Marinara Chicken Penne Pasta Recipe

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Avatar Author's default profile picture Team Modified: April 29, 2022

Have a healthy chicken penne pasta dish for an easy, tasty meal. Made with marinara sauce, this penne pasta with chicken requires simple ingredients. It’s very simple to make but isn’t any less hearty. Like our easy tomato bisque or the best fried mac and cheese, you can rely on this dish to help you whip up something quick and easy.

Tips on How To Make Marinara Chicken Penne Pasta

Our chicken penne pasta recipe is a tomato-based dish with chunks of chicken breast sauteed in nutty butter and aromatic garlic and onions. This delicious chicken penne is great anytime of the day and all year round. And although it’s easy to make, we still have some tips for you to make it even easier.

  • Cook the pasta two minutes before it is al dente. The penne will finish cooking once it is combined with the sauce and will be able to absorb the marinara sauce flavors.
  • You don’t need to drain the pasta after cooking. Instead, you may add the pasta from the hot water straight into the sauce. This ensures it doesn’t dry out. 
  • If you feel it’s needed, you can add some of the pasta water into the sauce to help thicken the sauce.
  • Use high quality butter. It adds a lot more flavor to chicken pasta recipes.
  • For this recipe, we use boneless chicken breasts and cook them on a skillet. However, if you have leftovers from your rotisserie chicken, you can slice them into chunks and mix them with the same sauce.

Are you looking for more chicken pasta dishes? You can also try this creamy chicken alfredo pasta or a spicy pesto chicken pasta. Both are just as satisfying as this recipe.

Marinara Chicken Penne Pasta Recipe

How To Make Marinara Chicken Penne Pasta

This chicken and pasta dish is a cinch to make and is filled with tender and juicy chicken breasts and an amazing marinara sauce. It\’s ready in about 30 minutes, so it makes for an easy and quick meal if you’re in a rush.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins


  • 8 oz penne pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 oz red onions, chopped
  • 24 oz marinara sauce
  • 20 oz chicken breasts, skinless boneless, around 4 pieces, cut to chunks
  • 3 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt, to taste
  • ground pepper, to taste

To serve:

  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Cook the penne pasta for 10 minutes but take it out 2 minutes before it is al dente.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-heat. Then saute the garlic and onions in the melted butter for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken chunks and Italian seasoning. Saute until it is brown and cooked all the way through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the chicken is done, add the marinara sauce and stir till everything is well-combined.
  5. Allow the sauce mixture to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust accordingly.
  6. Add in the cooked pasta and toss to combine.
  7. Transfer the penne pasta with chicken onto a serving bowl and sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and parsley.
  8. Let the cheese naturally melt from the hot pasta and enjoy!


  • Sugar: 6g
  • :
  • Calcium: 51mg
  • Calories: 389kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 37g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg
  • Fat: 15g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Iron: 3mg
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 6g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g
  • Potassium: 704mg
  • Protein: 26g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Sodium: 723mg
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Vitamin A: 832IU
  • Vitamin C: 9mg
Nutrition Disclaimer

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pizza sauce the same as marinara?

Although some ingredients are similar, pizza sauce and marinara sauce are not the same. Marinara sauce has a thinner consistency than pizza sauce. It’s perfect for chicken penne pasta recipes. 

How do you make pasta sauce thicker?

There are a few ways to thicken pasta sauces. For this chicken penne pasta recipe, we recommended adding a bit of pasta water into the sauce if needed. You can also make a roux, a cornstarch slurry or add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. 



As far as chicken and penne pasta recipes go, ours is of restaurant quality, if not better. We use rich butter rather than olive oil for a nutty flavor that infuses with the marinara sauce and chicken breast chunks.
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