This spicy chicken rigatoni recipe features tender rigatoni noodles and juicy chicken tossed in a creamy, spicy marinara sauce. Made with simple ingredients and ready in less than 30 minutes, it’s a crowd-pleasing, family-friendly recipe perfect for any night of the week!
Table of Contents
- What Is Spicy Chicken Rigatoni?
- What Makes Rigatoni with Chicken?
- How to Make Ridiculously Delicious Spicy Chicken Rigatoni
- Flavor Variations
- What Do You Eat with Rigatoni?
- How to Store and Reheat
- Common Questions About This Easy Chicken Rigatoni Recipe
- More Easy Rigatoni Recipes
- Spicy Chicken Rigatoni Recipe
What Is Spicy Chicken Rigatoni?
Spicy chicken rigatoni is a popular Italian-American pasta dish, largely made famous by the restaurant Bucca di Beppo, that typically consists of rigatoni pasta cooked al dente and tossed in a creamy tomato-based sauce infused with red pepper flakes and accompanied by tender pieces of chicken.
Savory, creamy, and cheesy, it has everything you could want in a pasta dinner! Serve it warm topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese for a restaurant-worthy dinner guaranteed to knock your socks off.
What Makes Rigatoni with Chicken?
This simple chicken rigatoni recipe comes together with less than ten ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand! Here’s what you need:
- Seasonings – Crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and ground black pepper create a simple base with a hint of spice.
- Aromatics – Shallots and onion form the base of the sauce, adding depth and a sweet, pungent flavor.
- Chicken – We recommend using chicken breasts, but chicken thighs will work, too.
- Marinara Sauce – To keep things simple, we use store-bought marinara, but you could make a homemade marinara sauce if you’ve got the time!
- Heavy Cream – This is the secret to creating a velvety, restaurant-worthy sauce.
- Rigatoni – Use any rigatoni pasta you like best.
How to Make Ridiculously Delicious Spicy Chicken Rigatoni
Almost a one-pot recipe, this chicken rigatoni dish comes together with minimal prep work, a quick cook time, and a total time of less than 30 minutes! All you need is a large pot and a large skillet, and you’ll be ready to rock and roll.
- Prepare the Pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions.
- Sauté the Aromatics. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, and sauté until the shallot becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
- Cook the Chicken. Add the sliced chicken to the skillet, and cook until it is no longer pink and has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Finish the Sauce. Pour the marinara sauce into the skillet, stir to combine, and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and add the heavy cream, stirring to combine. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken.
- Serve. Stir in the cooked rigatoni pasta, tossing to combine and coat the pasta. Divide your spicy chicken rigatoni among plates, and garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs!
We stuck with a classic rendition of chicken rigatoni, but feel free to experiment with different ingredients to find a variation you like best!
- Swap the Protein – Swap out the chicken with ground turkey, ground beef, shrimp, or sausage. Or, omit it completely for a vegetarian recipe!
- Make It Extra Spicy – Add extra red pepper flakes, season the chicken with cayenne, or add a dash of hot sauce to the sauce to amp up the heat.
- Add Veggies – Sauté mushrooms, bell peppers, or spinach, or add in broccoli or peas.
- Use Fresh Herbs – Include a sprinkle of fresh parsley, basil, or oregano to add a vibrant, refreshing, peppery taste.
What Do You Eat with Rigatoni?
This dish is flavorful and filling all on its own, but you can never go wrong with a side of steamed broccoli, sautéed veggies, parmesan Brussels sprouts, or a Greek salad. And don’t forget to include a side of cheesy focaccia or garlic caprese bread!
How to Store and Reheat
We love to make a big batch of this spicy chicken rigatoni to reheat and eat throughout the week! Follow the tips below to keep it fresh.
- To Store: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container, and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- To Freeze: Allow your pasta to cool completely. Then, place it in a freezer-safe container, and keep it frozen for up to three months.
- To Reheat: Allow your pasta to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, warm it in the microwave or over medium heat on the stove.
Common Questions About This Easy Chicken Rigatoni Recipe
Sure! Feel free to use any kind of pasta you like best.
Yes, just swap out the rigatoni for gluten-free rigatoni noodles.
It’s crucial to store your pasta in an airtight container to help keep it fresh. If it dries out a bit in the fridge, add an extra splash of cream or broth to liven it back up.
More Easy Rigatoni Recipes
Have leftover rigatoni noodles? Put them to use with more of our easy rigatoni pasta recipes below!
Spicy Chicken Rigatoni
- 16 ounces rigatoni pasta
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 small shallot finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon garlic chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 ounces chicken breast sliced
- 3/4 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Optional: grated parmesan cheese and fresh herbs for garnish
Cook the Rigatoni Pasta:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the rigatoni pasta, and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.16 ounces rigatoni pasta
- Drain the pasta and set it aside.
Prepare the Creamy Chicken Sauce:
- In a large skillet, heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat.1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Add the crushed red pepper flakes, chopped shallot, chopped garlic, salt, and ground black pepper. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes until the shallot becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant.1/2 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 small shallot, 1 Tablespoon garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Add the Sautéed Chicken:
- Add the sliced chicken to the skillet and cook until it’s no longer pink in the center, about 5-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken slices.6 ounces chicken breast
Incorporate the Marinara Sauce:
- Pour the marinara sauce into the skillet with the chicken. Stir to combine and let it simmer for a few minutes to heat through.3/4 cup marinara sauce
- Reduce the heat to low and add the heavy cream to the skillet. Stir well to combine.1/2 cup heavy cream
- Allow the sauce to simmer gently for 3-5 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
Combine Pasta and Sauce:
- Add the cooked rigatoni pasta to the skillet with the creamy chicken sauce. Toss everything together to ensure the pasta is well coated with the sauce.
- Divide the creamy chicken and rigatoni pasta among plates.
- Garnish with some grated Parmesan cheese or fresh herbs if desired.Optional: grated parmesan cheese and fresh herbs for garnish
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.