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!
This post was sponsored by Ragu. All opinions are my own.
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 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
One Pot Chicken Penne Pasta with Zucchini
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups fresh zucchini chopped (about 2 medium zucchini)
- 1 23- oz jar Ragu Traditional Homestyle Pasta Sauce
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups mini penne pasta about ½ 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
- Serve immediately
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
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!
Audrey S says
This is exactly what I was craving! Delicious!!!
I did make my own spaghetti sauce for this and added tomatoes also. It was a hit. My daughter said 10,000 thumbs up.
That's wonderful, Gigi! So glad you liked it!
I made this for today's lunch and it turned out great. My biyfriend and I LOVE pasta. But, I did some tweaking to it. I didn't add the parsley, garlic, and didn't have fresh parmesan so I used the prepackaged parmesan and it was still delicious. I will continue to make this recipe and the best part it's only 297 calories!! WIN,WIN!
Yea -- I'm so happy to hear you liked it, and that's great news about the calories! Thanks so much for letting me know. 🙂
Shirley Wood says
You had me at 'one pot'! Ragu Homestyle sauces are our new favorite! It's delicious and saves me hours in the kitchen!
Definitely! I tried the Roasted Garlic in another recipe, and it was awesome!
Miz Helen says
Your One Pot Pasta Dish looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us real soon!
Janet Vinyard says
Hi Dee, This dish sounds very delicious and your photos are just great! Well done! Blessings, Janet
Thank you so much, Janet. You've made my day! 🙂
Katerina @ Diethood says
WHOA! Consider my pizza dinner plans changed! How could I pass up this amazing one pot dinner!?
Jenny | Honey and Birch says
I'm going to add this to my list of weeknight dinners to try - looks delicious!
Thanks, Jenny! It was a huge hit with the entire family. 🙂
Joanie @ ZagLeft says
What a great meal for the summer - it gets me in and out of the kitchen in no time!
Yep -- That's exactly what I need when it's this hot!
Cathy Trochelman says
We love Ragu, and I love the addition of zucchini! Sounds healthy & delicious!
I try to sneak in veggies whenever I can, and even my pickiest eater ate this!
Michelle De La Cerda says
This meal would please everyone in my house. Including the one who wash the dishes!!
I hate washing dishes, so I love meals like these. 🙂
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says
That is my kind of everyday comfort dish. YUM! Ring the bell for dinner and set me a place.
Thanks a bunch, Dorothy. There's plenty to go around! 🙂
Perfect summery dish! I love how easy it is to execute and all the colors going on in that pot! Yum!
Thanks so much! We enjoyed it so much that I made a slightly different version the next day. 🙂
Thank you so much, Taina! 🙂