Tuscan Chicken Pasta is a delicious easy dinner that comes together in 30 minutes on the stovetop. Your family will love the rich flavors of this fast dinner.
The other day a friend shared with me how similar her toddler’s sense of humor is to her’s and how much laughing they do. It occurred to me in that moment, that my kids really do have a similar sense of humor to me too. They can make me laugh harder than almost anyone.
It is probably one of the reasons why I love family dinner time so much. The older they get, the more detailed our conversations get, and the more laughter there is – often at our expense.
The joy I feel coming together around a delicious dinner feels palpable. It is one of the many things I love about cooking. And this Tuscan Chicken Pasta is just the fast easy dinner to bring your family together too.
How to Make Tuscan Chicken Pasta
The recipe instructions for this are long, but don’t let them intimidate you. They are detailed, but this is a simple recipe.
- Cook the pasta (see notes on that below).
- Pound your chicken thin, season it with Italian Seasoning, and saute it for four minutes on each side.
- Remove the chicken and saute onions and bell peppers.
- Add flour to the pan to start a roux (more on that below) and then add in half and half.
- Finally wilt spinach and add in the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and the noodles.
While we do need to cook the pasta separately, this is almost a one pot recipe.
How to Cook Pasta
Noodles were probably one of the first things you learned to cook, but let’s go over a few things since there is nothing better than perfectly cooked pasta.
- Make sure you use enough water. For 8 ounces of pasta you should use 2 quarts or 8 cups.
- Bring the water to a roaring boil before you add the dry noodles. You should see BIG bubbles.
- Salt the water with about a teaspoon of kosher salt.
- Start a timer when you throw in the noodles and cook the pasta for the length of time noted on the box. The noodles should have a slight bite to them when you go to drain.
What is a Roux?
A key to this recipe is making a roux. A roux is a thickening agent used to make creamy sauces. It combines a fat and flour.
In this recipe we are using the oil that we saute the vegetables in. We are adding in all purpose flour in step #6. Then we slowly add in some half and half, bring it to a simmer, and cook it for 5 minutes.
This creates a dreamy sauce. When we add in the parmesan, it is almost like we have created an Alfredo sauce for this.
A lot of the flavor in this recipe comes from Italian Seasoning – a spice mix that you can find with the other spices and seasonings in your grocery store.
I also have a recipe for Homemade Italian Seasoning that I think you will really like. It is perfect to have on hand for this recipe or other great recipes like my Crockpot Italian Sandwiches or my Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers.
I love the sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe. I think their flavor really sets this recipe apart and brings in the Tuscan flavor.
Typically you can find sun-dried tomatoes as a completely dried product or in a jar soaked in oil. I recommend using the oil packed tomatoes. Make sure to remove them from their oil completely before measuring them.
What is Half and Half?
This recipe calls for Half and Half which is made from combining heavy cream and whole milk. It is literally half of each, hence the name. In the U.S. this is sold in the dairy section of the grocery store.
If you are overseas, you can make your own, or you can just use heavy cream. It will create a great rich sauce you will love.
Other Great Pasta Dinners
This recipe gets its foundation in my Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta – a favorite in our house.
I love this Beef and Noodles dish. It is creamy, flavorful, and easy to make.
My Broccoli Pasta is a recipe I grew up with, and it’s simplicity will delight you!
If you make this creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta recipe or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Skillet: This guy is my new best friend in the kitchen. We use it almost daily to make dinner.
Good Knives: Everyone needs really good knives that they can count on, and I just love these ones.
Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- 8 oz penne pasta cooked according to package instructions
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded thin (about 1/2 an inch thick)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning divided
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes removed from their oil and cut into smaller pieces
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half read what half and half is here
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning the chicken
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning the chicken
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan plus more for topping
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package instructions, making sure to season the water with salt and drain the pasta while it is still el dente.
- While waiting for the water to come to a boil and while the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt, peper, and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning. Add to the skillet. Cook for about four minutes on each side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet. Allow to cool a little and then slice.
- While waiting for the chicken to cool, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic, onion and bell pepper. Saute until the vegetables are softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour, then slowly add the chicken stock, scrapping up any browned bits on the bottom. Slowly add the half and half. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese and allow it melt completely. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper. Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the spinach, allowing it to wilt. Now stir in the sundried tomatoes, penne, and the chicken.
- Top with more Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley and enjoy!