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Goat Cheese Pasta with Chicken & Rosemary

This creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Chicken and Rosemary is simple enough to make for a weeknight dinner but elegant enough for a special date night in.

White pasta bowl with goat cheese pasta with shredded chicken and rosemary, garnished with chopped parsley

INTRO

Goat cheese pasta sauce with chicken being combined with cooked rigatoni pasta in a large saucepan

CREAMY GOAT CHEESE PASTA

Years and years ago, I used to frequent Michael Symon’s former restaurant, Bar Symon, in my hometown. 

It was there that I discovered this pasta recipe. From the first time I had it, I was hooked. The goat cheese sauce was creamy, tangy, and perfectly infused with fresh rosemary, while the chicken made it hearty enough for a main course.

It’s one of those dishes that forces you to instinctively close your eyes and truly enjoy what is dancing around in your mouth. It was love at first bite and I knew I had to find a way to replicate it at home. 

Ingredients for goat cheese pasta with chicken and rosemary on a gray countertop

I expected to need a long list of ingredients to make such a gorgeous plate of food. I was pretty amazed that it actually consisted of such a short list of ingredients:

  • Rigatoni
  • Heavy cream
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh garlic
  • Goat cheese
  • Shredded roast chicken
  • Salt and pepper

I know what you might be thinking. No, this isn’t a low-calorie recipe. But sometimes you just have to go a bit decadent, especially for a celebration or a date night in.

Heavy cream, chopped rosemary and crushed garlic in a white saucepan

HOW TO MAKE GOAT CHEESE PASTA SAUCE

The ingredients are not the only thing that’s simple about this recipe – the prep work is also a breeze. 

Sometimes I use leftover roast chicken, but you can make it even more simplistic by picking up a rotisserie chicken from your local market.

Whisk stirring rounds of goat cheese into cream sauce in a large saucepan

To make the goat cheese pasta sauce, pour the cream into a large saucepan and add the crushed garlic cloves and chopped rosemary. Bring the cream to a simmer and let it reduce by about half.

Simmering the cream with the garlic and rosemary in it infuses the cream with way more flavor than just adding them at the end! 

Wooden spoon stirring shredded roast chicken into goat cheese cream sauce in a large saucepan

Once the cream has reduced, stir in the goat cheese and chicken and let the sauce simmer until it coats the back of a spoon.

When the sauce is ready, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in cooked rigatoni pasta.

Freshly cooked rigatoni pasta in a colander

WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS PASTA

The chicken in this Goat Cheese Pasta really helps to make this a dish that can stand on its own as an entree. I like to serve mine alongside a green salad (usually with homemade blue cheese dressing). 

If you want some bread, try making buttery Parker House Rolls or grab a loaf of crusty bread and make some Extra Virgin Olive Oil Herb Dip.

Two white bowls of goat cheese pasta on a gray countertop next to chopped herbs and baguette pieces

If I’m making this for a dinner party or a special date night, I like to wrap up the meal with dessert. Classic tiramisu would be just special and elegant, or you could go with something bright and tart like Lemon Cheesecake to balance some of the richness from the pasta.

If you love goat cheese, I know you’ll adore this creamy, simple pasta recipe! 

Overhead view of goat cheese pasta in a white pasta bowl alongside a gold fork
White pasta bowl with goat cheese pasta with shredded chicken and rosemary, garnished with chopped parsley

Goat Cheese Pasta with Chicken & Rosemary

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Chicken and Rosemary is simple enough to make for a weeknight dinner but elegant enough for a special date night in.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound dried rigatoni
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 cups shredded roasted chicken
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Add the oil and rigatoni to the water and cook according to the directions on the package, 10-12 minutes.
2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, pour the cream into a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the rosemary and garlic to the cream and bring it to a simmer - take care not to let it boil over. Allow the cream to reduce by about half.
3. Stir in the goat cheese and chicken and continue cooking cooking it till the cream coats the back of a spoon.
4. Thoroughly drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce. Coat the pasta in the sauce and simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Serve hot.

Notes

Adapted from Live to Cook

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Ann

Tuesday 9th of May 2017

Hello,

First thank you for the recipe. It is fairly easy to make and good for a quick weeknight dinner. However, I would agree that it doesn't have a robust enough flavor - and if you're foodie, you'll realize it needs adjusting based on your preference...certainly not something I would fault the author, just personal taste preference. That being said, it's a good base and definitely a great compliment between the goat cheese and the rosemary. 

My adjustments: reduce the rigatoni, sauté the chicken in an herb butter sauce also add some to the sauce, don't skim on rosemary, add lots of salt and pepper, and consider carmalizing some onions.

Note, at least for me, the sauce had a little curdy, bumpy texture.

Ellie

Sunday 5th of February 2017

I can't see where all of the negative reviews for this recipe are coming from. I have made this twice now, first coming across it on Stumble Upon a few years ago, and it is a definite keeper. As a college student living on her own and trying to cook for herself as much as possible, the ingredients for this are easy to find at my local Aldi and easy to put together after a day of classes (that means not too expensive AND convenient!). I add a bit more garlic because I'm really into that kind of thing, but other than that I follow the recipe as it's written and it's delicious. I'm sure mushrooms would be a great addition as well, I just didn't have them on hand. 

All in all, a deceivingly simple and tasty dish. 

Jamie

Monday 6th of February 2017

Thank you so much for your kind words, Ellie! I really appreciate it.

Ellie

Sunday 8th of January 2017

Hi, I've made this multiple times and everyone in our family loves it. I am planning on making this dish for some friends that are expecting a baby and want to make them some freezer meals. Any idea what temperature or how long to defrost it to cook it evenly?

Jamie

Monday 9th of January 2017

Hi, Ellie! I suggest thawing the dish in the refrigerator overnight and then heat on the stove. I've never tried this from frozen, so I'm interested to hear how it goes. Let me know!

Kayla

Tuesday 6th of December 2016

I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest a few months ago and now make it regularly. My family (including my super picky kids) LOVE it. Thanks for sharing!

Jamie

Wednesday 7th of December 2016

You're very welcome, Kayla!

Chaos in my Kitchen

Wednesday 2nd of September 2015

It looks delicous! I would probably add just a splash of white wine and a pinch of nutmeg. What do ou reckon? I got to to try this! If you are looking for a vegetarian recipe with rigatoni and cheese take a look at my site and try my Rigatoni with Spinach and Gorgonzola! 

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