My weeknight creamy chicken pasta with tomato & fresh basil will ease out your weeknight meal-stress blissfully as it is super quick to make and super tasty to relish! Comes around under 30 minutes!
With increased work pressure, we all were looking for easy solution for weeknight dinners and I am no exception! Managing both professional and personal life with accurate balance is an art and I am yet to master it!
My weekdays are nothing short of chaos with online meetings lined up one after another and hence my weekday meals generally follow short-cut-to-success policy where the key success criteria is having good & fulfilling food!
Today’s recipe of creamy chicken pasta with tomato & basil is one such success story which I can’t wait to share with you guys as I am sure you will love this creamy chicken pasta recipe as much as we did!
We Indians are known for lavish meals which include uncountable items spread over entrees, mains, sides, desserts and more! I would definitely love to relish such extravagant Indian meal, but those are strictly for special occasions!
On any typical weekday, my lunch & dinner consist of one-pot meals which we both love as it not only comes around quickly but also easy to consume without much fuss. So is the case with this creamy chicken pasta with tomato & basil!
Even being a quick weeknight meal, this creamy chicken pasta looks very fancy and may remind you of your favorite pasta place; but no one ever said that quick meals can’t be pretty! This colorful creamy chicken pasta is just as good as it appears to be!
In order to make this 30-min weeknight creamy chicken pasta, you ought to make a plan! An effective plan which can be executed efficiently. As a very first step, keep your veggies clean & ready; in this case clean & cut the tomatoes and wash your basil.
Next prep your chicken. You can use boneless cubes of chicken or you can use boneless & skinless chicken thighs which are later cut into bite-sized pieces after being cooked. Rub the chicken with the spice blend mentioned in recipe section below.
It would also help if you bring all your ingredients on your kitchen counter before you begin to cook as that would prevent you from running around the kitchen while the stove is on and eventually save a lot of precious time!
Now you have to gear up a little and handle couple of tasks simultaneously. Start boiling water for pasta and also start making the white sauce. By the time water comes to boil, your white sauce would be ready.
Set the white sauce aside and focus on the chicken now. Sauté the marinated chicken in olive oil until cooked through. Let them cool down for few minutes and then cut them into small pieces.
While the chicken is being cooled, cook tomatoes in same skillet until soft. By this time, your pasta water must have come to a boil and your pasta is ready to go! Cook pasta as per packet instructions and then finally all elements are ready!
Finally bring all the elements together – cooked pasta, cooked chicken, sautéed tomatoes and add them into prepared white sauce. Give a good mix to ensure all the items are coated well.
I have also shared a secret of mine in the recipe below which I apply in order to make my pasta even more tasty and crave-worthy! Once all items are mixed well, it’s time to throw in fresh basil leaves.
You may torn the fresh basil leaves roughly or if you are too disciplined, then julienne them before adding. I love to throw in fresh basil as is without any cutting or chopping. And that’s it!
Your weeknight creamy chicken pasta with tomatoes and basil is ready to serve! I loved how this pasta turned out. When I started, I didn’t have any strict recipe to follow; I only followed my instinct which thankfully led me to success!
The flavors of this pasta recipe will primarily depend on how you marinade your chicken. I used very few but my most favorite ingredients which are my best bet when I am pressed for time.
Also your white sauce is an important player here; make it as much or as less cheesy as you would like! That’s all there is to it! Your delicious weeknight creamy chicken pasta is done within 30 minutes and all that is left to do is to simply enjoy!
Check out more pasta recipes –
- Pesto Shrimp Spaghetti
- Spaghetti Aglio E Olio
- Shrimp Scampi with Capellini
- Chicken Fajita Pasta
- Easy Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake
- Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Easy Cheesy Pizza Pasta Bake
- Penne pasta – 300 gms
- Chicken thighs – 500 gms, skinless & boneless
- Tomato – 4, medium, chopped into 1-inch chunks
- Fresh basil leaves – 1 cup, tightly packed
- Olive oil – ¼ cup
- White sauce – 2 cups or more
- Unsalted butter – 4 tbsp
- Olive oil – 2 tsp
- Garlic – 4 cloves, grated
- All-purpose flour – 2 tbsp
- Milk – 500 ml
- Plain cheese spread – 1 cup
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Pepper – ½ tsp
- Garlic powder – 1 tsp
- Onion powder – 1 tsp
- Cayenne pepper – 1 tsp
- Italian seasoning – 1 tsp
- Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs and lay them on a plate in single layer.
- Mix all the ingredients listed under spice blend for chicken in a small bowl using a fork to make a uniform spice mixture.
- Sprinkle half of this mixture on top of the chicken thighs. Rub it thoroughly. Then flip the thighs over and sprinkle the remaining spice mix on the other side. Rub well. Make sure the chicken thighs are nicely coated with the spices including all nooks and crannies.
- When you are ready to cook, heat about half of the olive oil in a skillet. Once hot, lay the chicken thighs on hot oil in single layer. Do not over crowd the pan.
- Let the chicken cook undisturbed for 4 to 5 minutes on medium-low heat. Then flip them over and let the other side cook for 5 minutes. The chicken must be nicely browned on both sides and completely cooked through.
- Take them out and rest on a plate for 10 minutes. Then cut each chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces. Set them aside until needed.
- In the same skillet, add the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of salt and cook the tomatoes until they turn little soft. You don’t have to mush the tomatoes completely. Just soften them so that the rawness goes away. Take them out and set aside.
- Now let’s make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan; also add about a teaspoon of olive oil in order to prevent butter from burning.
- Add grated garlic and sauté for a minute on low heat ensuring garlic doesn’t burn. Now add all-purpose flour and stir continuously using a wire whisk. Let the flour cook for 2 minutes on low heat to allow the raw smell of flour go away.
- Now slowly pour the milk, about half a cup at a time, stirring continuously while doing so; else the flour will create a lump resulting into lumpy white sauce and not a smooth one.
- Once all the milk is poured and the flour is uniformly dissolved in it, increase the heat to medium and let the sauce come to a boil. Season it with salt & pepper to taste. This sauce will be somewhat thin. If you want thicker sauce, reduce the quantity of milk a little.
- Now add the cheese. I have used a plain cheese spread as that’s the only cheese I had handy. You can use cheddar or any other melty cheese.
- Keep stirring the sauce until the cheese melts keeping the heat on low. Check and adjust seasoning if needed. Remember that the cheese would also be salty, so add salt sparingly in the first place. Set the sauce aside until needed.
- Cook the penne pasta according to packet instructions until al-dente. Drain the pasta and rinse in tap water to stop it from further cooking. Drain all the water out.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large stock pot. Once hot, add the cooked pasta and toss them in hot olive oil for couple of minutes. This is an optional step, but I like the way this tossing changes the texture of pasta and makes it more chewy.
- Now add in the cooked chicken & tomatoes and drizzle the white sauce little at a time. Mix well so that chicken, tomatoes and pasta are coated with the white sauce nicely. Add as much sauce as needed. I added the entire sauce as I liked it that way; but feel free to do it the way you like.
- Finally add the fresh basil leaves. I don’t chop them, just scrunch them in hand and drop them into the stock pot. Check and adjust seasoning if needed. Give a final mix.
- Your creamy chicken pasta with tomato and basil is ready to serve! Enjoy with your favorite red wine!