One Pot Chicken Penne Pasta with Zucchini is quick, easy and on the table in only 30 minutes. Your family will love this budget-friendly homestyle dinner!
I love pasta, and I think it’s probably the ultimate comfort food. Some of my fondest memories center around the big family dinners we used to have whenever we visited our Italian relatives back in Pennsylvania. Believe me, those wonderful people knew how to cook, eat and laugh and still do!
Dinner was about more than just the food, awesome as it was. It was a chance to connect with family — parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and more cousins. In fact, when everyone was together, we had to use several tables, all lined up in a row.
My grandma would always make her own sauce, but my mom found it much easier to use jarred sauce, and she usually bought Ragu — I think everyone I knew did back then!
I started making my own sauce to avoid all of the preservatives and added sugar typically found in jarred sauces. It’s actually easy to do, but the downside is that you have to make sure you have all of the spices and other things that you need on hand. I have a bad habit of forgetting to write things down, just ask the Hubs! Sometimes, I’ll be in the middle of cooking and realize I’m out of a key ingredient — ugh! So when I found these new Homestyle Pasta Sauces from Ragu, I just had to try them.
You all probably know by now how much I love making one-pot meals — They’re a staple around here, and a terrific way to get dinner on the table in a hurry. So, I decided to make a quick and easy one-pot pasta dinner using a jar of the new Ragu sauce.
This is a simple dish, and it’s similar to one my family used to make, except that it all cooks in just one pot.
Basically, you cook the chicken, and then you add the zucchini.
Then, you add the pasta, water and sauce and cook until the pasta is al dente. Easy peasy.
I chose Ragu Thick and Hearty Traditional Sauce because I thought it would be closest to the kind I grew up with.
This is a nice, thick tomato sauce that’s not runny at all. It fills the grooves in the pasta and covers the chicken, so you get tons of flavor with every bite.
And, it honestly tastes a lot like my own. I didn’t even add any extra spices, other than a little bit of red pepper flakes for extra kick, but you can leave them out if you prefer a milder taste.
How To Make One Pot Chicken Penne Pasta with Zucchini
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups fresh zucchini chopped (about 2 medium zucchini)
- 1 23- oz jar Ragu Traditional Homestyle Pasta Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups mini penne pasta about 1/2 a pound
- 1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese shredded
- Chopped fresh basil and parsley for garnish optional
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Season the tenders with salt and pepper
In a large pot, cook the chicken tenders in olive oil until brown on both sides
Add the garlic and zucchini, and cook until slightly soft
Stir in the pasta sauce, penne pasta, red pepper flakes and water
Cover, and cook on high until pasta is cooked
Stir once or twice while cooking, break up chicken with spoon, and add more water if needed
Remove from heat, top with Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs, if using
My family loved this easy one-pot chicken penne pasta with zucchini. They gobbled it right up, and my youngest asked for seconds. And, I loved that I found a delicious jarred sauce that’s simmered in tradition and doesn’t have any preservatives or funky ingredients.
It’s a win-win situation, all the way!
For even more delicious pasta recipes with a made-from-scratch taste, check out the Ragu homepage. And if you try any of the sauces, let me know what you think.
Have a super day, friends!