This 30-minute Tuscan chicken pasta is easy to make and full of flavor! You'll love the amazing creamy sauce with a classic trio of sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and spinach in this restaurant-quality meal.
Craving the chicken but not pasta? Check out my Creamy Tuscan Chicken recipe instead.
Why you'll love it
This creamy Tuscan pasta recipe is so tasty, comes together fast, and isn't complicated at all. In other words, my kinda pasta dish! It's the ideal pasta recipe for busy weeknights. It also happens to be very elegant and is guaranteed to impress your guests.
I can't even begin to tell you how delicious the sauce is. I mean, who doesn't love the classic Tuscan-inspired flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and basil? They're even better in a rich and garlicky cream sauce! All of this in just 30 minutes? Yes please.
What you'll need
- Pasta - I prefer a longer pasta like linguini, but any shape is great
- Chicken - we're using chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- Olive oil - for pan frying the chicken until it's golden
- Garlic powder - along with salt & pepper, garlic powder adds a wonderful savory base to the chicken
- Italian seasoning - it's a classic dried herb blend that you'll find in a jar in the spice aisle of your grocery store
- Smoked paprika - my secret ingredient to amp up flavor
- Chicken broth - adds another layer to the sauce. Feel free to sub it with a good dry white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.
- Garlic cloves - I suggest 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, but we all know you measure garlic with your heart
- Dijon mustard - don't omit this! It gives a fantastic savory depth of flavor, and you can't taste the mustard itself. It's one of my favorite cooking hacks to make sauces incredible.
- Flour - to thicken the sauce
- Lemon juice - a burst of brightness and acidity
- Sun-dried tomatoes - they're a staple in Tuscan-inspired recipes
- Cream - use whipping/heavy cream to get that rich, luxurious texture
- Spinach - baby spinach perfectly complements the sun-dried tomatoes
- Basil - fresh basil is another hallmark ingredient in Tuscan recipes
- Parmesan - pile on as much fresh parm as you like!
- You don't ever have to be in doubt about whether chicken is cooked with an instant read meat thermometer. It's inexpensive, and it takes away the worry of underdone or overdone chicken.
How to make Tuscan chicken pasta
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Boil water and cook your pasta until al dente. In a skillet, add the chicken along with the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, and salt & pepper. Pan fry until golden, about four minutes. Transfer to a plate.
To the skillet add the chicken broth, garlic, Dijon mustard, flour, and lemon juice. Whisk until combined. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cream to the pan and simmer for two minutes.
Return the chicken to the skillet and finish cooking it. Add in the spinach and basil, and simmer until the spinach is wilted. Toss with the pasta, and serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese!
Substitutions and variations
- If you're not keen on sun-dried tomatoes, you could chop up a medium fresh tomato instead. Keep in mind that the sauce may end up a little thinner. You can reduce it for longer if necessary.
- I don't recommend substituting the heavy cream for anything else. It really enhances the flavor and richness, and using something with a lower fat content could cause the sauce to curdle.
What to serve with Tuscan chicken pasta
- It's fairly hearty, so I'd recommend breadsticks or a dinner roll. You could also make it extra special with Extra Cheesy Garlic Bread for the table.
- A side salad pairs well too. My Creamy Balsamic Dressing or Homemade Italian Dressing (Olive Garden style) are great options.
Leftovers and storage
- This pasta will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. I wouldn't freeze it since cream sauces generally don't fare well in the freezer.
- Reheat in a covered saucepan over a low heat so that the sauce doesn't separate.
- Boil fresh pasta if you can, and add in a splash of cream to revive it if needed.
I hope you will love this creamy sun-dried tomato pasta with chicken as much as I do! Questions? Let me know in the comments below.
Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta
- 2 chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1-2 cups baby spinach (loosely packed)
- Small handful fresh basil chopped finely
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
- Boil a salted pot of water and cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, add the chicken pieces to a skillet, along with the olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken with the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, and salt & pepper. Give it a good stir and cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes, until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Add the chicken broth, garlic, Dijon mustard, flour, and lemon juice to the pan. Stir/whisk until well combined and let it bubble for a minute or so.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cream to the pan. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken back into the pan. Cook for another few minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickned some more (be careful not to overcook).
- Stir in the basil and spinach. Let it cook for a minute or so until it wilts. Give the sauce a taste and season with extra salt & pepper if needed.
- Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce. Serve immediately with some freshly grated parmesan.
- I used the julienned sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in oil (I drain them prior to adding them to the sauce).
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
This recipe was originally published on February 24, 2017. It's been tweaked to be even easier, tastier, and has new photos!
Can this be frozen? I need a chicken pasta dish to cook ahead of time for 16 people. We have a 10 hour plus drive to make. Should the chicken and pasta be kept separate until time to serve? Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Hi! I wouldn't freeze it. Please see the "leftovers & storage" section of the post. Yes, I would definitely boil up fresh pasta with pretty much any hot pasta dish if at all possible. I'm a bit worried about taking this on a 10 hour drive. I would ensure you can store it at a safe (cold) temperature. Creamy sauces also don't always reheat so well... I would definitely do a test run of reheating it to ensure you nail the heat/timing so the sauce doesn't separate and the chicken doesn't dry out. The spinach and basil can really wilt and not look as pretty as freshly made. Just a suggestion - perhaps consider making a different pasta dish for this occasion? My baked ziti has some make-ahead tips in the blog post: https://bit.ly/41nlOIL - I think as long as you're able to keep it sufficiently cool on the drive, you may have better luck with this one. You could make it in two 9x13 pans and that should feed everyone as long as there's some side dishes.
If I don’t have Dijon can I use regular mustard or just skip the mustard?
Thank you 😊
Hi! I'd probably skip it in this case. Hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂
Terry Latva says
This is actually my second time making this recipe I use wine instead of the chicken broth, And make the recipe as written other than I add more grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce mixture before adding the chicken back to the pan we love it extra cheesy and it is delicious!!
I'm so happy it's a new favorite, Terry! 😀
I was craving a fresh pasta with a creamy sauce that wasn’t too heavy. I made this tonight for my husband and myself and we really enjoyed it. The sauce wasn’t too thick but was just creamy enough. It was also very easy to make and didn’t take long. Would be a good weeknight meal if you’re pressed for time. The only substitution I made was I added smoked Sun-dried tomatoes because that’s what my instacart driver got. It added a nice flavor to the sauce combined with the smoked paprika on the chicken.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Loved it. I used leftover chicken breast. Was very good.
I'm thrilled to hear that, Diane!
Karen S says
I’ve just been put on a low sodium diet. Any ideas how I can cut down on sodium. I’ve made this recipe twice in the past and loved it. I desperately need a way to decrease sodium. Maybe using the wine vs broth and I use Dash vs salt. I know park is high in sodium but I think it’s a must for this recipe! It’s sooo good!!!
Hi! Yes, I would use either wine or low-sodium broth and either don't add extra salt or use a sub like Dash.
Tom Eaton says
Instead of chicken breasts I cut up chicken tenders. It's a small time saver and the pieces are more uniform. Great recipe!
Wow, this recipe was so decadent and flavorful! The dijon and lemon really make this sauce pop. I will definitely be making again! It's early in the morning and I'm already feeling excited to have the leftovers for lunch haha.
I did add some caramelized onions and mushrooms, and increased the sauce amount a bit so there was enough to cover the add ins.
I'm so happy you enjoyed it!! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!!
This is absolutely my favorite pasta recipe! The flavor was incredible! The only this I changed was 1/4 cup less cream and 1/4 more broth. So easy to make and everyone loved it!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Wonderful to hear, Karyn 🙂
We used the white wine, tossed in some mushrooms, garlic and red onion. For tomatoes, we used our home-done oven roasted “tomato bombs”. (From our garden, split cherry tom’s with home-grown basil and garlic - oven roasted in olive oil). Added a wee bit of chicken “Better Than Bullion”.
Thanks for a great recipe!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I love your twist!
I don’t have any whipping cream, but I do have some cool whip. Do you think it would work?
Hi Jenny! So... I haven't had Cool Whip in years, but I think there might be added sugar in it, so that would be a no go. I'm also concerned that the whipped texture is achieved by using oil (not just cream), so it might end up a separated mess if you try to cook it in a savory recipe (like instead of adding it to a dessert in its whipped form). I think waiting til you can buy whipping cream (or heavy cream) is probably the best bet so you don't end up wasting ingredients.
Absolutely delicious recipe, loved by everyone in my home. They were looking for a chicken fettuccine alfredo, and I wanted to make something which stuck to those roots while bringing a more well-rounded punch of flavor to really make the dish sing.
This was an absolute success, and I thank you for the recipe.
You're very welcome!! I'm happy that you all enjoyed it. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know, Gregg!
Amazing and hubby loved it too!
Loved this recipe! I added fresh garlic, shallots and mushrooms to take it up a notch!
So glad you liked it!! 🙂
All time favourite recipe! This is a go-to for me. My husband absolutely loves it as well. So easy and the best flavours. Good with or without chicken. I prefer it with chicken broth but tried with wine tonight and my husband preferred it that way. Amazing either way!!!
Yay!! That makes me so happy! 🙂 XO
Marie ary says
can you give nutritional info? Calories etc.?
Just added it for you. One serving includes 2 ounces of uncooked pasta. Keep in mind though that these are only estimates, and it could be off (I just plug it into a program and it pulls values from a database). So, if you're asking for medical reasons, it's probably best to calculate the info yourself by weighing the actual ingredients you're using.
This was delicious! I may have cooked the sauce down a little too much because I added the noodles and it really absorbed the sauce. Next time, I won’t do that, but remaking a little more sauce tonight to have it for left overs because it was so good.
I'm so happy you liked it, Angie!! Yup, sounds like you did cook the sauce down, but that's ok... I'm so glad it was still tasty!
Gregg Crosby says
Really delicious recipe that comes together quick and never disappoints! Thank you.
You're very welcome!
This is the best Tuscan Chicken I have ever had! I liberally seasoned the chicken instead of measuring out the individual spices. Good quality smoked paprika really makes this dish.
That's awesome!! I'm so glad you liked it, Andrea!
Nancy Van Cauwenbergh says
We loved it but I dit upgrade the seasoning al little bit because we like lots of flavors - used more spinach (because we love it) and let the pasta sit in the pan for 3 min so it could absorb the rich sauce better 😋.
Definitely one to keep
Nancy ( Antwerp - Belgium)
As we say in Dutch: lekker 😁😋
So glad you enjoyed it!! 🙂 Thanks, Nancy!
I found this recipe yesterday and decided to make it tonight. I had no cream (and under restrictions on shopping at the moment no chance of getting it) so I used greek yoghurt ( a mix of thick and thin) and I had no spinach so I removed the spinach from a bag of mixed lettuce, which always has too much in it. It was really tasty and I will definately making again. Oh and I made my own pasta tagliatelli. (needs must)
I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Catherine!! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!
Kelly Lane says
Made this tonight and it was absolutely fantastic! Your cooking style is right up my alley And I have made and loved at least 15 of your recipes. Thank you for your inspiration and all the incredible recipes. Forever gratefull. My friends and family think I am an amazing cook and a lot of that is because of you!
Aww I'm so happy to hear that you're enjoying so many of the recipes! 🙂 XO
You never disappoint! I've been eyeing this recipe for a few weeks now, and finally made it tonight. Another keeper! I'm such a picky eater, so it's so nice to find recipes that I'm excited to eat.
I did overcook the chicken, even though you warned me not to. Will do better next time, I promise. I hate sun-dried tomatoes, so I substituted a cup of grape tomatoes cut in half. Added 2 cups of spinach instead of one. I liked the ratio. Hubby LOVED it. I forgot to offer him the fresh parm on top, he says yes that would have been great. Definitely for next time.
Have I told you lately I'm so happy I found your blog? LOL Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I'm so glad you liked it!! Haha you'll get the chicken right soon. 😉
Can I use half and half instead of heavy cream? Love your recipes😊
Hi Lynn! Thank you! 🙂 So, I don't recommend it. I do explain the the blog post why not... basically do it at your own discretion as it may not turn out the same.
Kayleen White says
Made this for my boyfriend last night, he was very impressed. Will definitely make again!
So happy you enjoyed it! 🙂
Really tasty, hubby and I enjoyed it massively! We used a low fat double cream which was still lovely and rich, and helped me feel less guilty 😂
Hahaha sounds good to me! So glad you two liked it!
Okay, so I cheated - I took a short cut and used a rotisserie chicken.... my husband and son said it was restaurant worthy! Tonight I’ll follow the directions and use the cutlets and blow their minds 🤯. I think I’ll even double the sauce.
That is awesome... so happy it worked out, Lisa!! Let me know how it goes tonight!
I just came across your blog today and I’m so excited because your style of cooking and flavor profiles are exactly what I like. This was the first recipe I decided to try today and it was amazing. I substituted mushrooms for the chicken to make it vegetarian and it turned out great. Can’t wait to try more recipes from you!
So happy you found me!! 🙂
Really delicious. I used half and half. Thank you for a great recipe!
You are very welcome, Susan!
I work at this restaurant here in Sweden and we wanted to try i new warming dish, And then i found you and this amazing recipe!!!
OMG! this dish sold out after 1 hour! We will def continue making this one every friday!
Thank you 😀
I'm glad it's a hit! If your customers want to make it at home, please send them to my blog. 🙂
I made this for dinner tonight and it was super tasty! I’m not a fan of broth or wine so I just substituted it with some water and extra cream and loved it!
I am so pleased to hear that, Kayla!
By far the best pasta dish I have ever made!!!!
I made this with fresh orecchiette pasta which scooped up the sauce so well, and used normal cream which made it super light and delicious. i will now forevermore be using this recipe to impress friends!
I am so happy to hear that, Josie! Thanks for your sweet comment. 🙂
Tried this last night really goodmorning we love it.
I made this last night! It was so good. My husband said it was a 9:)
Awesome!! I'll take a 9 haha 😉
Looks delicious! To make it healthier, can I substitute whole milk for the heavy cream?
Hi! You could try. I haven’t tested it, but the sauce will be thinner. Let me
Know how it goes ☺️
This pasta was so tasty! I had half and half on hand so I used it instead of the heavy cream, but followed the rest of the recipe exactly. This one is a keeper, can't wait to make it again, thanks!
Excellent, so happy you liked it! Thanks for letting me know!
I made this dish last weekend and will be making it again this weekend - so simply and so tasty!! I was looking for a sun dried tomato pasta recipe and this fit the bill - just delicious!
So happy you liked it!!
Kay | The Frizzy Baker says
This looks so ridiculously good! Think I might give it a go this weekend!
Thanks, Kay! Let me know if you do. ☺️