Creamy Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato and Mozzarella Sauce – comfort food dinner with the best homemade creamy pasta sauce!
Tired of boring, dried out chicken? Try this recipe, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to make chicken taste good. This is one of the most popular recipes on my site. It has been repinned about 4 million times on Pinterest, and has been viewed millions of times. It’s a quick, simple recipe that tastes good and looks great on a plate. The cream sauce for chicken is easy-to-make and makes the chicken very flavorful and not boring at all!
In this recipe, chicken breast tenderloins are sautéed with sun-dried tomatoes and penne pasta in a creamy mozzarella cheese pasta sauce. If you love pasta, if you love Italian-style food – you’ll LOVE this creamy chicken pasta recipe!
Ingredients you will need for this easy creamy chicken pasta:
3 garlic cloves
4 oz sun-dried tomatoes
1 lb chicken breast tenderloins
1 cup half and half
1 cup mozzarella cheese , shredded
8 oz penne pasta
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
How do you make creamy chicken pasta?
First, you sautee garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in the olive oil that comes from the jar with sun-dried tomatoes – you do it on high heat so that tomatoes get nicely charred. Then, you remove the tomatoes, and sautee chicken (salted and lightly covered in paprika, for color) on high heat. What you get are nicely charred sun-dried tomatoes and stove-top roasted chicken:
To that, you add half and half and mozzarella cheese, bring the mixture to boil, then simmer and stir to melt the cheese and form a creamy pasta sauce. Make sure to reserve some pasta water as you will DEFINITELY need it to add to the cream sauce for chicken to make it less thick and more smooth:
Final step is to add spices just enough for your taste: basil, crushed red pepper flakes, salt. This creamy chicken pasta has so much flavor from the sun-dried tomato and Mozzarella sauce with all the basil in it, too. Feel free to add more spices to make this cream sauce for chicken even more flavorful!
This easy Creamy Chicken Pasta will become of your favorite dinners! Made with sun-dried tomatoes and Mozzarella creamy pasta sauce, this recipe is pure comfort food!
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 4 oz sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 lb chicken breast tenderloins
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese , shredded
- 8 oz penne pasta (for gluten free, use gluten free brown rice pasta)
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water or more
- 1/4 teaspoon salt to taste
- Note: if using sun-dried tomatoes in oil (in a jar), make sure to drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil, before using them. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this drained oil for sauteing as described below:
- In a large pan, on high heat, sautee garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in 2 tablespoons of oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar - see note above) for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Remove sun-dried tomatoes from the pan, leaving the oil, and add chicken tenders, salted and lightly covered in paprika (for color) and cook on high heat for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop cooking).
Slice sun-dried tomatoes into smaller bits and add them back to the skillet with chicken. To make creamy pasta sauce, add half and half and cheese to the skillet, too, and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms. If the sauce is too thick - don't worry - you'll be adding some cooked pasta water soon. Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the cream sauce, and stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of basil, and at least 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Add about 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the cream sauce will be too thick (do not add all water at once - you might need less or more of it). This will water down the thickness of the cheese sauce and make it creamier. Immediately, season this creamy chicken pasta with salt and more red pepper flakes, to taste, if needed. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.
- Note: Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out of the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.
WHAT IS HALF AND HALF? To make 1 cup of half and half, combine 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
Want to make the same pasta with shrimp? Watch the video for Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Mozzarella Sauce:
If you enjoyed this creamy chicken pasta, you might like these recipes with different kinds of cream sauce for chicken: