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Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta

This Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta is the ultimate comfort food. With thick rigatoni noodles and tender chicken in a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce, this easy 30-minute meal is sure to become a weeknight staple.

Sun-dried tomato chicken pasta in a large skillet with basil leaves and a large spoon and forks to the side.

This easy pasta has everything you want in comfort food. It’s creamy and filling and super easy to make in under 30 minutes. Seasoned chicken is quickly sautéd while the rigatoni noodles boil. Add sun-dried tomatoes, cream, parmesan, and red pepper flakes for a simple but flavor-packed meal.

Looking for more easy pasta meals? Try this no-fuss One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon. Or, this hearty Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake. Or, this popular Creamy Lemon White Wine Pasta with Blackened Salmon.

Ingredients

Ingredients for sun-dried tomato chicken pasta.

Ingredient Notes

Rigatoni Pasta – hearty tube-shaped noodles that hold plenty of sauce and stand up to the chicken.

Chicken – I used boneless skinless chicken breast for this recipe but chicken thighs would also work.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes – packed in oil with a blend of herbs, sun-dried tomatoes are sweet and tangy and pack in a ton of flavor.

Heavy Cream – adds creaminess to the sauce.

Parmesan – adds a nutty flavor to the sauce.

Step By Step Instructions

Note: The recipe card below contains a full list of ingredients, their amounts, and instructions.

Step 1:

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil.

Boil the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain.

Step 2:

Meanwhile, heat butter and oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Step 3:

Toss the chicken with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Add the seasoned chicken to the hot pan and sauté until lightly browned and cooked through. This should take about 6 minutes.

Pieces of seasoned chicken in a large skillet with a wooden spoon.

Step 4:

Add the drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the pan with the chicken.

Sun-dried tomatoes in a skillet with cooked chicken and a wooden spoon.

Step 5:

Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Add the heavy cream, parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Allow the sauce to gently simmer for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add more salt, if necessary.

Skillet with cooked chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes. Then, those ingredients mixed together.

Step 6:

Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine.

Cooked rigatoni noodles on top of sun-dried tomato sauce in a skillet.

Step 7:

Serve warm with extra parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Sun-dried tomato chicken pasta with basil leaves and a large spoon.

Tips & Tricks

  • Use freshly grated parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano. I like to run the block of cheese through a food processor until broken into small pieces and then measure out the necessary amount for the recipe. Serve the rest with the meal.
  • When draining the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, use a fine mesh sieve over a bowl or measuring cup. Then, return the oil to the jar and save it in the fridge to use when cooking.
  • Use the leftover sun-dried tomato oil in vinaigrettes for salad.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Use any pasta you prefer. Short-rib kinds of pasta like penne or ziti would be great substitutions.
  • Add spinach with the sun-dried tomatoes for added greens.
  • For added cheesiness, top the pasta with shredded mozzarella and bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

Storage & Reheating

Storage

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Reheating

I suggest reheating the leftovers on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through.

Then, add a splash of heavy cream just before serving to help emulsify any separated sauce.

Freezing

I do not recommend freezing this meal. The pasta will become mushy and the sauce will separate.

Sun-dried tomato pasta in a skillet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are sun-dried tomatoes?

Traditionally, they were tomatoes that were left to dry in the sun until all of the moisture evaporated leaving a chewy intensely flavored dehydrated tomato. Today, the same process is typically accomplished by drying them in an oven or dehydrator.

Can I use pre-grated Parmesan?

Technically, yes. But, freshly grated parmesan or, even better, Parmigiano-Reggiano, adds so much more flavor that it is well worth the extra effort.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to hear about it! Please leave a star rating ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ and comment below!

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Sun-dried tomato chicken pasta in a large skillet with basil leaves and a large spoon and forks on the side.

Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta

This Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta is the ultimate comfort food. With thick rigatoni noodles and tender chicken in a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce, this easy meal is sure to become a weeknight staple.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Alicia S.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rigatoni noodles
  • 1 pound chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper preferably freshly cracked
  • 8.5 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained and chopped, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat the 2 tablespoons of reserved sun-dried tomato oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder, and pepper to the hot pan. Sauté until the chicken is browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally. This should take about 6 minutes.
  • Add the drained chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the pan with the chicken.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the heavy cream, parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Simmer gently for 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add more salt if needed
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss until everything is evenly distributed.
  • Serve warm with extra parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 792kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 773mg | Potassium: 1177mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1926IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 3mg
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5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. Hi! I made this last night, and while it was delicious, the sauce seemed to just fall off the noodles, so that the noodles just tasted plain. Is there something different I could do for the next time I make it to make everything more cohesive?

    1. Hi, Natalie! Hmmm, I can’t say for sure but I have a few thoughts. First, I’m wondering if you used a pasta with a smooth surface, like ziti noodles? The sauce would have a harder time sticking without the ridges on rigatoni pasta. Another thought, did you put oil in the water the pasta cooked in? That can cause the pasta to be less porous and the sauce to slide off. Finally, if neither of those, perhaps the sauce hadn’t thickened enough before tossing it with the pasta? It should take a full 2 minutes of gently simmering to get a nice thick consistency. I hope one of those suggestions helps. If not, please reach out again so I can help you troubleshoot the problem. Thanks!