So, I’m a carb addict. There I said it, and if there is one carb I could not live without, it’s pasta. I also love comfort food and quick dinners and when I can combine the two, it’s like planets aligning just like with this Chicken Penne Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes.
Full of flavour and quick to make, this tender pasta dish filled with chicken and sweet sundried tomatoes is great for any day. This is almost like a quicker version of my One Pan Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake.
Flavourful pasta with a light creamy sauce
I’ve selected the ingredients in this simple pasta dish for one thing – to give a big flavour hit. Garlic and sundried tomatoes add a punch of umami making this meal totally satisfying and totally addictive.
Those punchy flavours, the chicken and the pasta are all laced in a lovely light creamy sauce. What’s really wonderful about this sauce is that there is just enough to cover the ingredients but not so that they are swimming in it. It purely acts as the vessel to carry that flavour over the whole dish.
How to cook pasta al dente
Pasta is al dente when it is cooked through and no longer has a raw pasta flavour, but it still has a bite to it. This texture is really important as it means the pasta won’t end up mushy and it will catch the sauce perfectly too. This recipe has total weeknight convenience from using dried pasta and it’s always best to stick to the instructions on the side of the packet when cooking it. Just make sure to test it for your personal preference as you get towards the end of the cooking time.
I’ve used penne here which is one of my favourites. I like that it’s shaped similarly to the sundried tomatoes and chicken pieces but it also catches the sauce really well. You could also try orrechiette, shells and elbows (macaroni) and all would work well here.
Can you meal prep pasta?
Many pasta dishes, including this Chicken Penne Pasta, are great for meal prep as they reheat beautifully. If you are prepping pasta ahead, it’s even more important to make sure your pasta is just al dente for 2 reasons;
- Pasta can continue to soak up the sauce as long as it is sitting in it, especially where the sauce is a thin consistency.
- When you reheat pasta, it will cook a little more and soak up a little more sauce too.
If you want to reheat the meal as a whole, store it in an airtight container (or already portioned containers) and reheat in a pan or in the microwave with a splash of water added to it.
To store the pasta on it’s own, I always find it best to toss it in a little oil first which will stop the pasta from sticking together. Flavourless vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil are best.
For an easy weeknight dinner or a Friday night comfort meal, this Chicken Penne Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes ticks all the boxes.
Other recipes you might like
- Creamy Chicken and Tomato Pesto Pasta Bake
- Easy Sundried Tomato Pesto Recipe
- Meatball Pasta Bake
- Salmon Pesto Pasta
- Chicken Basil Pesto Pasta
- Creamy Chicken & Tomato Pesto Pasta Bake
- Authentic Ragu Bolognese
Chicken Penne Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 600 g (1.3lb) raw chicken breast, sliced into strips
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 small red onion, finely sliced
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 200 g (7oz) button mushrooms
- 75 g (2.6oz) sundried tomatoes, drained & sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup thickened (or heavy) cream
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
- 250 g (8.8oz) dried penne pasta
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water to packet instructions. Drain, but reserve a cup of the cooking water. Sprinkle a little olive oil over the pasta, mix through and set aside.
- Season the chicken breast strips with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken breast strips and saute until turning golden. Set aside.
- Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan until the mushrooms start to turn golden then add the garlic and sundried tomatoes. Saute, stirring for another minute or so before adding the butter. Mix it through until melted and combined.
- Return the chicken to the pan along with the stock and cream. Mix well and bring to a simmer. When it thickens slightly, add the parmesan and mix through until melted and mixed through.
- Finally, add the cooked pasta and spinach and a little pasta water if the sauce needs to be loosened up.
- I use a standard Australian tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
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