This creamy Tuscan chicken pasta recipe features a delicious garlic parmesan cream sauce with sun dried tomatoes, spinach, and sauteed chicken. It also only takes 30 minutes, so it's a quick and easy option for busy weeknights!
Why this recipe works
Tuscan chicken penne is the perfect dinner package. This easy pasta recipe has a rich, creamy, satisfying pasta sauce, similar to an alfredo sauce. When you add in the chicken, garlic, parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomatoes you have something short of magic! And the spinach is a great way to sneak in some greens, but no one is going to be complaining about eating spinach tonight! It's a well rounded meal that covers all the food groups. So, let's get cooking!!!
- Olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Yellow onion
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Heavy whipping cream
- Chicken broth
- Fresh spinach
- Parmesan cheese
- Penne pasta
How to cook the chicken
I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken breasts when making Tuscan chicken pasta. I like to pound out my chicken to an even thickness so it cooks fast and evenly.
- To thin out your chicken breasts, place them between sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board and use a kitchen mallet to flatten them to a ½ to ¾ inch thickness.
- You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer, or even rotisserie chicken will work. Shrimp and salmon are awesome in this creamy Tuscan sauce too!
- After you have thinned out your chicken, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pan over medium high heat then add your chicken breasts. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.
If your chicken begins to burn, reduce the heat to medium. After cooking remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
How to make the garlic parmesan cream sauce
- After cooking the chicken, you'll use the same pan to cook the sauce. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and reduce heat to medium. Cook the onion for 2 to 3 minutes until softened then add the garlic and sun dried tomatoes and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
- Stir in the heavy whipping cream and chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits in the pan then bring to a low simmer. Gradually add the Parmesan cheese, working in batches, until it's all melted. Add the spinach and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the spinach is wilted and the sauce has thickened.
- While the sauce cooks, slice your chicken. Add the chicken and pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Season the creamy Tuscan chicken pasta with additional salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. Like most cream sauces this dish does not freeze well so I wouldn't recommend freezing.
To reheat your pasta add it to a saucepan with a splash of cream or chicken stock and heat over medium low heat until warmed through. Stir frequently to avoid the sauce breaking. If it does break it will usually come back together with additional stirring.
What’s a pasta dinner without wine? If you’re a red wine lover a nice Pinot Noir goes great with Tuscan Chicken pasta. If you prefer white wine you can’t go wrong with a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc!
Fresh spinach will work best in this recipe, but you can substitute frozen spinach if needed. To use frozen let it thaw completely, then wring out any excess moisture with a kitchen towel to avoid a watery sauce.
What to serve with Tuscan Chicken
This Tuscan pasta dish goes perfect with a simple, fresh Italian salad and a big batch of homemade garlic bread! For veggie options try this tasty roasted broccolini or a grilled vegetable platter.
Other delicious pasta recipes
- Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta
- Fettuccine Alfredo
- Chicken and Spinach Lasagna
- Oven Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Homemade Fresh Pasta
Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus additional for topping
- 16 oz penne or other pasta , cooked
- Cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to the package directions until al dente.
- Pound out the chicken breasts to an even ½-¾ inch thickness using a kitchen mallet or heavy skillet then season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil and the butter over medium high heat in a large pan then add the chicken. Cook on each side for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown and cooked through then remove the chicken and set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and reduce heat to medium. Cook the onion for 2 to 3 minutes until softened then add the garlic and sun dried tomatoes and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
- Stir in the cream and chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits from the pan then bring to a low simmer then gradually stir in the Parmesan cheese.
- After the cheese has melted add the spinach and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted and the sauce is thickened. While the sauce cooks slice the chicken.
- Add the pasta and sliced chicken to the pan and stir to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper then top with additional grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
* All nutrition information we provide are estimates based on third party calculators. We encourage you to calculate these on your own for accurate results.
Loved the recipe! As pictured, it doesn’t come out too saucey, I would double the cream and broth next time! But it was approved!
Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it, it's a favorite around my house.
I agree, I would double the sauce. If I was cooking for my grown kids, I’d add some red pepper flakes.Also, I didn’t use all of the pasta because I wanted more sauce, but again, doubling the sauce would do the trick. Excellent recipe!!