Go Back
+ servings
Chicken riggies featured image.
Print Recipe
4.97 from 32 votes

Chicken Riggies

Chicken Riggies is a comforting pasta dish that combines seared chicken, bell peppers, and hot cherry peppers in a creamy tomato-based sauce.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 8 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers sliced
  • 5 medium cherry peppers chopped, seeds and stems removed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese grated
  • 2 cups reserved pasta water will most likely not need it all
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves hand-torn


  • Bring a large pot of salted water (2 tablespoons kosher salt per gallon of water) to boil.
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large pan to medium heat and sear the chicken in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until cooked through (about 5-6 minutes per side). Place the chicken on a plate and tent with foil.
  • If needed, add a touch more olive oil for the saute process. Add the bell peppers to the pan and saute for about 7-10 minutes or until they take on some color and soften. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more or until it turns golden.
  • Next, add the cherry peppers, cook for 1 minute, then add the wine. Turn heat to high and cook until the liquid reduces by half (about 2-3 minutes). With a wooden spoon scrape up all of the brown bits from the pan. At this time begin boiling the pasta to 1 minute less the al dente.
  • Add the tomatoes and turn the heat back down to medium. Cook the sauce over a lively simmer for 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the cream and mix to incorporate. Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Once the sauce starts to thicken add the chicken and continue to simmer. You can turn the heat down a bit at this point while waiting for the pasta to finish.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and mix well to coat. If too thick, add a 1/2 cup or more of reserved pasta water. Cook until the pasta reaches al dente (about 1 minute more) then turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner.
  • Add the Pecorino and mix together. Add a touch of pasta water if required to loosen up the sauce. Add the basil right before serving. If the pasta dries up before serving just add a bit more of the reserved pasta water. Enjoy!



  • Always reserve pasta water.  If the pasta dries out before serving, just add a few ounces of the pasta water to bring the consistency back to perfect.
  • If you'd like to increase the spice level you can use more cherry peppers.  Alternatively, if you prefer no spice, you can opt for sweet cherry peppers instead.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.


Calories: 806kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 60.6g | Fat: 29.2g | Saturated Fat: 10.2g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 488mg | Potassium: 547mg | Fiber: 8.2g | Sugar: 14g | Calcium: 197mg | Iron: 7mg