Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes
Hey there and happy Tuesday! I’m catching up on some recipes I made last week and really liked so I wanted to share this Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes pasta dish. It’s not to be confused with a pasta dish with a similar name that I’ve already blogged about. I still make that one quite a bit, but this particular recipe caught my eye because it had sun dried tomatoes, which I really like.
Anyways, this is just another great rock star chicken and pasta dish. It’s friendly on the budget and was just something to really switch it up. We have pasta once a week in our house, and I hate eating the same thing twice so trying new dishes like this really keeps it fresh. Also, I used some Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta (because I got a really good deal on some at ShopRite), but you can use whatever you have around.
Also, I had just come into a bunch of basil (thanks, Dupee family!) so it went right into dinner that night. Our basil has kind of crapped out for the year (its just making those flowers now which makes the basil really bitter) so I was excited to get some really tender, sweet basil.
Has anyone had a ton of luck growing basil in their backyard? I LOVE having it around, but it seems to just go so bitter so fast. Any tips you guys want to share?
Read on for the recipe.
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small jar (3-4 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1 1/2 lb. chicken breast tenders
- paprika (just a little bit)
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 8 oz. penne pasta (I used Ronzoni veggie pasta)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (at least, add more to taste)
- 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water (or more)
- In a large pan, on high heat, sautee garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in 2 tablespoons of oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar or just olive oil) for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.
- Remove sun-dried tomatoes from the pan, leaving the oil, and add chicken tenders, salted and lightly covered in paprika (for color) and cook on high heat for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop cooking).
- Slice sun-dried tomatoes into smaller bits and add them back to the skillet with chicken. Add half and half and cheese to the skillet, too, and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms.
- Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce, and stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of basil, and at least 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Add about 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the creamy sauce will be too thick (do not add all water at once - you might need less or more of it). This will water down the thickness of the cheese sauce and make it creamier. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.