This Cheesy Chicken Pasta is the perfect meal to make when you are short on time. It only takes 30 minutes from start to finish, so it's ready in no time at all. The gooey melted cheese and chicken in this easy pasta recipe will have everyone licking their plate clean.
Looking for more cheesy dinners? This chicken pasta bake and this chicken ranch pasta bake are two of our favorite pasta dinners.
Every day around 5 o'clock our kids start asking "what's for dinner?". And I start wondering "what can I make with chicken?" that will appease these hungry kiddos.
Each time we go to Sam's or Costco I pick up a few extra ingredients like chicken broth and canned chicken. When our youngest was younger, he was a picky eater and would only eat canned chicken. Having those ingredients on hand makes it easy to make dinner in a hurry.
Why this Cheesy Pasta is Best
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!
This easy and delicious cheesy chicken pasta is a great way to get dinner on the tables fast. It's full of flavor and perfect for busy nights! Plus, there are lots of ways to customize this recipe depending on what you like best.
Your family will love this chicken cheese pasta skillet because it has everything they want. A creamy sauce, tender chicken, and lots of gooey cheese will have everyone asking for seconds.
The other afternoon I was rummaging in the cupboard looking for easy dinner ideas. I found the canned chicken and decided to add some to an easy chicken pasta skillet for dinner.
Ingredients for Cheesy Chicken Pasta Recipe
This cheesy chicken pasta actually only has a few ingredients in it. 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.
- 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 ½ - 2 cups of any type of cooked chicken you have on hand.
- Ranch Powder - Adds a unique and delicious flavor to the pasta.
BRUCREW TIP: Rotisserie chicken, leftover grilled chicken, or frozen cooked chicken all work great in this chicken pasta recipe.
How to make Cheesy Chicken Pasta
This chicken cheese pasta is an easy and delicious dinner that can be made in 30 minutes or less. You'll love how creamy the sauce is, and it's easy to customize with your favorite veggies!
- Start by boiling the penne noodles. (full recipe below)
- While the pasta is cooking, sauté the chopped peppers with butter in a large skillet.
- Sprinkle the cooked peppers with flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk to make a white sauce. Let it thicken.
- Stir in shredded cheese to the roux, and let it melt into gooey goodness.
- Add the chicken, drained cooked pasta, and more shredded cheese gently.
- Season the cheesy pasta to taste and sprinkle the top with more cheese.
Make it a Full Meal
This easy chicken skillet recipe is delicious on its own, but adding a few side dishes and a dessert rounds it out.
- Veggie Salad
- Biscuits made with All Purpose Baking Mix
- Garlic Herb Bread
- M&M Rice Krispies Treats
More Chicken Recipes
- Chipotle Pasta
- Chicken Gnocchi Bake
- Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Chicken Salad with Grapes
- Other Canned Chicken recipes
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Please leave a 5 star ⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section further below.
I took this to a potluck and it was a winner! I used gluten free pasta. Also, since I didn't have any red pepper on hand I just added some broccoli florets to the pasta as it was cooking, toward the end so it was barely cooked. This recipe meets my requirements: easy, quick, nutritious and inexpensive--besides satisfying!
I forgot to mention that, to remain gluten free, I used chickpea flour (garbanzo), a bit more than regular flour. It works great!
This was fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing such a quick and easy recipe. The whole family enjoyed! My husband couldn’t stop raving about it. Haha. I modified successfully using egg noodles and almond milk just in case anyone wonders if that will work. It does...beautifully!
This was the first result to my search for a chicken, pasta and cheese recipe. I'm glad I didn't look further - this was a delicious jumping-off point for my limited pantry items when I did not feel like a grocery store run! I tweaked things a bit due to what I had at my disposal, but very minor: different kind of pasta (musical notes from a band fundraiser - HA!), broccoli instead of peppers, and a mixer of sliced up cheddar and provolone cheese. My 16-year old son cleaned his plate - unprecedented! It did take me longer than 30 minutes to prepare, but that is just my limited culinary skills! 10/10 for cheesy deliciousness!
I am so glad to hear that you and your son enjoyed this pasta dinner. Awesome job tweaking the recipe based on what you had on hand!!! Simple recipes like this make it great for substitutions!!! Thank you so much for letting me know how much you guys liked it!
I used the exact ingredients and the family loved it!
Made it last night for the family - they loved it and asked that I put it in the "rotation". We added crumbled bacon as a topping at the end and yum yum!
Oh, yum! Love the addition of bacon on top! I am so glad to hear that your family enjoyed it so much that it is going on the rotation!!!
We are not ranch fans in this house. Any other suggestions for spices instead of the ranch powder. Thanks.
You could totally leave it out and the recipe would be fine. Maybe add a little more salt and pepper to your taste. I hope you enjoy it!
If you don't use ranch or other prepared seasoning packets, you can just use salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. I add those to almost everything I make. Thyme and/or parsley would be good too.
You're not alone, my son still at 10 can tell if I even switch brands of anything! Not even kidding, he only eats certain bRands of most things and chicken strips are one of the biggest areas whether frozen or restaurant, he can tell!
This looks yummy. I have started asking each of my kids what they want for dinner each week (so I don't have to think of 3 meals). This week, my 9 year old said "cheesy pasta"....ummm.... I don't make a cheesy pasta so I went to Pinterest. I came across this recipe and looked easy enough. I use canned chicken in several recipes because it is easy peasy so plus plus!!
I'm excited to try it this week and I'm saving your page to get more ideas!
I love this recipe but I changed a few things. I used pepper jack instead of cheddar jack, broccoli instead of red peppers, elbows instead of penne, and liquid ranch instead of powder. I like the liquid because it makes it super creamy. Everyone loved it!
How much liquid ranch did you use? I like the idea of the pasta being creamy!
This particular recipe doesn't call for ranch dressing. I just used one Tablespoon ranch powder for seasoning in the pasta.
I didnt measure out the liquid ranch I used I just did it to taste. If I had to guess, probably around a cup. Usually I do little by little until it tastes the way I want.
Is there something else I can use instead of red peppers? My family doesn't like them.
You can leave them out if you like. I really just added them for some color. Do they like green peppers or tomatoes? Either of those would work too.
I used broccoli instead.
Whatever you want, peas, broccoli, green peppers...
Super tasty. I was just standing by the pantry, staring at a can of chicken, wondering what I can make with it and this was perfect. If you throw it in the oven on highest heat after topping it with cheese at the end, it forms a nice crust and creates a beautiful color.
SO CHEESY. SO PERFECT. SO PRETTY. It just doesn't get any better than a quick and cozy pasta dish like this! Love love love!
Especially as fall approaches, I love this kind of cheesy comfort food! You absolutely should be patting yourself on the back, Jocelyn, for 2 solid weeks of home-cooked dinners! I am usually just cooking for 2 these days and I still find myself grabbing something out of the freezer several nights per week. I have a glimmer of hope to offer on the picky eating front. My son was a picky eater for 18 years, then he went off to college and started eating all kinds of healthy things!
Can someone please give me the measurement for this. Bought all the stuff but have no clue how much of anything goes in.
Hi, Rachel. I am so sorry about that. We had a site issue today that took down all the recipe cards. Everything is fixed and back up.
I have just modified a traditional tuna casserole with a whole host of spices and the edition of mild peppers, and was thinking of trying something not too dissimilar with chicken.
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction
I love easy meals like this for busy weeknights! This looks like some great comfort food!
my daughter gets fussier by the day, but I bet she would LOVE this
Kids.... haha! I always stock up on whatever they love then they promptly decide they don't like it. This pasta though.... I don't care if they like it! I'm making it for myself!
This looks absolutely delicious! I think the family would love this!!
Malinda @Countryside Cravings
I don't get it with kids! They eat everything as babies but as they get older they start to have opinions and suddenly they don't like that dish they have been eating for the last 5 years?!?! This dish would go great with my family and they would definitely lick their plates clean! 🙂
What kind of cheese did you use? Maybe a cheddar jack?
You are good 🙂 Yes, I used a shredded cheddar jack cheese. I'll add that to the recipe!
I personally used a maid of jalapeño and pepper jack cheese and it turned out real good!