One-Pot Spicy and Creamy Chicken Pasta

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: When you’re using whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta, high quality makes all the difference. (My favorite brands are Sfoglini and Rustichella d'Abruzzo.) And, I know, I’m asking you to chop a lot of herbs here. I like a hefty portion because it cuts the richness of the sauce. However, if you go with just parsley and basil, it’s quick to get to 1/2 cup.

Featured in: A Creamy, Spicy Pasta Dish to Warm Your Soul.
Lindsay Maitland Hunt

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, plus more, for serving
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces (340g) short whole-wheat pasta (penne, rigatoni, and macaroni are my favorites here)
  • 4 cups (960ml) chicken stock or water
  • 2 cups (390g) shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as oregano, parsley, sage, and basil, plus more, for serving
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest
In This Recipe


  1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots, Aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper), salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are soft and golden, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in the pasta and stock (or water), cover, and bring to a boil. Remove the lid and cook, stirring frequently and making sure there’s no pasta stuck to the bottom of the pot, until the pasta is almost tender and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. (This will depend on the brand and shape you’re using.) Stir in the chicken and cream and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in the herbs, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  3. Serve hot, sprinkled with more herbs and Aleppo pepper.

More Great Recipes:
Pasta|American|Italian|Shallot|Lemon Juice|Chicken|Milk/Cream|One-Pot Wonders|Entree

Reviews (20) Questions (1)

20 Reviews

FrugalCat May 18, 2018
I added mushrooms and chopped bell peppers too. Next time I will try some broccoli florets. This was creamy and certainly a keeper!
Kim April 17, 2018
this was so delicious!! I added mushrooms and peas. Just need to watch closely as the pasta does tend to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Jenni February 28, 2018
So, are you using rotisserie chicken from the grocery store? Or am I wrong to assume the shredded chicken is precooked?
ali February 15, 2018
Delicious as is! I used parsley and basil. Thank you!
Rhonda35 February 13, 2018
Super-easy and delicious! I made two very slight changes: added the pasta to the shallots and let the pasta toast for about a minute before adding the stock/water. The other change was a sprinkle of grated Parmesan prior to serving. I was not a fan of Martha's one-pot pasta, but I sure am glad I gave this a try! Thanks Lindsay!
Gina B. February 12, 2018
Any word on the herbs recommended in this recipe? They call for many - but don't really specify how much of each. ("1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as oregano, parsley, sage, and basil, plus more, for serving") Seems like this could make or break the dish. Does anyone have any favorites that seem to work really well? Did you use all of the herbs that were called for?
at Y. February 11, 2018
looks like a nice two italian grandmothers would tell you that "macaroni" is not a IS the pasta itself......
Leslie S. February 8, 2018
I know, I always use the whole box too. The portobello mushrooms would be great add. For a bit more color add some sliced roasted red pepper and zucchini. Or if you are avoiding pasta, make zucchini noodles. This is a nice versatile dish.
Susan R. February 8, 2018
I agree with Kevin. If I don't cook the full 16 oz box, it will go to waste. This sounds delicious and will be making this in the near future ! Love Aleppo pepper.
Kevin B. February 8, 2018
A box of pasta is 16 ounces, usually, unless it’s from Italy, then it’s .5 kilos. Why are recipes being printed that use less than either of those amounts? Food & Wine does this a lot, too. I don’t leave partial boxes lying around, I use the entire box. I can do the math to scale it up, I just don’t get why the recipes don’t use the whole box.
cookinalong February 8, 2018
Kevin, I'd double check the labels on any pasta you've purchased lately. I have a few boxes of Ronzoni pasta I must have purchased a few months ago, and recently stocked up on it at a sale from my local supermarket. A new box of Ronzoni bowtie pasta is 12 oz...the old one is 16 oz. I didn't keep the receipt, but I double if the 12 oz. box was cheaper. And the boxes are exactly the same size! Hmmm. I've noticed the same thing about coffee. I recently bought some Chock Full O' Nuts coffee and it's not 12 oz., not 16 oz. Ditto for Maxwell House.
Kevin B. February 8, 2018
Ronzoni? Not what I’d use, never. I stick with D’Cecco, Barilla, or Rustichella. The first two at 16 ounces, the last either .5 kilo, but sometimes .25 kilo.
cookinalong February 9, 2018
I stand corrected. I had no idea Ronzoni was such an abomination.<br />
Linda S. February 13, 2018
Here I am, hanging my head in shame and embarrassment. What was I thinking, using Ronzoni all these years!
Linda S. February 13, 2018
Bottom line, I use what my grocery store has available but I avoid store brands
Linda S. February 13, 2018
And I was very snarky, and I apologize. I realize that my response was inappropriate. Sorry.
Alice S. February 8, 2018
I'd like to make this vegetarian. Suggestions? Just leave out the chicken? Alternative additions?
EmMa February 8, 2018
I would cut the chicken out and sauté some sliced portobello mushrooms with the shallots -- they have such a good "bite," and they'll enhance the earthy/smoky flavor combination this dish is all about.
Heatherjoy K. February 8, 2018
thank u! I don't eat chicken so this is a very welcomed idea!!!!!
Karin A. February 8, 2018
I wanted to eat this the minute I saw it, but don't have chicken so I roasted some cauliflower and onions and tossed them in at the end.....OH YUM! What a fabulous alternative! I'm eating it as I type, thinking I may not ever make it with the chicken ;)