This 30-minute creamy Tuscan chicken pasta recipe makes a delicious and comforting meal with tender chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. It’s a quick and easy fix for weeknight dinners using simple ingredients that give you big Italian-inspired flavors.
Pair your favorite pasta with this creamy Tuscan chicken pasta recipe and smother it in a rich and creamy sauce made from butter, garlic, cream and Parmesan cheese. This pasta has the bright and bold flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and the freshness of spinach – so it’s perfect for spring and summer but also great as cold-weather comfort food.
There are plenty of ways to customize this meal to your liking. If you’re not a fan of spinach, use asparagus spears instead. Add some zest with a squeeze of lemon juice or some spice with red pepper flakes.
Try this creamy sun-dried tomato and spinach pasta for a meatless version of Tuscan chicken pasta. If you love pasta, I think you’ll like some spinach and three cheese manicotti, lasagna roll-ups, chicken Alfredo pasta bake, or this comforting spinach and artichoke ravioli bake.
Ingredients in Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
CREAMY TUSCAN CHICKEN PASTA RECIPE TIPS
- Skillet – You will need at least a 12″ skillet to fit all the ingredients in comfortably.
- Chicken – Sear until the chicken’s internal temperature reads 165°F on an instant-read thermometer or the chicken is no longer pink. The recipe cooks the whole chicken breast and then slices it. You can simplify this step by cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces and pan-searing them instead. Feel free to substitute chicken breasts with boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders.
After cooking, the chicken will have some plate juices once it’s set aside and allowed to rest. Keep the plate juices and add them to the sauce later for more flavor.
- Sautéing in sun-dried oil – You can use this instead of olive oil while cooking the chicken for more flavor.
- Deglazing – You can deglaze the pan with a splash of dry white wine after sauteeing the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Use a dry white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc since you want the wine to add acidity and not sweetness
Whether you’re deglazing the pan with wine or heavy cream, scrape up the browned stuck-on bits from the bottom of the pan and mix it in with the sauce. They will color the sauce a little and add a ton of flavor.
- Garlic – I used fresh garlic in the recipe but you can substitute it with some garlic powder. I highly recommend sticking with fresh garlic though for the best flavor.
- Sun-dried tomatoes – I used the California brand of julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil to make the chopping a whole lot easier. You can use some of this oil while searing the chicken to give it a hint of sun-dried tomato flavor. The 4 oz. used in the recipe is about 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes.
- Pasta – I used penne pasta but any kind of tube-type pasta will work just as well. You can also use bowties, fusilli, corkscrews, shells, elbows, or long pasta like spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine and angel hair.
- Parmesan cheese – Try using freshly grated Parmesan cheese because the pre-shredded stuff usually has some chemicals that affect the way they melt into the sauce. I’ve found the packaged stuff usually results in a lumpier sauce, so I usually buy a block of Parmesan and grate it myself using a microplane or box grater.
If you’re short on time, you can get some pre-packaged grated Parmesan cheese from the store – my go-to brand is BelGioioso. It won’t melt as smoothly as freshly grated Parmesan but it’s still pretty decent.
- Leftovers and reheating – The pasta will keep up to 3-4 days in the fridge. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add some milk and/or more Parmesan cheese while reheating to loosen the sauce and bring back some creaminess.
- Add white wine – Deglaze the pan with some dry white wine to add more flavor.
- Substitute spinach – Try substituting spinach with asparagus spears or fresh basil.
- Add some zest – Add more vibrant flavors with some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Add some spice – Kick up the heat with a few dashes of red pepper flakes.
- Garnish – Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley or basil.
What to Serve with Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Tuscan chicken pasta is a meal on its own but you can start with traditional Italian appetizers like warm, crusty bread with some dipping oil, homemade garlic bread, Parmesan garlic knots, or some cheesy garlic bread paired with marinara sauce.
And that’s about it. Happy eating and enjoy the food! Let me know how you liked it, what substitutions you made, or what you paired it with in the comments below!
This post was originally published on January 10, 2021 and updated on May 7, 2023.
MORE CREAMY RECIPES TO TRY
- Creamy Garlic Tuscan Shrimp
- Creamy Tuscan Sausage Pasta
- Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta
- Creamy Salmon Pasta with Spinach
- Creamy Sausage Pasta
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Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
This 30-minute creamy Tuscan chicken pasta recipe makes a delicious and comforting meal with tender chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach.
- 16 oz. penne pasta, cooked al dente
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil /oil from sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3–4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 5 oz.fresh baby spinach, about 4–5 cups tightly packed
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown and fully cooked, about 4-5 minutes per side.
- Remove chicken to a cutting board and cut them into slices or bite-sized pieces. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pot and saute sun-dried tomatoes and garlic.
- Reduce heat to medium and pour in the heavy cream and milk. Scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and stir to mix them in with the sauce. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil and slowly add in Parmesan cheese, stirring continuously until the cheese melts smoothly into the sauce.
- Season with 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Do a taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach and stir until the spinach wilts into the sauce.
- Add cooked pasta and chicken with plate juices back to the skillet, stir until well combined and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the chicken is warmed through.
- Dish and serve hot.
Add white wine – Deglaze the pan with some dry white wine to add more flavor.
Substitute spinach – Try substituting spinach with asparagus spears or fresh basil.
Add some zest – Add more vibrant flavors with some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Add some spice – Kick up the heat with a few dashes of red pepper flakes.
Garnish – Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley or basil.
- Scroll up to RECIPE TIPS for more useful tips, suggestions and ingredient substitutions.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
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