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Ultra creamy with layers of bewitching flavor, this Sun Dried Tomato Pasta recipe is special enough for a romantic dinner, but so easy anyone (even my husband) can make it with absolute success.

the best sun dried tomato pasta recipe with spinach and chicken

Why You’ll Love This Creamy Pasta Recipe

  • A Tried-and-True Winner. This is one of the most popular recipes on Well Plated, and why wouldn’t it be?! It’s creamy, it’s easy, and it’s loaded with chewy, sweet sun-dried tomatoes. (Why are sun-dried tomatoes so good? Because they take the flavor of tomatoes and concentrate it, giving you more bang for your buck!)
  • Let Me Repeat: It Is Easy. Like other simple weeknight pasta recipes (Chicken Pesto Pasta, Penne Alla Vodka, and Ricotta Pasta) it tastes stunning with minimal effort (if my husband can make it, anyone can make it!).
  • Perfect for a Date Night In. Do you ever go to an Italian restaurant for a dinner date and then wonder why you’re paying $25 for a plate of spaghetti? Save your money and whip up this sun dried tomato pasta with chicken for dinner instead.
a pot of creamy sun dried tomato pasta

5 Star Review

“Absolutely delicious, my family said it was like restaurant food!”

— Kirstie —

How to Make Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

The Ingredients

  • Whole Wheat Pasta. Go for bowties. They’re a gentleman’s pasta. Penne pasta or another bite-sized shape will work too.
  • Unsalted Butter. Far superior to extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe.
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. Or leave them out for a vegetarian version
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Do you see that little red jar of sun-dried tomatoes? It’s your new best friend (it’s also used in this Italian Sausage Pasta). Open the jar, add it to the pan, and your chicken pasta will taste like you were just chillin’ with Giada.
  • Herbs and Spices. The always essential garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper—both black and cayenne. Red pepper flakes are a simple swap for the cayenne if you prefer.
  • Dry White Wine. A few splashes for the pasta. Some for you and your date. More for you and your date. (Also a star in this Mushroom Pasta.)
  • Whipping Cream. A little goes a long way, and it’s worth it!

Without Heavy Cream

If you want a cozy pasta dish without having to use heavy cream, try this Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta, which uses milk and flour instead for the same effect.

  • Parmesan Cheese. Go the extra mile and grate your own.
  • Spinach. It’s packed with things like iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin, K, and folate. (Lov the healthy addition? Consider this Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese for your next dinner.)

The Directions

  1. Cook the Pasta. Drain it and set aside.
chicken for simple sun dried tomato pasta
  1. Cook the Chicken. Using butter gives rich flavor right from the start.
chicken and sun dried tomatoes for sun dried tomato pasta recipe
  1. Stir in the Flavor-Makers. Sun-dried tomatoes and wine.
  2. Finish. After the wine has reduced, remove the pan from the heat and toss in the pasta along with the cream, spinach, and Parmesan.
creamy recipe for sun dried tomato pasta in a pan
  1. Serve. Stir everything together until the spinach is wilted. ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • Add Fresh Herbs. Stir in fresh basil, thyme, or rosemary at the end of the cooking time.
  • Make It Vegetarian. Skip the chicken and add a can of chickpeas or white beans, or your favorite plant-based chicken.
  • Try Different Greens. Swiss or rainbow chard or arugula would also work here.
  • Add Some Umami. Fancy Italian olives—or even just pitted kalamata olives—add some briny, umami flavor to this creamy sun-dried tomato pasta recipe.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover sun dried tomato pasta in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Warm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, topped with a little drizzle of chicken stock or heavy cream to keep it from drying out.
  • To Freeze. Freeze the pasta in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Leftover Ideas

Sometimes you have a little bit of leftover pasta, but not necessarily enough for a full meal. In these cases, I like to bulk it up by adding a hefty serving of veggies on the side. Grilled broccolini, Sauteed Zucchini, or Roasted Asparagus are all great options.

creamy and cheesy sun dried tomato pasta

What to Serve with Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

a plate of healthy sun dried tomato pasta
  • Cheese Grater. Just like the ones they use at your favorite Italian restaurant.
  • Colander. I love this one because it fits onto the sink.
  • Skillet. Skip the trendy brands and candy colors and buy a skillet that will last a lifetime.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Use a Big Skillet. You want to have room to stir without the pasta spilling out over the sides of the pan. No one wants to clean up that mess!
  • Have a Mise en Place. In other words, make sure you have all of the ingredients ready to go before you start cooking. This is a quick recipe, which means you won’t have time to pause and prep ingredients.
  • Grate Your Own Cheese. This is so important! Freshly grated Parmesan melts smoothly into the cream sauce, while the store-bought grated Parm (“shaky cheese,” as the kids call it) never fully melts, giving your sauce a weird texture.
a plate of easy and creamy sun dried tomato pasta

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

4.85 from 45 votes
This easy weeknight recipe for sun dried tomato pasta with chicken, spinach, and Parmesan is filling, creamy, and ready in just 20 minutes!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces  whole wheat pasta any shape you like (recommended: bowtie or linguini)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 jar julienne-cut sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil (7 ounces) drained
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for cooking the pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio) or low sodium chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 2 cups baby spinach

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Sprinkle in a few teaspoons of salt, then add the pasta and cook according to package directions, just until al dente (lightly firm and chewy, but not hard). Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook until lightly golden brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, then add the drained sun dried tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and for cook 2 minutes, until the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  • To the skillet, add the whipping cream, then the pasta, spinach, and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Stir for 30 seconds to allow the spinach to cook down. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and serve.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover sun dried tomato pasta in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Warm gently in the microwave, topped with a little drizzle of chicken stock or heavy cream to keep it from drying out.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze the pasta in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 627kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 50gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 182mgPotassium: 795mgFiber: 6gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2303IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 205mgIron: 1mg

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Make Creamy Pasta Without Heavy Cream?

While I have only ever tested this recipe as it is written, you can try swapping the cream for a can of full-fat coconut milk with success. If you choose to experiment with this non-dairy substitution (or others) I’d love to hear your results.

Can I Use Sun Dried Tomatoes in a Pouch Instead of a Jar?

If you only have access to sun dried tomatoes sealed in a pouch, as opposed to packed in a jar with oil, I would suggest rehydrating them in warm water for 10 minutes before adding them to the dish. This ensures the tomatoes will be perfectly tender as opposed to tough or leathery.

How Do You Make Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Gluten Free?

If you’d like to make this pasta recipe gluten free, swap the whole wheat pasta for your favorite gluten free pasta variety. As always, be sure to check the labels of your other ingredients to confirm they were processed in a gluten free certified facility and do not contain any gluten-containing additives.

Related Recipes

Pasta night is the best night of the week! Here are some more of my favorite pasta dinners.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

4.85 from 45 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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64 Comments

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    1. Hi Michelle! Although you can certainly experiment with full fat coconut milk, I do think it would substantially alter the flavor of the dish. Half and half is an option BUT you have to let the pasta cool for a few minutes before you add it or it will curdle (the higher fat content of the cream keeps it from curdling) and the dish won’t be quite as rich.

  1. I just made this for dinner….loved it and soooo easy! I cut the recipe in half and have plenty for tomorrow’s dinner.  Thanks, Tom!5 stars

    1. HOORAY! I’m glad you loved the pasta and that it lived up to its ultra-easy claims. Thanks for taking time to leave your comment. It’s so helpful to others, and I really appreciate it too!

  2. I made this for dinner tonight, and my family really enjoyed it.  I love how easy it is.  I cut back on the sun dried tomatoes for the sake of my kids and only used one pound of chicken, but for us the ratio of pasta to other ingredients was perfect.  Thanks to your special guest for this terrific recipe!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for trying the recipe and leaving this lovely review Jocelyn! I’m so happy to hear you all enjoyed it. 

  3. Absolutely amazing!  Great flavor and perfect level of heat from the cayenne pepper.  It felt so gourmet, cooking with cream, wine, sundried tomatoes, and freshly grated cheese.  After his dinner tonight, my boyfriend remarked, “You did well.”  Indeed, I agree.  You did well with this recipe, Erin!5 stars

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Amy! And cooking with cream and wine definitely makes any night feel special. Thanks so much for your kind comment, and I will pass your thanks along to Ben too :-)

  4. I made this last night and really enjoyed it, but I did have one problem with the parmesan cheese. I couldn’t get it to fully melt into the sauce and ended up with clumps of parmesan cheese all throughout the dish (and I think the sauce was missing a bit of creaminess from the melted cheese). I used a fresh block of parm that I grated right before adding it to the sauce. Any idea what the issue might have been? I have had the same problem before with other recipes that involve melting parmesan cheese into a sauce but I thought grating it myself might solve the issue.

    Love your recipes and Ben’s guest posts! I’m going to try the coconut flour cookie dough bites next :)

    1. Hi Molly! You definitely did the right thing by grating your own Parm—it makes a WORLD of difference in the final texture and flavor of the dish (pre-shredded cheese is usually caked with starch to keep it from sticking together and often doesn’t melt (or taste) like it should). The issue is that Parmesan is a dryer, sharper cheese that is meant to add flavor to dishes, not a melty cheese that will make them super creamy. The sauce should be pretty creamy on its own, so I’d suggest that if you want it creamier, you could try adding a little more cream or incorporate a more “melty” cheese like mozzarella or provolone. I hope that helps, and I’m glad you at least enjoyed the dish!

  5. Unfortunately i dint get the cayenne pepper and instead i use the black pepper. Anyways your recipe are really scrumptious. I use to make your chocolate chips cookies often as my kids are great fond of. Loved your presentation . My next trial will be your crispy tofu.

    I saw one site with lots of pasta recipes..Have’nt tried yet …I will share you with the link here in case you wish to try any of them http://www.nestle-family.com/recipes/english/pastas-recipes.aspx5 stars

    1. Maskin, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this pasta, and that you and your kids love the cookies too! Thanks so much for taking time to leave this lovely review.

  6. Great tasting, simple recipe for Katie and I. I was looking through some cookbooks for a new recipe for Katie and I and thought of your site. Once I was Ben’s name, I figured it can’t be all that hard. Jk Katie and I both enjoyed the recipe on a cold weekend night to ourselves back home in KS. I added mushrooms because she loves them and had some in the fridge already. Made extra to have leftovers this week and it reheats nicely. Much love from Katie and I and look forward to trying more recipes in the future. 5 stars

    1. Alex!!!! I am so happy that you guys loved the pasta. And if Ben can do it, anyone can do it (don’t tell him I said that). Seriously, it totally makes my day that you tried this recipe. Much love to you both too!

  7. This is a wonderful recipe.    I made it exactly like it is written except for the spinach…..not of fan of wilted spinach, but steamed some broccoli and put on top.   My husband told me about 10 times during the meal how much he liked it.   5 stars

    1. Broccoli sounds like a delicious swap, Marilyn! I’m excited to hear the recipe was a hit—thank you so much for reporting back!

  8. Made this last night and it is going to be a regular. My hubby (who doesn’t like pasta) devoured it!5 stars

    1. That makes me so happy to hear Lucia! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and taking time to leave this lovely review!

  9. Just made this for dinner (minus the chicken because we’ll be having your tikka masala tomorrow night and I didn’t want a poultry overloaf) and OH MY GOODNESS this is a winner! I made it this time around but next time I’m handing the recipe to my boyfriend. If one man could create something this delectable, I’m sure another novice male can duplicate it.5 stars

    1. Angie, I am so so happy this was a hit (and I hope you love the tikka masala too!). Thanks for taking time to leave this fabulous review. It truly means SO MUCH to me!

  10. Loved this!  Made it tonight and it was a huge hit!  Made a few adjustments to cooking times and added a Little provolone.  Will definitely make again!5 stars

  11. This was absolutely delicious! Not sure how I got on this recipe from 2016 (it was a rabbit trail of reading recipes while attempting to meal plan…) but I’m so glad I did. Left out the chicken because I didn’t have any and it was still delightful. Added some pine nuts for crunch. My husband thought it tasted like really good pizza, but better :D5 stars

  12. I made sun-dried pesto the other day and used some in this recipe.  It was delicious.  I used spinach and cheese ravioli.  Thank you.5 stars

    1. Hi Tandi! I’ve only tested this recipe as written, but I will say, that I have used almond milk before in other pasta dishes to make it creamy and it worked well. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  13. I just came across this recipe (which looks delicious) while looking at your other recipes Erin. I will make it soon. I have never written a review before but just had to this time because I chuckled the entire way through because of the clever way Ben wrote the recipe commentary. And the photo of ingredients is hysterical – speaks simplicity to the max and appealing to a beginning male chef! Well done!

  14. I made this for dinner. My husband loved it. A no muss no fuss recipe to prepare after work5 stars

  15. This recipe is wonderful!! The flavors are amazing. It has become my family’s absolute favorite dinner.

    I wanted to know what other recipes had flavors like this one? My son lost his taste during Covid and can only taste a few things. He loves this. I keep trying to find foods he can enjoy. Any help would be appreciated!! 😊5 stars

    1. Hi Kris! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review! I have a few more recipes that include sun dried tomatoes which might be helpful! https://www.wellplated.com/?s=sun+dried

  16. I have just recently come across your website…and have managed to spend HOURS browsing! I LOVE this post by your husband. Definitely gave a chuckle to my day! :) Not to mention a great recipe.

  17. Truly Scrumptious! This dish was quick and easy to pull together and also very rich and satisfying. After my husband and I enjoyed it, there was easily enough left for another meal for both of us. I love all of Erin’s recipes!5 stars

  18. I made this tonight…it tasted good but it was very salty. The salt seemed to come from the sun dried tomatoes. Could that have been the overall culprit? Should I have rinsed the tomatoes as opposed to just draining them? Thanks!

    1. Hi Christine! There could be a few culprits to it being salty for you. First did you use kosher salt? Any other salt would add a more pronounced saltiness to the dish. Draining the tomatoes should be fine because you just need to remove the oil. Might need to find a different brand of sun dried tomatoes if the ones you used were too salty for you. Hope this helps!

  19. This was absolutely delicious! My spinach went bad so I just sautéed some broccoli instead and WOW. I’ve got fresh spinach coming to try it again next week!5 stars

  20. Made this today and it was absolutely beautiful! Thank you – can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.5 stars

  21. Delicious pasta that’s a little more special / indulgent. Unfortunately my family doesn’t like whole wheat pasta so we swapped for regular and lost some of those benefits, but very delicious! I feel like 20 min would be a miracle but it’s certainly a more simple dish.5 stars

  22. Another great recipe from Erin. I’m definitely going to continue making her recipes. We are loving the handful of ones I’ve done so far. I’m buying her recipe book. She does not disappoint.5 stars

  23. This was Fabulous! Came together in no time and tasted GREAT! I made it without chicken for a vegetarian meal and it was superb. Thank you for a great recipe.5 stars