Spicy Chicken Rigatoni Recipe

This Spicy Chicken Rigatoni recipe is a delight for those who love a combination of flavors. The spicy cherry peppers and the savory roasted garlic sauce come together with the creamy texture of rigatoni to create a dish that is more than the sum of its parts. It's comforting, hearty, and just spicy enough to give it a kick. It's perfect for a family dinner or a casual get-together with friends.

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni Recipe

Photos of Spicy Chicken Rigatoni Recipe

The primary ingredients in this recipe are quite simple and likely to be in your kitchen already. However, one ingredient that might not be so common is the hot cherry peppers. These peppers are usually found in the pickled vegetables aisle in most supermarkets. They add a unique pop of flavor and heat to this dish. Another less common ingredient is the Classico Riserva Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce. If you are not able to find this specific brand or flavor, feel free to substitute with any high-quality pasta sauce of your choice.

Ingredients for Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

Rigatoni pasta: This is a type of tube-shaped pasta of varying lengths and diameters. It is perfect for holding onto robust and hearty sauces.

Classico Riserva Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce: This pasta sauce brings a great depth of flavor to the dish. Any other high-quality pasta sauce can be used as a substitute.

Heavy cream: This adds a rich and creamy texture to the sauce.

Chicken breast: Lean and healthy, chicken breast is the perfect protein for this dish.

Onion: Adds a sweet and tangy flavor.

Red bell pepper: Gives the dish a splash of color and a sweet, mild flavor.

Hot cherry pepper: Adds heat and spice to the dish.

Salt and pepper: Essential for seasoning.

Olive oil: Used for sautéing the onions and peppers.

Parsley: For garnishing and adding a hint of freshness.

Parmesan cheese: Adds a salty, umami flavor to the dish.

One reader, Curry Kinsey says:

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This spicy chicken rigatoni recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are incredible, and the dish is so satisfying. The combination of the spicy peppers and creamy sauce is just perfect. It's a must-try for anyone who loves a little kick in their pasta. Highly recommend!

Curry Kinsey

Key Techniques for Perfecting Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

How to brown the chicken: In a heated pan, add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes until the chicken is browned and cooked through.

How to cook the vegetables: In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the vegetables have browned and softened. Stir in the cherry peppers and remove the mixture from the pan.

How to incorporate the heavy cream into the sauce: After bringing the sauce mixture to a simmer, add the heavy cream and stir until it is fully incorporated into the sauce mixture. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

How to toss the pasta with the sauce: After draining the pasta, return it to the pot. Pour the chicken and sauce mixture over the pasta and toss to coat.

How to serve: Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve with parmesan cheese if desired.

How To Make Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

This chicken rigatoni recipe is a spicy and sumptuous dish that uses tender cuts of chicken & sautees it with pasta, peppers, herbs, & creamy tomato sauce.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes



  • 16ozrigatoni pasta
  • 1bottleClassico Riserva Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce
  • ½cupheavy cream
  • lbschicken breast,cut into 1 inch pieces, boneless and skinless
  • 1cuponion,thinly sliced
  • 1cupred bell pepper,thinly sliced
  • 6hot cherry pepper,(amount depends on heat preference), sliced
  • Salt and pepper,to taste
  • 2tbspolive oil
  • 2tbspparsley,chopped
  • parmesan cheese,freshly grated, for serving, optional


  1. In a large pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables have browned and softened. Stir in the cherry peppers and remove the mixture from the pan.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the rigatoni in the water and cook according to package directions.

  3. Wipe the pan out with a paper towel and heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and season generously with salt and pepper.

  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes until chicken is browned and cooked through.

  5. Add the pepper mixture back to the pan with the chicken. Pour the pasta sauce over the chicken mixture and stir to coat. Bring the sauce mixture to a simmer; add the heavy cream and stir until incorporated into the sauce mixture. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

  6. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Pour the chicken and sauce mixture over the pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve with parmesan cheese if desired.


  • Calories: 689.62kcal
  • Fat: 25.89g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.72g
  • Trans Fat: 0.13g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10.42g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.25g
  • Carbohydrates: 75.85g
  • Fiber: 7.56g
  • Sugar: 14.23g
  • Protein: 37.32g
  • Cholesterol: 102.54mg
  • Sodium: 1099.94mg
  • Calcium: 99.05mg
  • Potassium: 1099.45mg
  • Iron: 4.43mg
  • Vitamin A: 287.24µg
  • Vitamin C: 94.31mg

Pro Tip for Elevating Your Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

When cooking the chicken, ensure that you cut it into even pieces. This will allow for uniform cooking and prevent some pieces from being overcooked while others are undercooked. Additionally, when adding the heavy cream to the sauce, ensure that the sauce is simmering and not at a rolling boil. This will prevent the cream from curdling and will result in a smoother, creamier sauce.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Spicy Pasta Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables and marinate the chicken the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

One pot: Consider using one pot for both cooking the pasta and making the sauce to minimize clean-up time.

Multitask: While the pasta is cooking, start preparing the chicken and sauce to make the most of your time in the kitchen.

Organized workspace: Keep all ingredients and utensils organized and within reach to streamline the cooking process.

Quick cleanup: Clean as you go to avoid a big mess at the end, making the post-cooking cleanup much faster.

Efficient chopping: Practice efficient chopping techniques to speed up the preparation of vegetables and chicken.

Substitute Ingredients For Spicy Chicken Rigatoni Recipe

  • Rigatoni pasta - Substitute with penne pasta: Penne pasta has a similar shape and texture to rigatoni, making it a suitable substitute for this recipe.

  • Classico Riserva Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce - Substitute with homemade roasted garlic tomato sauce: Making your own roasted garlic tomato sauce allows you to control the flavors and adjust the seasoning to your preference.

  • Heavy cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can add a rich and creamy texture to the dish while also providing a hint of coconut flavor.

  • Chicken breast - Substitute with tofu or tempeh: Tofu or tempeh can be used as a plant-based alternative to chicken, providing a similar protein content and absorbing the flavors of the dish.

  • Onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder and sweeter flavor compared to onions, adding a subtle depth to the dish.

  • Red bell pepper - Substitute with yellow bell pepper: Yellow bell peppers can be a colorful and slightly sweeter alternative to red bell peppers in this recipe.

  • Hot cherry pepper - Substitute with jalapeño peppers: Jalapeño peppers can provide a similar level of heat and a slightly different flavor profile to the dish.

  • Parmesan cheese - Substitute with Pecorino Romano cheese: Pecorino Romano cheese has a similar salty and tangy flavor to Parmesan, making it a suitable substitute for grating over the finished dish.

Plating Ideas for Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the spicy chicken rigatoni, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing plate. Use a large, flat plate to showcase the pasta and chicken, ensuring that the colors and textures of the dish are highlighted.

  2. Garnish with precision: Add a final touch of finesse by garnishing the dish with freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkle of finely grated parmesan cheese. This not only enhances the visual appeal but also adds a burst of flavor to the dish.

  3. Incorporate contrasting textures: Consider adding a delicate microgreen salad on the side to introduce a contrasting texture to the dish. The vibrant greens will provide a refreshing element to complement the rich flavors of the spicy chicken rigatoni.

  4. Utilize negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate to allow the dish to stand out. Arrange the components thoughtfully, leaving areas of the plate empty to draw attention to the main elements of the dish.

  5. Focus on symmetry and balance: Pay attention to the placement of the rigatoni and chicken, aiming for a balanced and symmetrical presentation. This meticulous approach demonstrates attention to detail and professionalism in plating.

  6. Consider the plate as a canvas: Treat the plate as a canvas and use the vibrant colors of the roasted garlic pasta sauce and the peppers to create an artistic and visually striking presentation. This approach adds an element of creativity to the dish.

  7. Emphasize the aroma: As you present the dish, ensure that the aromatic essence of the spicy chicken rigatoni is noticeable. The tantalizing aroma will captivate the senses of the diners, setting the stage for a memorable culinary experience.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Rigatoni with Spicy Chicken

  • Large pan: A wide, deep cooking vessel used for sautéing, frying, and simmering ingredients.
  • Pot: A cooking container with a handle and often a lid, used for boiling or stewing ingredients.
  • Paper towel: An absorbent paper used for cleaning and drying various kitchen surfaces and utensils.
  • Spatula: A flat, flexible utensil used for lifting, flipping, and spreading ingredients during cooking.
  • Colander: A bowl-shaped kitchen tool with small holes used for draining liquids from food items such as pasta or vegetables.
  • Food processor: A versatile kitchen appliance used for chopping, blending, and pureeing ingredients.
  • Mixing bowl: A deep bowl used for combining and mixing ingredients during food preparation.
  • Whisk: A kitchen utensil with a handle and wire loops, used for beating, whipping, and blending ingredients.
  • Knife: A sharp cutting tool used for slicing, chopping, and dicing various food items.
  • Measuring cup: A container used for accurately measuring liquid or dry ingredients in cooking and baking.
  • Tongs: A utensil with two arms and a pivot used for gripping and lifting hot or delicate food items.
  • Grater: A kitchen tool with sharp-edged perforations used for shredding or grating cheese, vegetables, or other foods.
  • Cutting board: A durable surface used for cutting, chopping, and preparing food items while protecting countertops and surfaces.
  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking, roasting, and heating food items.
  • Stove: A cooking appliance with burners or heating elements used for cooking food in pots and pans.

Storing and Freezing Spicy Chicken Rigatoni for Later

  • To store leftover spicy chicken rigatoni, allow it to cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • When reheating refrigerated leftovers, add a splash of chicken broth or water to the pasta to help loosen the sauce and prevent it from drying out. Heat in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the spicy chicken rigatoni for up to 2-3 months. To freeze, transfer the cooled pasta to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Press out as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
  • To reheat frozen spicy chicken rigatoni, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, transfer the pasta to a microwave-safe dish or saucepan and add a small amount of chicken broth or water to help reconstitute the sauce. Heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.
  • If you plan to freeze the pasta, consider slightly undercooking the rigatoni to ensure it retains its texture after thawing and reheating. The pasta will continue to soften as it sits in the sauce, so a slightly firmer texture initially will help prevent it from becoming mushy later.

Reheating Spicy Chicken Rigatoni for Best Results

  • Stovetop method: place the leftover spicy chicken rigatoni in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. add a splash of chicken broth or water to help loosen the sauce and prevent the pasta from drying out. stir gently and continuously until the dish is heated through, about 5-7 minutes. if the sauce appears too thick, add more liquid as needed.

  • Oven method: preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). transfer the leftover spicy chicken rigatoni to an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pasta is heated through. remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking to allow the top to crisp up slightly.

  • Microwave method: place a single serving of the leftover spicy chicken rigatoni in a microwave-safe bowl. add a splash of chicken broth or water to help maintain the sauce's consistency. cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape. microwave on high power for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the pasta is heated through.

  • Reheating tips: regardless of the method you choose, be sure to stir the spicy chicken rigatoni occasionally to ensure even heating and prevent the pasta from sticking together. if the sauce appears too thick or dry, add small amounts of chicken broth, water, or heavy cream to help loosen it up and restore its original consistency. taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, as flavors may have mellowed during storage.

Interesting Trivia About Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

Spicy chicken rigatoni is a popular dish in Italian-American cuisine, known for its bold flavors and hearty ingredients. This dish is a fusion of spicy and creamy, combining the heat of cherry peppers with the richness of heavy cream and roasted garlic pasta sauce. It's a perfect example of how Italian cuisine can be adapted to suit different tastes, incorporating elements of spice and heat. This dish is a great way to enjoy a comforting and satisfying meal with a kick of heat.

Budget-Friendly Spicy Chicken Rigatoni: Is It Possible?

This spicy chicken rigatoni recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as chicken breast, pasta sauce, and rigatoni pasta, are reasonably priced and readily available. The dish offers a satisfying and flavorful meal for a family of four at an approximate cost of $20. The combination of chicken, pasta, and a variety of vegetables makes it a hearty and budget-friendly option. Overall, I would rate this recipe an 8 for its affordability and delicious taste.

Is This Spicy Pasta Dish Healthy or Not?

The spicy chicken rigatoni recipe, while delicious, may not be the healthiest option due to a few key ingredients:

  • Heavy cream and parmesan cheese add significant amounts of saturated fat and calories to the dish.
  • The classico riserva roasted garlic pasta sauce likely contains added sugars and sodium.
  • The recipe calls for a large amount of pasta, which can be high in carbohydrates and calories.

However, the recipe does include some nutritious elements, such as:

  • Chicken breast, a lean protein source
  • Onion and red bell pepper, which provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber
  • Olive oil, a healthy source of monounsaturated fats

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Replace the heavy cream with a lower-fat alternative, such as evaporated skim milk or Greek yogurt, to reduce the saturated fat content.
  • Use a homemade pasta sauce or a low-sodium, low-sugar variety to control the amount of added sugars and salt.
  • Reduce the amount of pasta and increase the proportion of vegetables in the dish to lower the carbohydrate content and boost the fiber and nutrient density.
  • Opt for whole wheat or legume-based pasta for added fiber and nutrients.
  • Use a smaller amount of parmesan cheese or choose a low-fat variety to decrease the saturated fat content.
  • Incorporate additional vegetables, such as spinach or zucchini, to further increase the nutritional value of the meal.

Editor's Take on Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

The spicy chicken rigatoni recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The roasted garlic pasta sauce adds a rich and savory element, while the hot cherry peppers provide a kick of heat. The addition of heavy cream creates a lusciously creamy sauce that coats the rigatoni perfectly. The chicken is tender and well-seasoned, and the combination of onions and bell peppers adds a wonderful depth of flavor. Overall, this dish is a satisfying and comforting meal that is sure to please anyone who enjoys a bit of spice in their pasta.

Enhance Your Spicy Chicken Rigatoni Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Bread: Slices of crusty bread slathered in garlic butter and toasted to perfection
Caesar Salad: Crisp romaine lettuce, tangy Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons, and shaved parmesan cheese
Grilled Asparagus: Fresh asparagus spears grilled to tender perfection and drizzled with a balsamic glaze
Mango Salsa: Sweet and spicy salsa made with fresh mango, red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro
Tiramisu: Decadent layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers, creamy mascarpone, and dusted with cocoa powder

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

Spicy Chicken Alfredo: This creamy and spicy twist on a classic Alfredo pasta is sure to be a hit with your family. The combination of tender chicken and a rich, spicy sauce will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Mango Habanero Chicken: This sweet and spicy chicken dish is perfect for those who love a little heat in their meals. The combination of juicy mango and fiery habanero peppers creates a flavor explosion that will leave your taste buds tingling.
Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken: If you're a fan of jalapeno poppers, you'll love this recipe. Tender chicken breasts are stuffed with a creamy, spicy jalapeno and cheese filling, then baked to perfection. It's a delicious and indulgent dish that's perfect for a special occasion.
Thai Red Curry Chicken: Transport your taste buds to Thailand with this flavorful and aromatic red curry chicken. The combination of tender chicken, vibrant vegetables, and a spicy coconut curry sauce is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves bold, exotic flavors.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Complement Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

Spicy Chicken Wings: These spicy chicken wings are the perfect appetizer to kick off any meal. The crispy skin and tender meat are coated in a fiery hot sauce that will leave your taste buds tingling. Serve with a side of cool ranch or blue cheese dressing to balance out the heat.
Caprese Salad Skewers: These caprese salad skewers are a fresh and light appetizer that is sure to impress your guests. Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil are threaded onto skewers and drizzled with a balsamic glaze for a burst of flavor in every bite. It's a simple yet elegant starter that will leave everyone wanting more.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, rich chocolate lava cake that oozes with a molten center when you dig into it. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of warm and cold, and top it off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a touch of sweetness.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Create a creamy and luscious strawberry cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust. Top it with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of strawberry sauce for a burst of fruity flavor. Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream for an extra touch of indulgence.

Why trust this Spicy Chicken Rigatoni Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, ensuring a satisfying meal for any occasion. The roasted garlic pasta sauce provides a rich and savory base, complemented by the addition of heavy cream for a luscious, creamy texture. The use of chicken breast ensures a lean and protein-packed main ingredient, while the inclusion of red bell pepper and hot cherry peppers adds a delightful kick of heat and vibrant color. The dish is finished with a sprinkle of parsley and parmesan cheese, enhancing the overall presentation and taste.

Share your thoughts on the Spicy Chicken Rigatoni Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section. Let's discuss any tweaks or variations you've tried!
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely use a different type of pasta if you prefer. Penne, fusilli, or even spaghetti would work well with this recipe.
Can I make this dish less spicy?
Absolutely! You can adjust the level of spiciness by using fewer hot cherry peppers or opting for a milder pasta sauce. You can also remove the seeds from the cherry peppers to reduce the heat.
Can I substitute the chicken with another protein?
Of course! You can substitute the chicken with shrimp, Italian sausage, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the protein you choose.
Can I make this dish ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the sauce and cook the pasta ahead of time. Store them separately and combine when ready to serve. This dish also reheats well, so it's great for leftovers.
Can I omit the heavy cream?
If you prefer a lighter option, you can omit the heavy cream or use a lighter alternative such as half-and-half or evaporated milk. The sauce will be slightly less creamy but still delicious.

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