Balsamic Noodle Bowl

Update 04/13: This delectable little noodle bowl has been part of our regular dinner rotation for over three years now. It’s delicious and so, so simple. The key here is to use the best quality balsamic vinegar you can get since the flavor really shines through. If you love light, silky sauces over tender noodles and crisp peppers with bits of creamy mozzarella and tangy feta nestled among the twists, then you’ll love this one. It is definitely one of my favorite simple pasta dishes.

Balsamic Noodle Bowl

What To ServeHoney Lime Fruit Salad 
Steamed broccoli or Buttery Peas with Thyme
Green Salad

Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl

Yield: Serves 6-8

Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl

Note: I tweaked this recipe to have a high noodle ratio since I love me a lot of noodles, but if you like a bit less noodles, simply cut down the amount to 12 ounces. Also, good-quality balsamic vinegar is key here since the flavor really shines through. When I haven't planned ahead, I use uncooked chicken and cook it up with the peppers.


  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 4 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil (can substitute 1/2 cup fresh basil)
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded or cubed mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook until just tender according to package directions. Drain.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. When combined, slowly whisk in the 1/3 cup olive oil until the dressing is completely combined.
  3. While the pasta is boiling, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the bell pepper. Cook briefly until crisp-tender. Add the cooked chicken and cook for 1-2 more minutes, until the chicken is heated through.
  4. When the noodles have been drained, add the hot noodles to the skillet with the red pepper and chicken and toss. Add the shredded or cubed mozzarella and the feta and toss quickly to combine before the cheese melts. Pour the dressing over the top and toss with tongs to coat all the ingredients with the dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Source: adapted from

76 Responses to Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl

  1. Julia says:

    Take out the peppers, add tomatoes, red onions, and basil and call it awesome-squared!

  2. Abigail says:

    I made this dish. My husband loved it, and so did I. I don’t know how to cook at all, and this was easy to make.

  3. Kate Pru says:

    Quite possibly my favorite recipe from your blog! Eating it for lunch today 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    For the mozzarella cheese, do you mean fresh or like the kind you put on pizza? From the picture, it looks like the kind you use for pizza, just wanted to make sure.

    • Mel says:

      I’ve used both – equally delicious (the fresh mozzarella is creamier) but in the pictures, it’s regular mozzarella not fresh.

      • Sarah says:

        Thanks! I went with regular this time, next time will try fresh. A friend of mine shared this recipe with me a few years ago, only she adapted it a little because she doesn’t eat meat or cheese. So I was surprised when I came to the source and realised I’ve been making it inadequately for years. The cheese and chicken made a yummy pasta irresistible!!

  5. Emma says:

    I made this tonight and it was amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. meg says:

    This was fantastic! I’ve wanted to make this for quite a while but always seem to missing some ingredient or another. Anyway, it came together super quickly, even with cooking the chicken with the peppers. I also added a yellow onion to the saute. So so yummy! All my kids loved it and husband too. Thank you Mel! Congrats on the half marathon!!!

  7. Nita says:

    Hi Mel, can I use prepared balsamic glaze (trader joe’s brand) in place of balsamic vinegar?

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried that, Nita – it might work but just watch for extra sweeteners/flavors in the prepared glaze that might affect the flavor of the overall dish.

  8. Lien says:

    Just made this tonight! Fantastic!! I used cotija cheese and made bruschetta to top it off! AMAZING!! We had it with garlic bread made from the chewy Italian rolls. It was insanely good!

  9. Teresa says:

    I just discovered this recipe this week and it was fantastic! It is so customizable. I thought the dressing was delicious. I must confess I did not make it as written because I was using what I had in the fridge. I used a huge raw, diced zucchini and fresh basil and just added that (minus the pepper, chicken, and cheeses) to the whole wheat linguine/dressing. We all slurped it up. I served it with a teriyaki salmon burger. Next time I will plan ahead and make it as written as a yummy main course. Thanks, Mel!

  10. Kim says:


    I added 3 peppers, one red, one yellow, and one orange. But I also didn’t do chicken. It had been a long day and I didn’t feel like cooking chicken. Definitely going to keep this recipe! Might try it with bow tie pasta next time too!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I, too was a little afraid of the balsamic in this. We do love pasta with olive oil and garlic so we gave this a try. The balsamic was subtle and made for a great-tasting pasta. I added diced carrots to the suted vegetables in this dish. I think it is great as is, but certainly one of those recipes that can be tailored to what you have on hand.

  12. Karly says:

    My husband and I thought this was excellent and both loved it. I love balsamic but I was afraid it would be too strong and vinegary for my husband. But the balsamic was perfectly subtle and he enjoyed it as much as I. I didnt have olive oil on hand so I substituted browned butter, and sauteed the garlic in the butter just for a little bit at the end of the browning time. It was fantastic (If anyone does this, don’t add the vinegar to the butter until the butter is slightly cooled or it will cook the vinegar off). Thank you for a great recipe!

  13. Michelle says:

    I love this recipe so, so much! I just made it a month or so ago for the first time. I don’t know how I had missed it! 🙂 The only thing I do different is use less noodles (maybe 10 oz.) and saute the garlic along with the red pepper. I love the leftovers of this, too! They’re good right out of the fridge!

  14. Melissa says:

    I have made this at least a dozen times. We love, love, love it! It’s one of our favorite meals.

  15. tabitha says:

    this was wonderful. small thing though. that was way to much oil. my plate was all greasy and the kids had grease all over their faces from slurping the noodles. i think it would be just fine with about half? but i shared your recipe with my cooking group (of course telling them i got it here and to check you out ) and everyone is excited to cook it for their hubbies. according to my bff “this dish is food like from a fancy restaurant! i’ve paid for dishes that didn’t taste as good!”

  16. Laura says:

    I just made this for dinner tonight and it was perfect! I found your site through Pinterest and I’m finding so many recipes I want to try. Thanks for sharing.

  17. JaNae says:

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was fabulous! Quick, easy and delicious! Thanks!

  18. Lara says:

    This was fabulous!! My mom gave me a bottle of 18 yr balsamic, a few days after I pinned this, & my first thought was “I have to make that recipe I pinned with this.” My only minor tweak was to use 1 cup cubed fresh mozzarella. We had it with bucatini, since I only had a few ounces of linguini. This definitely needs a hearty long pasta, I don’t think angel hair or a short pasta would do it justice. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  19. Jackie says:

    This was the first recipe I’ve tried from your site….it was delicious and easy!! We will definitely be having it again. Like another commenter, I used whole wheat pasta and it worked well. I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes!

  20. Sara says:

    Sorry, that was probably a silly question…I’m assuming when you add the mozzarella? I’ll go with that.:)

  21. Sara says:

    When do you add in the feta? Trying this tonight, sounds so good!

  22. Nicole H. says:

    Made this tonight and it was great! My little girls didn’t get excited about it, but I think they were just tired. I will make it again. I couldn’t stop eating it! Thanks!

  23. Sarah says:

    YUMMY! I have been wanting to try this for awhile and it keeps getting bumped off my menu for one reason or another. I finally made it and we loved it! Even my 1 year old kept slurping up the noodles.

  24. Balsamic Chicken Noodles « Mimi's Fit Foods says:

    […] Balsamic Chicken Noodles Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  25. Mimi says:

    Thanks for another winner! I honored the recipe over on my blog ( today. And, as usual, threw in some calorie and nutritional information. Man, I wish I was having it again tonight. I’m putting it on the menu rotation this week! Thanks Mel!

  26. Lorna says:


    I’ve been following you for about a year and this is the first time I’ve commented. This recipe was fantastic! My 10 year old son (who loves to cook with me; he’s my little chef!) said it was the second most awesome thing he’s ever had! (The first is corn on the cob with herbed butter – the boy’s got taste.). Anyway, it was just as advertised and I’ll definitely be making this again!

  27. Stephanie says:

    I made this for dinner last night. It was an instant hit with the family. My oldest (15 year old) daughter procalimed between mouthfuls “Once again Mel hit’s a home run!” (I’ve been making a lot of dishes from you blog). I was forced to make one change. I didn’t have any black pepper (how did that happen?). I substituted 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper for the 1/4 tsp of black pepper. I thought it was great, just a hint of spice (not to hot). I will definately be putting this one into our regular meal rotation. Thank you for sharing your awesomness with us!!!

  28. Caitlin says:

    I had success with this dish after several alterations. Here is a vegetarian version of the dish: add shallots and pine nuts to the red bell pepper, and use 2 garlic cloves in the dressing (instead of 5 – didn’t want to be smelling of garlic the next day!). I highly recommend using fresh basil in the dressing – the flavour and aroma is much better. I was very pleased with the consistency of the dish, as well as the flavour!

  29. Reyna says:

    I thought this recipe was awesome. I made it earlier in the day, knowing we wouldn’t be back until later tonight, and I loved it both warm and cold. It reminds me a little of your asian noodle salad–but with italian flavors! I did ended up making an extra half a batch of the dressing since I added extra noodles and I thought the consistency was perfect. I love having options with pasta that aren’t all red or white sauces. In the summer I think I’ll add extra veggies from the garden too!

  30. Our Family's adventures! » Blog Archive » Menu for the week says:

    […] Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl, […]

  31. Tannis says:

    We’ve been having a My Kitchen Cafe week here. First your Hearty Beef Stew and now this for tonight. What can I say? Your recipes are awesome!

  32. Cindy says:

    Mmmm, this was so good! Thanks for the recipe.

  33. Tiffany Shanks says:

    My husband says this is his favorite, we eat it about once a month. I make homemade wide noodles for it, it is to die for. Thank you so much Mel.

  34. juliann says:

    This was so delicious and easy. I would have never thought to make a noodle bowl with balsamic instead of asian flavors. Loved it and it couldnt have been any easier. You cook so similarly to how I like to eat (and cook) that I have been thrilled with every recipe I have made from your blog. Cant wait to try more! Thank you

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Juliann – I’ve been enjoying reading all of your recent comments. I’m glad that you liked this noodle bowl – it is a family favorite around here, which I love because it is so easy.

  35. Melanie says:

    Melissa – I’m so glad you liked this! And I’m also glad the printable link is helpful…

  36. Melissa says:

    I finally got to make this for dinner tonight – it was SO good!! Thanks for posting it. And, I have to thank you too for putting that handy-dandy print button under your recipes…I LOVE that!

  37. Jan Russell says:

    Hi Melanie! I haven’t commented in awhile, becauase I’ve been desparately trying to lose 50lbs of baby weight, and your blog is not a good influence for that – lol. This sounds DELICIOUS! I’m going to make it next week for sure!

  38. ARLENE says:

    Wow, this sounds like something I want to eat right now. I will definitely give it a try sometime soon. I’m with you on upping the noodle ratio.

  39. megan says:

    I love noodles in any form! This sounds great. Is this a recipe where you need “good” balsamic vinegar, or is the regular cheap stuff from the grocery store ok?

  40. Michele says:

    I wish I was eating this for lunch today!

  41. Heather says:

    That sounds really good. How strong is the feta in this? Should I reduce the amount if I’m only a reluctant feta eater?

  42. Neisha says:

    This sound wonderful. Do you think it would be good if I threw in some broccoli or would that be a bit much?

  43. Cammee says:

    This sounds and looks divine! I’m definitely making it this week. I love noodles, too. One of my favorites from your site is Aunt Marilyn’s Noodle Salad (I don’t have the exact name), so simple, yet so tasty!

  44. Cammee says:

    Sorry, my brain works in spurts. I just wanted to thank you for the extra time you put into giving us printable recipes. Sooooo much easier than all that cut and paste nonsense!

  45. Rebecca says:

    I’m a bit picky when it comes to cooked chicken in recipes. The wrong way totally screws with the recipe. So do you prefer roasted, grilled or rotisserie?

  46. nazarina says:

    Such a flavorful dish!Love your picture too!Balsamic makes everything taste like a million bucks!

  47. Barbara says:

    Never would have thought of using balsamic vinegar (which I love) in a noodle dish. I really like this recipe!

  48. teresa says:

    mmm, simple, delicious and right up my ally!

  49. Shanna says:

    This sounds sooooo good! Can’t wait to try it 🙂

  50. Melanie says:

    megan – to be perfectly honest, I buy balsamic vinegar from the grocery store but I always buy the “higher end” brand. It doesn’t cost a fortune (like a specialty balsamic vinegar) but I think it tastes better than a generic version.

  51. Melanie says:

    Heather – since the feta is sprinkled on top, it can be as strong or as minimal as you like. You could probably get away with not adding any at all and sprinkling more mozzarella on top – that would still be delicious.

  52. Melanie says:

    Neisha – this recipe can be so versatile! I think adding broccoli would be a wonderful addition (and add beautiful color…since eating is all about color, right???)…just keep in mind that the sauce is on the lighter end and the dish isn’t overly saucy so if you are going to add another ingredient that might soak up some of the sauce, you may want to increase the sauce amounts or just plan for a less-saucy dish.

  53. Melanie says:

    Rebecca – when a recipe calls for already cooked, shredded chicken, my method of choice is the morning of, to throw a couple frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot with some salt and a smidge of chicken broth and let them cook on low for 5-ish hours. Then I shred and use (or freeze for later). But if I have forgotten to do this, I’ll quickly saute up some cubed, fresh chicken in a saute pan with some salt and pepper. I’m not as picky about the chicken but if you are, then by all means use what you prefer (I think the moist, delicious rotisserie chicken would be another great option).

  54. grace says:

    mmm…balsamic vinegar and pasta. i haven’t had that particular combination since tgi friday’s had a dish using it. what a delightful creation, melanie!

  55. Angela Baird says:

    Wow, Mel…I haven’t checked out your cooking blog for a little while since the holidays got a little crazy, but I am TOTALLY impressed! REALLY, really impressed! You are amazing. I will also say, I love a good balsamic recipe, so I’ll have to try this soon! I’ve got a couple of fun recipes I should tell you about and have you try sometime! Cooking can be so fun, and I’m glad you’ve made such a hobby of it! loves…

  56. The Mendoza Family says:

    Mel, this looks so good!! Can’t wait to try! Hey, I was wondering if you’ve thought about making a post about how to organize your grocery shopping, dinner making and kitchen! Because I’m sure you’re organized in those things!! What staples do you always have in your pantry? Do you always grab the same produce items each week? Do you make a menu to take shopping with you? Weekly?
    Think about it! People like me could really benefit!

  57. Livin Local says:

    Pasta and savories, and garlic? Oh my, this sounds like my cup of tea also.

  58. Leslie says:

    nice and easy and yummy! SCORE

  59. Cassandra says:

    Hi. I tried this last night and it was fabulous! I used whole wheat noodles and added broccoli. I will definitely make it again. Thanks!

  60. Leisel says:

    It sounds delicious. If it’s anything like your hosin rice bowls it will be amazing. Those are a new staple around my house. I can’t wait to give this new recipe a try.

  61. Jessie says:

    I pretty much have tried about every recipe on your blog and love them all! Wondering if you know of any other food blogs that are like yours where they make real food with things you have in the pantry?

  62. Julie says:

    Sounds like a wonderful combo of flavors. Yum!

  63. Raylene says:

    I made this up the other night and it tasted just as wonderful as it sounded. Yum!

  64. Rachel says:

    I’ve followed your blog for the past few months and have tried and loved lots of things. I’ve never thought to leave a comment until now. This was AMAZING and made it into the top five faves for both my husband and me. I’ve never used balsamic vinegar and just borrowed some from my sister-in-law. I am going to the store to buy a huge bottle now, because we will be having this again many times. Thank you so much!!

  65. Melanie says:

    Cassandra – look at you healthifying this recipe with whole wheat noodles and broccoli – I love it! Thanks for checking in to let me know you liked the recipe.

  66. Melanie says:

    Raylene – so glad you liked this!

  67. Melanie says:

    Rachel – glad this was good enough to invest in your own balsamic vinegar! I’m really, really glad you liked it and thanks for leaving your first comment!

  68. Melanie says:

    Hey Jessie – I follow about 200 food blogs in my google reader but I definitely have my favorites. I’ll compile a list of them and put it on my sidebar somewhere. Off the top of my head, two blogs I really like (and have made many recipes from) are:

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