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Marry me chicken pasta combines all the delicious flavors of our reader-favorite Marry Me Chicken… in a pasta dish! My husband’s very favorite iteration of this viral recipe, there’s so much to love about the magical combination of Parmesan, basil, sun dried tomatoes, tender chicken, and al dente penne. If you get a proposal out of this recipe, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

A large silver skillet of penne pasta in a sun-dried tomato cream sauce with chicken and basil.

🍅 What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • If you’re a fan of our Marry Me Chicken recipe, you can already imagine how incredible this pasta version is. Feel free to scroll right on down to the recipe card. If you’re new to all-things-marry-me, though, WELCOME, and prepare to be swept off your feet.
  • Marry me chicken pasta has every single delicious thing you love from the original chicken dish, but it adds a pound of tender al dente penne pasta to put the whole recipe over the top. That pasta is smothered in an incredible, rich sun-dried tomato cream sauce – and that’s not an exaggeration. There’s so much delectable flavor in such a simple sauce, it’s almost too good to be true. Almost.
  • This recipe is somehow even easier than the original! We cut out all the oven steps, making this a super quick, super simple stovetop recipe that’s perfect for even the busiest of weeknights. I still recommend a cast-iron skillet because of that beautiful sear they give, but absolutely any skillet will work!

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • Ever had a cream sauce that just refuses to be smooth, no matter what you do? You most likely added your dairy products while they were too cold! If the heavy cream or parmesan is cold or even too cool, when you add them to hot liquid in a hot skillet, the temperature shock will make them seize, clump, or curdle. That’s why we always specify that your dairy products need to be at room temperature. Make sure you move the skillet off the heat and let it cool a little before adding any dairy products, too.
  • We made our marry me chicken pasta with chicken breasts, but you can totally use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer them. With chicken breasts, I prefer to slice mine into thin cutlets. That way, they cook faster and more evenly. Whatever you decide to use, make sure all the pieces are roughly the same size and same thickness. If they differ drastically, they’ll cook at different rates. Way more likely you’ll end up with pieces that are overcooked while others are undercooked!
A bowl of marry me chicken pasta on a table set for dinner.

🍝 More of Our Favorite Pasta Dishes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik

Marry Me Chicken Pasta

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 40 minutes
This dish combines our reader-favorite Marry Me Chicken with tender penne pasta in a deliciously creamy recipe everyone will fall in love with.
8 servings


  • Large, heavy-bottomed pot
  • Large wooden spoon
  • colander
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp chef's knife
  • Large cast-iron skillet
  • Tongs
  • Large plate
  • whisk


For the Pasta

  • 16 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt table salt or fine sea salt
  • 1 pound penne pasta uncooked

For the Chicken

For the Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic peeled, minced
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or additional chicken broth
  • 2 cups heavy cream at or close to room temperature
  • 1 cup grated fresh parmesan at room temperature, see Notes
  • cup sun-dried tomatoes see Notes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes more or less to taste, see Notes
  • 2 tablespoons chiffonaded fresh basil see Notes

Serving Suggestions (All Optional)


For the Pasta

  • Fill large, heavy-bottomed pot with 16 cups water. Place pot of water on stovetop and set heat to high. Bring water to rolling boil.
  • When water begins to boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and stir to incorporate. Bring water back to rolling boil.
  • Once water begins to boil again, add 1 pound penne pasta. Stir to incorporate, then boil pasta until al dente, approximately 1 to 2 minutes less than time indicated on pasta packaging.
  • Once pasta reaches desired texture, pour water and cooked pasta into colander. Drain pasta well, then set pasta aside. Note: if desired, reserve up to ½ cup of pasta water to use in cream sauce.

For the Chicken

  • While pasta boils, place 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts on cutting board. Sprinkle generous amounts of salt and freshly cracked black pepper onto chicken, then flip chicken over and repeat on other side.
  • Place large cast-iron skillet on stovetop over medium heat. When skillet is warm, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Continue heating pan, swirling and tilting skillet occasionally to move oil across surface of pan, until oil is hot and shimmery.
  • When oil is hot, place seasoned chicken breasts in skillet. Sear chicken breasts 2 to 4 minutes or until bottoms of chicken breasts are lightly golden. Flip chicken breasts over and sear other side 2 to 4 minutes, or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest area of chicken breasts reads 160° to 162° Fahrenheit.
  • Once target temperature range is reached, transfer chicken breasts from skillet to large plate and set aside.

For the Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

  • Let cast-iron skillet cool 1 to 2 minutes, then return skillet to heat and reduce heat to low. Add ¼ cup unsalted butter.
  • Once butter has melted, add 2-3 cloves garlic to skillet and stir to incorporate minced garlic into butter. Sauté garlic 30 to 60 seconds or until just fragrant.
  • Once garlic is fragrant, add ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth and ¼ cup dry white wine to skillet. Stir to incorporate liquids, scraping bottom of skillet to loosen any bits of chicken or garlic that may have stuck to pan, then let liquids simmer over low heat until reduced by approximately 50%.
  • After reducing liquid, move skillet to cool burner and let skillet cool slightly, 30 to 60 seconds. When skillet has cooled, slowly add 2 cups heavy cream and gently whisk heavy cream into chicken broth reduction.
  • When heavy cream is incorporated, add 1 cup grated fresh parmesan to mixture in small increments. Whisk gently after each addition to melt parmesan and incorporate cheese into liquid.
  • Once all parmesan has been incorporated, return skillet to low heat. Gently whisk mixture 1 minute or so, until mixture is heated through.
  • Add ⅔ cup sun-dried tomatoes, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to mixture. Gently stir ingredients into cream sauce, then taste sauce and adjust salt, black pepper, oregano, and/or red pepper flakes as desired. Note: if sauce is thinner than desired, stir in 1 tablespoon of reserved pasta water then simmer sauce 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat if needed, but be careful not to add too much water.

For the Marry Me Chicken Pasta

  • When satisfied with flavor of sauce, add drained al dente pasta to skillet with cream sauce. Gently fold pasta into sauce until well coated.
  • Add 2 tablespoons chiffonaded fresh basil and gently fold basil into pasta until incorporated.
  • If desired, chop chicken into bite-sized pieces, then add chicken to skillet and fold chicken into pasta mixture. Portion mixture into serving bowls and serve immediately with additional grated fresh parmesan, crushed red pepper flakes, and/or chiffonaded fresh basil if desired.
  • Alternately, slice chicken breasts into long pieces. Portion pasta mixture into serving bowls, then top each serving with pieces of chicken, additional grated fresh parmesan, crushed red pepper flakes, and chiffonaded fresh basil if desired. Serve warm.
  • Skillet: If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, any skillet will do.
  • Chicken Breasts: I prefer to use thinly-cut chicken breasts or chicken cutlets. Whatever you use, make sure they’re roughly the same size and thickness – that way they’ll cook at the same rate.
  • Dairy Products: To keep the heavy cream and parmesan from seizing, clumping, or curdling, make sure they’re room temperature before adding them to any hot liquid. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly to lessen the temperature difference.
  • Parmesan Cheese: For the best results, buy a block of fresh parm and grate it yourself. Prepackaged grated cheese contains starches and fillers to prevent clumping, which also keep the cheese from melting smoothly.
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes: The ones packed in oil are my favorite – you can add a little of the oil to the sauce for more flavor. Dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes will work fine, though.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Some readers prefer to omit these entirely, especially if they’re cooking for kids. I don’t find that they make the dish hot or spicy, but do what works best for you, whether that’s reducing the amount slightly or leaving them out altogether!


To Chiffonade the Basil

  1. Stack fresh basil leaves on top of each other.
  2. Tightly roll the stack lengthwise.
  3. Use a sharp knife, positioned perpendicular to the roll, to slice the roll into several thin ribbons.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 677calProtein: 33gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 1568mgPotassium: 862mgTotal Carbs: 52gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gNet Carbs: 49gVitamin A: 1333IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 201mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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  1. I’m hosting a dinner party for 30 and want to do a pasta buffet can this be a make ahead dish served in a chaffing dish?

    1. We didn’t test it that way but I think it would be fine, with some adjustments!

      Depending on how long it needs to be in the chafing dish, you may want to cook the pasta to just under al dente (maybe 2 minutes shy?) to lessen the odds of it overcooking in the chafing dish. Be careful, too, not to overcook the chicken on the stovetop for that same reason.

      You may also want to increase the amount of sauce you make by 1.5 or so – more sauce makes it less likely that the pasta will dry out as it sits in the dish. There will also be some reduction as the pasta sits in the chafing dish, so the additional sauce can help offset that.

      Lastly, I would prepare everything as close to the time you intend to serve it as you can. Combine the warm pasta and warm sauce either in the chafing dish or just before putting the food in the chafing dish. Since it’s a cream sauce, stir the pasta every so often while it sits in the dish so the sauce doesn’t overheat, burn, or separate.

      Since it contains both poultry and dairy, be mindful of the holding temperature and how long the dish sits out. Food safety is important!

      Of course, all of this assumes you’ll be using typical home kitchen equipment rather than anything commercial, but regardless, I hope it helps! Please let us know how it turns out!

    1. If the rotisserie chicken was seasoned or marinated in something with a strong opposing flavor, like salsa or taco seasoning, I wouldn’t use it here. Otherwise, it would be a great option!

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