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Creamy Chicken Mushroom Pasta – with/without Cream

This Creamy Chicken Mushroom Pasta recipe is made with jar sauce and ready in under 30 minutes. Make a luscious pink sauce with heavy cream or using coconut milk for a family friendly weeknight dinner!

If your family loves chicken pasta recipes for dinner, then check out Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake, Chicken Baked Ziti or Spicy Chicken Pasta.

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creamy pasta with mushroom & chicken in a bowl.

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Pasta

Pasta in a garlic tomato cream sauce is one of our favorite meals because it’s so quick and easy to make from scratch. Simple enough for a weeknight dinner but it also makes a delicious meal for date nights. It is rich, creamy and comforting.

If you are in a mood for pasta dinner that your family will love, yet done in less than 30 minutes, this is perfect for you. Everything from the juicy chicken breast, buttery mushrooms to the luscious pink sauce (which is like a marinara alfredo), this dish is a winner!

Why should you make this recipe?

  1. It is made with everyday ingredients – The ingredient list might look a little long, but it is likely that you have all the basic ingredients in your pantry or fridge.
  2. Uses jarred sauce – One of my favorite shortcuts for a quick pasta dinner.
  3. Great for meal prep – While it’s unlikely that I have leftovers, so I tend to double the recipe and store in meal prep containers for quick school lunch or next day.

Creamy Pink Sauce

The perfect creamy sauce! Your entire family will be shocked that this pasta comes out so creamy, perfectly decadent and rich. The combination of marinara sauce, chicken stock, cream / no cream and parmesan cheese in the right proportion, makes this absolutely delicious.

How can I make it without cream?

We use heavy cream in this recipe which creates a super-rich and luscious sauce for the pasta. Because it’s so thick, it also helps the Parmesan to melt into the sauce without clumping. However, equal quantity of canned coconut milk makes a great substitute for cream, like this Instant Pot Pasta with Tomato Cream sauce.

What type of mushrooms to use?

We used white button variety, which is more commonly available year round in all grocery stores and also not too expensive. Baby Bella also work wonderfully and add a robust flavor to the dish.

How to clean mushrooms?

Mushrooms grow in dirt, so they need to be cleaned thoroughly before cooking. The best way to clean is to wipe them with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or do a quick rinse under running water and immediately wipe dry with a clean kitchen towel.

How to cook mushrooms?

Cooking mushrooms for pasta is simple. My preferred method is to sauté them, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure they are dry before you start – Any moisture will make them steam instead of caramelizing.
  2. Do not slice them too thin – You want them to hold their shape, and if you slice them too thinly, as they cook they will shrivel down to nothing. They should be sliced no thinner than 1/4-inch (closer to 1/2-inch thickness is good).
  3. Don’t overcrowd the pan – Spread them in a single layer, so they get a beautiful golden brown.

What type of chicken should I use?

We have used boneless, skinless breasts, but thighs work great as well. Sometimes, we use diced tenderloins in a pinch.

What type of pasta to use?

Our favorite for this recipe is penne. However any bite sized noodles like farfelle, ziti or bowties or even longer ones like fettuccini or linguini work great.

Pro Tips for success

Jarred sauce – We used Prego sauce (tomato, basil and garlic).

Make it healthier – Use 1 cup canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream. It tastes just as delicious.

Use boneless skinless breasts, thighs or tenderloins.

Chicken stock – We used 33% reduced sodium stock. If you are using regular or no sodium stock then adjust salt accordingly.

Be sure to cook your meat and mushrooms in a single layer so it gets a golden brown crust. If you overcrowd the pan, it might steam instead. It’s best to work in batches if your pan is not large enough to fit everything at once.

Use your favorite noodle shape instead of penne.

To save time you can also buy fresh pre-sliced mushrooms at the grocery store.

If you prefer not to use chicken, you can use any other protein. Shrimp would be another great option.

Variations

  1. Shrimp – Use shrimp instead. Remove cooked shrimp into a bowl before proceeding with the sauce.
  2. Spinach – Spinach makes a delicious addition. Toss baby spinach almost at the end and let wilt before adding parmesan cheese.
  3. Vegetarian – Skip chicken and use mushrooms only. However, we highly recommend using chicken stock.
  4. Lighter pasta – Try using half & half or light cream to cut calories.
  5. Vodka – Add 1/4 cup vodka along with the sauces.
  6. Rotisserie chicken – Stir in chopped rotisserie chicken along with sauce and cream.

How to cook pasta al dente?

Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian – it’s noodle that’s cooked until it’s perfectly tender but with a firm center. Start checking the noodle for doneness a minute or two before the recommended time in the package.

Ingredients needed

  • Pasta – For this recipe, we used penne but you can use any type of noodle: linguine, fettuccine, elbow, macaroni, ziti, bow tie will all work great.
  • Chicken – We used breasts but thighs will work as well.
  • Mushrooms – We used white button variety (pre sliced work great as well).
  • Jarred tomato sauce – We used Prego (tomato, basil and garlic) sauce.
  • Chicken stock – We used 33% reduced sodium stock.
  • Seasoning – Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lots of fresh garlic.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – Makes the sauce rich and creamy.
  • Parmesan – Grated parmesan cheese or shredded parmesan will work great.
ingredients needed.

How to make?

  1. Cook Pasta – boil in a pot of salted water until al dente.
  2. Prep – Chop boneless skinless meat into bite size pieces and mushroom into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.
  3. Cook – Cook mushrooms in some olive oil and transfer. Cook chicken until half done, stir in chopped onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Mix marinara sauce, cream, stock, salt and pepper, simmer for a few minutes, until slightly thick.
  4. Finish – Stir in cooked pasta, mushrooms, parmesan and fresh basil.

What can I serve with this dish?

How to store?

  • Storage: Place the leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Re heat – Warm in microwave with a splash of water to loosen up the sauce.
  • Freezing: You can technically freeze this dish. However, penne it loses its shape and becomes somewhat mushy. If that doesn’t bother you, feel free to freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to a month.
  • To Thaw: Take it out of the freezer a day before and let it thaw in the fridge.
brown bowls with creamy pasta made with chicken and mushroom.

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chicken and mushroom pasta in a bowl.

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Pasta - with/without Cream

Yield: 3 to 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This Creamy Chicken Mushroom Pasta recipe is made with jar sauce and ready in under 30 minutes. Make a luscious pink sauce with heavy cream or using coconut milk for a family friendly weeknight dinner!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 to 10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 to 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size cubes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Group - 1

Group - 2

  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente, drain.
  2. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, add mushrooms and cook until water has leeched then evaporated, and the mushrooms start to turn golden around edges - 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Transfer mushrooms into a seperate bowl.
  4. Toss diced chicken with some salt and pepper. Heat butter in the same skillet, over medium high heat, add chicken in a single layer, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, turn over and stir in chopped onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook tossing occasionally, until onion is translucent and chicken is 3/4th cooked.
  5. Stir in all group-1 ingredients, give a good stir, let it come to a boil and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or thickened slightly.
  6. Stir in cooked pasta, mushrooms, parmesan and basil. Toss, remove from heat and serve after 5 minutes.

Notes

Make it healthy – Use canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream.

To save time you can also buy fresh pre-sliced mushrooms at the grocery store.

Chicken stock – We used 33% reduced sodium stock. If you are using regular or no sodium stock then adjust salt accordingly.

Make it healthier – Use 1 cup canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream. It tastes just as delicious.

Jarred sauce – We used Prego sauce (tomato, basil and garlic).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 871Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 1225mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 19gSugar: 25gProtein: 32g

I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. The information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com, although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates and not be construed as a guarantee. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health and ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate.

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