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Penne topped with ricotta cheese in a skillet.
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Chicken Pesto Penne with Roasted Red Peppers and Ricotta

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2-1/2 cups dry penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 9 ounce jar chopped roasted red peppers (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated or shaved Parmesan cheese plus additional for garnish


  • Cook penne about one minute shy of the package directions.
  • Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Heat olive oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic and saute for several minutes, until chicken is just lightly golden brown. Season with crushed red pepper, salt, and fresh ground pepper, to taste. Add chopped roasted red peppers and cook, stirring, for another minute or two or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Reduce heat to medium and add half-and-half and pesto and stir well to incorporate into the chicken mixture.
  • Add cooked and drained pasta to the chicken mixture, stirring to combine. Drop small spoonfuls of the ricotta over the pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover skillet and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until ricotta is softened and melting into the pasta.
  • Serve with additional Parmesan for garnish.