The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Chicken Mozzarella Pasta

4.60 Mitt(s) 5 Rating(s)5 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

One of my favorite, easiest pastas on the planet. Stir chunks of fresh mozzarella into the finished sauce and by the time you serve, it’s nice and soft and melty. Quick, easy, and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Penne Or Rigatoni
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Plus More For Drizzling
  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Small Bite-sized Pieces
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Finely Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 jar (25 Ounce) Good Quality Marinara Sauce
  • ½ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
  • ½ cups Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 8 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella, Cut Into Medium Cubes
  • ¼ cups Parmesan Shavings
  • Extra Parmesan, For Serving
  • 12 whole Basil Leaves (chiffonade)

Preparation

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook without stirring for 2 minutes, or until golden. Stir chicken around to brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions and garlic and stir immediately to start cooking. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden.

Reduce the heat to low and pour in the marinara sauce, red pepper flakes, and the water. Stir until the onions and garlic are mixed in, then add the chicken back into the pan. Add the parsley, stir to combine, then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 7-8 minutes.

Make sure the sauce is bubbly and very hot, then gently stir in the mozzarella. Let it sit, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can see that the mozzarella is very soft.

Drain the pasta and pour it onto a platter. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Immediately sprinkle on 1/4 cup Parmesan shavings (or grated Parmesan.) Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with extra Parmesan and the chiffonade of Basil, and serve immediately!

* NOTE: The mozzarella should be very soft but should still be in visible chunks rather than distributed throughout the sauce. It’s better for the chunks to be on the firm side than the falling-apart side! You can always heat it a little more to get the cheese to the consistency you want.

2 Comments

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Pat Norris on 8.5.2014

Only change I made was grilled the chicken on the grill, and we had extra tomatoes so we cut some of them up and placed on top. It was a huge hit at my family reunion. Thank you! 5 star rating in my book! Was going to attach photo, but guess I can’t do that!!

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missbit on 7.18.2014

Very, very good. My husband loved it. That gives it high marks in my book.

5 Reviews

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Pamela Roberts on 9.13.2014

I really liked this recipe. I think one whole onion is way too much.. at least for my family. Next time I will cut it way down to maybe 1/4 of an onion. Other than that, it was delish.

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Pat Norris on 8.5.2014

Made this awesome recipe for the family. I grilled the chicken on the grill and added fresh cut chunks of tomato on top. Thank you…everyone loved it!! It will be a regular at least once a month!!

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missbit on 7.18.2014

My husband loved this recipe. He likes things with red sauce. I used a jar of Williams-Sonoma Rustic Vegetable Pasta Sauce instead of Marinara. It was outstanding. Instead of using too much red pepper flakes (like I did), next time I’m going to season the chicken with a little cayenne pepper and see what happens. This recipe is definitely going into my “Keeping using file”.

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sheilakay on 3.7.2014

I thought the chicken was a little bland with only salt and pepper.
Next time I will flavor the olive oil with the garlic and then cook the chicken.
Loved the convenience factor of the jarred Marinara.

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kittykat86 on 2.25.2014

This is amazing! Hubby loved it and said it was a keeper.

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