This Chicken Mushroom Pasta is ready in under 30 minutes. Aldente pasta is smothered in a lusciously creamy pink sauce and is loaded with chunks of tender chicken and buttery mushrooms. It is indulgent but not ridiculously rich. Swap out cream for coconut milk for a healthier twist!
Chicken mushroom pasta is one of our favorite meals like the instant pot chicken alfredo, because it's so quick and easy to make from scratch.
Heavy cream adds a decadent luxury, and also ensures a seamless integration of parmesan cheese, resulting in a smooth and clump-free sauce. Alternatively, if you prefer a healthier option, an equal amount of canned coconut milk serves as an excellent substitute, like in instant pot pasta with tomato cream sauce.
Why you'll love this?
The ideal blend of marinara sauce, chicken stock, and the perfect amount of cream, harmoniously combined with parmesan cheese yields an utterly tasty chicken mushroom pasta in pink sauce.
The dish delivers a double dose of glutamates from the remarkable combination of mushrooms and tomatoes. These glutamates, known as natural flavor enhancers, work harmoniously to intensify the overall taste profile of the dish. The mushrooms, in particular, take center stage as they contribute savory umami-rich flavors like in sauteed mushrooms.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Pasta – Like in my penne pasta recipes, I like to use penne in this chicken mushroom pasta recipe, but any bite-sized noodles like farfalle, ziti, or bowties or even longer ones like fettuccini or linguini work great.
- Chicken – I have used boneless, skinless breasts like in air fryer chicken parmesan, but thighs or even diced tenderloins will work in a pinch.
- Mushrooms - White button variety, is more commonly available year-round in most supermarkets and is also not too expensive. Baby Bella like an air fryer mushrooms recipe, also works wonderfully and adds a robust flavor to the dish.
- Jarred tomato sauce - Like in all my pasta dishes, I like to use Prego (tomato, basil, and garlic) sauce.
- Chicken stock - I like to use 33% reduced sodium stock because it gives the flexibility to adjust the salt based on individual needs. If you use no sodium or regular stock, then adjust salt accordingly.
- Heavy cream - Gives richness and body. Use canned coconut milk to make it healthier.
- Parmesan – Use freshly grated parmesan if possible. It melts smoothly and is luxurious.
My favorite part about this chicken mushroom pasta recipe is that you can customize it with whatever you have at home. Mix in any of the following ingredients -
- Shrimp - Sear shrimp first like in garlic butter shrimp pasta, remove cooked shrimp into a bowl before proceeding with the sauce.
- Spinach - Spinach makes a delicious addition. Toss baby spinach almost at the end and let wilt before adding parmesan cheese.
- Vegetarian - Skip the chicken and use vegetable stock instead.
- Lighter pasta - Try using half & half, light cream, or canned coconut milk to make it waist friendly.
- Alcohol - Adding a splash of white wine or ¼ cup vodka, will add a welcome brightness as in instant pot penne alla vodka.
- Rotisserie chicken - Stir in chopped rotisserie chicken along with sauce and cream.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1 & 2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until moderately hot. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to turn golden around the edges - 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pro tip - The slices are seared in medium-high heat, to seal in all the juices without making them leak copious amounts of liquid into the pan.
2. Season diced chicken with some salt and pepper. Heat butter in the same skillet, over high heat, add chicken in a single layer.
Pro tip: Cook in high heat to develop flavor! Browning the meat or mushrooms in high heat jump starts the chemical reaction that causes food to brown. And as explained in the creamy chicken pesto pasta, browned foods have a richer and more varied flavor profile.
3. 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 ¾th cooked.
5. Stir in marinara sauce, heavy cream, stock, salt, and pepper, give a good stir, let it come to a boil, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or thickened slightly.
6. Stir in cooked al dente pasta, mushrooms, parmesan, and basil. Toss, remove from heat, and serve after 5 minutes.
Pro tip: How to cook pasta al dente? Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian - it’s a 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.
How to serve?
This chicken mushroom pasta is a weeknight staple because it's a complete meal that combines protein, pasta, and vegetables in one delightful dish. For a perfect accompaniment, I highly recommend serving it alongside crusty bread, allowing you to savor every last bit of the rich sauce.
How to store?
- Storage: Place the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Reheat - Warm in the microwave with a splash of water to loosen up the sauce.
- Freezing: You can technically freeze this chicken mushroom pasta dish. However, penne 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.
- Marinara sauce - I 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 - I used 33% reduced sodium stock. If you are using regular or no sodium stock then adjust salt accordingly.
- Use a large skillet - 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.
- Use gluten-free pasta to make it gluten-free chicken mushroom pasta.
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.
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 ¼-inch (closer to ½-inch thickness is good).
3. Don't overcrowd the pan - Spread them in a single layer, so they get a beautiful golden brown.
There are several side dishes that pair well with chicken mushroom pasta.
1. A simple green salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors.
2. Steamed vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans are healthy and simple. They retain their vibrant colors and provide a light and nutritious addition to the meal.
3. Crusty garlic bread is always a crowd-pleaser and goes well with all pasta dishes.
4. Grilled or roasted vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, or asparagus bring out their natural sweetness and adds a nice texture.
In fact, preparing the sauce ahead of time can help save you time and also help you get dinner on the table fast. Prepare the sauce as mentioned in the recipe and remove it from the heat without adding the pasta. Allow it to cool completely at room temperature, and transfer it into an airtight container before transferring it to the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
When you're ready to use the sauce, gently reheat it on the stovetop over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Toss in the cooked pasta and you have dinner on the table in a flash. You may need to add a little bit of water or broth to adjust the consistency.
More chicken penne recipes
Chicken Mushroom Pasta
Group - 1
Group - 2
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil leaves chopped
- Cook pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente, drain.
- In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until moderatly hot. Add mushrooms and cook until they begiin to turn golden around edges - 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pro tip - The slices are seared in medium-high heat, to seal in all the juices without making them leak copious amounts of liquid into the pan.
- Transfer mushrooms into a seperate bowl. Toss diced chicken with some salt and pepper. Heat butter in the same skillet, over high heat, add chicken in a single layer, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, flip and stir in chopped onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook tossing occasionally, until onion is translucent and chicken is ¾th cooked.Pro tip: Cook in high heat to develop flavor! Browning the meat in high heat jump starts the chemical reaction that causes food to brown, because browned foods have a richer and more varied flavor profile.
- 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.
- Stir in cooked pasta, mushrooms, parmesan and basil. Toss, remove from heat and serve after 5 minutes.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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