Ever Changing Penne with Chicken and Cheesy Sauce

As I said in the previous post, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, herbs and seasonings can take the same basic ingredients in very different directions. In this recipe for Penne with Chicken and Cheesy Sauce you will see chicken, onions, garlic, chicken broth, and cheese taken in a wonderful Italian-influenced direction.

This pasta dish is very flexible and a variety of vegetable and herb additions can be used. The upcoming Spring and Summer gardens will provide spinach, peas, asparagus, fresh tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and summer squashes. Mushrooms would also be excellent in this pasta dish.

P.S.–This makes a lot, great family size!

Ever Changing Penne with Chicken and Cheesy Sauce

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin


  • 4 cups cooked, diced chicken (I used a deli rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 16 ounces mixed shredded Italian-style cheeses (I used a packaged blend of mozzarella, smoked provolone, parmesan, and romano), divided
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts (water packed)
  • 1/3 cup fire roasted red peppers, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 cups penne, cooked al dente according to package directions and rinsed under cool water and drained


  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Butter a 9- x 13-inch baking dish or baking dish of similar quantity.
  2. Over medium to medium-low heat in a 4-quart sauce pot, melt butter.
  3. Add the onions,garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until onions are translucent, stirring as needed.
  4. Add the flour to the onions and garlic. Stir well to mix in the flour.
  5. Pour the chicken stock or broth into the onion/flour mixture, stirring well. Cook over medium heat until thickened.
  6. Set aside 2 cups of the cheese, then stir the remaining cheese into thickened broth mixture. Continue to stir until cheese has melted. Although the cheeses will melt, some of them may be somewhat 'stringy' and may not blend well into the sauce. That's okay. They will still work well with this pasta dish.
  7. Add the chicken, tomatoes, artichoke hearts (make sure to cut off any touch portions), peppers, capers, and basil. Stir to combine.
  8. Add the cooked penne to the rest of the ingredients and fold together. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with reserved 2 cups cheese.
  9. Bake at 350-degrees F for about 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.




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