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5 from 2 votes

Chicken Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pasta

Creamy and rich, this pasta dish really satisfies!
Course: Entree, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Author: The Chunky Chef


  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 oz jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil 3-4
  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 8 oz penne pasta 1/2 a box
  • 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp fresh basil minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes add more to taste
  • 1/2 - 1 cup pasta water reserved


  • Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and boil pasta until al dente.
  • Drain pasta (reserving about a cup of pasta water), rinse with cold water to stop the cooking
  • process, and toss lightly with olive oil.
  • Drain sun-dried tomatoes, reserving the oil they were packed in (TONS of flavor there!). Heat
  • a large pan over high heat, saute garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in the oil from the sun-dried
  • tomato jar for 1 minute. Garlic should be fragrant.
  • Remove tomatoes from the pan, leaving the oil and garlic. Sprinkle chicken tenders with salt
  • and paprika. Add chicken to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove pan
  • from heat.
  • Slice sun-dried tomatoes into small strips and add back to the pan with the chicken and garlic.
  • Add in half and half and mozzarella, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring
  • frequently, until cheese has melted into a creamy sauce.
  • The sauce will be super thick - that's okay, we have our reserved pasta water to thin it out.
  • Add pasta to the pan, gently tossing it all together. Add red pepper flakes and basil, stir.
  • Add pasta water, a little at a time, until the sauce thins out a little and reaches your desired
  • consistency. Season pasta with a little salt and more red pepper if desired. Simmer for 2
  • minutes. Serve!


If you'd like to make this dish even faster to put together, cook your pasta earlier in the day. Just drain, rinse with cold water, toss with olive oil and place in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator. Just don't forget to reserve that pasta water!!