A super easy one-pot meal from central NY. This “casserole of yum” includes veggies like onion, peppers, and mushrooms in addition to chunks of chicken in a creamy and spicy tomato sauce.
I love this dish because it’s high in fiber, and protein (and miraculously, this is one of those dishes that every. single. person. in the family loves!
This is one of those recipes that is easily customizable based on your likes and dislikes…don’t like mushrooms? Leave them out! Love spicy food? Make it spicier! Have olives like I do? leave them out! you get the idea…
“Riggies” stands for rigatoni, which are the larger tubular pasta shapes. They can be hard to find, so feel free to substitute other tubular pastas like ziti or penne. The tubes help to hold more of the sauce as you eat.
I’ve given chicken riggies a little makeover to save some calories. The first version that I ever tried used a whole stick of butter. Naturally that was quite delicious, but added way too much fat. I’ve included heavy cream as an optional ingredient but you won’t miss it if you don’t use it!
In the past, I’ve used jarred peppers (a mixture of mild and hot sliced sandwich peppers). Given the sodium content in the jarred peppers, I try to use fresh bell peppers as the base for this recipe. Fresh is always best, right? But in a pinch, I will use the jarred variety.
The addition of a cup of Parmesan cheese takes this over the top -soooooo good! Don’t skip that step!
Save this recipe for a chilly Sunday – you will love it.
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta (can substitute penne or ziti)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 3 breasts)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion , chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic , crushed and minced
- 2 bell peppers , chopped (or use mild sliced pepper rings in jar)
- 28 oz can crushed tomato sauce
- 8 oz chicken broth
- 3 to 6 cherry peppers (I use the jarred variety), seeded and finely diced (or substitute 1/2 jar of hot pepper rings or 2 Italian long hots that have been roasted and finely chopped) (save the brine/juice from the jar)
- 1 to 1.5 cups grated parmesan cheese (4 oz) plus more for serving
- 3 cups fresh mushrooms chopped
- 1/4 cup olives chopped, (optional)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick saute pan
- Add the chicken, and light brown on all sides for 3 to 4 minutes
- Remove chicken from pan, and add onions and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes
- Add mushrooms and continue to cook for 2 or 3 minutes until cooked down.
- Add bell/sliced jarred peppers and continue to cook for another 2 or 3 minutes
- Add crushed tomato sauce, hot peppers, chicken broth, and about 1/4 cup of the reserved brine from the jarred peppers (and olives if using)
- Bring sauce to a gentile boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for 10 to 15 minutes
- In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions. When cooked, drain and set aside (use a bit of olive oil to keep the drained pasta from sticking together if the pasta is ready before the sauce is done)
- Add grated cheese and cooked chicken to sauce, and stir. Also add heavy cream if using.
- Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Add more cheese if desired or more brine from the peppers.
- Spoon sauce over pasta to serve and serve with extra grated cheese.