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Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
Sun Dried Tomato Pasta loaded with juicy, flavorful chicken bathed in creamy, sun-dried tomato, Parmesan, garlic, herb sauce on your table in 30 MINUTES!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
top view of Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with chicken, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes
Ingredients
CHICKEN
  • 2 medium chicken breasts (approx. 1 pound)sliced horizontally through the equator, pounded to an even thickness
  • 4cups warm water(optional for brine)
  • 1/4cup kosher salt(optional for brine)
  • 2 1/2tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoesdivided
  • 1/2tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
  • 1/4tsp EACH salt, pepper
PASTA
  • 1lb. cellentani or pasta of choice
  • 1tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes jar
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallotchopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oilrinsed, chopped into strips (1 heaping cup)
  • 4 garlic clovesminced
  • 1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1cup milk
  • 1/2cup heavy cream
  • 2teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 1teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2tsp EACH dried oregano, dried parsley
  • 1/4tsp EACH salt, pepper
  • 3/4cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2cups roughly chopped spinachoptional
GARNISH
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
CHICKEN BRINE (Optional for Juicier Chicken)
  1. Combine warm water and kosher salt together in a glass dish. Stir until the salt dissolves. Add chicken and let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes while you prep the rest of your ingredients (30 minutes is preferable.) Begin boiling water for pasta the last 5-10 minutes of brining so you can start cooking pasta when you start cooking chicken. Remove chicken from the brine, rinse in cold water, pat dry and lay on a flat surface.
PASTA
  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions in salted water. Remove 1 cup pasta water before draining. Toss pasta with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking. Set aside.
CHICKEN RUB
  1. Whisk together seasonings listed under “Chicken” in a medium bowl. Drizzle then rub tops of chicken evenly with 1/2 tablespoon sun dried tomato olive oil then rub with half of Chicken Seasonings. Flip chicken over and repeat using remaining Chicken Seasonings.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato olive oil in very large skillet with sides over medium high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 3-5 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and tent with foil, do not clean out pan. Wait until ready to serve to slice or chop chicken.
PASTA SAUCE
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato olive oil over medium-low heat in the same skillet. Add sun-dried tomatoes and shallots and sauté 3-4 minutes, until shallots are tender, scraping up any brown bits left from chicken. Add garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook an additional 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and cook while stirring for 1 minute (it will be thick).
  2. Turn heat to low then slowly whisk in chicken broth, milk, and heavy cream, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in chicken bouillon and spices then increase heat to medium high to bring sauce to a simmer. Simmer until thickened, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and stir in Parmesan cheese until melted, followed by mozzarella cheese until melted.
  3. Stir in pasta until well coated followed by spinach. Add additional reserved pasta water a little at a time if needed to reach desired consistency. Add sliced or chopped chicken and stir into pasta. Garnish with additional Parmesan if desired.
  4. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes to taste. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese and basil if desired.
Recipe Notes

TIPS AND TRICKS for Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken

  • Do NOT use table salt in your brining solution, only kosher salt. Table salt will make your chicken too salty.
  • You don’t have to brine your chicken, see my shortcut chicken alternatives below.
  • You can substitute ground turkey or beef for the chicken and use the same chicken seasonings.
  • You can use a different pasta but I suggest something with ridges so the sauce wills stick to it.
  • You can substitute the shallot with yellow onion.
  • Purchase sun-dried tomatoes packed in OIL.
  • Rinse tomatoes very well so your pasta isn’t oily.  You can chop your sun-dried tomatoes smaller instead of strips if you prefer.
  • Use more or less sun-dried tomatoes depending on desired taste.
  • If you don’t have enough sun dried tomato olive oil when called for, then use regular olive oil.
  • Use your favorite veggies such as mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes, zucchini, bell peppers, etc.
  • Only use freshly grated Parmesan and mozzarella as packaged cheeses do not melt very well.

SHORTCUT CHICKEN

There are three options for shortcut chicken in your Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta if you choose not to brine your chicken breasts:

  • Use chicken thighs. Due to their higher fat content, chicken thighs are inherently juicer than chicken breasts and harder to overcook. Skip the brine and go straight to the chicken rub. Chicken thighs will cook faster than chicken breasts so adjust cooking time accordingly.
  • Use chopped chicken breasts. Chop your chicken breasts up before you cook them.  Add raw chopped chicken to a large bowl and add the oil and seasonings.  Toss to coat.  Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat, add chicken and cook chicken just until cooked through.  Remove to a plate then stir into pasta once done.
  • Use rotisserie chicken. Add shredded rotisserie chicken to a large bowl.  Add seasonings and toss to coat.  Stir into pasta once done.

*LIGHTER PASTA

If you would like to omit the heavy cream, increase the flour to 1/4 cup, increase milk to 1 1/2 cups and omit heavy cream.  This is the same method I used in my Lighter Margherita Pasta with excellent results.

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