Welcome back to the adventures of “I can’t make anything without adding cheese.”

Super Easy Creamy Tomato and Chicken Baked Penne I howsweeteats.com

It’s true. Not that you didn’t know.

I try. I really do. And then… well. Then, I fail.

Super Easy Creamy Tomato and Chicken Baked Penne I howsweeteats.com

Things are just so much better with cheese. So much freaking better.

Super Easy Creamy Tomato and Chicken Baked Penne I howsweeteats.com

I’m almost embarrassed to share because it’s definitely one of those throw-together-what’s-in-your-fridge meals. But in the spirit of the holiday rush and let’s be honest – the season of cookies for dinner – I decided that any quick and easy meal deserves a little spotlight. Especially when it can produce leftovers and leave more time for cookie baking. Because that’s what I’m really all about. Cookie baking. Mmmm.

Super Easy Creamy Tomato and Chicken Baked Penne I howsweeteats.com


30 Minute Baked Chicken Penne

Yield: serves 2-4

Total Time: 35 minutes


1/2 pound whole wheat penne
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions. Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes and season with salt, pepper, paprika and basil.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Stir in onions and peppers with a pinch of salt, cooking for 5 minutes until soft. Add in garlic and stir. Increase heat to medium-high and add chicken in a single layer. Cook for 5-6 minutes until browned, then flip and cook for 5-6 minutes more. Stir in diced tomatoes, cream and parmesan cheese, mixing well to combine. Stir in penne.

Transfer mixture to a baking dish and top with mozzarella. Bake for 10-15 minutes, just until cheese is melted and pasta is warmed through. Serve immediately with extra cheese for grating.

Super Easy Creamy Tomato and Chicken Baked Penne I howsweeteats.com

I’d promise no cheese tomorrow buuuut… you know me better than that.

share:    Pin It    

79 Responses to “Super Easy Creamy Tomato and Chicken Baked Penne.”

  1. #
    Liz — November 28, 2012 @ 7:58 am

    There better be cheese tomorrow!! :D


  2. #
    Steph — November 28, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    I love any type of pasta-chicken-tomato-cheese baked combination. Yum!


  3. #
    Su — November 28, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    Everything you make looks just delicious… I really want to be able to say “No, this recipe is not for me!”… but I simply can’t.
    And, of course, this one will have to be made by me…:D


  4. #
    little kitchie — November 28, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    ohhh this dish is right up my alley… yum yum yum


  5. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — November 28, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    I love simple, and fast meals, especially if it involves pasta and cheese!! Looks mighty delish!!


  6. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — November 28, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    Oh my gosh, my roommate would love you for this. She’s Dutch and anything with cheese is a great meal in her opinion! Most of my recent meals have been throw-together-everything-in-the-fridge ones too. Having said that, I have no complaints – they’ve all been delicious!


  7. #
    Joelle (on a pink typewriter) — November 28, 2012 @ 9:09 am

    This looks soooo warm and comforting. It’s freaking cold here in DC.


  8. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — November 28, 2012 @ 9:13 am

    Seriously, I go through cheese faster than butter sometimes


  9. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — November 28, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    I add cheese to everything. it’s like a disease Jessica. I gave up cheese for lent one year and it lasted 4 days b/c I wanted a grilled cheese with my tomato soup. this whole wheat baked penne is right up my alley. saving it for a chilly night this winter!


  10. #
    Abby@ The Frosted Vegan — November 28, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    I loooove clean out your fridge meals! This is especially delish looking.


  11. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — November 28, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    Yeah, I pretty much put cheese on everything too. As an experiment and just to see how it would be, I once tried to be vegan for a week. I lasted about 5 hours (incredibly pathetic), because I needed (real) milk in my tea–and also because I was craving cheese badly.

    I actually went to Costco the other day and probably spent like 40 dollars on cheese, which is absurd. But its because I buy their Cabot 3-Year Cheddar, and at least 2 things of their real parmesan, so I try to justify it by saying it will last for a month of two (I hope…)


  12. #
    Krista Lee — November 28, 2012 @ 10:18 am

    “Welcome back to the adventures of ‘I can’t make anything without adding cheese.’” Story of my life.


  13. #
    Erin@LawStudentsWife — November 28, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    Yes cheese, yes leftovers, yes quick and healthy! You are answering my holiday season dinner prayers.
    And really, why make anything for dinner that doesn’t involve cheese? That’s what I thought.


  14. #
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} — November 28, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who wants to add cheese to everything :) Also, I love your textured bowls! So pretty!


  15. #
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — November 28, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    Cheese and red wine are seriously the answers to all of life’s problems! Looks amazing!


  16. #
    Kacy — November 28, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    There are many things in life to apologize for, but cheese is never one of them :)


  17. #
    Mandie @ Oh So Decadent — November 28, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    Nothing wrong with a simple and delicious meal! I find that the simpler they are, the better! And this one takes the cake, or maybe I should say the cookie!


  18. #
    Morgan — November 28, 2012 @ 11:21 am

    I seem to have that problem as well. Whenever faced with little ingredients and little time, I grab whatever veggies and pasta I have and slap some cheese on it. Problem is the ratio always leans toward more cheese, less veggies. Woops.


  19. #
    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — November 28, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    great simple recipe Jess – I love the focus on natural ingredients!

    I would love to try this with some shrimp and lemon juice – I love a little bit of tang!


  20. #
    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries — November 28, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    Yum! Can’t wait to make this! And yes, everything is certainly better with cheese… I’ve been adding it to everything lately!


  21. #
    deva at deva by definition — November 28, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

    YUM! I can’t wait to try this. It may have to be on a night when my mr is working late- he is not a fan of tomato.


  22. #
    Jeni — November 28, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

    Hi Jessica. I found your blog via a co-worker who said she follows your blog religiously and so I had to stop by and see what the fuss is all about :). You’ve got a suhweet blog going with lots of delicious recipes. I, too, have a foodie blog, so it’s nice to “meet” other foodie bloggers. This Penne Pasta recipe looks and sounds divine!


  23. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — November 28, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

    Yeah I pretty much want to go to third base with that.


  24. #
    pixelednina — November 28, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    You’re right Jessica. Everything is better with a cheese and cheeeeese. :)


  25. #
    Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog — November 28, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    Yum – looks delicious. And let’s be honest, cheese makes this world go round. Keep on keepin’ on!


  26. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 28, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

    My hubs would be all over this one! Love the steam shots. Feels like I’m right there from the pics!


  27. #
    a farmer in the dell — November 28, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

    Yum. Cheese makes everything better. my dream job is working the cheese counter at Whole Foods. Regardless of how smelly it will make me! This looks delicious!


  28. #
    sasha york — November 28, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

    hi :)
    how come your photographs look so aesthetic and expert? love them.


  29. #
    Kim in MD — November 28, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    I love that your cheese addiction! This looks like dinner to me…I think I have everything to make it!


  30. #
    Emily @ Emily Eats and Runs — November 28, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    Cheese and cookies?! Yes and yes.


  31. #
    Julia Jolliff — November 28, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    Looks so tasty! I am always looking for quick and yummy pasta dishes for during the busy week..can’t wait to try this out.


  32. #
    Sugar-n-Spice Gals — November 28, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

    This looks so good! I am a big fan of cheese, so bring it on! I will be trying this soon!


  33. #
    Chantelle @ A Tale of Two Pretties — November 28, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

    This is perfect. Quick meals that are delicious, and leave extra time for baking? What more could a girl want!


  34. #
    Pretend Chef — November 28, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

    This looks so good. More cheese please. I’d love a bowl of this pasta and will be trying this soon. Delicious!


  35. #
    Dawn — November 28, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    Everything really is better with cheese!


  36. #
    Tieghan — November 28, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    You can NEVER have to much cheese! Hey it is a protein, so it is good for us!


  37. #
    Catherine — November 28, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

    Duh. Cheese makes everything better! (Well, maybe not ice cream…or cookies…but MOST things).
    This pasta dish looks delicious; simple but satisfying. This may be the next pasta recipe on the menu!


  38. #
    Maria — November 29, 2012 @ 12:01 am

    It’s 9:00 and all I want is pasta now. And I already had dinner. Thanks friend:) xo


  39. #
    Sandy — November 29, 2012 @ 7:33 am

    I always need a quick dinner with what I have in the fridge. But I never have cream in the fridge. What would happen without it?


  40. #
    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — November 29, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    cheese is in all my dishes too. i don’t see a problem :)


  41. #
    Shelly in Austin — November 29, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    You made my day! I have all these things right here in my house. No grocery shopping necessary. I’m making this for dinner tonight!


  42. #
    Kate — November 29, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    I couldn’t have said it better myself….everything truly is better with cheese!


  43. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — November 29, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    My kids have commented to me about dishes like this; wondering why I never post something made in the same spirit…and seeing this I’m wondering that too.

    Sometimes my only inspiration is what needs to be used in the fridge and I for one agree that cheese always needs to be used!


  44. #
    Denise — November 29, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    Looks delicious and I just love the last photo of the steam coming off of it!!! :D


  45. #
    Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen — November 29, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    This looks amazeballs and I couldn’t agree more…this season is all about quick suppers so important things like homemade sweet treats and sassy holiday cocktails take precedence!


  46. #
    Natalie @ In Natalie's Shoes — November 29, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

    Yummmmmah! Quick, easy, and cheesy– what’s not to love?


  47. #
    Ambar — November 29, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

    lol Reading your post made me laugh out loud at work! There is no such thing as too much Cheese! More cheese please!


  48. #
    Jayne — November 30, 2012 @ 4:52 am

    It’s true. Everything is better with cheese. You don’t need to say no to it! Also, this is how I almost always cook. Do an audit of everything in the fridge and try to match stuff that might just taste good together. Sometimes it works, other times…. well.


  49. #
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen — November 30, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    Yup! Better with cheese is a good motto to live by…


  50. #
    rachel — December 1, 2012 @ 10:49 am

    So, if I’m going to double this recipe and make it for a crowd (using a full pound of pasta instead of a 1/2 pound), do you suggest two big 28-oz cans of tomatoes?


    • Jessica — December 1st, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

      Yes! That would be perfect. And after doubling everything else, you may want to add a little extra cheese. :)



  1. Pingback: Thursday’s Thoughts- « kml Image Works

  2. Pingback: Long time, no blog |

  3. Pingback: Thursday’s Thoughts- « kml Image Works

  4. Pingback: Festive Filled Weekend

  5. Pingback: What I Ate Wednesday « Picky and Healthy

  6. Pingback: Baked Chicken & Pasta | Love Bake EnjoyLove Bake Enjoy

  7. Pingback: Creamy Baked Penne | Sugar and Grace

  8. Pingback: We’ll call it a Mom Bake… » The Intuitive Mama

  9. Pingback: Jordann, The Intuitive Mama guest blogs about cooking with community.

  10. Pingback: 30 Minute Baked Chicken Penne | Home Recipes Catalog

  11. Pingback: Penne Recipes That Make Weeknight Meals Awesome Again | Los Angeles News

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *