Chicken Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce!! It’s three of my favorite things folded into one recipe: pasta, chicken and a creamy VODKA SAUCE!!
Let’s take a moment to discuss the incredibleness of vodka sauce. It’s a creamy red sauce that goes well on just about everything including pasta, chicken, veggies or even a spoonful of the sauce on its own. It’s that good. Today it’s making an appearance here (for the first time ever) in a Chicken Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce. The rigatoni is the perfect pasta for this because the sauce and the chicken gets wedges into the center of the pasta and it makes for the MOST perfect bite of all times. (shells would also be perfect, just sayin)
It’s exactly what I want this weekend after an insane busy week…. cheesy carbs with a creamy sauce! And I promise not to judge you if you lick the skillet clean. I’ve done it a time or two, no shame in that game!
Chicken Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion cut into small dice
- 5 medium cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes plus juices
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 12 ounces rigatoni
- Kosher salt
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish
- Cook the ground chicken in a large saucepan with 2 teaspoons olive oil and Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes until crumbly and fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Remove and set aside.
- Heat the oil and butter in the same saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, with their juices. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low so the mixture is barely bubbling; cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced to 4 cups. Season with salt and pepper.
- Working in batches as needed, transfer the sauce to a blender. Add the cream and vodka. Remove the center knob on the lid (to allow steam to escape); place a towel over the lid to prevent spilling. Starting on the lowest speed and gradually increasing to high, blend until completely smooth, about 30 seconds. Return to the saucepan and bring just to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low and cook, allowing the sauce to reduce and the vodka to cook off.
- Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water, then return the pasta to the pot with the sauce and add the chicken. Stir to combine, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, adding some of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed to thin it out.
- Serve right away, topped with basil and grated cheese (to taste). Season with salt and pepper to taste
Good God this looks good. My stomach is growling!!
Pasta nights are my favorite!
I love EVERYTHING about this!!! Can’t wait to make this sauce this weekend!
can I make the sauce a day ahead or will it go bad bc of the heavy cream?
you can totally make the sauce a day or two ahead of time! Just keep it in the fridge
Noodle nights are the best nights- especially when they look like this! I think I’d go swimming in this sauce if I could!
I made this as it seemed to be a quicker version of Ina’s pasta alla vechhia betolla. It was good! However, the sauce seemed to need salt, and so I added that at the end. I didn’t see any other place to include salt other than browning the chicken and salting the pasta water…I don’t think it was sufficient. I usually don’t salt as much as Ina calls for in her recipe, but a little added to the sauce heightened the flavors I thought.
Wow! This sounds amazing Gaby!! I love a good creamy vodka sauce, especially with a little kick from chili flakes—delish!!
I just made the sauce a day ahead. It makes one perfect 32oz mason jar….and I could drink it with a straw. Its unreal!
I will make this tonight!!!!!
Sounds delicious. I don’t have a regular blender – I assume I could use an immersion blender with the same results?
This was delicious. I love that I have leftovers too. I used an immersion blender as I hate transferring hot liquid as I am clumbsy. Thank you for this great recipe!
Can you use ground turkey?
Delicious. Made with ground turkey. Only thing I’d change was the amount of red pepper flakes—it was a little too much for me. Not my hubby though!
Was craving a similar dish from a restaurant I live close to. Ima say this was a perfect at home version! Maybe even better than the restaurant. Little spicy which I’m 100% into.
This recipe turned out delicious! My entire family loved it. Will definitely make this again!
This looks delicious! How long would you recommend simmering to cook the vodka off?
until it evaporates!!
how many servings does it make
I would like to make this recipe, but cannot have any dairy. Any suggestions other than adding the heavy cream? Thank you!
Can I skip the blending process and just stir thoroughly?
if you want it chunkier – sure!
What can you substitute for heavy cream???
This is on the HEAVY rotation at our house. Used spicy ground chicken to kick it up a bit for my spice-loving family. I double it usually and freeze the other half of the sauce for when future me is scrambling on a weeknight. Have made it both with and without the vodka depending on what I have on hand.