This Chicken Mushroom Pasta recipe is made with jar tomato 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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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?
- 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.
- Uses jarred sauce - One of my favorite shortcuts for a quick pasta dinner.
- No wine - This recipe is made without wine, making it a family friendly meal that both kids and adults can enjoy.
- Flavorful - The spice blend adds tons of flavor, when combined with the seared mushrooms and meat, that really brought the whole dish to another level.
- 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. Fresh mushrooms work best for this recipe! They hold their shape and add some nice texture and color to the sauce.
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:
- Make sure they are dry before you start - Any moisture will make them steam instead of caramelizing.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Shrimp - Use shrimp instead. 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 chicken and use mushrooms only. However, we highly recommend using chicken stock.
- Lighter pasta - Try using half & half, light cream or canned coconut milk to cut calories.
- Vodka - Add ¼ cup vodka along with the sauces.
- 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.
- 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 (or use canned coconut milk instead).
- Parmesan – Grated parmesan cheese or shredded parmesan will work great.
More Mushroom Recipes to try:
- Pan Fried Mushrooms
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Air Fryer Mushrooms
- Mushroom Fried Rice
- Vegetarian Mushroom Sandwich
How to make?
- Cook Pasta – boil in a pot of salted water until al dente.
- Prep - Chop boneless skinless meat into bite size pieces and mushroom into ¼ to ½ inch slices.
- 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.
- Finish - Stir in cooked pasta, mushrooms, parmesan and fresh basil.
What can I serve with this dish?
- Garlic bread
- Parmesan bread bites
- Soft Garlic Knots
- Sheet Pan Roasted Broccoli
- Avocado Rolls
- Roasted broccoli
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.
More Chicken Penne Recipes:
- Pesto Pasta with Chicken
- Instant Pot Penne Pasta
- Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
- Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken
- Butter Chicken Pasta
- Garlic Butter Pasta
- Instant Pot Pasta in vodka sauce
- Lemon Chicken Pasta
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Chicken Mushroom Pasta - with or without Cream
- 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)
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Group - 1
- 1 and ½ cups marinara sauce we used Prego, tomato, basil & garlic
- 1 cup heavy cream or use canned coconut milk
- ½ cup chicken stock we used 33% reduced sodium
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust based on the type of sauce & stock used
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
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 hot, add mushrooms and cook until water has leeched then evaporated, and the mushrooms start to turn golden around edges - 2 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer mushrooms into a seperate bowl.
- 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 ¾th cooked.
- 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 is based on third party calculations, should be considered estimates and not be construed as a guarantee. Varying factors such as product types, brands purchased, produce, the way ingredients are processed and more change the nutritional information in any recipe.
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I wanted to use over my leftover mushrooms and tiny tomatoes. This was a great tasting surprise. I had wide pasta noodles. Also placed scallions. Thank you so much. What a awesome way to use left over ingredients from a different recipe
Glad you liked it, have a great week - Maria
Glad to hear. Have a wonderful week - Maria