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This tomato spinach chicken pasta recipe is delicious with tender pan-fried chicken nestled in a creamy tomato spinach sauce. It’s quick and easy for busy weeknights!

You may also enjoy my Tomato Spinach White Wine Chicken and Ranch Chicken Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Spinach.

creamy tomato spinach chicken pasta in a white bowl

Why you’ll love it

This 30-minute dish is perfect for when you want something tasty and comforting but also not heavy. I enjoy making it when I have late-night pasta cravings, too! You’ll also like how this tomato pasta with chicken is one of those recipes that tastes fancier than it is.

I use both tomato paste and tomato sauce in this recipe so that the creamy tomato sauce shines and the tomato flavor really pops. It comes out silky and goes so well with the strips of juicy chicken and fresh spinach. One kind reader said it’s “literally the best pasta sauce”!

What you’ll need

  • Pasta – I like how the sauce coats penne
  • Chicken – we’re pan-frying chicken breasts
  • Garlic powder – in addition to salt & pepper, this infuses flavor right into the chicken cutlets
  • Olive oil and butter – for pan frying
  • Garlic – pasta sauce always benefits from plenty of garlic!
  • Tomatoes – we’re using two pantry staples, tomato paste and tomato sauce (passata for my UK readers)
  • Heavy cream – a hint to make the sauce luxurious
  • Italian seasoning – my favorite blend of dried herbs that comes in a single jar
  • Spinach – for a pop of freshness
ingredients for tomato spinach chicken pasta in prep bowls and measuring cups

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • It can sometimes be hard to tell when chicken is done, and in a recipe like this, chicken can go from underdone to overdone very quickly. I use an instant read thermometer to easily tell when chicken is done. Chicken is safe to eat at 165F (keep in mind that the temperature will rise for a bit even after you stop cooking it).
  • I like using this Le Creuset skillet for this recipe.

How to make chicken spinach tomato pasta

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

pan frying chicken in a skillet and then making a tomato cream sauce

Cook the pasta al dente. Meanwhile, cut the chicken to make four thinner cutlets. Season with garlic powder and salt & pepper. In a skillet, heat up the butter and oil, then pan-fry the chicken until cooked through and transfer to a plate. Stir in the garlic, then add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, cream, and Italian seasoning.

adding chicken and spinach to a skillet with tomato sauce, then tossing with pasta

Stir until smooth, then let the sauce simmer and thicken. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into strips. Season the sauce with salt & pepper, and return the chicken to the skillet. Add in the spinach. Drain the pasta, toss with the sauce, and top with freshly grated parm if desired.

Substitutions and variations

  • Use whatever shape of pasta you prefer/you’ve got on hand.
  • There’s a good chance that the acidity of the tomatoes will curdle the sauce if you use something with a lower fat content than heavy cream, so I recommend sticking with it if you do give this recipe a try.
  • For a little kick, readers have added in crushed red pepper flakes or even Calabrian chilies.

What to serve with tomato chicken pasta

Leftovers and storage

  • Store leftovers of this pasta in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
  • Reheat over a low heat until warmed through.
  • I don’t recommend freezing leftovers of this pasta.
tomato spinach chicken pasta in a pot with cooked penne (ready to be tossed with pasta)

If you gave this chicken spinach tomato pasta try, please leave a star rating and review in the comments below! You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.

creamy tomato spinach chicken pasta in a white bowl
4.86 from 42 votes

Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

This tomato spinach chicken pasta recipe is delicious with tender pan-fried chicken nestled in a creamy tomato spinach sauce. It's quick and easy for busy weeknights!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving, to taste

Instructions 

  • Boil a large, salted pot of water for your pasta and cook it al dente according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, cut the chicken in half lengthwise so you've got 4 thinner pieces. Season both sides of each piece with the garlic powder and salt & pepper.
  • Add the butter and olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Let the pan heat up for a few minutes, then cook the chicken for about 5 minutes/side or until it's cooked through, then transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, cream, and Italian seasoning. Stir until it's nice and smooth. Reduce the heat to medium. Let the sauce cook for about 3-5 minutes (let it gently bubble and it will thicken up a bit).
  • Meanwhile, cut the chicken up into strips.
  • Season the sauce with some salt & pepper, then add in the chicken and spinach and let it warm through for a minute or two.
  • If the sauce gets too thick, add in a splash of the hot pasta water prior to draining it. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce (I add the pasta back to the pot it was cooked in and then pour the skillet contents into the pot). Serve immediately with parmesan cheese over top.

Notes

  • I don’t recommend subbing the cream for something else like half-and-half because the tomatoes are likely to curdle the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 589kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 141mg, Sodium: 772mg, Potassium: 1083mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 2736IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 80mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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121 Comments

  1. Sherry Reeves-Roche says:

    Made this when I was in a pinch for a quick dinner. It was fantastic. Will definitely make again!

    1. Natasha says:

      Excellent!! 😀

  2. Kelsey says:

    5 stars
    Just made this tonight. So good and easy! I added a little extra spices (onion powder and red pepper flakes).

    1. Natasha says:

      Excellent! Glad you liked it!

  3. Samantha says:

    5 stars
    It’s a favorite in our house. It’s so good, and easy to make.

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! Thank you! 😀

  4. Ann Hjemboe says:

    4 stars
    Added Calabrian chilis as we like spice. Really good and a great refrigerator clean out meal. Use what you have! We used grape tomatoes instead of tomato sauce. Yum.

    1. Natasha says:

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Jen says:

    I have no tomato sauce. Can I use a little good quality jarred tomato sauce instead?

    1. Natasha says:

      Should be fine! 🙂

  6. Claire Wood says:

    I live in the UK. When it says tomato paste and tomato sauce, what do I use? 🙂

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! For tomato sauce, passata should work. Tomato paste should be the same I think? I haven’t heard of it being different in the UK.

      1. Jon Grose says:

        Yes, I used passata for the tomato sauce and it worked fine. For the tomato paste I used tomato purée. 😋

  7. Beth Rodgers says:

    Can I grill the chicken instead??

    1. Natasha says:

      Sure!

  8. Lara says:

    2 stars
    Sorry but this was not good. The sauce tasted like cheap bottled Ragu. Not Natasha’s fault, just not my taste at all. Will not make again.

  9. Farnoosh says:

    I love your recipe.it was so delicious 💛💕

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you so much!!

  10. Samantha says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and easy recipe.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Samantha!