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.

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

  1. #
    Tara — December 1, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

    I will be making this! And anything made without cheese..I just wouldn’t trust.


  2. #
    imme — December 2, 2012 @ 1:32 am

    Hiiii:) i made this today for lunch and it was amazing!
    you are amazing (: x


  3. #
    Kendra — December 3, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    I made this for din din tonight and it was delish! I subbed provolone for the mozza and had some stake butter buns so crumbled them on top for a little more crispy action. It was so good and so quick!| thanks!


  4. #
    This American Bite — December 4, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

    This screams comfort food!


  5. #
    foodwithpictures — December 8, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    Cheese = YUM!


  6. #
    Joseph — December 10, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

    I’m making this today…got the chicken, peppers, onions, and pasta all cooked up…..just have to throw it all together and dump into a baking pan and bake at the appropriate time (we eat late dinners around here)


  7. #
    Shelby — December 11, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    so I tried this and it was a HUGE hit! Definitely going in the rotation. I used fire roasted chipotle diced tomatoes since we like our food spicy around here. Thank you for the recipe! xoxo


  8. #
    Gaby — December 13, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

    Are these 2-4 generous servings, or like how much pasta you should actually eat (which let’s face it, is always insufficient when it looks as good as this)? I want to make this for my family, but I have two teenage brothers. And I can eat like a teenage boy too. Doubling it might be best…


  9. #
    MaryD — January 13, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

    I made this for my husband tonight. He LOVED it! Thanks for the awesome recipe Jessica.


  10. #
    Lela — January 14, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

    Wow, this definitely looks incredible and will be trying it out soon :)


  11. #
    Laura — January 19, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

    This is in my oven right now and the anticipation is killing me. Smells sooo good. The bit I tasted before throwing it in was awesome.


  12. #
    Hannah — February 28, 2013 @ 12:22 am

    I roughly followed this recipe and it was great! Very adaptable.


  13. #
    Janna — March 4, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

    I tried this last night and was great. Just curious if you’re supposed to drain the liquid from the can(s) of diced tomatoes? I put it all in and it probably had more liquid than it was supposed to at the end.


  14. #
    hallie — April 2, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

    This was so good I just made it for the second time and I added more cheese omg it is so good. I am not a big tomatoe person so I only did one can instead of two.


  15. #
    Mandi Morgan — September 27, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

    I LOVE your website. Finally someone other than me who can’t eat anything without cheese. THANK YOU!


  16. #
    Janis@Heart-Filled Moments — November 25, 2013 @ 3:07 am

    Can’t wait to try this dish. It looks delicious!


  17. #
    Kate — May 23, 2014 @ 11:09 am

    Do you include the juices from the canned tomatoes?



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