You may have heard of Marry Me Chicken—that indulgent dish of pan-fried chicken breasts that is rumored to be so incredibly delicious that serving it to your sweetie is all but guaranteed to land you a marriage proposal. The same may very well be true for the just-as-tasty Marry Me Pasta.
The dish, which is a darling of TikTok, has many of the same, super flavorful ingredients as Marry Me Chicken. However, it’s a filling, one-pot meal of pasta, chicken strips and a creamy sauce that’s quick and easy to pull together.
Speaking of marriage, Emily Blunt says Ina Garten’s engagement chicken is how she landed her husband, John Krasinski!
Key Ingredients for Marry Me Pasta
Mascarpone Cheese: When whisked together with whipping cream, this silky cheese melts into a beautiful, creamy sauce.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes: As tomatoes dry in the sunshine their flavor becomes sweet and concentrated. Look for small jars of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil in the same aisle as Italian pasta and sauces.
Rigatoni: Shaped like large, hollow tubes, this pasta shape is perfect for holding onto the creamy sauce in this recipe.
Fresh Basil: Only fresh will do! Aromatic and intoxicating, chopped basil leaves complete the Mediterranean flavors of this dish, and provide a pop of color, too.
Marry Me Pasta Recipe
This recipe is ready in 25 minutes and makes four generous servings.
8 ounces rigatoni pasta
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
8-1/2 ounces sliced, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Editor’s Tip: You can also use your own, oven-dried tomatoes in this recipe.
Step 1: Make the pasta
Cook the pasta in salted water following the package directions, until the pasta is cooked to al dente. Drain the pasta, saving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and hold these aside.
Step 2: Prepare the chicken
Sprinkle the sliced chicken breast with the salt and pepper, turning to coat all the sides. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; once the oil is hot add in the chicken strips. Cook and turn the chicken strips until there is no pink left in the centers, about five to six minutes. Move the chicken to a plate.
Test Kitchen Tip: For best results, don’t crowd the chicken strips in the pan. If necessary, cook the chicken in batches to allow space between pieces.
Step 3: Make the sauce
Reduce the heat under the pan to medium-low. Pour in the heavy whipping cream and mascarpone cheese; whisk them together for 4 to 6 minutes until they’re smooth and warmed through. Stir in the drained sun-dried tomatoes and chopped basil.
Step 4: Finish and serve
Add the cooked pasta and cooked chicken into the pan, and stir to coat everything with the creamy sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen things up. Spoon the pasta onto plates and garnish with shredded Parmesan. Serve immediately.
Can you freeze marry me pasta?
Yes, this dish works well as a make-ahead freezer meal. Prepare the recipe as directed, but leave out the chopped basil—that’s because basil will turn black when frozen. Let the pasta cool, then transfer it to a freezer-proof container or bag. Store Marry Me Pasta in the freezer for two to three months.
To reheat the pasta, first allow it to thaw completely in the fridge. Transfer the contents to a large saucepan, and gently reheat the pasta over medium-low heat. The creamy sauce will likely be separated after thawing, but reheating it slowly while stirring should bring the sauce back together. Add fresh basil and serve.
Marry Me Pasta Tips
Can I make marry me pasta vegetarian?
Yes—simply omit the chicken, and you’ll have a delicious vegetarian meal. Consider using meat-free ingredients to replace the chicken, such as cooked chickpeas, plant-based chicken substitutes or shredded jackfruit.
What other pasta can I use in marry me pasta?
We love rigatoni in this recipe, but other hearty pasta shapes that the creamy sauce can cling to will work well, too: penne, gemelli, shells, cavatappi and ziti are great choices. We’ve also seen Marry Me Pasta made with cheese-filled tortellini.
What should I serve with marry me pasta?
This recipe is a filling, one-pot meal so the sides can be very simple. Think a lightly-dressed green salad or steamed veggies. And of course, bread is a favorite Italian meal side dish. Make homemade Olive Garden breadsticks, dinner rolls or slices of chewy ciabatta with butter.