Creamy Blackened Chicken Rigatoni Pasta--Imagine tender blackened chicken, kissed by bold spices, nestled in a velvety creamy sauce, all twirled around hearty rigatoni pasta—this recipe is full flavors and textures that'll leave you craving more.
This Creamy Blackened Chicken Rigatoni Pasta recipe is undeniably the ultimate chicken pasta dish for the whole family! Picture perfectly seasoned, tender blackened chicken nestled in a creamy, dreamy sauce infused with garlic and parmesan, all generously coating hearty rigatoni pasta. This dish is a symphony of flavors and textures, from the bold and smoky chicken to the luscious creaminess of the sauce. It's comfort food at its finest, ideal for any occasion. Dairy-free + Gluten-free option.
Why Creamy Blackened Chicken Rigatoni Pasta?
Have some chicken in the freezer? Begin thawing it, because tonight's dinner is a must-try! When it comes to easy weeknight dinners, I often find myself craving the timeless combo of chicken + pasta, and this Creamy Blackened Chicken Rigatoni Pasta perfectly embodies this comforting duo. It's full of rich, savory flavors, and each bite is a creamy, juicy delight. You know what pairs magically with this dish? My Cheesy Kale Garlic Bread—a household favorite! My kid insists it's practically a crime not to have it with ANY pasta. Plus, these Easy Weeknight Blackened Chicken Tacos are on weekly rotation in our house and they're a definite crown-pleaser! Elevate your weeknight dinners with our Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta, a delightful blend of seasonal ingredients that's both family-friendly and irresistibly creamy.
In a nutshell, this creamy chicken dish is the epitome of family-friendly comfort food. It boasts straightforward steps + is incredibly versatile. Feel free to customize it to your heart's content—swap in your preferred side dish or explore meatless options with ingredients like mushrooms, tofu, cauliflower, and more. The possibilities are endless!
How To Make Creamy Blackened Chicken Rigatoni Pasta?
Start making this recipe by marinating your chicken in the blackened seasoning, then baking it. Then you begin boiling your pasta. In the meantime, you make your creamy sauce by sautéing a few garlic cloves, and then adding in the seasoning, heavy cream, chicken stock, and cheese. Next, toss in your cooked + drained pasta, chicken, and wallah.
Organic Chicken Breasts: The star of the show, offering lean protein for the dish.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Adds a touch of richness and prevents the chicken from sticking.
Blackened Seasoning: Infuses the chicken with bold, smoky, and spicy flavors, creating a delicious crust. (Store-bought or see below on how to make your own blackened seasoning)
Organic Rigatoni Pasta: A hearty choice that holds the creamy sauce beautifully; I love the brand Rummo --You can use your preferred pasta. (See below for more ideas)
Unsalted Butter: Provides richness and flavor to the creamy sauce.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Adds a layer of richness and helps prevent sticking.
Organic All-Purpose Flour: Acts as a thickening agent for the creamy sauce.
Garlic: Introduces aromatic depth to the dish.
Heavy Cream: Creates the luscious, velvety base of the sauce. I use Organic Valley.
Chicken Stock: Enhances the savory notes and adds depth to the sauce. Whole Foods has a great organic option!
Freshly-Squeezed Lemon: Adds zesty brightness to balance the richness.
Freshly-Grated Parmesan Cheese: Offers a creamy, cheesy finish, elevating the overall flavor. (See FAQ for more cheese options)
What Is Blackened Chicken?
Blackened chicken is a flavor-packed sensation, where chicken is coated with savory spices (often a little spicy), then seared or cooked in the oven to create a smoky, charred crust. It's a bold and spicy journey for your taste buds, often associated with Cajun and Creole cuisine.
I have complete faith in my Homemade Cajun Seasoning—it's my secret weapon. I even gave it a spin in an Easy Shredded Chicken recipe recently, and it worked like magic. So, naturally, it's the ideal choice for elevating this chicken pasta dish to perfection! You can adjust the spice blend to suit your preferred level of heat and flavor!
How To Make Your Own 'Blackened Seasoning"
This blackened seasoning recipe is as simple as mixing all your spices together and takes just 5 minutes! Here are the simple ingredients that you will need for this recipe - Feel free to customize to your liking!
Smoked paprika: Lends a captivating smoky depth.
Garlic powder: Elevates savory notes.
Onion powder: Adds subtle aromatic undertones.
Dried parsley: Provides a touch of herbal brightness.
Dried oregano: Introduces a hint of earthy warmth.
Dried basil: Evokes a sweet, herbal essence.
Dried thyme: Brings a savory, earthy aroma.
Cayenne pepper (optional): For those who crave a gentle kick of heat.
Sea salt: Enhances taste and seasoning.
Black pepper: Adds a dash of zesty heat.
SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR COOKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THIS DISH!
If you discover a new favorite topping idea, be sure to let me know in the comments section below!
Adding More Protein
If you'd like to add protein to this Creamy Blackened Chicken Pasta Recipe dish, it's easy to do, regardless of your diet!
Plant-based protein options:
Crispy seared or baked tofu cubes
Crumbled stir-fried seitan
Crumble vegan bacon on top
Sautéed cauliflower florets or broccoli
Sautéed asparagus, Brussels sprouts, etc.
Meat-based protein options:
If you're a seafood lover, feel free to swap out the chicken for these delightful options!
Fish (fried, grilled, baked, etc.)
How To Know If Your Chicken Is Fully Cooked?
Ever wondered how long to bake chicken breasts at 400°? To know when your chicken breasts are fully cooked at 400° here are some tips -
Time: Bake chicken breasts at 400°F for around 30-35 minutes. Don't forget to flip halfway through!
Color and Juices: Cut into the thickest part of the chicken. If the juices run clear and the meat is opaque with no pinkness, it's likely cooked.
Temperature: For certainty, use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should read 165°F (75°C) at the thickest part of the breast.
Resting: After cooking, let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes. This helps keep the juices inside for a tastier result.
What Are Delicious Foods to Pair Creamy Blackened Chicken Pasta With?
When it comes to serving this mouthwatering Creamy Blackened Chicken Pasta there are some options that will truly elevate your meal. First off, don't forget to have some bread on hand. I love this homemade Soft Buttery Vegan Brioche Bread. Trust me; you'll want to dip it into that luscious, saucy goodness. If you want a little freshness, serve it with a salad on the side, like this Fall Harvest BBQ Chickpea Kale Salad or this Best Buffalo Chickpea Kale Salad. It's like a fresh burst of flavor that complements this easy weeknight dinner beautifully.
But here's the thing. Thiscreamy chicken pastais so darn amazing that you can honestly enjoy it all by itself. Seriously, the creamy sauce + luscious tender herby chicken is everything! It's just bursting with flavor. So, feel free to dig in and savor every single bite. It's a dish that stands tall on its own!
Choosing Your Perfect Pasta
You can use any type of pasta that you like in this recipe. That is what makes this Creamy Blackened Chicken Pastarecipe so adaptable!
I love using rigatoni because it does an beautiful job of embracing and holding onto the sauce. Butany of these pasta varieties would work for this dish -
Ravioli or gnocchi would also go wonderfully with this sauce + chicken combo!
I would recommend tossing with tongs to ensure that longer varieties of pasta is fully manageable and fully coated. You can also use gluten-free pasta, whole-wheat pasta, or even zoodles for a low-carb option!
Creamy Blackened Chicken Rigatoni Pasta Q + A's
How To make Gluten-free?
To make this dish GF, simply use Gluten-Free pasta and ensure that the coconut cream/milk (alternative for heavy cream), flour, and chicken stock are GF-friendly.
How To make dairy-free?
To make this sauce chicken pasta dish dairy-free, simply use vegan butter instead of the regular butter. Then swap the cream with full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. And use your favorite dairy-free shredded cheese or nutritional yeast instead of parmesan.
Can I use chicken thighs instead?
Absolutely, chicken thighs are a fantastic option! If you prefer them, go ahead and use boneless and skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. Just remember that the cooking time might differ slightly from using chicken breasts.
Can I use different types of cheese in the sauce?
Absolutely! While Parmesan cheese is great, you can experiment with other cheeses like Gruyère, Pecorino Romano, or even a blend for unique flavors.
How to store leftovers of this chicken pasta dish + What's the best way to reheat leftovers?
Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Gently reheat leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of milk or broth to maintain the creamy consistency.
What can I substitute for heavy cream if I want a lighter version?
You can use coconut milk or almond milk for a lighter, dairy-free option, or you can try Greek yogurt for a creamy texture with fewer calories.
More Weeknight Chicken Recipes to Try Next!
If you enjoyed the Creamy Blackened Chicken Rigatoni Pasta recipe, make sure to add these irresistible chicken dishes to your "must-make next" list!
If you tried this Creamy Blackened Chicken Rigatoni Pasta recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.
This Creamy Blackened Chicken Rigatoni Pasta recipe is undeniably the ultimate chicken pasta dish for the whole family! Picture perfectly seasoned, tender blackened chicken nestled in a creamy, dreamy sauce infused with garlic and parmesan, all generously coating hearty rigatoni pasta. This dish is a symphony of flavors and textures, from the bold and smoky chicken to the luscious creaminess of the sauce. Dairy-free + Gluten-free option.
1-2Tbspsblackened seasoning, homemade or store-bought(See Post for details)
1(16 oz.) packageorganic rigatoni pasta(You can use your fave pasta short-cut pasta; See Notes for GF option)
1tablespoonExtra virgin olive oil
2Tbspsorganic all-purpose flour
4-6garlic cloves, minced
1tablespoonblackened seasoning, homemade or store-bought
1 ½cupsorganic heavy cream
½cupchicken stock, organic
1cupfreshly-grated parmesan cheese
TO MAKE THE BLACKENED CHICKEN:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, add your freshly cleaned + rinsed chicken breasts along with olive oil + the blackened seasoning, mixing everything together until chicken is fully coated. NOTE: I like to poke small slits in the centers of breasts to ensure that they cook through evenly. Totally optional!
NOTE: Best when marinated for a while! To do so: Add coated chicken to a securely sealed ziplock bag and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours (minimum). Best if marinaded overnight. When ready to use, let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cooking.
Line seasoned chicken breast (side by side) unto prepared baking sheet, leaving a bit of room in between each one.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the outside and fully cooked through on the inside. NOTE: Be sure to turn the breasts unto their opposite side halfway through the baking time. Once cooled, slice the breasts in 1-inch thick cuts or chunks, if desired.
BOIL THE PASTA:
Cook pasta according to packaging. NOTE: rigatoni cooks about the same time as other pastas, usually 8-10 minutes, depending on brand.
TO MAKE THE CREAMY PASTA:
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and butter until melted. Add the garlic cloves and sauté for 1 minute or so, until fragrant.
Add the blackened seasoning and flour, stirring until combined.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly add in the heavy cream, and stock, stirring until combined. Let it slightly bubble for 1-2 minutes and then add in the lemon juice and grated parmesan, whisking until fully melted and sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
When the rigatoni pasta is done, drain it and add it to the sauce, tossing until sauce fully coats + sticks to the pasta. Feel free to add cut chicken to coat them, if desired. If not, add pasta to prepare plate(s) or bowl(s) and top with the chicken pieces. Serve immediately!
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
OIL: You can also use coconut oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil, instead of olive oil.
PASTA: You can use long pastas like Pappardelle, Tagliatelle, Fettuccine, etc. however, I would recommend tossing with tongs to ensure that pasta is fully manageable and fully coated. Otherwise, other pastas such as Penne, Rigatoni, Paccheri, Orecchiette, etc. are perfect.
GREENS: To add a bit more flavor to this dish, you can always feel free to add in your favorite greens such as kale, spinach, broccolini, collards, or asparagus.
OTHER MEAT OPTIONS: If you'd like to switch things up, see post for more alternatives!
GLUTEN-FREE: To make this dish GF, simply use Gluten-Free pasta and ensure that the coconut cream/milk (alternative for heavy cream), flour, and chicken stock are GF-friendly.
DAIRY-FREE OPTION: To make this sauce dairy-free, simply use vegan butter instead of the regular butter. Then swap the cream with full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. And use your favorite dairy-free shredded cheese or nutritional yeast instead of parmesan.