Here’s the famous Marry Me Chicken recipe remade into a quick and easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love. Marry Me Chicken Pasta is tender bites of chicken and pasta in a creamy sauce accented with sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, and a generous amount of cheese.
If you like easy pasta dishes for family dinners, you can find one for any day of the week and more here on the blog. Pasta is one of the easiest and most versatile ways to feed a hungry family. From Homemade Hamburger Helper to creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce on Penne, weeknight dinner is done and delicious!
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What is Marry Me Chicken Pasta?
Marry Me Chicken Pasta is the perfect marriage of Italian flavour. You can’t go wrong with heavy cream infused with the flavours of garlic, Italian seasoning, fresh basil, and sun dried tomatoes. The final flourish is plenty of Parmesan Reggiano over the saucy chicken and al dente pasta.
This creamy Tuscan chicken pasta makes an excellent weekday family meal. The irresistible combination of tender chunks of juicy seasoned chicken breast and pasta in a creamy sauce will have everyone cleaning their plates in record time. The only problem is, did you make enough for seconds?
Marry Me Chicken – A Vintage Viral Recipe
Are you familiar with the concept of viral social media recipes? They are popular recipes from online creators that have thousands, sometimes millions of views on social media channels. Many of these popular recipes are all shine and no substance when it comes to flavour.
Marry Me Chicken is the exception. Back in 2016, Delish-style recipe videos were incredibly popular, and it was here that Marry Me Chicken was created. This is one social media recipe that has withstood the test of time due to its flavour and ease of preparation.
As the story goes, Delish editor Lindsay Funston created a video featuring this mouthwatering main dish. Once the shoot was over, the producer came over to taste the dish and exclaimed, “I’d marry you for that chicken!” and the rest is history. PS I don’t think they got married but the recipe went on to be a success!
But where did Lindsay get her inspiration for this popular dish? Before Marry Me Chicken 2016 there was the 1980’s classic Penne alla vodka. This vintage Italian American pasta dish features crushed tomatoes and vodka along with the usual cream, Italian seasoning and garlic.
The flavours in both dishes are so similar, that one must have inspired by the other.
Marry Me Chicken Pasta Ingredients
Almost every food blog has a recipe version of this enduring dish and today I want to share mine with you. In this Marry Me Chicken Pasta recipe, there’s plenty of that irresistible Tuscan style sauce to go around. And, as everyone knows, it’s better to have extra sauce than not enough sauce.
The ingredients are readily available at any grocery store and, if you keep a well stocked pantry, you might even save yourself a trip to the market!
- Olive Oil
- Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Italian Seasoning
- Chicken Stock
- Parmesan Reggiano
- Fresh Basil
- Red Pepper Flakes
Feel free to use whatever shape of pasta you love! I’ve tried this with fettucine and penne, and they both worked well. I personally like a tube-shaped pasta in this recipe (penne, rigatoni, cavatappi, fusilli) for holding onto the yummy sauce.
Skinless boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs work in this recipe. However, it is imperative that you use only heavy cream in the sun dried tomato sauce to prevent curdling.
Be sure to use only real garlic and onions (not garlic powder or onion powder), real grated Parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper for best flavour results.
Finally, fresh basil leaves and a few pinches of red chili flakes are optional but highly recommended. You can also make a very delicious dish using only Italian seasoning.
How to Make Marry Me Chicken Pasta
To make this delectable dinner dish in the recommended cooking time, begin with boiling the pasta, reserve pasta water, then cook the chicken, and finally make the sauce.
Heat a large pot of salted water on the stovetop. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserve the pasta water, and set aside.
Cook the Chicken
While the pasta is boiling, toss the diced skinless chicken breasts (or thighs) with the all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt, paprika, and freshly ground pepper until coated.
To cook the chicken, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced chicken and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and fully cooked through (165 F).
Make the Sauce
Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the onion to the pan with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes until just starting to soften. Add the minced garlic and 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute.
Pour the chicken stock into the pan and deglaze it, scraping all the browned bits off the bottom. Add the Italian seasoning and bring the chicken stock to a low simmer.
Next, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese to the pan. Stir until the sauce is warm and the cheese is melted. If you need to thin out the sauce, stir in some of the reserved pasta water until desired consistency is achieved.
Putting the Final Dish Together
Add the cooked pasta and chicken to the sauce and stir well to combine. Pro tip: Make sure pasta is still hot when you add it to the sauce. Cold or room temperature pasta to a cream/cheese sauce may cause the sauce to thicken up or get grainy.
Garnish Marry Me Chicken Pasta with fresh chopped herbs, red pepper flakes, and additional sun-dried tomatoes, if desired. Serve immediately.
Hi! I’m Bernice Hill and I’ve been the sole recipe developer, photographer, and writer at Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen for the past eleven years. It is my pleasure to share easy to follow recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and approachable for the whole family.
If you make this Marry Me Chicken Pasta recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section or in a recipe rating. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please share your photos and tag me on Instagram. I hope you like this recipe!
- 1 lb Rigatoni Pasta
- 1 lb Chicken breasts; cut into bite-sized cubes
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp kosher Salt; divided
- ¼ tsp black Pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil
- 1 small Onion; small diced
- 2 tsp minced Garlic
- ½ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes; plus more for topping (optional)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 cup Chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy Cream
- ½ cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Basil or Parsley (optional)
- pinch Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- Heat a large pot of salted water on the stovetop. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserve pasta water, and set aside.
- Toss the diced chicken with the flour, ½ teaspoon salt, paprika, and pepper until coated.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced chicken and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and fully cooked through to 165 F.
- Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the onion to the pan with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes until just starting to soften. Add the minced garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute.
- Pour the chicken stock into the pan and deglaze it, scraping all the browned bits off the bottom. Add the Italian seasoning, and bring the chicken stock to a low simmer.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese to the pan. Stir until the sauce is warm and the cheese is melted. Use reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce, if needed.
- Add the cooked pasta and chicken to the sauce and stir well to combine.
- Garnish with fresh chopped herbs, red pepper flakes, and additional sun-dried tomatoes, if desired. Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 535Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 491mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 35g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.