Chicken Riggies are a creamy pasta dish made with chicken, tomato sauce, heavy cream and hot chili peppers. It has a touch of white wine to add flavor. This large batch recipe makes a delicious family dinner with a slice of Cheesy Italian Bread.

Creamy Chicken Riggies in a big stock pot

The first bite you take of a rigatoni noodle coated in the spicy cream sauce will be like heaven on your tongue. Chicken riggies are a creamy, toothsome, spicy chicken pasta dish that brings comfort and happiness to all who eat it!

The origin of this pasta recipe

Chicken Riggies is an Italian-American recipe that originated in Utica, New York. That is about the extent that is known of this dish. Utica has a high population of Italian heritage, and while there is no name actually attached to this recipe, it has the flavors of a true Italian-American dish.

A serving of riggies on a gold rimmed plate.

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What you need to make Chicken Riggies

Pasta: Rigatoni is a tube shaped pasta with ridges along the sides. There are a small rigatoni and a regular sized rigatoni. You can use whichever size you prefer.

Chicken: I used boneless skinless chicken breast that I cut into cubes before marinating.

Minced Garlic: its fine to mince your own, or to buy prepared minced garlic.

Bell Peppers: I used 1 green and 1 red pepper, but if you have a preference for one over the other, use both of the same type.

Hot Cherry Peppers: These peppers are very hot if eaten on their own. However, once they are in the sauce portion of this recipe, they give a very comforting spicy kick without overdoing it.

Heavy Cream: This is what gives the chicken riggies their rich creamy feeling. It adds something to the dish you cannot get without it.

Tomato Sauce: The only tomato going in this recipe. I prefer to buy a tomato sauce that has no added salt.

Cream Cheese: This helps the sauce to thicken as it simmers.

Cooking Sherry or white wine such as Chardonnay: I have use both and they both bring out the same result.

Large Pot and Sheet Pan

Creamy Chicken Riggies pinnable image

Tips for making chicken riggies

  • This recipe calls for you to roast the peppers first. I love the flavor this brought to the chicken riggies and highly recommend you don’t skip roasting the peppers.
  • Once the peppers are roasted, place them in a sealed baggie immediately. This will allow the steam to release the pepper skin, making it easier to remove the skins.
  • Make sure to marinate the chicken for at least the 1 hour indicated or longer.
  • Reduce extra dirty dishes by cooking the riggies first, then drain and set aside. Use the same stock pot you cooked the pasta in to prepare the chicken and sauce ingredients.

Make this recipe your way

  • Substitute 2 pickled hot cherry peppers for the roasted hot pepper. Or, substitute 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes for the cherry peppers.
  • Substitute the sherry or wine for chicken broth.
  • Use 1 can of crushed tomatoes in place of 1 can of tomato sauce
  • Substitute 3 cups of pasta sauce for the tomato sauce

Other pasta recipes you may enjoy

Bachelor’s Pasta is Grumpy’s budget friendly fill you up when your hungry and easy to make recipe.

Cheesy Orzo Pasta with Basil a delicious pasta side dish that goes great with any grilled protein.

Cheesy Penne Chicken Pasta a casserole that the whole family will love, creamy sauce baked with penne pasta and cheese.

Cajun Chicken Pasta is spicy comfort food for those who love a little heat with their pasta dish.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole a kid friendly and super easy recipe to make for the entire family.

Spaghetti Pie is a long time favorite of ours. Layers of pasta, cheese, and meat sauce bake all in one dish.

If you made this recipe for Chicken Riggies, please give it a star rating

A serving of riggies on a gold rimmed plate.
Yield: 12 servings

Creamy Chicken Riggies

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Creamy Chicken Riggies a Utica, NY specialty, paired with spicy peppers, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Made with dry sherry, it is reminiscent of a vodka cream sauce. An indulgent and comforting pasta recipe!


Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1//2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, roasted
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, roasted
  • 1 cherry peppers, roasted
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 oz rigatoni, cooked according to package
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Mix together 1/2 cup sherry, garlic, and oregano. Place chopped chicken in Ziploc bag and pour marinade over top. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  2. Place peppers on a large baking sheet lined with tinfoil. Spray peppers with cooking spray and place under broiler on high. Roast peppers until they begin to char. Turn peppers over and continue to roast until charred. Remove from oven and immediately place in a Ziploc bag. Let cool.
  3. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to hot skillet. Remove chicken from marinade and add with onion to skillet and cook until no longer pink.
  4. In a large stock pot, while chicken is cooking, cook your macaroni according to directions. Drain and place back in stockpot.
  5. Remove peppers from Ziploc bag and remove skin and seeds. Slice peppers into bite sized strips.
  6. Add peppers to chicken mixture along with tomato sauce, sherry, water, salt and pepper.
  7. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine heavy cream and cream cheese and simmer and stir until cream cheese has melted into cream.
  8. Add heavy cream mixture to chicken mixture and stir to combine well.
  9. Pour chicken mixture over top of rigatoni and toss to coat. Serve.


Fat 18g, Carbs 48g, Fiber 5g, Protein 23g

Nutrition information calculated using myfitnesspal is provided as a courtesy, but will vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients you use. Please consult with your doctor regarding specific health needs.

Nutrition Information



Amount Per Serving Calories 433

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