Creamy Chicken Pasta with Tomato & Basil | Weeknight One Pot Chicken Pasta Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 Servings
  • 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
For white sauce:
  • 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
Spice blend for chicken:
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Garlic powder – 1 tsp
  • Onion powder – 1 tsp
  • Cayenne pepper – 1 tsp
  • Italian seasoning – 1 tsp
  1. Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs and lay them on a plate in single layer.
  2. Mix all the ingredients listed under spice blend for chicken in a small bowl using a fork to make a uniform spice mixture.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Your creamy chicken pasta with tomato and basil is ready to serve! Enjoy with your favorite red wine!
Recipe by Flavor Quotient at