Penne Rosa – Noodles & Company Copycat

Penne Rosa

Have you ever eaten at Noodles and Company?  We had one nearby when we lived in San Diego and loved eating there!!  We dined there numerous times while we were dating.  Our dish of choice was the penne rosa!  It had the spicy tomato cream sauce, fresh tomatoes and spinach, mushrooms, and parmesan crusted chicken.  To die for.

Penne Rosa

We have been making our at home version ever since we moved away from San Diego and our local Noodles and Company.  It has been a lazy Sunday afternoon staple for years and years and years around this house.  We adore how fast and easy this dish is to whip up and to us it is the ultimate comfort food.  Reminds us of home and reminds us of lots and lots of happy memories during our dating years.

Penne Rosa

This is a semi-homemade recipe and doesn’t require lots of skill or a pantry full of special spices or ingredients.  It is a solid, basic, make any day of the week meal that I promise will please your tummy!

Penne Rosa

I’ve subbed canned tomatoes for fresh when they aren’t in season and we’ve loved it just the same!  I hope you’ll try this easy dinner this week!

Penne Rosa – Noodles & Company Copycat

Yield: 4 servings

Penne Rosa – Noodles & Company Copycat


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 24oz jar of marinara sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp + crushed red pepper flakes (adjust depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4oz can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
  • 3 small tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 16oz penne pasta
  • grated parmesan cheese for garnish


  1. Prepare penne pasta per package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, Combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a small bowl.
  3. Coat chicken in bread crumb mixture.
  4. Cook chicken in a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside to rest.
  5. Add remaining 2 tbsp of oil to the skillet and cook garlic until fragrant.
  6. Add in diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Cook for 1 minutes.
  7. Add marinara sauce and crushed red pepper. Simmer 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in cream.
  9. Add mushrooms, spinach. Cook until heated through.
  10. Toss with penne.
  11. Serve with chicken and garnished with additional parmesan cheese.

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  1. Thank you. I am looking forward to trying this without the chicken.

  2. Leighanne Sterkel says:

    WOW!! I cooked this tonight for my family and it was amazing! Tasted exactly like what I have at the Noodles & Company

  3. What kind of marinara sauce did you use? I’m looking forward to trying this–thanks!

  4. Before u add thoes ingredients add noodles garlic tomatoes and mushrooms to a pan and add vegitable broth and white wine and reduce trust me. I know how to make everything at noodles and co.

  5. How many people does this recipe feed?

  6. Lindsey says:

    OMG. This was delicious. I used to spend so much money at Noodles because I couldn’t make Penne Rosa at home. Now I can. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Thank you for the recipe. Just tried it and turned out pretty well. I love penne rosa. This is my comfort food and I am glad I can make it at any time I want but I am concerned about the heavy cream. Can someone suggest a substitute for heavy cream while still (somewhat) preserving the taste of the recipe?

  8. Reece steward says:

    How would I make with shrimp instead?

    • After you make the sauce, throw in 1/2 pound of raw shrimp and cook over medium until shrimp are opaque.

  9. Instead of marinara + heavy cream, couldn’t you use store-bought vodka sauce?

    • Hi Griff,

      I haven’t been able to find a store bought vodka sauce I enjoy. Do you have a favorite? And if you try to substitute that in the recipe please let me know how it turns out! :)

  10. Ok, love the recipe but how on earth did you get your chicken to turn out like that?! Everything just fell off and stuck to the pan so I ended up baking it.

    • Hi Mia! I’m so sorry your chicken did not work on the skillet. Let me give you a few of my go-to tips. Your chicken needs to be pretty thin – so if you have thick chicken breasts I would butterfly them so that they can cook thru without burning. Also – once you put the breaded chicken in the skillet do not flip it until it easily releases itself from the pan. When it is easily flipped and nothing sticks to the pan the breast should be about 50% cooked and you can repeat on the other side. So resist that urge to pry it from the pan. If you let it cook up like this you should get nice, golden, breaded chicken. Let me know if you give it another try.

  11. This is my favorite dish at Noodles, can’t wait to try this copycat recipe. THANK YOU!

  12. Made this for the first time. Good recipe.
    But, heres what I’ll do next time:
    1. Instead of marinara and heavy cream, use vodka sauce as Griff suggested. Really, your favorite sauce is the best choice (+\- cream).
    2. Use 3/4 c parm cheese and 1/4 c breadcrums and season with S&P
    3. Add spinich a few minutes prior to serving so it has a little crunch left.
    4. Keep chicken warm in A 200 degree oven on a cookie sheet with parchment paper until ready to serve.


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