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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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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This recipe was originally published on February 24, 2017. It’s been tweaked to be even easier, tastier, and has new photos!