Chicken Riggies Recipe

chicken riggies recipe

If you love chicken, then you’re going to love this meaty butternut squash chicken recipe. It’s a great combination of chicken and squash that offers a savory and sweet taste. It’s a delicious light meal for a cold night, and one that can also be made in a slow cooker. It’s a wonderful way to use up a lot of the squash you have in your garden all year round.

This is a recipe for chicken riggies, which are similar to pasta fagioli. They are a popular dish in the Utica area of New York State. It has been said that this recipe was created by Italian immigrants who worked at the steel mills in the town of Rome, NY which is located near Utica. I have found many different recipes but I think this one makes them taste best! Try it out and let me know what you think!

The best part of a cold winter day is cozying up on the couch with a bowl of steaming hot comfort food. Chicken Riggies are just that, a creamy tomato sauce infused with chicken, rigatoni pasta and topped off with melted mozzarella cheese. I have tried many renditions of this classic recipe from different restaurants in my area but none compare to this one!

How To Make Chicken Riggies

This chicken riggies recipe is perfect for Sunday night dinners or quick weeknight meals. It’s flavorful with just the right amount of kick and it comes together in less than 30 minutes! Serve it up with a side of pasta, rice, or potatoes. I like to serve mine over rigatoni noodles because they are large enough to hold all the sauce – but any noodle will work.


  • Chicken breast (cut into strips), 2 pounds
  • Olive oil, 1/4 cup
  • red onion (diced), 1 
  • Fresh garlic (finely minced), 1 tablespoon,
  • Dry basil, 1/2 tablespoon
  • Dry oregano, 1/2 tablespoon
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoons
  • Red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon 
  • Green bell pepper (diced), 1 
  • Red bell pepper (diced), 1 
  • Yellow bell pepper (diced), 1 
  • Tomato sauce, 4 cups
  • Heavy cream, 3 cups
  • Grated Romano, 1 cups
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Rigatoni noodles (dried), 1 to 1 1/2 pounds


Step 1

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes in a large braiser or saucepot. 

Step 2

Add the onions, basil, garlic, oregano, black pepper, salt, cayenne, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Mix well and cook until translucent.

Step 3

Combine the onion mixture with the chopped bell peppers. Mix well. Cook for two to three minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato sauce, heavy cream, Romano, and sugar. Combine well!

Step 4

Turn the heat down until the sauce is bubbling, then stir well. Reduce the heat to low or turn it off while sautéing the chicken strips and cooking the rigatoni noodles. 

Step 5

If the sauce is almost done, prepare the rigatoni noodles according to the package directions.

Step 6

Sauté the chicken in the remaining olive oil in a large sauté pan. Place the chicken strips one by one in the hot olive oil. Make sure the pan is not overcrowded.

Step 7

If desired, sprinkle a little black pepper. Cook the chicken pieces on all sides by flipping and shaking them around in the hot pan. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until opaque and lightly brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Step 8

Add Pasta and Chicken to Tomato Sauce. Mix well and serve.

Chicken Riggies Recipe

Type: Main Dish

Cuisine: American

Recipe Yield: 8 Servings

Preparation Time: 1H

Cooking Time: 1H

Total Time: 2H

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