Applebee’s Three-cheese Chicken Penne Recipe

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Here is a copycat recipe for the three-cheese chicken penne from Applebee’s restaurant. I have never tried this dish at Applebee’s but this recipe looked too good to pass up. If you enjoy alfredo style pasta dishes you will want to give this one a try. Penne pasta is mixed with alfredo sauce and marinated grilled chicken and then topped with cheese and then baked in the oven. For serving this penne pasta is topped with a bruschetta mixture consisting of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil. The chicken gets its flavor from being marinated in Italian dressing. If you want the chicken to have a stronger Italian dressing flavor, increase the marinade time. You can either grill the chicken on an outdoor grill, use an indoor grill pan, bake it in the oven, or use whatever cooking method you prefer. Serve with garlic bread. Enjoy.
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Ingredients:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Italian salad dressing
3 cups penne pasta
15 ounces alfredo sauce
8 ounces combination of shredded Italian cheeses (mozzarella, parmesan, and provolone)
4 roma tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
4 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
6 tablespoons olive oil

Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chicken breasts into a large bowl, pour the Italian dressing over the chicken breasts. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours (or longer if you want more flavor).
Step 2: In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, basil, and garlic. Toss with olive oil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add penne pasta and cook according to package directions.
Step 3: Lightly grease the grates of an outdoor grill. Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it onto the grill. Discard the marinade. Grill the chicken breasts turning at least once until fully cooked (the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F). Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Slice the chicken into thin strips.
Step 4: Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Drain the noodles and toss them with the alfredo sauce. Stir in the sliced cooked chicken. Pour into the casserole dish. Top with shredded cheeses. Place into the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the cheese is lightly brown and the mixture is bubbly. Top with tomato and basil mixture for serving.
(Makes 4 Servings)

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18 Responses to “Applebee’s Three-cheese Chicken Penne Recipe”

  1. Sheila Wagner — December 1, 2013 @ 8:05 am

    This looks so good and plan to add it to this week’s menu. How would I bake the chicken in the oven if I don’t want to grill it? Thanks and I enjoy many of the recipes from your blog!

  2. Bobby — December 1, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

    Sheila Wagner – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the chicken breasts onto a greased baking sheet. Place into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until fully cooked (the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F.). The baking time will vary depending on your oven and the thickness of the chicken breasts. I would recommend checking the temperature with a meat thermometer. I hope this helps.

  3. Karen — January 12, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

    Made this tonight for my family and they loved it. Thanks!

  4. Rayne — May 5, 2014 @ 6:34 pm

    I will never buy the chicken penne at Applebees!! I can make it myself! It was a hit with my picky child. Thank you so much! :-)

  5. ashley — August 8, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

    what kind of alfredo sauce did you use?

    • Bobby replied: — August 8th, 2014 @ 6:31 pm

      Emeril’s Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce

  6. Samantha — September 8, 2014 @ 10:17 am

    What if I buy the chicken strips already grilled & just heat them in a skillet? Like the ones you put into a salad, would that work too?

    • Bobby replied: — September 8th, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

      Yes, I think that would work great.

  7. Sammy — November 4, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

    Made this for my brothers and dad and they want me to make it for the next 3 weeks great recipe thanks

  8. Joann — December 6, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

    Hi Bobby, saw the recipe for the Applebee’s Three-Cheese Chicken Penne. I do have a question. If you bake this in the oven do you still marinate in the Italian Dressing? May be a dumb question but just want to make sure before i make it. :) Thanks so much and keep the recipes coming, they all look good. :)

    • Bobby replied: — December 6th, 2014 @ 9:47 pm

      Yes, so you would marinate the chicken, grill it until it is fully cooked, slice it and then mix it with everything and bake the casserole. If you are baking the chicken, yes it would be marinated before it is baked. I hope this helps. Thanks.

  9. faith — December 9, 2014 @ 6:33 pm

    Tried this tonight. Kids absolutely loved it. It turned out better than our local Applebees could ever serve!!!!!

  10. Kara — December 24, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

    I made this for my mom last night and it was delicious! However, you don’t need to use 8 ounces of shredded cheese. You would probably be good with 4-6 ounces. Just enough to fully cover the pasta.

  11. Susan — December 30, 2014 @ 9:21 am

    Can this be made a day ahead?

    • Bobby replied: — December 30th, 2014 @ 8:10 pm

      Sorry, I am not sure, I have never tried making it a day ahead. If you do try it, please let everyone know how it turns out.Thanks.

  12. Jeanne Reed — February 29, 2016 @ 2:07 pm

    Why can’t I find a “print page” for this recipe?

  13. Laura — April 23, 2016 @ 11:25 am

    For anyone who came here in search of a recipe for 3 cheese penne pasta instead of buying it from Applebees,, you found it! This is spot on! Thank you so much for this, I am making it again tonight!

  14. Lori Baxter — June 9, 2016 @ 11:45 pm

    My son loves Applebees version. He looked this recipe up and I tried it. I HAVE to say, it worked wonders!! The only variation I made was minus the tomatoes. THANKS

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