This Chicken Broccoli Penne is a fast and easy weeknight meal that is loved by kids and adults alike. Comforting casseroles, like this one, are the most requested form of dinner in our house. Here, I’ve kept things simple with just seven ingredients and ten minutes of hands-on time. This recipe is highly adaptable, so feel free to play with the cheeses and toss in additional vegetables. I love this with my Slow Cooker Marinara but jarred pasta sauce works well too.
Chicken Broccoli Penne is a Simple & Delicious Family Meal!
Table of contents
As much as I love to cook, there are nights when I am just not feeling it. Maybe I’m tired, perhaps I am in the middle of a really good book, or maybe it is beautiful outside, and I’d rather be there than in the kitchen.
Whatever the reason, the last thing I want to do is spend time making dinner.
But still, there is the whole having three hungry kids thing that can’t be ignored.
If you have those nights too, you are going to fall in love with this super simple Penne with Broccoli and Chicken.
It is fast and easy and comes together in just about 10 minutes.
Jarred marinara sauce works beautifully if you are pressed for time. (Or you can do what I often do and make a big batch of marinara and freeze it so that you can pull it out when you need to.)
This recipe is a great vehicle for cleaning out your crisper drawer, so feel free to use up whatever vegetables that you have on hand.
Serve it with a green salad, and you’ve got a veggie-packed meal that the whole family will enjoy.
Variations for This Recipe:
- To make this recipe vegan and dairy-free, use vegan ricotta and Daiya Shreds. (Or another vegan cheese that melts.). Omit the chicken and use sauteed tempeh, or Gardein chick’n. (To keep it gluten-free, make sure you use the scallopini.)
- Add sauteed or Air Fried Mushrooms, sauteed spinach, and/or carrots for extra veggies.
- Use alfredo sauce in place of marinara.
- Add a sauteed red pepper and onion.
- Use sharp cheddar in place of mozzarella.
- For a richer dish, omit the marinara and ricotta and use this Creamy Tomato Sauce with Cream Cheese.
Tips for Making Penne with Chicken and Broccoli
- Don’t forget to salt the water that you cook your pasta in – it makes a big difference in the final taste.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the water to prevent the water from boiling over.
- Reserve a 1/2 cup of the pasta water to use to adjust the sauce to your desired consistency. Try to have the sauce ready to go so that you can immediately toss it with the pasta when you drain it. This helps prevent the pasta from sticking to itself and a much better option than tossing the pasta with oil. (Which will keep it from sticking to itself but will also prevent the sauce from sticking to it.)
If You Like This Penne with Broccoli and Chicken You May Also Like:
Chicken Broccoli Penne
This cheesy, family-friendly dish is a great way to get kids to eat their broccoli. (And it is easy on the budget!)
Chicken Broccoli Penne
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with oil.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli in the last three minutes.
- Transfer to a colander to drain.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, until cooked through. Add in marinara and ricotta cheese and cook until heated through about 4 minutes.
- Stir in pasta and broccoli and toss to combine. Transfer to prepared dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Cook for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.