Tuscan chicken pasta is incredibly easy to make and is one of those recipes that make you realize cooking spectacularly delicious Italian chicken pasta dishes is even better homemade than at a restaurant!
This Tuscan chicken pasta recipe is made with tender pieces of chicken, perfectly cooked pasta, and a mouthwatering sauce that is loaded with garlic and Parmesan cheese with a base of white wine and homemade broth. It’s creamy without the heaviness of cream and is brimming with aromatic flavors that will leave everyone wanting more!
One of the great things about making a dish from scratch is that you can be flexible with the ingredients. It’s not as scientific as baking is, so getting creative and adjusting tastes to your preferences is very much encouraged!
This delish Tuscan chicken pasta comes together in under 1 hour and other than cooking the pasta, it’s all done in one skillet and can be made with virtually any type of pasta! It’s simply made, yet elegant, so it works for any and all occasions.
As perfect as it is for special occasion dinners it makes just as much sense cozying up with a bowl of this comfort food while watching a movie in your sweats. It’s just that good!
Ingredients Needed for Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts trimmed of any fat. I prefer to cook mine whole and let them rest before cutting them into slices, but if you prefer to cut them before cooking, you can.
Salt & pepper – A simple seasoning of sea salt and black pepper is all you need for the chicken. The sauce will add plenty of flavor to this dish as it is.
All-purpose flour – Dredging the chicken in flour before adding them to the skillet will help brown them nicely.
Pasta – Penne is my personal favorite for this dish, but you can definitely use whichever medium to long pasta you have on hand.
For the Tuscan Sauce
Olive oil – A good quality olive oil has not only health benefits but a mild taste. It’s used to sauté the onion and garlic for the base of the sauce and won’t overpower any of those flavors.
Garlic & Onion – Thinly sliced aromatic ingredients that pair well together to give this sauce it’s immense flavor. 10 cloves of garlic make this one beautifully garlic-y sauce! Play around with the amount, if you like yours a little lighter on the garlic.
Red pepper flakes – For a little heat!
White wine – Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon blanc are great choices. Don’t forget to have a little sip along the way!
Broth – Homemade broth makes all the difference in flavor. If you have a little extra time I highly recommend making some.
Parmesan – Giving the sauce a signature Italian cheese flavor as well as giving it a creaminess without using heavy cream, parmesan is the perfect addition.
Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a vibrant light citrus note that brings the entire dish together.
Greens – Arugula is used towards the end. The residual heat wilts the leaves, adding a nice texture and added flavor.
How to Make this Easy Tuscan Pasta Dish
Step 1: Season chicken with salt and pepper, dredge in flour and shake off the excess.
Step 2: Add chicken breasts to preheated skillet once the oil is hot, and brown on both sides, cooking until an internal temperature of 160 degrees has been reached. Transfer to a plate and cover with a lid or tent with foil.
Step 3: Cook pasta according to the package.
Step 4: Sauté garlic and onion until translucent and soft for a few minutes then add in red pepper flakes and flour, creating a roux which will help create a thick full-bodied sauce without any heavy cream. After about 30 seconds it should start to smell nice and nutty.
Step 5: Slowly whisk in the wine, bringing it to a gentle boil while deglazing the bottom of the pan. This means to scrape off all the brown bits that contain so much extra flavor. We like those bits!
Step 6: Whisk in the broth and bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
Step 7: Remove from heat. Add Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Into the sauce add pasta, lemon juice and arugula, slice browned chicken breasts and add it back into the skillet.
Step 8: Stir everything to combine and serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and black pepper if desired.
Is the Alcohol Still Present in the Sauce When it’s Finished Cooking?
There is 1/2 cup of wine in this recipe, some of which will get cooked off. For alcohol to be completely gone from food, it should be cooked for a few hours (obviously dependent on the amount to begin with) so there is usually remaining alcohol content when simmered for far less time than that.
However, the amount remaining is usually overall safe for anyone to consume (even kids) but of course, that is absolutely a personal choice as to whom you are comfortable serving it to. Again, if you’re not sure, you can absolutely replace it with more broth and it will still taste just as amazing.
Is it Better to Cook the Whole Chicken Breast or Cut it Up First?
When you cook a whole breast, you’re searing the juices on the inside. Adding it to a hot skillet quickly cooks the outside and allows the inside to catch up while remaining nice and juicy. Then, you allow it to rest and have the juices settle before cutting it up and adding it to the sauce.
On the other hand, cutting it before hand, will allow each individual piece to get brown all around and seasoned a little extra. They’ll cook faster, speeding up the overall time, which some people are on board with. Cutting them beforehand won’t allow the juices to remain intact, leading to the possibility of drier chicken.
So, in the end, the choice is totally up to you!
Tips and Variations
- Make sure to dry off your chicken before dredging it in flour so the flour coats it completely giving it a nice browned exterior.
- If cooking with wine isn’t your favorite, you can substitute it for the same amount of broth.
- Adjust the heat from the red pepper flakes as needed. Like a little more? Add in some more. Like a little less? Hold back on it slightly.
- Freshly grate Parmesan from a block makes all the difference to the consistency of the sauce. When you buy pre-grated it comes with a whack load of anti-clumping agents and additional ingredients that are unnecessary, making it harder to melt into a creamy texture.
- This dish is loaded with all the garlic-y goodness, but if you want a less intense flavor, use fewer cloves!
- Replace the arugula with spinach if you’d prefer.
- Add in sun dried tomatoes for a pop of color, and an additional layer of yum!
How Long Does Tuscan Chicken Pasta Stay Fresh?
This dish will keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove top on low, adding in a splash of water or broth if needed to thin out the sauce which may have thickened over time.
What to Serve with Creamy Pasta
Pair this delicious pasta recipe with a hot bowl of soup and a salad for a comforting and family-friendly meal:
Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- 8 oz penne pasta cooked according to the package
- Dry chicken breasts with paper towel. Season with salt & pepper. Add 1/3 cup of flour into a dish. Dredge each chicken breast in flour and shake off excess.
- Using a non stick skillet, preheat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium/low heat. Once the oil is hot add chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes per side or until chicken it browned. Flip the chicken on the other side and cook for another 6-8 minutes or until chicken reaches 160 degrees. Transfer onto a plate and cover with a lid.
- Cook Pasta according to the package.
- Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet and add garlic and onion. Saute over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle red pepper flakes and add 3 tablespoons of flour. Cook for 30 seconds stirring continuously.
- Next, using a silicone whisk, slowly whisk in wine and bring it to a gentle boil, scraping all of the browned bits. After it starts boiling whisk in chicken broth, bring it to a boil and simmer on low for about 15 minutes, stirring few times. Remove from the heat.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and stir. Season with salt and pepper if needed more seasoning. Add pasta, lemon juice and arugula, mix.
- Finally, slice warm chicken and add it to the skillet, sprinkle extra cheese over the top. Serve & enjoy!
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