Chicken Rigatoni is a flavor-packed Italian meal with juicy chicken and tender pasta, all cooked together in one saucepan. You’ll flip for this easy rigatoni recipe!
Quick and easy meals are the best option when your weeknights are hectic. That doesn’t mean they’re lacking in the flavor department, though!
This one pot chicken pasta is delicious and filling — even better, you won’t have to clean a pile of dishes at the end of the night!
Perfectly cooked pasta comes together with chicken, onion, and garlic in a scrumptious marinara sauce.
Top off your chicken rigatoni with a blend of Parmesan and creamy mozzarella cheeses, and you’ll have a winning combination to please even the pickiest of eaters!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Chicken – I use boneless chicken breasts for this rigatoni recipe, but feel free to swap in boneless chicken thighs or even turkey breast.
- Pasta – The crevices in rigatoni noodles do a great job of holding onto pasta sauce.
However, any short pasta will work as long as there are cracks and crevices to hold the sauce and cheese.
Penne, rotini, and ziti are great choices — even gnocchi works well!
- (Optional) Veggies – There is already a bit of onion in this chicken rigatoni recipe, but spinach, bell peppers, or mushrooms would be incredibly tasty additions!
- Marinara Sauce – To keep things as simple as possible, you can use your favorite jarred variety.
If you prefer to make your own, you can get super fresh tomato flavor without spending hours in the kitchen using my 5-minute homemade pasta sauce recipe.
- Want it spicy? Increase the heat by adding a dash of crushed red pepper flakes to your one pot rigatoni.
Tips for Making One Pot Chicken Pasta
- Salt your pasta water.
Please don’t skip this step! The salt really enhances the flavor of both the noodles and the entire dish.
- Prep in advance.
Chop the onion and shred the cheese up to a day ahead of time. Store covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to throw this dish together.
- Shred cheese yourself.
Pre-shredded cheese has a preservative that gives the shreds a waxy texture, which can also affect the way the cheese melts.
- Add breadcrumb topping.
Toss some breadcrumbs (plain or Italian style) with a little melted butter and sprinkle it over the top of the chicken rigatoni. Then, pop the dish under the broiler for a few minutes to brown.
If you aren’t going to add any extra veggies to your one pot chicken pasta, you might want to serve a garden salad or something like garlic roasted broccoli on the side.
Rigatoni Recipe FAQ
Don’t panic! There should be a small amount of liquid when you add the cheese, as the noodles aren’t quite all the way done.
If the dish still seems too loose, simmer uncovered for another few minutes to help the liquid evaporate.
Honestly, whatever your heart desires! Rigatoni is especially great with vegetable sauces, or those with a thicker consistency, because the ridges grab onto it so well.
You could even smother these tubular noodles in cheese sauce if you’d like.
Because everything cooks in the same pan, it would be difficult to double this one pot chicken rigatoni recipe.
For larger crowds, boil the noodles separately (to al dente) while you cook the chicken, onion, and garlic. You won’t need the added chicken broth.
Instead, combine everything with the sauce and let it simmer for a bit. This will finish cooking the pasta while infusing it with extra flavor. Top with cheese and serve!
Storing and Reheating Leftover One Pot Rigatoni
One pot chicken pasta will stay fresh in a covered container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Be sure to allow the food to cool before transferring it to the storage container.
It freezes well too, so it’s a great option for meal prep or to take to a friend. Store for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator a day or two before you want to reheat it.
Reheat one pot rigatoni in the oven at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. I suggest covering the pan with foil to prevent the cheese from burning.
You can also reheat individual portions in a skillet on the stovetop, or microwave on high power in 30-second increments until warmed through.
You may need to add a splash of water or chicken stock to keep it from drying out.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Scrumptious Skillet Meals
Chicken Rigatoni Recipe + Video
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 12 ounces rigatoni pasta
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped basil, for garnish
- Season chicken with salt and pepper; set aside.
- In a 12-inch sauté pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and stir until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add chicken to pan and cook until brown on both sides. Stir in garlic and cook one additional minute.
- Add uncooked pasta, sauce and broth. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil.Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until pasta is cooked to al dente.
- Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese over the dish, cover pan and continue cooking 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Garnish with fresh basil, serve, and enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published October 2018. Updated and republished June 2023
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