This restaurant quality pasta dish will have your family begging for you to make it every week! Made with penne pasta, chicken thighs seasoned with thyme and basil, fresh spinach and a delicious sun-dried tomato cream sauce. It takes less than 45 minutes to make.
This recipe was originally published on August 22, 2018.
By far one of my most favorite easy fancy dinners. Tasting like it came straight out of a restaurant, yes please!!! This sun-dried tomato pasta is almost a one pan meal. Only because you need to boil your pasta separately and then add it in. Maybe we can call this a one pan meal-ish.
I absolutely live for easy dinners that look and taste extra fancy. And I love being able to share those with you to impress your family!
It's the perfect dinner to serve family, friends and maybe even someone special you may be trying to impress. Hello special Valentines Day dinner. Serve it with a glass of white wine for that! Another favorite easy pasta recipe that looks special is this shrimp scampi.
A basic run down of the ingredients you will need. As always, make sure to reference the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full details and amounts.
- chicken thighs - you could also use chicken breast, just make sure to cut it in half or pound thin
- salt and pepper
- dried thyme
- dried basil
- olive oil
- dry pasta noodles
- sun dried tomatoes in a jar with oil - you'll use the sun dried tomatoes and some of the oil in the jar so make sure to grab the right kind because some sun dried tomatoes do not come with oil
- lemon - you'll need both the lemon juice and lemon zest
- fresh garlic cloves
- chicken broth
- heavy cream
- parmigiano reggiano cheese - this is the fresh parmigiano reggiano block of cheese sold near the deli, not the plastic green jar of parmesan (fake parm)
- fresh spinach
Why You Will Love This Dinner
The sun-dried tomato cream sauce is, in and of itself, the show stopper. Juicy sun-dried tomatoes, a bit of sun-dried tomato oil, lemon zest and lemon juice are what gives it all it's heavenly flavor.
A bit of heavy cream makes it really creamy and indulgent.
Sun-dried tomatoes are amazing. Like in this kosmic karma pizza.
The chicken is seasoned with both thyme and basil. Which is a beautiful compliment to the sun-dried tomatoes.
Add a bit of fresh spinach for some greens.
And the best part? It's takes under an hour to make!
What Are Sun-Dried Tomatoes?
Sun-dried tomatoes are exactly as they sound.
Tomatoes that have been dried out in the sun.
Sun-dried tomatoes are actually very healthy and good for you!
And did you know that spinach is one of the healthiest foods to eat? I always remind my kids of how strong it made Popeye, works like a charm.
If you've never tasted a sun-dried tomato it is a bit tart and a bit sweet. They have a lot more flavor than a regular tomato.
You can buy them a few different ways. For this recipe, I prefer the sun-dried tomatoes that come in a jar and are packed with oil. You will use a bit of the oil in the recipe, it has a really yummy flavor!
How To Make Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
Start by rubbing the dried herbs, salt and pepper all over the chicken. And you can use chicken thighs or chicken breast, it doesn't matter which one.
Then you'll cook them in a pan with a bit of olive oil, turning to cook each side.
If you have a thicker cut of chicken, putting the lid on and cooking on a lower temperature will help to cook the chicken throughout but make sure it's no longer pink before using it.
Cook your pasta.
To make the sun-dried tomato mixture it's easiest to use a food processor, if you don't have one then good old elbow grease and chopping it up will work.
You want to mix together the sun-dried tomatoes, some oil from the jar, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined.
Heat up some garlic and butter in your pan and then add the sun-dried tomato mixture you just made. Cook this a bit.
Then add in the chicken broth and cream, let it boil a bit before adding parmesan cheese. Opt for fresh grated parmesan.
Add the chicken back to the pan and the spinach. Cover it and let it steam, on a low temperature. Now your pasta, toss everything together. And you don't have to add the chicken back in at that last step, only if you want to. I like to chop it up first then put it in.
More Pasta Recipes
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- 20 Minute Creamy Pumpkin Ravioli
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- World's Best Beef Stroganoff
- Stovetop Gnocchi Lasagna
- Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
- Lemon Basil Chicken Pasta
- 1 lb chicken thighs or chicken breast
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 12 oz dry pasta
- 4 oz sun dried tomatoes in a jar
- 1 tsp sun-dried tomato oil from the jar
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ c chicken broth
- ¾ c heavy cream
- ½ c parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
- Handful of fresh spinach
- Mix together the salt, pepper, dried thyme and dried basil and rub it all over the chicken
- Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat
- Add the chicken, flip once the first side is golden brown
- Continue cooking, turn heat down to med/low and cover until chicken is cooked through
- Meanwhile cook the pasta per package instruction in salted water (reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining) and set aside until later
- Using a food processor pulse together the sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tsp of the oil from the jar, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tsp lemon zest
- Take the chicken out of the pan
- Melt the butter in the pan
- Add the minced garlic and sun-dried tomato mixture, cook for 2-3 minutes
- Whisk in the chicken broth and heavy cream, bring this to a boil
- Add the fresh parmesan cheese and reduce heat to low, continue to whisk
- Add a big handful of fresh spinach, cover and simmer on low until the sauce has thickened
- Dump in the pasta and mix everything together
- Chop up the chicken and return it to the pan
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 689Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 792mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 38g
This information comes from online calculators. Although moderncrumb.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.