Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce

Indulge in a culinary journey with our Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce recipe. This delightful dish is a fusion of succulent chicken, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, and rich, creamy mozzarella sauce, all embraced by al dente penne pasta. With simple yet vibrant ingredients, this recipe promises to elevate your dinner table to new heights of flavor and satisfaction.



Gather these essential ingredients to embark on a culinary adventure:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (utilize oil reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes for enhanced flavor)
  • 1 lb chicken breast tenderloins, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup half and half (or substitute with ½ cup heavy cream and ½ cup milk)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (opt for pre-shredded for optimal results)
  • 8 oz penne pasta (for a gluten-free alternative, select gluten-free brown rice pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus extra for garnishing
  • ½ cup reserved pasta water (adjust quantity as needed)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste


Follow these simple steps to create a symphony of flavors:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from their oil) and sauté for approximately 1 minute until the garlic emits its fragrant aroma.
  2. Transfer the sun-dried tomatoes from the skillet, leaving the flavorful oil behind. Introduce the chicken slices seasoned with salt and paprika into the skillet. Cook on high heat for 1 minute per side, then remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the penne pasta according to the instructions on the package. Remember to reserve a portion of the pasta water before draining.
  4. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes into smaller pieces and reintroduce them to the skillet along with the chicken.
  5. For the luscious sauce, incorporate half-and-half and shredded mozzarella cheese into the skillet. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Continuously stir until the cheese melts, forming a velvety sauce.
  6. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet, ensuring it’s thoroughly coated with the creamy sauce.
  7. Sprinkle in the chopped basil and red pepper flakes, infusing the dish with aromatic freshness. Adjust the sauce consistency with the reserved pasta water, adding gradually until achieving your preferred thickness.
  8. Season with salt and additional red pepper flakes to suit your taste preferences. Allow the dish to simmer for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together harmoniously.
  9. Serve piping hot, garnished with extra basil or red pepper flakes if desired, and revel in the delightful medley of flavors.

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Presentation Matters: When serving Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce, consider garnishing each plate with a sprig of fresh basil or an extra sprinkle of red pepper flakes. This not only adds visual appeal but also enhances the aroma and flavor of the dish.
  2. Family-Style Dining: For a more communal dining experience, transfer the prepared pasta to a large serving dish and place it at the center of the table. Allow everyone to help themselves, fostering a sense of togetherness and enjoyment.
  3. Pairing Suggestions: Complement the rich flavors of this pasta dish with a side salad dressed in a light vinaigrette or some crusty garlic bread for dipping into the creamy sauce. A glass of chilled white wine or a refreshing lemonade can also elevate the meal.
  4. Leftover Love: If you find yourself with leftovers, fear not! Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce reheats beautifully. Simply store any remaining pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When ready to enjoy, gently reheat individual portions on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through, adding a splash of water or extra sauce to revive the creaminess.
  5. Freezing Instructions: While this dish is best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze leftovers for future meals. Portion the cooled pasta into freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, ensuring to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Frozen Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce will keep well for up to 2-3 months. To thaw, transfer the container to the refrigerator overnight and then reheat as usual.
  6. Reheating Tips: When reheating frozen or refrigerated pasta, consider adding a splash of half-and-half or chicken broth to the skillet to refresh the sauce’s creaminess. Stir frequently over low heat until heated through, being careful not to overcook the pasta.



  1. Vegetarian Option: For a meat-free alternative, omit the chicken and instead add your favorite vegetables to the dish. Sautéed mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers, or zucchini are excellent choices. Simply cook the vegetables alongside the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic for a hearty and nutritious vegetarian version of this pasta.
  2. Seafood Twist: Take this dish to the next level by incorporating seafood. Replace the chicken with cooked shrimp, scallops, or chunks of firm fish such as salmon or cod. Sauté the seafood briefly in the skillet before adding the sun-dried tomatoes and proceeding with the recipe as directed. The combination of seafood and creamy mozzarella sauce creates a decadent and satisfying meal.
  3. Spicy Kick: If you enjoy a bit of heat, enhance the dish by adding diced jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce. You can also stir in a spoonful of your favorite hot sauce or chili paste for an extra kick of flavor. Adjust the level of spiciness according to your preference, making each bite a tantalizing experience.
  4. Herb Infusion: Experiment with different herbs to customize the flavor profile of the dish. Instead of basil, try incorporating fresh parsley, cilantro, or thyme for a unique twist. You can also add dried Italian seasoning or herbes de Provence to the sauce for added depth of flavor. Feel free to mix and match herbs to suit your taste preferences and create a personalized version of this pasta dish.
  5. Creamy Cheese Blend: While mozzarella cheese adds richness to the sauce, you can amplify the cheesy goodness by mixing it with other varieties. Consider adding grated Parmesan, Asiago, or Fontina cheese to the sauce for a more complex and indulgent flavor. Experiment with different cheese combinations to discover your favorite blend.
  6. Pesto Infusion: For a burst of freshness and herbaceous flavor, swirl in a dollop of homemade or store-bought pesto sauce into the creamy mozzarella sauce. The vibrant green color and aromatic basil notes of the pesto complement the sun-dried tomatoes beautifully, adding a delightful twist to the dish. Adjust the amount of pesto according to your taste preferences, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can I use different types of pasta for this recipe? Yes, you can customize the pasta to your liking. Penne works well due to its shape and ability to hold the creamy sauce, but you can also use spaghetti, fettuccine, or any other pasta variety you prefer.
  2. Is there a substitute for half-and-half? If you don’t have half-and-half, you can use a combination of equal parts heavy cream and milk as a substitute.
  3. Can I use fresh mozzarella instead of shredded mozzarella? It’s best to use shredded mozzarella for this recipe as it melts more evenly into the sauce. Fresh mozzarella has a higher moisture content and may not provide the desired creamy consistency.


Elevate your dining experience with our Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce recipe. With its tantalizing blend of ingredients and straightforward preparation, this dish is destined to become a favorite at your dinner table. Whether it’s a cozy night in or a gathering with loved ones, savor the comforting goodness of this hearty pasta dish any night of the week.