Thursday, May 26, 2022

Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta combines classic comfort food ingredients into one tasty dish! The sweet and tangy flavors of herb-soaked tomatoes are balanced with fresh basil and creamy mozzarella cheese. Tossed with tender pasta and juicy chicken, it’s a winning combination that will please even the pickiest of eaters.

Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
Quick and easy meals are the best option when life is too hectic to make an elaborate meal. That doesn’t mean they’re lacking in the flavor department, though!

With just a handful of fresh ingredients, you can plate up a delicious Italian dinner in just 30 minutes

Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Chicken and pasta is a comforting combination, enhanced by a wide variety of flavor combinations.

This sun dried tomato pasta is incredibly simple to make, and it has such delectable flavors. Your guests will think that you spent more time on it than you actually did!

I have plenty of other 30-minute dinner options here too, no matter what you are in the mood for. And, many of them can be made with ingredients you already have on hand!

This gourmet roasted vegetable penne is a great way to use up leftover tomatoes. Or, try your hand at making homemade ravioli for another divine Italian dish.

sun dried tomato pasta ingredients

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Add some more veggies. Spinach or mushrooms would be an incredibly tasty addition to this recipe.
  • Use jarred tomatoes. For this recipe, you’ll need the ones packed in oil with Italian herbs. The extra liquid is the base for the sauce and the herbs really amp up the flavor!
  • Want it spicy? You can always crank up the heat with a dash of red pepper flakes.
  • Garnish with cheese. Sprinkle your plated meal with a bit of grated Parmesan for a nice finishing touch.

Chicken Pasta Recipe Tips

  • Salt your pasta water! This is such a crucial step as it really enhances the flavor of the entire dish.
  • Let the chicken rest. To ensure that every bite is deliciously juicy, let it sit off of the heat for about 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Make it extra gooey. Instead of cutting the mozzarella into cubes, try shredding it! Stir in a small handful at a time so it mixes evenly with the other ingredients.

sun dried tomatoes and garlic in a blender

Serving Suggestions

When I think Italian, I think bread. Some garlic knots or my copycat Olive Garden® breadsticks would pair wonderfully.

Vegetables on the side with sun dried tomato chicken pasta would be incredible as well! These baked zucchini chips or some garlic roasted broccoli would round out the meal deliciously.

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Skillet - This is my go-to pan that I’ve had for over a decade! It heats evenly and cleans up beautifully with a little baking soda so it still looks brand new.
  • Large Pot and Strainer for the penne
  • Blender - A high power blender is a must in every kitchen.
  • Heat resistant spoon or spatula - Perfect for cooking, stirring, and serving.

blended sun dried tomatoes and cream in a skillet

Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta FAQ

Can I adjust the serving size?

This sun dried tomato pasta recipe yields about 8 servings, but you can reduce the ingredients for a date night meal or just enough for yourself.

Since the leftovers are fantastic, I recommend preparing the full recipe to enjoy for lunch or dinner the next day!

What can I substitute for penne?

As long as it is cooked to al dente, you can use whatever type of pasta you enjoy.

Medium noodles like bowtie or rotini are a great substitute, but spaghetti or fettuccine would work too. However, I would avoid small noodles like shells and macaroni.

If you’d like to make homemade pasta dough, you could even serve the sun dried tomato chicken over cavatelli pasta.

adding cheese to cream sauce

How do you soften sun dried tomatoes?

If you plan to reconstitute them, you would place the shriveled tomatoes in a bowl and soak them in boiling water for about 30 minutes.

However, this step isn’t necessary for this pasta recipe! Use them straight from the jar and blend with garlic to form a tangy, savory sauce.

Prep Ahead Instructions

Since this meal comes together in a snap, there’s not much to do ahead of time! It’s easy enough to sear the chicken and blend up the tomato sauce while the pasta is boiling on the stove.

If you prefer fewer steps, you could easily use leftover grilled chicken or even rotisserie chicken in this dish.

You can also blend up the sun dried tomatoes and garlic in advance, then store the mixture in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. Make it no more than a day or two ahead of time for best flavor.

How To Store Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Allow the dish to cool. Then, transfer the chicken pasta into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Reheat on the stove or microwave individual portions in 30-second increments until warmed through. Add a splash of water or chicken stock to keep it from drying out.

sun dried tomato pasta in a dish

Enjoy!

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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chicken sun dried tomato pasta on a dish



Yield: 4-6
Author: Donna Elick
Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Our sun dried tomato chicken pasta has juicy chicken, fresh basil and gooey mozzarella. You’ll flip for this 30-minute easy Italian recipe!
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 30 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) box penne pasta
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes with Italian herbs packed in olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Garnish
  • Extra salt or pepper, to taste
  • Freshly chopped basil

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Fill an 8 quart pot with water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a small handful of salt to boiling water and cook pasta until al dente (about 7-9 minutes). Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, drizzle oil in the hot skillet and immediately add chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set on the cutting board to cool. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. While the chicken cooks, drain the sun-dried tomatoes with oil, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the oil. Combine the contents of sun-dried tomatoes, remaining oil, and chopped garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth, scraping the blender down as necessary.
  5. Add sun-dried tomato mixture to skillet and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in heavy cream and heat on medium-high until slightly boiling. Add in shredded mozzarella cheese and stir until melted.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. Add in cooked chicken.
  7. Add drained penne pasta to the skillet and stir until combined and the pasta is well coated. Continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes on low. Stir in fresh basil. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm and enjoy! Garnish with additional fresh basil if desired.
DONNA'S NOTES
  1. If your sauce is not as thick as you would like, you can stir in a little more shredded mozzarella. Add a small amount at a time and stir until completely melted.
  2. I don’t have heavy cream, can I use just milk? Yes, you can use just milk in this recipe, however your sauce may end up a little thinner. To thicken up the sauce you can add a little more mozzarella cheese to the sauce and stir until melted and smooth. Alternatively, if you only have heavy cream, you can use that in place of the milk, but just use less cheese in the sauce.
  3. To add a little spice to your pasta, I recommend adding red pepper flakes.
  4. If you don’t have basil, you could substitute spinach for the fresh basil that is stirred in at the end. Spinach doesn’t have quite as much flavor as basil, but it’s still a great vegetable to add because of its health benefits.
  5. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
  6. If your drained pasta is starting to dry out and stick together, I recommend adding a little bit of olive oil and stir to coat.

chicken sun dried tomato pasta closeup

Originally published February 2013, updated and republished May 2022

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8 comments:

  1. Awww I bet this is yummy! I love cheese too and feel the same way about pizza. If I could only have one food everyday I would pick pizza - fully loaded of course :) This dish sounds wonderful. Have a lovely weekend!

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  2. YUM! Looks delicious! I love cheese too!!!

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  3. Made it! Thanks for sharing. Nice quick yummy dinner. Great garlic flavor too! (beware: garlic breath follows, lol).

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  4. Made it! Thanks for sharing. Yummy quick dinner for the family. Great garlic flavor too (just beware the garlic breath, lol).

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  5. The picture shows cherry tomatoes and what looks like shredded cheese neither of which are listed in the ingredients or the directions. Are we to add these to the dish or not?

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  6. I usually make penne with besciamella sauce but this recipe looks delicious. I might just try making it this week for my kids. Thanks!

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