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Brooklyn Chicken Penne Pasta

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Broklyn girl penne pasta

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This Brooklyn Chicken Penne Pasta is as good as any Italian dish you’ll find at your favorite Italian restaurant!

A few years ago I discovered we have a “food game” we play at this Nest. One I was totally unaware of!  That’s right. It’s called “I secretly love this food, but I’m never going to tell you till you make it!”  WHAT? Example… the night I made this Brooklyn Chicken Penne Pasta. Suddenly, midway through the meal, my husband pops up, and states… “I LOVE Penne Pasta!” HUH?

I’m pretty sure my face resembled the wife of Edgar in the movie “Men in Black”, as he is asking for more “sugar-water”.  Sometimes things around here are a little like an Episode of the Twilight Zone!

I originally found this recipe on under Brooklyn Girl’s Penne Arrabiata…but since I can barely spell that…let alone say it…I’m going with Brooklyn Chicken Penne Pasta. (The chicken doesn’t have to be from Brooklyn! I’m having a fit of giggles thinking of a chicken with a Brooklyn accent! It probably struts around like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever saying “Yo! I’m a Brooooklyn Chick-en! How you doin’?”) 

I digress….Back on track…this dish has several components, don’t let that deter you…it comes together quickly. As usual I’ve added my own twist to the original recipe.

How To Make Brooklyn Chicken Penne Pasta

In a large skillet heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat. Add 6 cloves sliced or minced garlic, and saute for a few minutes. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. If you’re not a fan of heat reduce to ½ tsp red pepper flakes. Add 1  can diced petite tomatoes and ½ cup tomato sauce. I also added in 1 cup fresh halved red grape and yellow pair tomatoes for color and a zing of freshness.

skillet full of tomato sauce ingredients

Add in 1 bunch of fresh chopped basil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Aren’t those colors beautiful!

Adding seasonings and herbs to sauce

Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Add that “LOVED” penne pasta, and cook for 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg with a fork. Place bread crumbs in separate bowl and add 1 teaspoon garlic salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Mix well.

egg wash and bread crumbs for chicken

Dip those “Brooklyn” chicken cutlets into the egg, then press into the seasoned bread crumbs until completely coated. (You may want to have a little “Staying Alive” playing in the background!)

Heat remaining olive oil in another large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken for about 5 minutes per side or until the coating is a deep golden color.

chicken breast coated and frying in skillet

This is the hard part for me. I want to grab a fork and start gnawing on one of those chicken cutlets! They are so tender and juicy inside and crispy on the outside. (It’s cause they’re from Brooklyn! I’m joking! Do not go to the butcher and ask for “Brooklyn Chicken Cutlets”! He’ll look at you like you’re your own kind of special!)

fried chicken breast in skillet turned over

Remove chicken from the skillet and cut into slices.  (The test to refrain was getting more difficult at this point and a piece of that delectable chicken may have flown into my mouth!!! Remember…judgement free zone here friends! Okay fine…it was two pieces! lol)

breaded and sliced chicken breast on cutting board

Gently toss the chicken into that beautiful colorful sauce. Don’t ya just want to dive in there and swim around for a bit? (I need food therapy!) Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

sliced chicken and tomato sauce in skillet

Let’s talk Penne for a second…since she seems to be the star of this show! I have used both regular sized penne pasta and small penne pasta. They are equally good in this dish. However, I am partial to the small penne pasta. I feel the regular Penne over powers this recipe. That’s just my personal opinion.

addition of penne pasta to sauce with chicken

Stir in your cooked pasta and let it simmer for a few more minutes to soak up the flavor.

Brooklyn Penne Chicken Pasta

Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese and more chopped fresh basil. (I made that beautiful toast on my new stove top oven griddle! Thank you Southwest Appliance! If you live in Southern Utah I highly recommend them! )


This light tomato sauce is jammed packed with flavor! So many amazing taste sensations hit you at once. From the fresh basil and tomatoes to the garlic and tender chicken. It truly is one of my very favorite pasta dishes.

It’s as good as you’ll get in any Italian restaurant! You’ll be running garlic bread around your plate to sop up every last delicious drop of sauce! Who knows…you may discover you have an unknown penne pasta fan lurking at your Nest!

If you enjoyed this recipe you may like these other delicious Pasta Recipes

Happy Nesting My Friends!

Norine's Nest Signature

Yield: 6-8 servings

Brooklyn Chicken Penne Pasta

Brooklyn Chicken Penne Pasta

This Brooklyn Chicken Penne Pasta is as good as any Italian dish you'll find at your favorite Italian restaurant!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you don't like heat, reduce this amount by half)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced petite tomatoes
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup grape and/or yellow pear tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 (12 ounce) package dried small penne pasta
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound thin chicken breast cutlets


  1. Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and saute for a few minutes. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes, and saute for another minute. Add the sliced fresh tomatoes and saute for a minute longer. Pour in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add the chopped basil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne pasta, and cook for 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with a fork. Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Stir the garlic salt and pepper into the bread crumbs. Dip chicken cutlets into the egg, then press into the bread crumbs until completely coated.
  4. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until the coating is a nice dark golden brown color.
  5. Remove chicken, and cut into slices. Toss the chicken gently into the sauce, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked penne, simmer for a few more minutes to soak up the flavor, then serve.

Nutrition Information:


8 servings

Serving Size:

1 ½ cups

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 405Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 535mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 25g

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Tortellini With Sun Dried Tomato Meat Sauce | Norine's Nest

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

[…] you love this pasta dish, you might also like this Meat Lovers Baked Spaghetti or this Brooklyn Penne Pasta. Both […]

Virginia Graves

Wednesday 27th of September 2017

I get a lot of recipes from a lot of people but you take the cake. you are so cute and funny. love your blog

Friday 29th of September 2017

Hi Virginia! Thanks so much for your sweet comments! Ya made my day :) I love making new friends and I'm so glad you enjoy my site. Have a GREAT weekend! Happy Nesting~ Norine

Gina Diamond

Wednesday 27th of September 2017

This recipe sounds delicious! But I will never be able to make it without thinking about John Travolta starring as the chicken. Halarious! Thanks for sharing! And Snow?????? We still have 90 something degrees and it's killin the Fall spirit! But low and behold a cold front is coming through in the next few days and then we will be in the 80's. Yep that's Falll!