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Garlic Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Fall is my favorite food season, hands down. It’s the one time of year you get to splurge on creamy, braised, roasted, baked, and slow-cooked things. Let’s celebrate Fall with this delicious creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta. This dish is sexy as hell, and that’s that on that! There’s much room for customization, too. I used skin-on boneless chicken thighs, because you already know we’re thigh people around here. But if you’d like to use boneless/skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins, or leg quarters, you are more than welcome. This is technically a one-pot meal, and it comes together in under an hour.

Why did I use chicken thighs? Because they offer more room for over-cooking. You would be hard-pressed to overcook these babies. They stay so succulent and juicy, whereas white meat (while tasty) dries out like a raisin in the sun. You are free to use whatever you want or have on hand. You can even use boneless AND skinless thighs, but hell…you’re already making this decadent dish, why skimp? The texture of that crispy skin against all this rich creaminess is otherworldly.

tuscan chicken pasta

Tuscan Chicken Pasta Tips

There are lots of variations of this recipe online, and I’m sure almost all of them (mine included) have similar ingredients. It’s no coincidence, either. For the sauce alone, you kinda have to have sun-dried tomatoes (jarred, packed in oil) or red bell peppers, leafy green spinach, cream, and lots of fresh garlic. Many people add chicken, but you can also use seafood or another protein instead. You could also use mushrooms as the main ingredient to keep it somewhat vegetarian.

Save yourself some kitchen-stress, and prep as many things as you can. Measure everything out, chop and mince everything you need, and shred/grate every cheese. You’ll find this dish to be very rustic, and fixing errors will be easy. If you realize your liquid is evaporating faster than the pasta is cooking, just add more liquid! It’s easy. I didn’t use a full pound of pasta, just 10-ounces (yes, I weighed it). But if you don’t have a kitchen scale, here’s a visual I can give you. You know those 16- fluid ounce plastic food containers? I filled two of those with cavatappi right to the top, completely leveled.

While the ingredient list is long, don’t be intimidated. There are some things you could easily leave out, or swap in case you don’t have it. You just need the basics. You can even leave out the mozzarella, and you don’t need both pecorino and parmigiano, but definitely have at least one of those. Here’s a tip: Always keep your freezer stocked with chicken, your fridge stocked with dairy and fresh cheeses (if you eat them often), and your pantry stocked with various pasta shapes and jarred fruits and veggies, like sun-dried and canned tomatoes. Make sure you keep aromatics on hand as well, such as garlic, onions, and shallots. If you have a warehouse membership, buy your wines for cooking there. They’re far more inexpensive, and you get double the amount.

seasoned chicken thighs

First, you’re gonna season your chicken. We don’t do bland around these parts.

seasoned chicken

Drizzle a little oil on each piece to help better distribute the seasonings into the meat. Rub it in goooood.

seasoned chicken thighs

The yard bird is all seasoned and lightly oiled.

adding chicken thighs to dry pan

Place your chicken skin-side down in a dry, hot pan. If using skinless chicken, add a little oil to keep it from sticking too terribly.

crisped chicken skin

Flip chicken over when the skin releases without a fight, this takes about 8 minutes or less.

melting butter over heat with crushed red pepper flakes

Drain off all but one tablespoon of chicken fat, and throw in the butter and just one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the crushed red pepper flakes to infuse the butter and oil.

adding onions to hot butter

Let’s sweat those onions. Make sure they’re well coated in the butter.

kosher salt and pepper added to onions

These onions will have plenty of time to cook down, but for now let’s add some salt and pepper to them.

dried thyme and oregano added to onions

After about 2 minutes, add the dried herbs.

sun-dried tomatoes added to onions

Next up, the sun-dried tomatoes.

fresh garlic added to sun-dried tomatoes

Two minutes later, throw in all that yummy fresh garlic. Don’t use that jarred mess. Yuck.

fresh rosemary and thyme

After the garlic cooks and infuses for about 30 seconds, toss in the fresh herbs and stir those around for about 10 seconds.

pouring in white wine

Pour in the white wine, and scrape scrape scrape!

white wine reducing

Give the white wine time to reduce, about 3 minutes.

white wine sauce reducing

You should smell this *drool*

reduced white wine

When you can leave a quick trail like this, you can move on to the next step.

pouring chicken stock and half & half

I combined my stock and half & half in the same cup, so pour both in.

cavatappi pasta added to sauce

Pour in the pasta!

bringing pasta to boil

Your pasta should be fully submerged with just tiny peaks surfacing at the most, like pictured. Add the granulated garlic and onion.

bring to boil

Bring it to a boil, then reduce to medium-low, closer to low.

reducing pasta

Sauce will reduce and thicken as the pasta cooks. Keep checking the pasta for doneness. It should be al-dente, not mushy.

closeup of pasta cooking

so yummy

adding cheese to pasta

When pasta is tender, turn off heat and add the parm and pecorino.

folding in spinach

Fold in the spinach.

fresh basil and parsley added to pasta

Fold in the fresh basil and parsley

Garlic Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Add the mozzarella cheese (I forgot to take a pic of this step).

Garlic Tuscan Chicken Pasta

All done

Garlic Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Add the chicken to the top and enjoy!

Garlic Tuscan Chicken Pasta Garlic Tuscan Chicken Pasta Garlic Tuscan Chicken Pasta Garlic Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Also, make sure you check out some other yummy recipes:

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Tuscan Chicken Pasta

  • Author: Chef Resha
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


Creamy, garlicky pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, lots of fresh garlic, fresh spinach and topped with crispy-skinned chicken thighs. You’re not ready.



For the chicken

For the pasta

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3 cups half-and-half, plus more if needed
  • 10 ounces cavatappi pasta (see note below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated
  • 1/2 cup pecorino-romano, grated
  • 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 small bag fresh baby spinach (about 4 loose cups)
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped


For the chicken

  1. Season the flesh side of the chicken with kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, granulated garlic and onion, dried thyme and oregano. If you need more spices, please add it. You wan’t good coverage. Drizzle a little oil on top of the herbs and spices, and massage it into the chicken. Make sure you get in all the nooks and crannies. Flip the chicken over, and sprinkle kosher salt all over the skin of the chicken. We don’t want to add any other seasonings to the skin side, because we don’t want them to burn.
  2. Place a large deep-sided skillet or braising dish (at least 4 quarts) over medium-high heat. When it’s nice and hot, add the chicken to the dry skillet skin-side down. Thighs have enough fat on their own, you won’t need to add any additional oil at this point. If using a leaner protein, like white meat, please drizzle with oil first so the meat doesn’t stick. Let the skin sear and get crisp, this will take about 7 to 8 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready to flip when it’s easy to flip the chicken over. There will be a SLIGHT resistance, but if it’s resisting too much, it’s not ready. Cook chicken flesh-side down until cooked through, about 5 to 8 more minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer if you’re unsure. When chicken is done cooking, place it on a large plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

For the pasta

  1. In that same pan, reduce the heat to medium. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of residual chicken fat. Add the butter, and one tablespoon of olive oil. When the butter starts to sizzle, start scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan leftover from the chicken. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 20 seconds to infuse the fat. Add the onions to the pan, and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with a generous pinch of kosher salt and black pepper, then the dried thyme and oregano. Allow the dried herbs to bloom, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and saute for about 2 to 3 minutes. Next, toss in the garlic and cook for just about 30 seconds. When the garlic is fragrant, add the fresh thyme and fresh rosemary. Stir it in and cook for just 10 seconds.
  2. Pour in the white wine while scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Allow the wine to reduce for about 3 minutes, or until you can leave a quick dry trail with the edge of your spatula/wooden spoon. Pour in the chicken stock and half-and-half (I had both in a large measuring cup to make it easier), stirring to combine all ingredients.
  3. Next, add the cavatappi pasta, making sure it’s submerged. Add in the granulated garlic and onion, stir it in and bring the pasta up to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low (closer to low). The pasta will cook gently in the liquid, while simultaneously thickening it. This will take about 10 minutes or so, but be sure to test the doneness of your pasta often to see where it stands. If your liquid is evaporating faster than the pasta is cooking, simply add a little more half-and-half in stages. Make sure you stir this mixture often, to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. You may need to adjust the heat during this step, so please do so.
  4. When the pasta is tender and toothsome, but not mushy (al-dente), turn the heat off. The sauce will continue to thicken as it stands. Stir in the parmigiano-reggiano and pecorino-romano cheeses until well combined. Now’s the time to taste it. If you need to add salt and/or pepper, do it. Fold in the spinach until it’s wilted from the residual heat. Next, add the fresh basil and parsley and gently stir to combine. Stir in the mozzarella cheese (I forgot to take a picture of this step). Taste it again to make sure it’s seasoned right. Your finished pasta should be creamy, smooth, and cheesy. It shouldn’t be dry. If it’s not smooth or creamy, add a touch more half&half or chicken stock to loosen it a bit.
  5. Chop your chicken into desired pieces or strips, and place on top of the finished pasta.
  6. Serve immediately with your favorite side salad, or crusty garlic bread.


If you’re unable to find boneless skin-on chicken thighs, you can debone it yourself. Or, if you’d rather skip the deboning drama, just roast the thighs separately in the oven (uncovered) at 425 F for about 35 minutes, or until meat registers 175 F internally. You can any kind of chicken (or protein) here, but adjust cooking times as needed for white meat vs. dark.

We’re not using a full box, so please weigh your pasta if you can. I like cavatappi because it expands nicely, has lots of grooves for sauce-cling’age, etc. If you are unable to weigh your pasta, you could use the whole box of cavatappi. Just add more liquid (stock and/or half&half) as it cooks.

Always grate and/or shred your cheese fresh. Don’t use pre-packaged shredded cheese, because it doesn’t melt well and isn’t nearly as delicious. For the love of God, please don’t use that “1,000 year shelf-life woodchipper parmesan cheese” in the green canister. That would be disrespectful AF!

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 45

Keywords: garlic tuscan pasta, tuscan chicken pasta, creamy tuscan chicken pasta

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Recipe rating

  1. Jaime Dygert says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    We came across this recipe about 5 years ago and have been cooking it ever since. We have it every couple months, it’s truly one of our favorites.
  2. Dara Williams says:

    My teenager is a picky eater. Many of your recipes are responsible for reversing his kiddie palate. Tuscan Pasta is requested often and he knows how to prep most of it himself.
    From a weeknight chef/mom

  3. JStone says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    I’d like to try this recipe with some miracle ziti noodles, would you suggest minimizing the wine/stock amounts since the “pasta” won’t cook the same?
  4. Jasmine says:

    I made this recipe last week and it was a huge success!! My parents and best friend keep asking me when I’m gonna try out another one of your recipes. ?

  5. Monica says:

    Made this with my boo bae for his birthday. If we both didn’t catch the iditis we would’ve been all over each other afterwards. It taste amazing. Amazing like we bought it out of five star restaurant amazing. Yes,… dead ass it’s that good.
    What we regret is not meal prepping. The amount of dicing, slicing, cutting, mincing we had to do took way longer than expected. The prepping would’ve easily took 2.5 hours off how long it took us to do everything. We both argued though it was well worth the wait.
    Will definitely make again!

  6. Maya says:

    Hi Resha!

    If I substitute the wine for water will it still turn out and taste the same?

  7. Missy says:

    Hi Resha. I will be making this recipe this weekend using skinless chicken thighs. Is there anyrhing I should do differently?

  8. Adrienne says:

    My family loves this recipe. The flavors come together so well.. I love you recipes and this we site

  9. Amie says:

    Well well well Chef Resha this is my first time trying one of your recipes and I definitely won’t be stopping with this one. Exceded expectations and hit all my cravings in the right spots lol. It was so delicious thank you! And as a first time cooking with dark meat you’re building some cooker confidence in me as well?.

  10. Michelle says:

    My comment didn’t post before, so I’ll try again. This was fantastic. Although I added the chicken, IMO this dish can stand alone S just a pasta dish without it. So rich, so creamy. Looking forward to tonight’s leftovers.

  11. Michelle says:

    Whew, I wasn’t ready for how good this is!! I love the concept of building the sauce gradually. I prepared it with the chicken but, IMO, this recipe can stand on its own as a straight up pasta dish. The sauce is INCREDIBLE and yum. The sun dried tomatoes really make this dish pop. Thanks so much, Resha.

  12. Elizabeth V says:

    Idk why chef Resha isn’t more popular with these meals I’ve been cooking! This is the third I tried and is the most flavorful dish I’ve ever made. Very heavy meal, but that didn’t stop me from going back for seconds. I plan on making it again for my family when I go home for the holidays.

  13. Diane McQuay says:

    Now you know, this one is begging to be filmed also!!! Ms. DeMille, Ms. DeMille, TCP is ready for her close up!!!

  14. Talia Batts says:

    This was amazing!!!

  15. Earl says:

    Just made this and me and my roommate truly enjoyed this meal!!!

  16. Natasha says:

    Disregard my previous question. Found it, sorry.

  17. Natasha says:

    At what point did you add in the spinach?

  18. Kristyn Rose says:

    Resha, what pan did you use?

  19. Ashley says:

    I had to take a break from eating this so I can leave you a comment! Whew!! This is the BEST pasta I’ve ever cooked!! It has such depth of flavor and deliciousness! You never disappoint! Thank you so much 🙂

  20. Cheron says:

    Got up 5 this morning to make this, and when I say this is GOOD AF, it’s GOOD AF!!! OMG OMG, DAMN Resha. I’ve said it many times before, you are AWESOME!!! Thank you for this recipe, taking some to work tomorrow, so the besties can try, I know they’re going to love it as well.

  21. Jasmine says:

    I’ve made something similar to this before but it wasn’t nearly as delicious. My boyfriend who is a nurse and works 24 hour shifts came home and ate 3 plates I barely had leftovers. I’m definitely keeping this recipe in my arsenal and will make a bigger quantity for a family function we have coming up. Thanks for this lovely recipe ?

  22. Nikol says:

    And here I was, enjoying a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon after having went to the grocery store. I stumbled upon this, and the photos looked so good, I got up and went BACK to the grocer and came home to make a vegan version of this. Amazingly amazing. Definitely going to be a regular on my rotation. I am a fan of one pots and this does NOT disappoint.

    • Brandon T says:

      Hey is there any way you can share how you made a vegan version of this, I make it faithfully but my gf is lactose intolerant so she just watches me in awe lol. If you can share that it would be great

      • Nikol says:

        Of course, Brandon! I simply swapped the non-vegan ingredients as follows:

        Chicken Thighs v Gardein Chick’n Scallopini or Turk’y
        Chicken Stock v Vegetable Stock
        Half & Half v Full fat Coconut milk (in the can)
        Parmesean Cheese v Follow Your Heart Vegan Parm
        Mozzarella v Follow Your Heart Shredded Mozzarella

    • Chef Resha says:

      Shoutout to you for successfully revamping this recipe! I love when y’all do that.