One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies

Share Button
One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies.  That's right, this delicious meal is made in just one pot, from cooking the chicken to making the sauce, to boiling the pasta!  And you won't believe how insanely delicious it turns out.  One of my favorite recipes of all time.

A few years ago, my then-roommate and good friend, Allison, asked me to make her something “spicy with chicken” for her birthday dinner.  I wanted to make something that she’d never had before, and after scouring the web for inspiration, I became smitten with the idea of making Chicken Riggies.  I’d never heard of them before stumbling across the delicious-sounding recipe, but they’re the signature dish of Utica, New York, and I’ve gotta tell you, those people know their stuff.  Why this isn’t common all over the country, I’ll never understand.

One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies.  That's right, this delicious meal is made in just one pot, from cooking the chicken to making the sauce, to boiling the pasta!  And you won't believe how insanely delicious it turns out.  One of my favorite recipes of all time.

I wound up making the dish, which features chicken breast, rigatoni, and a hot cherry pepper and tomato cream sauce, and no one could get enough of it.  My roommate loved it, my boyfriend loved it, and to say that I loved it might just be an understatement.  I promised to make it again soon, and I really did want to, but cooking the chicken, boiling the pasta, and making the sauce just required so many dishes and too much time to do it on the regular.  So I didn’t.  Not for a long time.

One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies.  That's right, this delicious meal is made in just one pot, from cooking the chicken to making the sauce, to boiling the pasta!  And you won't believe how insanely delicious it turns out.  One of my favorite recipes of all time.

Finally, after 2 years, I decided that I had to give it a go again, but this time I’d make it easier… by doing everything in one pot.  That’s right, one pot, without removing anything and “setting it aside”.  I even cooked the pasta right in the sauce.  I was expecting the worst, but guess what?  It was even better this way.  I know you don’t believe me, but just try it.  Just do it.  You’ll be amazed.

The Spicy Chicken Riggies wound up being  one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made.  Honestly.  It was flavorful, filling, and it was so easy to make and clean up.  My mom and brother were in love with the dish– my mom even said that it might be her favorite recipe that I’ve ever made and that I had to add it to our rotation.  I froze leftovers for James who finally got around to trying them yesterday, and he agreed that they were “spectacular” after practically inhaling the entire Tupperware container I had stored them in.   That’s after reheating the Chicken Riggies in the microwave, by the way.  You know something is delicious after you can freeze it and reheat it in the microwave and it still tastes amazing.

It’s not debatable; it’s a fact.

One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies.  That's right, this delicious meal is made in just one pot, from cooking the chicken to making the sauce, to boiling the pasta!  And you won't believe how insanely delicious it turns out.  One of my favorite recipes of all time.

I think one of the coolest things about this recipe is that the starch from cooking the pasta in the sauce acts almost like flour or cornstarch would, thickening the tomato and wine base and helping it reach the perfect consistency.  The pasta doesn’t get mushy or stay hard either, but it does slightly absorb some of the flavors of the sauce, which makes it even tastier.  I’m going to start experimenting with cooking noodles into sauces much more often after this major success!

One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies.  That's right, this delicious meal is made in just one pot, from cooking the chicken to making the sauce, to boiling the pasta!  And you won't believe how insanely delicious it turns out.  One of my favorite recipes of all time.

Serve this meal to a crowd or whip it up on a busy weeknight for your family.  It’s so impressive and delicious that no one will believe that you made it all in just one pot.

When you make this One Pot Pasta, take a photo and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram, and let me know what you think of it, too! I’m looking forward to checking out your results!

One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast, cut into small chunks
  • 2 large roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips
  • 6 hot cherry peppers, chopped and deseeded
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup cooking sherry or white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb Rigatoni
  • 1 cup pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
  • ½ stick butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the garlic and chicken. Sauté the chicken until it is just browned on the outside but not cooked through.
  2. Stir in the roasted red peppers and hot cherry peppers, and sauté for a minute. Add in the crushed tomatoes and sherry or wine. Add in the water and pasta and bring to a low boil. (If there isn't enough liquid, add a bit more water.) Continue to cook, stirring often, until the pasta has cooked to al dente, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Reduce to low heat and add in the butter, basil, and salt. When the butter completely melts into the pasta, add in the cream and cheese. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with additional cheese, basil, and red pepper flakes if you really like a lot of heat!
  4. Serve warm.
For this recipe, I used jarred hot cherry peppers. If using fresh, add the hot cherry peppers to taste, as they vary much more in their heat levels.


Share Button


  1. Michelle says

    I made this for dinner last night and both my Husband and I enjoyed it immensely. I was a bit worried that it was going to be overly spicy, but once the cream and butter was added, the spiciness mellowed out considerably.
    This is a decadent meal for sure with the cream, butter and cheese but it was delicious and I’ll just have to get in an extra workout this week!
    Thanks for this recipe!

  2. Kitty says

    The spicy chicken riggies sounds yummy, definitely want to try it, but not sure what amount is 1/2 stick butter? Thanks.

  3. Shereen Moloney says

    I always cook pasta and sauce separately, but I’m keen to start combining them in one pot, for the convience. This looks delicious! But for those who don’t live in areas where butter comes in sticks (New Zealand in my case), could you say how much volume or weight a ‘half stick of butter’ is?

  4. Jamie Miller says

    I made this last night and this is CRAZY delicious!!!!! My family and I thank you for sharing this recipe. And, you are right. The leftovers taste even better!

  5. Nicole P says

    I just made this tonight – it was extremely tasty and reminded me of some of my favourite Italian restaurant dishes. It was also very easy, which was nice. I reduced some of the ingredients a little, though I was only cooking for two+night of leftovers. I couldn’t find hot cherry peppers here, so I used a small bag of mixed peppers recommended for pasta, which worked. I think that I will use less butter and cream next time, or maybe I will only use one of them, since it was a bit rich.

  6. Deez says

    My fiance made this tonight and it was really, really good. We don’t care for rigatoni, though, so we used rotini and some elbow noodles, and couldn’t find canned roasted peppers, so we used some pimientos tied up in some cheesecloth. Overall, a really good dinner for as few dishes as possible. Be careful, though, b/c some of ours stuck and burned to the pot pretty quickly.

    Next time, though, I think I’m going to try it with milk and a tiny bit of butter instead of cream to cut some calories and fat. Has anyone tried that?

  7. Freddie says

    I was wondering if it would be fine to add spinach to this delicious looking one pot meal?

  8. Priyasha says

    I made this last night and IT IS SOOOO GOOD!! I forgot to get basil when I was at the supermarket, though, so I replaced it with rosemary and thyme and it still tasted really yummy. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • says

      Great to hear, Priyasha! Glad you could get creative when you realized you were missing an ingredient and that it worked out well =)

  9. Caity says

    This turned out DELICIOUS! Best one-pot pasta dish I’ve tried so far. I even like the cheesiness, and I am not a cheese lover by any means. Instead of chicken breast, I sliced up three chicken Italian sausages from a local deli, which added even more good flavor. And I have enough roasted peppers and cherry peppers left to make this again sometime soon.

  10. Keri says

    This looks so amazing and I can’t wait to try it!
    Question – did you use fresh or jarred hot cherry peppers?
    Thank you!

  11. Shanana says

    This looks great! I would love to make it for my dad’s 50th. Is there a substitute for the white wine since my dad doesn’t drink alcohol?

    • says

      You could use chicken stock instead of white wine and then just add a tiny splash of white wine vinegar or lemon juice for the added acidity! =) It won’t be exactly the same, but it will work fine!

  12. Courtnet says

    Ha, I am from the town next door to Utica,Ny. :) Lots of Italians around, I married one in fact. They are like born knowing how to cook delicious food. 18 years later and I finally am starting to learn how to cook a bit like one. :)
    Definately gonna try this. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Alison says

    Can’t wait to try this! The only thing I couldn’t find was the hot cherry peppers (searched 2 different grocery stores.) Any decent substitutions you can think of? Thank you!

    • says

      Alison, they’re usually available jarred. If you just rinse them off in a colander they’ll work fine. If you still can’t find them, try subbing pepperoncini.

      • Alison says

        I ended up just omitting any other peppers except the roasted peppers and it was still FABULOUS. Next time (because there WILL BE a next time), I’ll try the pepperoncini because I did see that the grocery store carried those jarred. (They only had SWEET cherry peppers otherwise, boo.) We also apparently don’t have fresh basil around here, so I subbed basil flakes and it was still great. I also ended up adding an extra half-cup of water so the noodles could cook better and was worried that it would affect the flavor but it did not. Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

  14. Trevor says

    Made this one last night. It was incredible! My girlfriend was very pleased and insisted that I include this in the regular lineup, thanks for the amazing recipe :) I had never thought to cook pasta in sauce before, but it was fantastic. I’ve got the ingredients for two more of your recipes that I shall attempt this week, still super excited! Thanks again!

  15. Lindsey says

    I’m a native Utican so I have practically been raised on riggies. There are so many variations that there is really no single way to cook it so when someone showed me this recipe, I decided to give it a shot. That being said, this was waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy too spicy to be considered “authentic” riggies…just way too spicy. Using 6 hot cherry peppers is too much – most recipes, including the one I always use, call for 1 hot cherry pepper…6 is “WTF?!?” crazy. I even added extra cream, served it with a side of bread, AND added extra cheese on top to cut the spice on the tongue and it was just too much. Riggies should always have a hint of spice with the option of adding red pepper flakes or hot sauce to kick it up a notch if desired…this spice practically knocked me over. I’m going to make a 2nd batch without the cherry peppers and mix it into the spicy batch to even it out a little.

    That being said, the actual sauce is delicious! And cooking the rigatoni in the same pot is genius…it does thicken the sauce so you don’t have to wait until the next day to have that nice, thick sauce that just sticks to the riggies. For those who don’t like peppers and onions, this is great…all the flavor without having to sort through chunks of pepper and onion. If the amount of cherry peppers is cut down to 1, 2, or possibly even 3, I give this 5 stars.

  16. Lynn says

    I also live in Utica. I also only use 1-3 cherry peppers in my riggies, but am REALLY excited to try it as a one-pot meal.

    When I’ve had difficulty finding the cherry peppers, I have substituted an Italian frying pepper.

  17. says

    This is SUCH a great recipe. I used jarred peppers (4) AND jarred roasted bells (from Trader Joe’s) with great success. I also used only about 1# chicken, 1.5 cups of wine/broth (half of each), 2 Tbs. of butter and 1/4 C. half & half. I also went very light on the Romano (maybe 1/2-3/4 C.) without feeling like we compromised on flavor. It was so delicious. The texture of the noodles was perfect and the flavor was fabulous. I’ll happily add this to the rotation. Next time, instead of using only 4 peppers, I’ll use the 6 the recipe calls for; It wasn’t at all too spicy. I added red pepper flakes and was happy, but my husband, who didn’t, wanted it a bit kickier. It all came together so quickly and made a lot, so I’ll keep this in mind for doubling for a casual crowd. So tasty!

  18. Shruti Jordan says

    I loved it! I was sceptical about cooking the pasta in the sauce but since I saw so many good reviews I guessed it must be good and my oh my wasnt it. I made my own grilled bell pepper.. And added just chilli flakes.. Substituted milk with cream as I didnt have any cream. A guilty pleasure. A weeks worth of workout gone but worth it!

  19. Veronica says

    Morgan – (may I call you Morgan? Haha!) this is the first of your recipes I’ve tried and I must say its the best pasta I think I’ve ever had. I, like many others, was skeptical about how the one pot thing was going to turn out but wow. It’s perfect and I want to feed it to everyone I know! I disagree with the “wtf crazy” from the 6 cherry peppers… I think it wouldn’t have been spicy ENOUGH with any fewer. I’ll be sure to make more of your other recipes in the future. Thank you, from a fellow greater Philadelphia resident!

  20. zack says

    Of course it’s going to be good! Add cream and butter to anything and its bound to taste amazing. I have to try this asap.

  21. Shannon says

    This looks great! So the only thing in the ingredients that doesn’t look like it conforms to the one-pot rule is the “2 large roasted red peppers” – or are you using jarred? In which case, how do you measure out the “2 large”? Thanks!

  22. Nicky J. says


    I am trying this recipe tonight. One quick question – which size skillet did you use? Or did you make this in a large pot? The pictures show it being made in a skillet. Thanks!

  23. Marita says


    I was curious is I use pickled pepperoncini instead of cherry peppers will that still be roughly the same or will the pickling taste throw it off (if its thrown off what would you suggest to counterbalance it)? Also would you still use 6?

    Thank you!!! ^_^

    • says

      I haven’t tried it with pepperoncini, but if you do use them, I’d recommend rinsing them first to remove any vinegar on the outside. Please let me know how it winds up if you decide to go that route!

      • Marita Obrigewitch says

        Ah alright! Sounds great :)
        Just because I’ve never even had pepperoncini (not sure of the taste itself) … would using chipotle (in abode) be way to far off?

        • says

          I would not go with the chipotle. If you’re having an especially hard time with the peppers, just sub in more roasted reds and up the amount of crushed pepper flakes =)

          • Marita says

            Well I must say that this was pretty dang good!!! Used the pickled pepperoncini. The ones I had I tried and didn’t even bother rinsing then off. Not too acidic!
            Made a few small changes (I just “don’t know” how to follow a recipie lol! Just use the ideas) but instead of salt I used a chicken broth cube, added double the cream and a bit of milk, about 1/4c more Parmesan, fresh oregano, and added some onions at the beginning with the chicken. Love how the wine brought out all the flavours! Defiantly a keeper of a recipie!
            Thanks!!! :)

  24. gerard says

    Very good meal. I was sceptical of not cooking the pasta separately, but it came out great. I followed the recipe but found I needed nearly another cup of water. Also, about the cherry peppers…… The recipe doesn’t specify which kind: fresh,dried, pickled. I used pickled because I know the dish, but not everyone’s from New York. Careful though, they vary in heat, and if they’re really hot ones, 6 is way too many. Better to err on the side of milder and add crushed red at the table. Also, I think most natives would agree that pecorino Romano rather than parm is the cheese to use.

  25. Cecile says

    I would live to try this recupe but Just wanted to be sure: for the crushed tomates it is 128 oz? Because in kilograms it makes a lot (i’m french): more than 3.6 kilograms??? Crushed tomatoes are sold in cans of 250 grams or 500 grams max here….
    Thank you!

  26. Ally says

    This was a gamble for me, both because previous one-pot pasta recipes had not gone well (gluey, ick) and because I was concerned it would be too spicy for my little kids. The gamble definitely paid off! Super delicious, not at all gluey, and the kiddos devoured it, as did my husband and I. I used the roasted reds and jarred cherry peppers from Trader Joe’s as well. Getting ready to make it again :)

  27. Gabi says

    I’ve made this recipe 5 times now and am seriously obsessed with it, Everyone I make it for eats at least seconds. I’ve officially added it to my dinner rotation. Easy to double in servings and there is almost NO mess which is a huge perk!!

  28. Ken LaDuc says

    Tried this recipe, finally. First saw it in early spring, then good weather hit. I grill most nights. Was so hesitant to try one-pot, but it worked, just like recipe said. I’m in Syracuse, hour away from Utica, so the dish is common here. One-pot, genius! Number if peppers, no clue, I like it hot, but wife and daughter do not. I used 2 fresh jalapenos, id rather have fresh. In fall when Serranos and cayenne (fav) are ripe, I’ll use those. I just added chili flakes to mine. Used 1/2 and 1/2 (for coffee) instead of heavy cream, and 1/2 grated parm and asiago cheese. I also used venison stew meat instead of chicken. Anti hunters- stop, I raise chickens for eggs and companions, you cannot complain. Unbelievable dish!!! Easy, fillling, and leftovers, what can you say? Cleanup a breeze. Use sausage, venison, chicken, any meat, this recipe rocks!

  29. Lynn says

    I live in Utica, but didn’t grow up here. Riggies are one of the things I LOVE about the food here. Utica Greens are awesome, too. My only input is that I ALWAYS start Riggies with at least half an onion (if not a whole onion), minced and sautéed.

    We don’t drink or cook with alcohol, so I used a combo of stock and water. The acid from the jarred cherry peppers was enough for us.

    Came out awesome — and warmed up nice from frozen, too!


    • says

      Thank you for letting me know about the ad, Lynn! I haven’t noticed it, it must be an issue with one of our networks. I’ll fix it ASAP!

      And I’m so glad you like the Chicken Riggies!

      • Lynn says

        By the way, I am so sorry about “shouting” in my last message — I had typed it all out without looking, while the screen was flipping between the comment box and the video. By the time I’d realized that it was all caps, I’d already submitted it.

  30. Katie says

    I made this for dinner tonight and my husband loved it and devoured two bowls! It’s so delicious and I love how easy and non messy it was to make. We are definitely adding this to our favorites! Thanks =)

  31. Kelly says

    WOW! Just wanted to say that I made this tonight (minus the hot cherry peppers – kids are not into spicy) and I cannot believe how perfect the pasta and delicious sauce turned out! I also want to add that I made it with fat free half and half and skipped the butter completely (although I am sure that tastes amazing) just to make it a little lighter. I didn’t skimp on the cheese, though! Delish!

  32. Michelle says

    Made this tonight without the chicken because I didn’t have it on hand. Still delicious!! Thank you so much for sharing. After reading the comments I will make this again with italian sausage and spinach, as I usually have those on hand (I’m not a fan of chicken). Yummo!

  33. Keith says

    I just made this and am enjoying my bowl so much that I had to get on here and leave a comment! This is ridiculously delicious, and oh-so-easy. My cherry peppers came already sliced so I dont know if I actually used six since i just threw in a handful, but the heat is perfect. Thank you for this wonderful recipe; I will be making it many more times!

  34. Kinsey says

    I tried this recipe tonight with ingredients I already had at home. I substituted pepperoncini and crushed red pepper for the peppers, half and half for the cream, margarine for the butter, gluten free penne for the pasta, and a jar of spicy pepper pasta sauce for the tomatoes. I was a little worried at how it would turn out with so many substitutions but it turned out amazing! My picky husband even loved it.

  35. Tiffany says

    Hi :-) I stumbled across this on FB. I’m from Utica NY and love Chicken Riggies. I normally make the cream base recipe but do also love the marinara kind. I now live in Sw FL so I do miss the food from Utica :-)

  36. Michael says

    I made this and loved it, but i like my food extra spicy so i just added some tapatio and it turned out amazing


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *