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Creamy Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato and Mozzarella Cream Sauce

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!  

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 579 kcal
Author Julia

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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:
  2. 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.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop cooking).
  4. 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.

  5. 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.
  6. Note: Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out of the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.  

Recipe Notes

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.

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Nutrition Facts
Creamy Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato and Mozzarella Cream Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 579 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 117mg 39%
Sodium 700mg 29%
Potassium 1626mg 46%
Total Carbohydrates 62g 21%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 12g
Protein 43g 86%
Vitamin A 16.2%
Vitamin C 16.6%
Calcium 25.8%
Iron 21.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.