dinner on the table in under an hour. It’s the perfect way to use up leftover grilled chicken or roasted chicken in this easy pasta skillet.


bowl of chicken penne pasta
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Chicken Penne Pasta

Chicken Penne Pasta is a simple and delicious dinner that can be made with any leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken for a quick and easy meal that the whole family will love.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 5 cheese pasta, chicken pasta, Italian chicken pasta, penne pasta
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 886kcal
Author: Milisa


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pound cooked chicken diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup grated Jarlsberg cheese or Swiss
  • 5 ounces fontina cheese cubed
  • 4 ounces cream cheese cubed
  • 16 ounces penne pasta cooked according to package directions, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped


  • Add olive oil and butter to a large skillet and place over medium heat. When butter is melted, add onions, peppers and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and brown sugar. Cook, stirring often until onions start to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Add oregano, thyme and smoked paprika. Stir in chopped chicken and then add chicken broth. Continue to cook about 5 minutes and then lower to simmer.
  • Whisk in all five cheeses, whisking until cheese are completely melted.
  • Stir in cooked pasta and cook about 3- 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to rest about 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with additional grated parmesan if desired.


Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat in a skillet over medium heat. Add additional chicken broth if desired, stirring until heated through.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 886kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 199mg | Sodium: 1833mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g


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