Creamy Cheddar Chicken Penne

Creamy Cheddar Chicken Penne Recipe: A Comforting Classic for Family Dinners

Creamy Cheddar Chicken Penne is more than just a meal; it’s a comforting embrace in the form of a pasta dish that perfectly combines tender chicken, rich cheddar cheese, and hearty penne pasta. This dish is beloved not only for its delicious flavor but also for its ease of preparation, making it a perfect candidate for both weeknight dinners and special occasions.

The Origins and Popularity

Penne pasta, a staple in Italian-American cuisine, serves as the perfect base for creamy sauces due to its tube-like structure which holds sauces well. Cheddar cheese, a sharp and creamy component, enhances the dish with its rich flavor and smooth texture. The combination of pasta and cheese has been a favorite for generations, providing a comforting meal that satisfies the craving for something hearty. For more about the origins of penne, see Penne on Wikipedia.

Why This Recipe Works

The Creamy Cheddar Chicken Penne recipe is foolproof and flexible, making it a favorite among home cooks. Here’s why:

  • Simple Ingredients: Each component of the dish is easily accessible and often already found in your pantry.
  • Quick Preparation: From start to finish, the dish can be prepared in under an hour.
  • Customizable: Easily adaptable, the recipe can include various vegetables or spices, allowing for endless variations.

Detailed Ingredients and Preparation

  • Main Ingredients: This dish centers around basic, wholesome ingredients like chicken breast, cheddar cheese, and penne pasta.
  • Cooking Cream and Chicken Broth enhance the texture and depth of the sauce, providing a smooth, rich base that complements the pasta and chicken.

For an extensive list of variations and more pasta recipes, check out Creamy Pasta Recipes on Pinterest.

Creamy Cheddar Chicken Penne Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare the Pasta: Cook the penne until al dente; this ensures the pasta doesn’t become too soft when baked with the sauce.
  2. Brown the Chicken: Sauté chicken strips seasoned with salt and pepper until golden.
  3. Create the Sauce: In the same pan, build the sauce with sautéed onions, garlic, then add broth and cream.
  4. Combine and Bake: Layer the cooked pasta with the sauce and shredded cheese, then bake until bubbly.

Each step is designed to maximize flavor, from the searing of the chicken to the layering of the sauce with the pasta.

Nutritional Considerations

Offering about 650 kcal per serving, this pasta dish provides a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, making it a filling meal that can be adjusted for lighter options. Substitute whole wheat pasta for an increase in fiber or use low-fat cheese to reduce overall calorie content.

Customizing Your Creamy Cheddar Chicken Penne

  • Add Vegetables: Incorporate spinach or mushrooms for added nutrients and flavors.
  • Cheese Variations: Experiment with different types of cheese such as Gouda or mozzarella for a different taste profile.

FAQs and Troubleshooting

  • Can I make it ahead? Yes, assemble the dish up to a day in advance and bake when ready to serve.
  • How do I reheat leftovers? Reheat in the oven or microwave to retain the creamy texture.

For more FAQs, visit discussions and tips on creamy pasta dishes in food forums or recipe blogs that focus on pasta recipes.


Creamy Cheddar Chicken Penne is a versatile, delicious, and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for any day of the week. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or preparing a meal for a special occasion, this dish is sure to impress with its creamy texture and robust flavor.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Creamy Cheddar Chicken Penne

Creamy Cheddar Chicken Penne

  • Author:
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


Creamy Cheddar Chicken Penne is a luscious and comforting pasta dish that combines tender chicken strips, creamy cheddar cheese sauce, and penne pasta, topped with a sprinkle of parsley for freshness. It’s perfect for a hearty family dinner.


  • Penne Pasta: 400 grams
  • Chicken Breasts: 2, cut into strips
  • Olive Oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and Black Pepper: To taste
  • Heavy Cream: 1 cup
  • Cheddar Cheese: 2 cups, shredded
  • Chicken Broth: 1/2 cup
  • Onion: 1, finely chopped
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
  • Parsley: 1/4 cup, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Cook the penne pasta al dente, drain, and set aside.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and sauté in olive oil until golden and cooked through.
  3. Sauté onions and garlic in the same skillet.
  4. Add chicken broth, heavy cream, and cheddar cheese to the skillet, creating a creamy sauce.
  5. Combine the sauce with chicken and pasta, transfer to a baking dish, and bake until bubbly.


  • For a lighter version, substitute heavy cream with light cream or a mixture of milk and a tablespoon of flour for thickness.
  • Add vegetables like broccoli or bell peppers for a nutritious twist.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian-American


  • Calories: 650 kcal
  • Sodium: 780 mg
  • Fat: 35 g
  • Carbohydrates: 55 g
  • Protein: 35 g

Keywords: Creamy Pasta, Chicken Pasta, Cheddar Cheese, Family Dinner, Comfort Food, Baked Pasta

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating