Easy Chicken Penne in Vodka Sauce

With jarred vodka sauce and cooked chicken, this cheesy chicken penne alla vodka comes together quickly for an easy weeknight meal

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Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, this cheesy chicken penne recipe uses jarred vodka sauce. Yes, it might make nonnas everywhere grumble something saucy in the language of their forefathers. Here’s the thing: according to Serious Eats, penne vodka may not even be Italian! There’s a chance it was invented by vodka manufacturers who tried to pretend it was Italian. 

So the fact that this penne alla vodka recipe uses jarred sauce isn’t all that blasphemous. And it means that you can have this dish on the table in less than an hour, making it a great option for a weeknight meal. 

How to make vodka pasta with penne & chicken 

To make this easy vodka sauce pasta dish, you’ll need only a few ingredients: the jarred vodka sauce (we like Newman’s Own), Tyson Grilled & Ready fully cooked frozen chicken breasts, a package of penne, shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan. 

By using the fully cooked frozen chicken breasts, your only prep work—besides cooking the penne—is dicing up the chicken breasts and heating the diced pieces in a frying pan before adding the sauce. You then heat the sauce and chicken for a few more minutes before combining it with the pasta and cheese and baking it altogether in the oven. 

The resulting cheesy chicken penne in vodka sauce is the ultimate “Italian” comfort food. 

Chicken Penne Vodka Recipe

Prep time: about 15 minutes 

Total time: 45 minutes 

Ingredients

  • 1 package penne rigate pasta (1 lb.)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 4 chicken breasts [Tyson Grilled & Ready fully cooked frozen chicken breasts (19 oz.)]
  • Half a jar of vodka sauce (24 oz. jar)
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese 
  • 1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping

Directions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF & grease a baking dish (we recommend 9″x13″, but any oven-safe dish will work!)
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add 1 package of pasta, stir and cook until al dente (still firm to the bite, not mushy),  for about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain. 
  3. Heat 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Dice fully cooked frozen chicken breast into cubes & add to the pan to heat for 3–5 minutes. 
  4. Add 1/2 jar of pasta sauce to chicken and heat for 3–5 minutes, or until warmed through.
  5. Mix together pasta, chicken, 1 cup mozzarella, and 1 Tbsp grated parmesan in a baking dish. 
  6. Top with additional mozzarella cheese and bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

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