This delicious and (mildly) fiery chicken penne arrabbiata is cooked in one pan. That's right, no need to boil your pasta separately as it cooks in the arrabbiata sauce!
Best of all, it can be on the table in less than 40 minutes, making it a great option for weeknight dinners.
My family loves this mildly spiced chicken penne 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 spices, meaning that the kids can enjoy it too.
👩🍳 Love chicken pasta? Try my easy paprika chicken pasta recipe too!
✔️ Why should you try it?
- Made in one pan.
- Cooks in under 30 minutes.
- A filling and hearty pasta dish.
Olive oil - You can also use vegetable or sunflower oil.
Onion - I used a traditional white onion, but you could substitute for a red onion.
Garlic - 3 garlic cloves are used in this recipe, but feel free to add a few extra cloves if you like things 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.
Oregano - I love this fragrant herb in tomato based sauces. You can replace it with dried thyme if you prefer.
Passata - The base of the pasta sauce. if you don't mind things chunky you can use chopped tinned tomatoes instead.
Chicken Stock - Or use vegetable stock.
Worcestershire Sauce - Adds a delicious savoury taste.
Penne - Or another pasta shape such as rigatoni or fusilli.
Basil - To garnish at the end of cooking.
Mozzarella - Who doesn't love melted mozzarella.
Parmesan - Essential for any pasta dish!
A large shallow casserole, chopping board and sharp knife are all you need to make this easy one-pan pasta recipe.
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.
Four: Serve with the 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 to the sauce at the same time as the stock...if you happen to have an open bottle hanging around. It will give the sauce a lovely rich depth of flavour.
🍴 Serving suggestions
This classic tomato pasta dish is delicious on its own, or for something more substantial serve with a simple green salad and garlic bread.
- Make it veggie by omitting the chicken and replacing with Quorn pieces.
- Up the heat by doubling the amount of chilli flakes.
- Up the veggies by wilting in some spinach at the end of cooking or adding in some tinned sweetcorn.
- You could use leftover roast chicken instead of the chicken breast pieces. Just stir the cooked chicken through the sauce for a few minutes before the end of cooking to warm it through.
The cooked chicken arrabbiata will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Make sure you reheat it thoroughly in the microwave until piping hot. It makes a tasty lunch the next day, if you're lucky enough to have any leftovers.
🧊 Suitable for freezing?
Cooked pasta doesn't freeze that well, but if you don't mind the slightly softer, chewier texture of pasta once it has defrosted, by all means stick it in the freezer to eat another time.
This recipe really is best when eaten fresh though, and as it only takes 30 minutes to cook, it's quick and easy to make anyway!
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 actually refer to this dish as 'angry chicken'.
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
- Creamy tomato pasta
Chicken Penne Arrabbiata
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- Add in all the other ingredients except for the basil, mozzarella and Parmesan and simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Serve with the fresh basil leaves, mozzarella and grated Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.