This Tuscan chicken pasta is creamy, cheesy, and decadent. In as little as 30 minutes you can have restaurant-quality pasta on the table for the perfect weeknight dinner.
This recipe is one of my favorite ways to make pasta, and I absolutely love pairing sun-dried tomatoes with a creamy sauce. Toss in some chicken, and you have a perfectly well-balanced and budget-friendly meal. On top of that, you can cook the chicken and sauce all in the same skillet, making for super easy cleanup. Your whole family is bound to love this recipe.
Can I Make Tuscan Chicken Pasta Ahead of Time?
I wouldn't recommend making this recipe too far in advance before you want to serve it. The reason is that the pasta will soak up the sauce the longer it sits. It absorbs a lot of flavors but it might end up being more dry than rich and creamy. Thankfully, you can have this recipe done in 30 minutes from start to finish. It is still a great option for weeknight dinners or entertaining.
The chicken can be precooked to make things move a little quicker, but besides that, this dish is best served fresh! If you want to store leftovers for lunch, you can put the pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. When you are ready to eat, simply reheat on the stove or in the microwave. If the pasta looks dry, add a little bit more milk or heavy cream to rehydrate it while reheating.
Tips to Make Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Think you’re ready to give the recipe a try? Consider these additional tips to help you nail the recipe!
- The chicken pairs so well with the creamy sauce, but you can easily swap it out for any other protein of choice. You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the chicken altogether.
- I love topping this pasta with some fresh basil or mixing in some more vegetables. My favorites are broccoli, bell peppers, and zucchini.
- If you like a little bit of a kick, I would highly recommend topping your pasta with some crushed red pepper flakes, as it makes such a difference in the end result.
- Make sure to reserve some of the water once the pasta is done cooking. The starch in the water helps to thicken the sauce and bind everything together.
Serving Ideas and Suggestions
So you've made the pasta, and now you need a whip up a quick side dish.
This pasta is really well balanced as is. It has carbs from the pasta, protein in the chicken, fats in the sauce, and some fiber from the spinach and tomatoes.
This pasta is also amazing with a side of garlic bread to soak up any leftover sauce in the bottom of your bowl.
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Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 c baby spinach
- 8 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 2 c heavy cream
- 1 c milk
- ⅔ c grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 oz penne pasta
- Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes.
- Add the olive oil and chicken to a cast iron skillet, then season with the salt, pepper, and garlic.
- Cook the chicken over medium heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, make your pasta noodles. Fill a large pot halfway with water, bring to a boil, add the noodles, and cook over high heat for 8 minutes. Then drain the water.
- Remove cooked chicken from the skillet, set aside.
- Saute the butter, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach over medium heat until the spinach has started to wilt.
- Add the cream and milk, and cook until it comes to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and stir in the Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese.
- Add the chicken and pasta, stir, and serve.