Main Dish | January 17, 2018

Penne Rosa – Noodles & Company Copycat

Have you ever eaten at Noodles and Company?  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.

A close up photo of penne rosa pasta on a black plate topped with cheese

Take Out Made At Home

We have been making our at home version of their Penne Rosa 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.

An overhead shot of 3 black plates of penne rosa

Creating Penne Rosa At Home

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!

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!

A close up overhead shot of penne rosa on a black plate topped with parmesan cheese

Secrets To Perfect Parmesan Chicken

One rule to follow when cooking your chicken is to resist the urge to be flip happy.  DO NOT.  I repeat.  Do not flip your chicken a gazillion times.  You want to cook each side only once.  The chicken will naturally release from the pan when it is done cooking – so you shouldn’t have to scrape it out of your frying pan at all.

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4.67 from 6 votes
Noodle & Co Copycat Penne Rosa - Penne Rosa - Noodles & Company Copycat by popular Los Angeles foodie blog Oh So Delicioso
Penne Rosa – Noodles & Company Copycat
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Copy cat recipe of Noodle's and Co Penne Rosa. A spicy tomato cream sauce tossed with penne, tomatoes, and spinach - topped with parmesan chicken. Click here now for the full recipe!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: creamy tomato pasta, spicy creamy tomato sauce
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 859 kcal
Author: Kadee
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 24 oz 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
  • 4 oz can sliced mushrooms or 1/2 cup fresh drained (optional)
  • 3 small tomatoes diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 16 oz 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 your Penne Rosa with chicken and garnished with additional parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts
Penne Rosa – Noodles & Company Copycat
Amount Per Serving
Calories 859 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 1458mg63%
Potassium 1440mg41%
Carbohydrates 111g37%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 38g76%
Vitamin A 3510IU70%
Vitamin C 30.9mg37%
Calcium 261mg26%
Iron 5.1mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.






34 thoughts on “Penne Rosa – Noodles & Company Copycat

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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?

    1. 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! :)

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. im Making this for dinner tomorrow since its my husbands favorite dish from noodles. he orders it with crumbled feta on top, just adding that suggestion because it adds a good compoonent!

  8. So… this is my favorite from noodles and company! I want to make this for my family, BUT… my daughter is a veegetarian. It’s easy enough to leave the parmesan chicken off of her plate, BUT… do you think a vegetable broth would work just as well as the chicken broth? Or should I just leave it out? This dish is marked as vegetarian at noodles & CO – so they obviously don’t use chicken broth (i hope!).

    This is probably a silly question, but I’m not very comfortable in the kitchen, so I’m asking. Thank you! :)

    1. 5 stars
      HEy karen! I made this with veg broth instead just by convenience and it Turned out perFect! I also added tofu to the dish and it rounded the dish out. For the tofu i just SauteeD it on high for about 5 minutes until Lightly browned anD then baked @ 375 for 15 minutes, when You add it all together the longEr the tofu can sit and soak up the sauce the better it tastes :)

    1. Make sure your chicken is nice and moist before coating. Also – do not flip the chicken until it easily releases from the pan. When the first side is done you should be able to easily release it and flip it. Flipping before it comes up easy will leave breading stuck to the pan.

  9. 5 stars
    This was amazing! I made it a few nights ago and my 3yo ate two servings (he LOVED the mushrooms and doing!! :O ) and my 2yo requested 5ths!!!

    My husband and I both adored it as well and it will be going in to the regular rotation. Thanks for making this recipe. <3

    The chicken was good, but the pasta was an A+ hit!

  10. 3 stars
    While good, definitely not a noodles copycat. WAY too much sauce/marinara, I plan to do ¼ of what’s listed here. It came across super liquify, whereas noodles is much more dry.

  11. 5 stars
    I searched for this recipe on a whim and I’m so glad! I made this as a vegetarian version and added double vegetables, a little cayenne, and feta. It is more saucy than noodles version but I always found theirs to often be too dry and they skimp on veggies, IMO.

    I will certainly try more of your recipes!