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Chicken Riggies

This Chicken Riggies recipe is restaurant-worthy comfort food you can make at home.

January 16, 2024
Chicken RiggiesPhoto By Canva
Difficulty Easy
Servings 4 people
Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Total 50 mins



  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then add them to the hot pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes (if using). Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Return the cooked chicken to the sauce and stir to combine.
  7. Cook for another minute or two to warm through. Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni according to package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce, tossing to coat everything evenly.
  8. Serve the Chicken Riggies immediately, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Chicken Riggies
Serves 4
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Protein 25 g50%
Total Fat 15 g19.2%
Sodium 800 mg34.8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs for the best results. If using breasts, cut them into bite-sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
  • Rigatoni is traditional for Chicken Riggies, but you can use penne or ziti if rigatoni is not available. For more, check out our ‘Types of Pastas’ article.
  • Adjust the thickness of the sauce to your preference. If it's too thick, add a bit more chicken broth or cream.
  • The dish is known for its spiciness, which comes from hot cherry peppers. Adjust the amount according to your heat tolerance.
  • Cook the pasta al dente, as it will continue to cook when tossed with the hot sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh basil or parsley for added flavor and a pop of color.
  • Use freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese for the best flavor. For more, check out our ‘Types of Cheeses’ article.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning as you cook, especially if you're using jarred peppers and sauce, as they can vary in saltiness and intensity.
  • Feel free to add mushrooms, bell peppers, or onions to the dish for extra texture and flavor.
  • Chicken Riggies can be made ahead and reheated, making it a convenient option for meal prep or entertaining. The flavors often meld and intensify when the dish is reheated.
  • For a richer flavor, you can add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves to the sauce in the final minute of cooking.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Rate This Recipe

This Chicken Riggies recipe is made with delicious tender, pan-seared chicken, within a vibrant tomato sauce that made ingredients garlic, basil, and chili heat. Served over a bed of rigatoni pasta, Chicken Riggies embodies a perfect balance of savory and spicy flavors. If you're a pasta enthusiast, Chicken Riggies is a delightful journey for your palate.

The Origins Of Chicken Riggies

While the origins of Chicken Riggies believed to have originated in the Italian-American community in Utica. This dish, a harmonious marriage of tender chicken, vibrant tomato sauce, and perfectly al dente rigatoni, is more than just a meal; it's a celebration of family, of shared laughter over steaming plates, and of the transformative power of simple ingredients in skilled hands.

Chicken Riggies, a beloved dish, has its roots deeply embedded in the culinary history of Utica, a city in central New York. The dish typically features chicken, bell peppers, and cherry peppers cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce. It's the marriage of these ingredients, coupled with the use of rigatoni pasta, that gives Chicken Riggies its distinctive character.

How To Store Chicken Riggies?

The beauty of Chicken Riggies is their versatility, and that extends to storage! Here are some tips to keep your saucy masterpiece fresh and ready to enjoy:

Whole Dish:

Room Temperature: Let your Chicken Riggies cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. Then, transfer them to an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 2 days. This works best if the sauce isn't too chunky and the rigatoni hasn't absorbed too much liquid.

Refrigerator: For longer storage or if you prefer, transfer the cooled Chicken Riggies to an airtight container or portion them into individual containers. They'll keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Individual Servings:

Freezing: If you want to enjoy your Chicken Riggies later, consider freezing them in individual portions. Let them cool completely, then portion them into airtight containers or freezer bags. Frozen Chicken Riggies will stay good for up to 3 months.


Oven: When ready to enjoy, preheat your oven to 350 °F (175 °C). If frozen, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Place the Chicken Riggies in a baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.

Stovetop: For a quicker option, heat a tablespoon of olive oil or butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the Chicken Riggies and heat through, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and the sauce simmers.

Microwave: While not ideal, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave. Place them in a microwave-safe dish with a splash of water or broth and heat on medium power for 1-2 minutes, checking frequently to avoid overcooking.

Storage Tips:

  • To refresh the texture of reheated rigatoni, add a splash of water or broth to the pan or baking dish while reheating.
  • You can also top your reheated Chicken Riggies with a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh herbs.
  • Leftover Chicken Riggies can also be transformed into new dishes! Use them as a base for a pizza, add them to a creamy tomato soup, or stir them into a frittata for a delicious and versatile leftover solution.

Wine & Dine

Choosing the perfect wine for Chicken Riggies requires navigating the interplay of flavors in this versatile dish. Here are some recommendations that will complement the symphony of tastes:

Red Wine:

  • Sangiovese: This Italian classic pairs beautifully with the acidity of the tomatoes and the savory notes of the chicken. Look for a Chianti or Rosso di Montalcino with medium body and bright fruit notes.
  • Barber d'Alba: Another Italian grape, Barbera offers bold tannins and richer fruit that can stand up to the creaminess of the sauce and the heat (if any). Opt for a Barbera d'Asti or Barbera del Monferrato for a delicious pairing.
  • Pinot Noir: If you prefer a lighter-bodied red, Pinot Noir can be a great choice. Look for a Pinot Noir from Oregon or Burgundy with its earthy notes and subtle fruit flavors.

White Wine:

  • Montepulciano d'Abruzzo: This versatile white grape from Italy offers up crisp acidity and floral aromas that cut through the richness of the dish.
  • Falanghina: Another Italian white, Falanghina offers vibrant citrus notes and a touch of minerality that complement the savory elements of the Chicken Riggies.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: If you prefer a touch of acidity, Sauvignon Blanc can be a great choice. Opt for a Sancerre from the Loire Valley in France for its mineral-driven elegance, or a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for its bolder grapefruit and gooseberry flavors.

Bonus Tip: If your Chicken Riggies have a spicy kick, consider a wine with a touch of sweetness to balance the heat. Riesling or Moscato d'Asti can be delightful options in such cases.

Remember, the most important thing is to choose a wine you enjoy! So explore different varietals and find the perfect pairing for your version of Chicken Riggies. With a little experimentation, you're sure to discover the wine that elevates your meal to new heights of culinary bliss.

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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