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Chicken Riggies (Easy Dinner Recipe)

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.

Creamy Chicken Riggies

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

Honestly, it’s just plain yummy.

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.

Better still, you won’t have a ton of dishes to clean up when you’re done. How awesome is that?

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?”

At least, that was my first question. And boy, I’m so glad I took the time to figure it out!

Because my taste buds and my stomach have never been happier. 

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.

Everything is coated in a deliciously smooth tomato cream sauce. 

And if you like bold flavors and spice, you’re in the right place! Between the red pepper flakes, parsley, chicken bouillon, and paprika, you can’t go wrong. 

This recipe is slightly spicy, but it’s super easy to modify that (up or down).

Close up of Creamy Chicken Riggies


  • Rigatoni Pasta- Rigatoni is a must for this since it’s literally in the name. But that’s not the only reason:
    • The textured surface catches and keeps all of the yummy sauce like no other, so you won’t have a single piece of dry pasta here!
    • Rigatoni is also a chewy, hardy pasta, making the overall dish super filling.
  • 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, and 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

Step One – Prep your 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. 

Step Two – 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. 

Step Three – Sauté the veggies.

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

Step Four – Season everything in the pot with salt and pepper.

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

But if you used salted butter, don’t add too much.

Step Five- 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.

Step Six – While the sauce is simmering, make the pasta.

Follow the package instructions. You can do this during the initial prep, but you have plenty of time to do it here. 

Plus, this guarantees the pasta will be ready when the sauce is ready. So everything is fresher.

And you won’t get sticky clumps of rigatoni.  

Step Seven – Add the olives to the sauce.

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

Step Eight – Finish the sauce with a cornstarch slurry.

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

Step Nine – It’s time to add the pasta!

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

Step Ten – Enjoy!

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

Creamy Chicken Riggies

Tips for the Best Chicken Riggies

  • Make a large batch of chicken riggies for meal prepping. You can make the sauce only and save it in the fridge until you need it. Then, prepare the pasta and combine it all to serve.
    • Alternatively, you can make the entire recipe, transfer it to a baking dish, and refrigerate it. I recommend only par-cooking the pasta in this case since it’ll bake in the oven. You may also want to add a little extra water.
    • When you’re ready to eat, cover it with cheese and put it in a preheated 375-degree Fahrenheit oven. Bake until it’s warmed through. 
  • Save some time with pre-cooked chicken. Rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken works really well in this recipe. Simply add it to the sauce towards the end.
  • Use cream cheese to make the dish ultra-creamy. Simply add room-temperature cream cheese to the sauce when you add the liquids and whisk to combine. 
  • Instead of water and bouillon, use chicken stock or bone broth. It’s just as flavorful but has more goodness. Adjust your salt levels to taste.  
  • Adjust the heat levels as you like. 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. 
  • Use any short, textured pasta if you don’t have any rigatoni. Penne, farfalle, ziti, and even shells work just fine. 

Can I Freeze Chicken Riggies?


Chicken riggies freezes really well. Just let the dish go cold, then add any leftovers to an airtight container or freezer bag.

Label and date the container and consume within three months.

Alternatively, make the recipe per the instructions below, then add everything to a freezer-safe baking dish. Cover it with plastic and foil and freeze.

When you’re ready to eat it, leave it to thaw overnight in the fridge and let it warm up on the counter for about 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.

Cook it for about 45 minutes in a preheated 375-degree Fahrenheit oven until hot and bubbly.

Of course, you can also reheat leftovers in the microwave.

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 4 butter

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

  • 8 ounces 8 Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 1 green bell pepper, chopped

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

  • 1 1 onion

  • salt, to taste

  • black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups 2 water

  • 2 tablespoons 2 chicken bouillon (2 cubes)

  • 1 cup 1 tomato sauce

  • 1 cup 1 heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon 1 paprika

  • 1 teaspoon 1 parsley

  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 black olives

  • 2 tablespoons 2 cornstarch

  • 2-3 2-3 tablespoons cold water

  • 1 lb 1 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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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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