Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta is a delectable combination of tender grilled chicken, rich Alfredo sauce, and a medley of three mouthwatering cheeses. Each bite is a symphony of creamy textures and savory goodness that will leave you craving more. Topped with a vibrant bruschetta mixture, this pasta masterpiece adds a burst of freshness to every forkful.
Whether you’re a fan of comforting pasta dishes or seeking a taste of Italian-American cuisine, Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta will satisfy your cravings and become a favorite on your dining table.
Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Ingredients
These ingredients work together harmoniously to create the signature taste of Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta, combining creamy, cheesy, savory, and fresh elements for a truly satisfying dish.
Grilled Chicken Breast
The grilled chicken breast is the star protein of the dish, providing a tender and juicy texture. It adds a savory flavor that complements the creamy cheese and pasta components.
Asiago cheese contributes a rich and nutty flavor. It melts beautifully into the sauce, enhancing the creaminess and adding depth to the overall taste.
Parmesan cheese, with its sharp and salty flavor, brings a distinctive tang to the recipe. Italian cuisine commonly uses it to add depth and complexity to creamy dishes like this pasta.
White Cheddar Cheese
White Cheddar cheese adds a creamy and mild taste to the dish. It melts smoothly into the sauce, providing a luscious and smooth texture that complements the other cheeses.
Penne pasta, with its tube-like shape, is ideal for holding onto the creamy sauce and cheese. It provides a satisfying bite and acts as the base for the dish, soaking up the flavors of the sauce and accompanying ingredients.
The Alfredo sauce is a creamy and indulgent component that forms the base of the dish. Its velvety texture and rich flavor provide a luxurious coating for the pasta and chicken, tying all the ingredients together.
Italian Salad Dressing
The Italian salad dressing is used to marinate the chicken, infusing it with tangy and herb-infused flavors. It adds a subtle zing to the chicken, enhancing its taste and ensuring it remains moist and flavorful when grilled.
Tomatoes play a dual role in this recipe. The diced tomatoes in the bruschetta topping provide a fresh and juicy element, while the tomato-based alfredo sauce adds a subtle sweetness and acidity that balances the richness of the cheese.
Olive oil is used in various stages of the recipe, from sautéing the garlic to mixing it into the bruschetta topping. It adds a smooth and fruity richness, enhancing the flavors and textures of the other ingredients.
Basil is a fragrant herb incorporated into the bruschetta topping, providing fresh and aromatic flavor. Its bright and slightly peppery notes complement the other ingredients, adding a delightful herbal dimension.
Tips and Tricks for Best Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta
- Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to infuse it with flavor and ensure tenderness.
- When mixed with the sauce, cook the penne pasta al dente to prevent it from becoming mushy.
- Use a combination of grated cheeses for the sauce to achieve a well-rounded and balanced flavor.
- Let the sauce simmer on low heat to allow the flavors to meld together and create a rich and creamy consistency.
- Garnish the dish with fresh basil leaves before serving to add a fragrant and vibrant touch.
- Preheat the grill or pan properly to ensure the chicken gets those desirable grill marks and stays juicy.
- Experiment with different pasta shapes like farfalle (bowtie), fusilli, or rigatoni to change up the texture and appearance of the dish while still enjoying the creamy cheese sauce and toppings.
Recipe Variations and Add-Ons
These variations and add-ons creatively customize Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta, allowing you to explore different flavor profiles and tailor the dish to suit your preferences.
Add Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes to the dish for a Mediterranean flair, complemented with a sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese on top.
Spinach and Mushroom Delight
Sauté fresh spinach and mushrooms and mix them into the pasta for an earthy and nutritious twist. For extra creaminess, stir in a spoonful of dairy-free cream cheese.
Season the chicken with Cajun spices before grilling for a spicy twist. Toss in some sliced bell peppers and onions for added flavor and color, and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Roasted Garlic Infusion
Roast whole garlic cloves and mash them into the Alfredo sauce for a robust garlic flavor. Serve with roasted cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs for a delightful texture.
Chicken Penne Pasta Casserole
You can turn the dish into a casserole by assembling the layers in a baking dish and baking it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can You Make a Vegan Version For This Recipe?
To customize a vegan version of Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta, make the following changes: replace the chicken with plant-based protein like tofu or tempeh, use a vegan cheese blend or nutritional yeast to replicate the cheesy flavors, prepare a dairy-free cream sauce using cashews or coconut milk, incorporate sautéed vegetables and herbs for added flavor and texture, and serve with a side of vegan garlic bread. These modifications will result in a satisfying vegan dish that retains the creamy, cheesy essence of the original recipe.
How to Store the Leftovers of Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta?
- Transfer the leftovers into an airtight container, ensuring the sauce covers the pasta and chicken well to prevent drying.
- Label the container with the date and contents for easy reference.
- Store the leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking to maintain freshness.
- Consume the leftovers within 3-4 days to ensure food safety and optimal taste.
- Reheat individual portions in the microwave or stovetop, adding a splash of water or additional sauce to prevent the dish from drying.
- Consider freezing the leftovers in portion-sized containers for longer-term storage, leaving some headspace for expansion. Thaw and reheat as needed, noting that the texture of the pasta may slightly change upon freezing.
Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Recipe
- Grill or grill pan
- Mixing bowls
- Cutting board
- Skillet or frying pan
- Spatula or tongs for grilling
- Pot for cooking pasta
- Colander for draining pasta
- Microwave-safe bowls
- Serving plates or bowls
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1/3 cups Italian salad dressing
- 4 tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups penne pasta
- 15 ounces Alfredo sauce
- 8 ounces shredded Italian cheese blend (Parmesan, Asiago, and white Cheddar cheese)
- Slice the chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes. Place them in a bowl and pour the Italian salad dressing over the chicken. Let it marinate for 30 minutes.
- Combine the finely chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, dried basil, and olive oil in a separate bowl. Mix well to create the bruschetta topping. Set it aside.
- Preheat your grill to high heat, around 425-450 degrees Fahrenheit. Grill the marinated chicken cubes for about 9-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through until they are cooked and have grill marks. Remove from the grill and set aside.
- Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and divide it into 2 microwave-safe bowls.
- Pour the Alfredo sauce over the cooked pasta in the bowls.
- Top each bowl with the bruschetta mixture, grilled chicken cubes, and the shredded Italian cheese blend (Parmesan, Asiago, and white Cheddar cheese).
- Microwave each bowl for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the dish is heated.
- Serve the Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta with garlic bread on the side.
- Adjust the thickness of the sauce by adding more cream for a creamier consistency or reducing it for a thicker sauce.
- Customize the spice level by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes or jalapeños to suit your taste preferences.
- For a burst of freshness, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the dish before serving.
- Feel free to add herbs or seasonings like parsley, thyme, or Italian seasoning to enhance flavor.
- Serve with a side of mixed greens or a simple salad to add freshness and balance to the meal.
Nutritional Facts (Per Serving, Approximately 1/2 Of The Recipe)
- Calories: Around 800-900 calories
- Total Fat: 40-50 grams
- Saturated Fat: 20-25 grams
- Cholesterol: 150-200 milligrams
- Sodium: 1000-1200 milligrams
- Carbohydrates: 60-70 grams
- Fiber: 3-5 grams
- Sugars: 5-7 grams
- Protein: 40-50 grams