This super quick and easy Creamy Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce is the perfect fast weeknight dinner for the whole family! This meal can be prepped, cooked, and ready to go in under 30 minutes and the flavor is incredible. You won’t believe how easy it is to make something so delicious.
Sun Dried Tomato Pasta – The EASY Way!
Pasta is the ultimate family meal. It is filling, is easy to elevate in flavors, and can be thrown together so quickly! Not only all that, but I am fairly certain that pasta is my family’s favorite food group (yes, it is a food group at our house!)
Best part?! This dish only requires 1 pan and 1 pot to make. Less time spent cooking and cleaning and more time spent enjoying your family. For this creamy sun dried tomato pasta, I load it up with tasty cream sauce and filling chicken to keep folks full and happy through all of the activities and events we have.
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Family-friendly and Fancy– It doesn’t get more win-win than this! Pasta is maybe the ultimate kid-friendly food. Combined with a cream sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil, this dish is sophisticated enough to even serve to company!
- Filling– With pasta and protein all in one pan, this meal can stand on its own without needing lots of extras or side dishes.
- 1 pot + 1 pan– No need for a bunch of dishes! This meal comes together with just a pot to cook the pasta and a large pan to do everything else!
- Homemade, made easy! Pasta sauce sounds more like something you buy at the store than something you make from scratch… until you meet this sauce! You won’t believe how crazy easy it is to make the sauce so delicious!
- Incredibly quick – This dish is prepped and made all in under 30 minutes, talk about fast for a whole meal on the table!
What to Serve with Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
This dish is a complete meal and is great on its own, but if you want to spread out the meal, here are a few side dish ideas.
Since this dish has classic Italian flavors, it will pair well with many of your favorite Italian side dishes. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Garlic Bread– This is our family go-to recipe!
- Side Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette– this dressing takes less than 5 minutes to make and I get asked for the recipe EVERY time!
- Pesto Roasted Veggies– quick and classic recipe with amazing flavor!
- Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad– Simple and delicious!
- Antipasto Salad– A great way to add extra protein to the meal
- Roasted Asparagus– this is great when you want to feel fancy (but make dinner fast!)
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well-rounded dinner.
This chicken pasta with sun dried tomatoes recipe is as simple as promised! Just 25 minutes for a family-friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
For the Chicken
- Chicken breast – I use boneless, skinless chicken breast in this recipe. You can also substitute other cuts of boneless chicken such as chicken thighs or chicken tenderloins. If you use a different cut of chicken, just be sure to cut or pound the chicken very thin.
- Olive oil
- Seasonings– We use a blend of garlic powder, salt, and pepper to season the chicken and the sauce.
For the Sauce
- Penne pasta– I like penne because it is especially kid-friendly, but you can use almost any variety of pasta you like or have on hand with great results in this recipe. Spaghetti, fettuccini, linguini, or even rotini will all work well. Just use what you have on hand.
- Butter – Salted or unsalted will work just fine. You won’t notice a difference in taste either way.
- Flour – Flour is used to make a rue, which is used as a thickener for the sauce.
- Garlic cloves – I prefer fresh for the best flavor, but you can use jarred garlic in a pinch.
- Chicken Broth – Chicken broth is a great way to pack in more flavor with minimal work. I like to use reduced sodium and then add salt to taste. Vegetable broth can also be substituted if preferred.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes – I use sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. If you use sun-dried tomatoes that are not in oil, you may want to let them simmer in the sauce a bit longer to make sure they have enough time to plump back up and really flavor the sauce.
- Heavy Cream – Heavy cream works best in this recipe. Half and half can work if you do it very carefully, but it rarely combines as smoothly and does not make the sauce as rich and creamy as real cream does.
- Parmesan – Try to use a good quality Romano cheese that is grated (not shredded.) This adds a rich nutty flavor and helps to thicken the sauce.
- Basil – Fresh basil is my favorite way to brighten any dish! Simply tear some leave up and toss them into the sauce at the end.
- Thin chicken is best – In order to get perfectly juicy chicken that cooks quickly, use thin cutlets. I like to just buy thin ones, but you could cut or pound to ensure they are thin enough.
- Use a large pan – The large pan not only helps to make sure you can fit everything in one pan, but when cooking the chicken you want to make sure you are not crowding the chicken. This allows air to circulate between the chicken and thus cook on all sides. Also be sure to cook in one even layer.
- Get the perfect sear– Getting the perfect sear on the outside of your chicken isn’t hard, you just have to know a couple of things!
- You need a HOT pan! This will be medium-high to high heat on most stovetops.
- Make sure the pan AND the oil are hot before adding the chicken
- Don’t move the chicken. Allow it to sit for 1-2 minutes before you lift and flip it. This allows it to form that coveted caramelization on the outside.
- Flash cook the garlic – When adding the garlic, only cook for no more than a minute. If it is cooked any longer, it can cause the sauce to be bitter if it burns.
- Slowly add cream – Any time you add cream sauce, you have to add it slowly otherwise you run the risk of it curdling and this is true for this sun dried tomato pasta sauce as well. If the cold cream is added too fast, the fast temperature change will cause the sauce to separate and/or curdle.
- Drain the tomatoes – Using sun-dried tomatoes in oil evoke a lot of flavors but the oil should not be used. Simply drain the oil or pluck the tomato from the jar and dice it.
- Customize – I like to use a 16-ounce box of pasta, but if you like really saucy pasta, you can use a 12 or 8 oz box. You can also easily cut the entire recipe in half.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Pre-cook the chicken– The chicken can be cooked in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days ahead of making the recipe.
- Pre-make the sauce– The sauce can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days ahead of making the recipe.
If you love this sun dried tomato pasta with chicken recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Pasta with spinach and sun dried tomatoes – This is one of my favorite ways to sneak in veggies! When mixing the sauce and the pasta, simply add 1 to 2 cups of spinach and mix in until wilted.
- Sun dried tomato shrimp pasta – This is a super simple variation that is even a little faster. Just replace the chicken with shrimp and cook for a few minutes on each side until light pink in color.
- Artichoke sun dried tomato pasta – Artichoke is another Italian classic! To add in artichokes, simply chop canned artichokes and add into the sauce when you are mixing everything together.
Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making this chicken pasta, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate them into meal-sized portions and then place them in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
More Easy Pasta Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Easy Dinner recipes here, or see a few of our reader’s favorite recipes below.
- Italian Sausage Tortellini
- Pizza Ravioli Lasagna
- Cajun Chicken Pasta (Or Cajun Chicken Alfredo Zoodles)
- Brown Butter Spinach Tortellini
- Easy Cheeseburger Pasta
- Cheater Alfredo Sauce
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Chicken Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
For the Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken breast cut into thin cutlets
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or more as needed
For the Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce
- 16 ounces penne pasta uncooked
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 6 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 8 ounces Sun dried tomatoes chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Cook the pasta per package directions.
- Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over medium heat. While it is heating season the chicken with the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken and let cook without moving for 3-4 minutes. Then flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until the chicken has reached 165˚F internal temperature. Remove from skillet and set aside.Note: For best results, cook the chicken in a single layer without over crowding the pan. If you have too much chicken, cook the chicken in 2-3 batches by repeating this process.
- Reduce heat to low and add the butter to the skillet, once melted, add the flour and mix together. Add the garlic and cook 30-60 seconds.Mix in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a simmer to thicken.
- Once thickened, slowly stir in the cream. Then add the salt, parmesan, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh basil.Toss the drained pasta with the sauce and stir to coat. Add chicken to the top Garnish with additional basil or parmesan if desired. Enjoy!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)