This Cheesy Chicken Pasta is an easy comfort food meal that you can have on your dinner table in under 30 minutes. Gooey melted cheese and chicken in an easy pasta recipe will have everyone licking their plate clean in a hurry.
One of the things that I am working on this year is planning ahead, so I know what we will be having for dinner each week. I don’t know about you, but most of the time 5 o’clock rolls around and the kids start wanting dinner, and I get a blank look in my eyes.
Each time we go to the grocery store I grab one or two extra ingredients to stock the pantry with.
Cheese and pasta are the first things I think of when I start to get dinner started each day. I should probably widen my options before my family gets burned out on the cheesy goodness!
When our youngest was younger, he was a picky eater and only liked canned chicken. So, we would keep extra cans of chicken from Sam’s and Costco on hand to make a quick version of this Chicken Salad with grapes on the nights we are busy.
The other afternoon I was rummaging in the cupboard looking for easy dinner ideas when I found those cans of chicken and decided to add some to an easy pasta dinner.
The first question our youngest asked was what kind of shredded chicken was in the pasta!
This Cheesy Chicken Pasta actually only has a few ingredients in it, and most of them are probably already in your cupboards or pantry. Change it up by adding your favorite vegetable to this one pan cheesy chicken dinner.
Ingredients for Cheesy Chicken Pasta Recipe:
- Pasta – any noodle will work, but we like to use a penne pasta in this easy skillet meal
- Butter – you can also use olive oil
- Red Pepper and Garlic – Adds color and flavor. You could also use peas, broccoli, spinach, or tomatoes instead of the peppers or with them.
- Flour and Milk – used together with the cheese to create a delicious homemade cheese sauce
- Shredded Cheese – use your favorite type of cheddar cheese for this recipe. Cheddar Jack or Triple Cheddar are the ones we use most often.
- Canned Chicken – You can also use 1 1/2 – 2 cups of any type of cooked chicken you have on hand.
- Ranch Powder – adds a unique and delicious flavor to the pasta recipe
BRUCREW TIP: Rotisserie chicken, leftover grilled chicken, or frozen cooked chicken all work great in pasta recipes.
How to make Cheesy Chicken Pasta:
- Start by boiling the penne noodles. (full recipe below)
- While the pasta is cooking, sauté chopped peppers in butter, then stir in flour and milk to make a white sauce.
- Add shredded cheese to the roux, and let it melt into gooey goodness.
- Stir in the chicken, drained pasta, and more shredded cheese gently.
- Season the cheesy pasta to taste and sprinkle the top with more cheese.
Make it a Full Meal:
- Veggie Salad
- Biscuits made with All Purpose Baking Mix
- Garlic Herb Bread
- Triple Chocolate Cookies
- Dessert Salad
- Rice Krispies Treats with M&Ms
More chicken recipes:
- Chipotle Pasta
- Chicken Braids
- Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe
- Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Chicken Supreme recipe
- Pasta Bake with Nacho Cheese Soup
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- 8 ounces penne noodles
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup diced red peppers
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese, divided
- 1 - 12.5 ounce can chunk chicken breast, drained well (or 1 1/2 - 2 cups shredded cooked chicken)
- 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning powder
- pepper to taste
- Prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Drain when finished cooking.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the peppers and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and flour and stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in the milk and cook on medium until thick. Add 2 cups of cheese and stir until melted and creamy.
- Stir in the cooked pasta, chicken, ranch powder, and 3/4 cup cheese. Season to taste with pepper.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top and cover until the cheese melts. Serves 6.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 582mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 23g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and are not guaranteed to be accurate. If you need special diet advice, please see a registered dietician.