Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Florentine Pasta: this stuff is OMG good.
Today’s post is sponsored by DeLallo! They make the most delicious sun dried tomatoes which you’ll see pictured here 👆swimming in a luscious cream sauce. Don’t mind if they do.
GAH! Lover. This stuff is yummy. 💋😍
I have some truths to tell you today. The first truth is that this pasta rocked our world. Like, five times last week. Okay FINE 700 times or something but I wasn’t even counting and neither should you, so just … yeah.
The second truth is that sometimes, when you’re a food blogger and food lover, you want to be creative and fitspo and so you make things like sweet potato noodles with cashew sauce (for the record, also delicious). But then sometimes you still need to make Pasta with a capital P, because under all those fitspo vibes, you’re still mostly a real person who knows in her heart of foodie hearts that real pasta is lyfe.
Like this Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta with Spinach.
Am I being basic here? Maybe. And maybe I like everything about this kind of basic deliciousness.
This pasta = the moment when everyone in your family falls in love with you for cooking something seemingly-fancy 💅 and reminds you of how good a nice big pot-o-comfort-food pasta really is. No unnecessary ingredients. No excessive toppings – HOLD ME BACK. No veggies masquerading as noodles (of which I am a fan, but STILL just give it a rest already).
Just simple, comforting, creamy pasta with sun dried tomato cream sauce that helps people like me win at life.
As long as we’re on a roll with the truth telling, the third truth of this post is that one little detail about how I might have picked out the bites of chicken in my bowl of pasta. WHAT IS MY DEAL.
I can’t even handle chicken sometimes. I kept the chicken in the written recipe, because a) my family wanted the chicken and your family might, too, and b) the chicken is actually decently good, for chicken, because it gets a little kick of spice from the cayenne, and c) it doesn’t even matter if you make this with chicken or not, because the star of this recipe is so obviously the combo of buttery garlic and spinach and sun dried tomatoes cream sauce on pasta.
And when it comes to such luscious, sun-dried-tomato-y things, I be like 👅👅👅.
A few things you should know about finding the right sun dried tomatoes for this recipe. Not all sun dried tomatoes are created equally! Don’t buy the sad, dry ones that come in a package – I mean, you can, I’ll still be friends with you, but I’m just telling you – they taste a lot better when packed in high quality olive oil and herbs and spices like the DeLallo tomatoes I’m using in this recipe. If you’re worried about the oil being too oily, no need to fear. We’re draining almost all of it off for this recipe. You just get the little bit of oil that’s clinging to the tomatoes, and instead of dry little shrivels, you get flavorful tomatoes that are moist and chewy and colorful.
Oh hey PS. All of DeLallo’s sun dried tomatoes are sulfite-free. Because they rock. Winning.
This recipe is going to make you really popular with your people. Are you even ready for that kind of love? Three, two, one…
- 8 ounces ziti or other pasta
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 lb. chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon all purpose seasoning mix for the chicken
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 7-ounce jar DeLallo sun dried tomatoes, drained
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ cup half and half
- 1½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1½ cups Mozzarella cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups spinach
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and sprinkle with the seasoning and the cayenne. Saute until the chicken is cooked through.
- Drain the oil from the sun dried tomatoes. Chop into smaller pieces if you want. Add them to the pan with the garlic and saute for a few minutes, until fragrant. You will probably still get some of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes - that's okay.
- Add the half and half, milk, chicken broth, and Mozzarella cheese. Stir until the sauce is smooth and bubbly and the cheese is melted. It should start to thicken up slightly.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and spinach - the spinach will start to cook down almost immediately. If needed, add extra water or broth or milk to the sauce to thin it out, or add more cheese to thicken slightly. Be sure to stir for a full 4-5 minutes to really thicken.
After feedback regarding trouble getting the cheese to melt into the sauce, we've done another round of testing for this recipe. A few tips to follow:
CHEESE: Be sure you're using low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese (we used Kraft brand with a hint of cream cheese!). Do NOT used reduced fat varieties as they will not incorporate well.
CREAM: You MUST use full fat half and half - reduced fat or milk will not do the job.
STIRRING: Once the cheese is added, be sure to stir for 2-3 minute over medium heat - it will take some time for it to incorporate. Once everything is added in the last step, continue stirring for 4-5 minutes. The key to thickening the sauce is continuous stirring over medium heat.
Thank you again to DeLallo for sponsoring this post!
And thank you, readers, for supporting the high quality brands that support our little food blog operation. I truly love when you tag me on social media to show me that you’ve found and/or are using DeLallo’s pasta, tomatoes, and sauces in your cooking.
Carry on and eat pasta!