Cook this delicious and spicy chicken arrabbiata pasta in one pan! The penne pasta cooks in the spicy arrabbiata sauce, so there's no need to boil it separately.
Best of all, the chicken penne arrabbiata is ready in under 40 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
My family loves this spicy chicken arrabbiata recipe, with tender cooked chicken in a garlicky tomato sauce, spiked with red pepper flakes and chilli.
The creamy mozzarella helps to tone down the spice, meaning that the kids can enjoy it too.
It's perfect for a cosy weeknight dinner or for entertaining guests.
✔️ Why should you try it?
- It's a flavourful and spicy chicken pasta dish that will satisfy your cravings for something bold and fiery.
- It's a one-pot meal, meaning you won't have to spend hours cleaning up after dinner.
- It's a versatile dish - you can adjust the level of spiciness to your liking, and even add in extra veggies like peppers or sweetcorn.
- You can easily make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for a quick and easy meal later on.
Olive oil - or use vegetable or sunflower oil.
Onion - I used a brown onion, but you could substitute it for a red onion if you like.
Garlic - 3 garlic cloves are used in this recipe, but feel free to add a few extra cloves if you like your food really garlicky.
Chicken - chopped thigh meat can be used instead of the breast meat specified in the recipe. Three chicken breasts would equate to about 6 boneless chicken thighs
Chilli Flakes - I've tempered the spice so it's suitable for children, only adding in ¼ teaspoon. Feel free to add up to 1 teaspoon if you like things hot.
Red Pepper Flakes - ½ teaspoon is used. If you can't get hold of red pepper flakes, add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or leave it out altogether for a milder tasting dish.
Oregano - I love this fragrant herb in tomato-based sauces. You can replace it with dried thyme or rosemary, or use a combination of all three herbs.
Passata - the base of the pasta sauce. Swap for a tin of chopped tomatoes if you don't mind a chunkier textured sauce.
Chicken Stock - made from a stock pot or stock cube.
Worcestershire Sauce - adds a delicious savoury taste to the dish.
Penne - or use another short pasta shape such as rigatoni or fusilli.
Basil - to garnish at the end of cooking.
Mozzarella - for creaminess and to temper the spice.
Parmesan - freshly grated for serving!
A large shallow casserole, chopping board, and sharp knife are all you need to make this easy one-pan pasta recipe.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post
How to make chicken arrabbiata pasta
One: Heat the oil in the shallow casserole and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft.
Two: Add the chicken breast pieces and cook for another couple of minutes until they lose their pinkness (they don't need to be completely cooked through at this point).
Three: Add in all the other ingredients except for the basil, mozzarella and Parmesan and simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
Four: Serve with fresh basil leaves, mozzarella, and grated Parmesan.
💭 Top tips
- Don't skip on the garlic! This recipe uses 3 cloves but add more if you like things really garlicky!
- Add a glug of red wine for a richer-tasting sauce.
🍴 Serving suggestions
Chicken arrabbiata pasta is a delicious and spicy dish that can be served with a variety of sides and accompaniments to create a complete meal.
Serve it with a side of garlic bread to soak up all the delicious sauce. The crispy and buttery bread pairs perfectly with the bold flavors of the dish.
For a fresh and light option, a rocket salad with added cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette is a great choice. The salad helps to balance out the spiciness of the dish and adds some much-needed freshness to the meal.
To complete the meal, consider serving a glass of red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese, which pairs well with the bold flavours of the chicken arrabbiata.
- Make it veggie by omitting the chicken and replacing it with Quorn pieces.
- Up the spice level by doubling the amount of chilli flakes.
- Increase the veggies and add some baby spinach at the end of cooking.
- Use leftover roast chicken instead of the chicken breast pieces. Stir the cooked chicken through the sauce for a few minutes before the end of cooking to warm it through.
- Make a chicken arrabbiata pasta bake! Simply make the recipe as directed, top with mozzarella and Parmesan, and grill for 3-4 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Store - allow the chicken arrabbiata pasta to cool down to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Reheat - in the microwave until piping hot.
🧊 Suitable for freezing?
If you want to store the arrabbiata chicken pasta for a longer period of time, you can freeze it. Allow the dish to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container.
It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight and reheat it on the hob or in the microwave.
Arrabbiata is a spicier version of traditional tomato pasta sauce ( sometimes known as marinara) and is flavoured with red pepper flakes and chilli flakes.
Arrabbiata literally means 'angry' in Italian, and refers to the spiciness of the chilli and red pepper flakes. My kids call the dish 'angry chicken'.
Yes, you can freeze cooked pasta, including penne pasta used in chicken penne arrabbiata. However, it's important to note that the texture of the pasta may change slightly when it's frozen and reheated. The pasta may become a bit softer or mushier than it was when it was freshly cooked.
Some more pasta recipes you might like;
- Chorizo mac and cheese
- Creamy bacon and pumpkin pasta
- Chorizo and pepper pasta
- Chicken and broccoli pasta bake
- Easy pesto pasta
- Penne alla vodka
- Creamy butternut squash pasta
One-Pan Chicken Arrabbiata Pasta
- Shallow Casserole
- Chopping Board
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Onion peeled and chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves peeled and chopped
- 3 Chicken Breasts cut into bitesize pieces
- ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- ¼ teaspoon Chilli Flakes
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 600 g Passata
- 600 ml Chicken Stock
- 300 g Penne Pasta
- 125 g Mozzarella torn
- 100 g Parmesan grated
- Small handful of Basil leaves
- Heat the oil in the shallow casserole and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft.1 tablespoon Olive Oil, 1 Onion, 3 Garlic Cloves
- Add the chicken breast pieces and cook for another couple of minutes until they lose their pinkness (they don't need to be completely cooked through at this point).3 Chicken Breasts
- Add in all the other ingredients except for the basil, mozzarella and Parmesan and simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes, ¼ teaspoon Chilli Flakes, 1 teaspoon Oregano, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce, 600 g Passata, 600 ml Chicken Stock, 300 g Penne Pasta
- Serve with the fresh basil leaves, mozzarella and grated Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.125 g Mozzarella, 100 g Parmesan, Small handful of Basil leaves