Home Dinner Chicken Chicken Riggies (Easy Dinner Recipe)

Chicken Riggies (Easy Dinner Recipe)

Chicken riggies is comfort food at its finest.

This dish is pasta-tively amazing! Every bite is saucy, creamy, spicy, and flavorful.

Creamy Chicken Riggies
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And the best part is, it’s super easy to make. So in under an hour, you’ll have a fabulous dinner that’s as comforting as it is scrumptious.

Try chicken riggies tonight, and I know you’ll be hooked!

Utica Chicken Riggies Recipe

Unless you’re from upstate New York, you’re probably wondering, “what the heck is chicken riggies?”

Chicken riggies is an Italian-American pasta dish that was first created in Utica, New York.

It features juicy chunks of chicken, rigatoni pasta (rigatoni, as in riggies), peppers, and mushrooms.

Then, everything simmers in a deliciously smooth tomato cream sauce. 

And it’s so easy! This chicken riggies recipe will likely land in your weekly dinner rotation.

Close up of Creamy Chicken Riggies


No fancy ingredients here! Just some chicken, pasta, veggies, and seasoning. Here’s everything you need to make this classic pasta dish.

  • Rigatoni pasta. Rigatoni is a must for this since it’s literally in the name. The textured surface catches and keeps all of the yummy sauce like no other.
  • Butter. Butter is the perfect fat for this dish. You could use olive oil, but butter has so much delicious flavor.
  • Chicken. It is called CHICKEN riggies, after all. You’ll need boneless, skinless chicken breasts. But boneless chicken thighs would also be delicious. 
  • Vegetables. Mushrooms, green bell peppers, hot peppers (from a jar), onions, and olives. They add both nutrition and flavor! 
  • Tomato Sauce. Use whatever tomato sauce makes you happy. I recommend a simple marinara, and it can be homemade or store-bought.
  • Cream. This recipe uses heavy cream for flavor and richness. Plus, it makes every bite creamy and silky.
  • Seasonings. Go big or go home with the seasonings! You’ll need salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, and red pepper flakes. I also add a bit of garlic powder, but that’s optional.

How To Make Chicken Riggies

Here’s a quick rundown of how easily this pasta dish comes together. Don’t worry, I’ll get into more detail at the bottom of the page.

1. Prep the ingredients. Start by chopping the chicken into 3/4 to 1-inch-sized pieces. Then chop the mushrooms and peppers into similar bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

2. Cook the chicken. Sauté the chicken in butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once the chicken starts to turn white, move on to the next step. 

3. Sauté the veggies. Add the mushrooms and let them cook on their own for a few minutes. Then, add the green peppers, hot peppers, and onions. 

4. Add seasoning. This is the first round of seasonings. Use as much salt and pepper as your heart desires. 

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5. Make it saucy and spicy. Now, you’ll add the water, tomato sauce, cream, bouillon, and additional seasonings to the pot. Let it simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.

6. Make the pasta. Follow the package instructions. Making it last guarantees the pasta will be ready when the sauce is ready.

7. Add the olives to the sauce. Add the olives, then let the sauce simmer for another few minutes. 

8. Thicken the sauce. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl to make the slurry. Then, add it to the sauce and stir until the sauce thickens. 

9. Add the pasta! Pour the cooked and drained pasta directly into the sauce. Stir to coat and serve warm. 

10. Enjoy! Serve as is or with plenty of crunchy garlic bread. Yum!

Creamy Chicken Riggies

Tips for the Best Chicken Riggies

Want to ensure your first batch of chicken riggies is perfect? Follow these quick and easy tips below.

  • Use pre-cooked chicken. Rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken works really well in this recipe. And saves you a lot of time. Simply add it to the sauce towards the end.
  • Make it ultra-creamy. Room-temperature cream cheese adds a subtle sweetness and extra creaminess. Simply add cream cheese to the sauce when you add the liquids and whisk to combine. 
  • Use chicken stock or bone broth. Skip the water and add stock for more flavor! Remember that most stock is already salty, so adjust your salt levels to taste.  
  • Adjust the heat levels. If the hot peppers are too hot, leave them out. If they’re not hot enough, add some more. The same goes for the red chili flakes. 
  • Try different styles of pasta. The pasta police won’t arrest you if you don’t have rigatoni on hand. Penne, farfalle, ziti, and even shells work just fine. 

How to Store Chicken Riggies

Chicken riggies make the best leftovers! It keeps in the fridge well, and it’s easy to reheat for a tasty next-day lunch.

Here’s everything you need to know about storing leftovers. 

  • To store. Allow the dish to come to room temperature. Then, transfer to an air-tight container. It will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days
  • To freeze. Place leftovers in a freezer-safe bag or container. It will stay fresh for up 2-3 months. 
  • To reheat. From frozen, allow the dish to thaw in the fridge overnight. Cook it for about 45 minutes in a preheated 375-degree Fahrenheit oven until hot and bubbly. Or, just pop individual portions in the microwave until heated through.

More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love

Ina Garten Pasta Salad
TikTok Feta Pasta
Fettuccine Alfredo
Rotel Chicken Spaghetti
Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne

Chicken Riggies (Easy Dinner Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time





When the kids ask what’s for dinner, chicken riggies is the answer! Of course, it’s also the answer if you don’t have kids and just want something tasty.


  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken breasts ( 3-4 breasts), cut into 3/4 to 1-inch pieces

  • 8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1-2 hot peppers, jarred (adjust for heat preferences)

  • 1 onion

  • salt, to taste

  • black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon (2 cubes)

  • 1 cup tomato sauce

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon parsley

  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

  • 1/2 cup black olives

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water

  • 1 lb rigatoni (approximately 1 box), cooked and drained (see directions # 7)


  • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Once the butter is starting to get bubbly, add in the chicken pieces. Cook them until they just begin to turn white.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms to the chicken and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Add the green peppers, hot peppers, and onions to the pot. Season everything with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 5-7 minutes
  • Add the water, bouillon, tomato sauce, heavy cream, paprika, parsley, and red pepper flakes to the pot.
  • Bring everything to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat. Gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • (I recommend cooking the pasta at this time. Follow package instructions.)
  • After 20 minutes, add in the olives. Let everything simmer, uncovered, for another 5 minutes. It should be quite saucy at this point.
  • In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 2-3 tablespoons of water until it forms a thick slurry. It shouldn’t be a paste, but it shouldn’t be runny either.
  • Pour the slurry into the sauce and stir until there are no more streaks of white. It will start to thicken as you stir.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta and serve warm. Enjoy!
Chicken Riggies

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author avatar
Haley van der Ploeg
Haley van der Ploeg is a food writer and content creator for Insanely Good Recipes, where she authors blog posts, creates recipes, and crafts tantalizing photos.

Haley is passionate about food and its ability to gather people across cultures, languages, and generations. She believes everyone can learn to cook.

Most days, you can find Haley reading, baking elaborate cakes, and hosting get-togethers for friends and family. If Haley isn't home, she’s probably on a plane jetting off to exciting adventures and new cuisines.

She lives with her husband in the Netherlands and has taught him that vegetables *can* taste good.

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