This recipe for Creamy Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes is brought to you by Almond Breeze.
I’m pretty sure that all we have done in Austin for the past few weeks is eat, eat, eat. So much good food. So many good drinks. So many good restaurants.
And…we’ve hardly made a dent in our bucket list of places to visit.
Seriously, I don’t know how people in Austin handle the culinary awesomeness that is the restaurant scene in this town. What I do know, though, is that I tend to hit my burn-out point on eating out constantly on vacations after about a week, which happened like clockwork even in this town. No complaints of course; I love that we’ve had the opportunity to try so many restaurants in Austin. But there’s nothing like being at home in the kitchen, music on in the background, a glass of wine nearby, and a nice big pot of pasta cooking on the stove to re-center me.
All the better when that pasta happens to be made with a heavenly creamy sauce, tossed with tender chicken, sweet sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil galore. And even better when the dish is lightened up with a few simple tweaks. My kind of comfort food, all the way.
I mean, just look at that delicious plate. Nothing quite beats a warm plate of homemade food, right?
I’m an especially big fan of this particular recipe because it’s everything I love about comfort food — it’s creamy, it’s comforting, it’s simple to make, but it’s significantly lighter than most creamy alfredo dishes.
First off, I used my favorite whole wheat pasta. (I will forever love those little bow-ties!)
Then for the creamy sauce, I sauteed a heck of a lot of garlic, and then nixed the heavy cream and instead added Almond Breeze original unsweetened almond milk as the creamy base for the sauce. A simple flour-and-butter roux helps thicken it up…
…and once I stirred in some sweet sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, well, let’s just say this sauce went from good to out-of-this-world GREAT.
I tossed the sauce with the pasta and added in some cooked chicken breasts for extra protein. But if you’re vegetarian, feel free to sub in some mushrooms or extra veggies in place of the chicken. Or if you just want some creamy pasta, I happen to think it stands quite well on its own.
The other bonus is that this dish comes together in about 30 minutes or less, if your chicken is ready to go ahead of time (or you saute it in a separate pan while the sauce and pasta water are cooking). So it makes a perfect quick and easy weeknight meal, or it’s would be perfect for a lazy weekend, or — you know — even a random, warm, February evening staying in for the night in Austin.
Cook pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
While the pasta water is heating, begin making your cream sauce. (See instructions below.) Once the sauce and pasta are cooked, toss them together with the chopped chicken breasts, sun-dried tomatoes and half of the fresh basil until evenly combined. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining fresh basil and optional toppings (if desired).
To Make The Sauce:
Heat olive oil (or butter) in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Stir in the flour, and saute for an additional minute, stirring occasionally.
Slowly add in the almond milk, whisking to combine until smooth. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer and thickens. Stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese is melted. Reduce heat to low until pasta reaches al dente and you are ready to toss the sauce with the pasta.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Almond Breeze. I’m thrilled to be partnering with them this year to share with you some healthier favorite recipes of mine, and all opinions are my own as always. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make this site possible!
Sounds perfect. Almost nothing beats hanging in the kitchen with a glass of wine, good food and music, and some pasta on the stove, and this would be a great one to be making!
I love this! The sun dried tomatoes and red pepper flakes. This is a win win for so many reasons….30 minutes is just another bonus!
This is my kind of dinner! Fast and full of flavor. Looks fantastic.
Mmmmm I love those flavors and love that you used bow tie pasta. Always so adorable!
I can’t wait to one day go to Austin. I live in Toronto and it’s -25 here. And has been for weeks. Let’s just say I’m ready for warmth and a wicked food scene does not hurt!
Looks so delicious – I love the sharp strong flavour of sundried tomatoes!
Sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil?! Sold! Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!
This looks a bit healthier then my occasional heavy cream based pasta. Love the almond milk base. I’m trying to cook healthier as often as I can. I’ve found that olive oil can often replace butter as a healthy option, even in baking. Looks so good and you captured it beautifully.
Wow, this looks incredible. Going to pick up the ingredients and make it for dinner!!
Love the almond milk addition! Although I should probably skip my sweet vanilla version….
I am sooooooo jealous of your Austin travels. I feel like sun dried tomatoes and cream sauce beeeeelong together! Loving all the culinary creativity coming from you and Kate these days!
This pasta is absolutely gorgeous! I love sun dried tomatoes and I’m loving that this is made lighter with almond milk. Definitely going to have to try this!
This looks so awesome! I love that you used almond milk! Does it give the sauce a different flavor or does the almond milk flavor blend in well?
This looks so delicious! Using almond milk for the sauce is so creative!
This recipe looks amazing! I love that you used almond milk instead of cream! What a great way to make a usually heavy meal light and lower calorie. YUM.
Girl this pasta is my jam!! Loving the chili flakes. My boys can not get enough pasta so I love that this has everything in one.
Amazing! Definitely adding this to my repertoire! I typically don’t eat cream-based meals due to my distaste for most things dairy, but this was a plus because of the almond milk!!
Looks delicious! I will definitely add the red pepper flakes for some spice and I love the idea of almond milk to make the roux – never thought of that before!
This pasta dish looks incredible! I LOVE all those flavors :D
Creamy pasta, sundried tomatoes, a glass of wine…. Mmmm… You’re speaking my language! Pinned!
I love this so much! I never would have thought to substitute almond milk for the heavy cream. Sun dried tomatoes and red pepper flakes?? Count me in!
Welcome to Austin! Make sure you check out Cow Tipping Creamery while you’re here! You should do a recap of places you’ve been while here :)
This looks delicious!
I’ve never thought to use almond milk (in place of cow’s milk or cream) for sauces…great idea! And beautiful photos, as always.
Great photos! I love that you used almond milk :) Can’t wait to try!
We always have almond milk in the house (usually this brand!) but I have never had luck cooking with it. I’m going to have to give this a shot!
I have everything to make this Pasta dish. Except for the Almond milk. But, I have non fat milk and heavy cream. Could I use that as a substitute? Would love to know. Thanks. :)
Hey Arlene, you could totally use either one of those as a substitute (depending on how creamy you want your sauce, a milk with a higher percentage of fat, or half and half or heavy cream would be the way to go. You can also do a combination of them. Hope this was helpful!
This recipe is awesome!!!!!!!!!!! My daughter found this recipe on tumblr and wanted to try it. She can’t eat anything creamy without it making her sick and the almond milk worked beautifully, never would have thought of that. Thank you so much for a great alternative!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much Michelle, I’m happy to hear it worked out for her! : )
I made this right after you posted it and forgot to come back and comment about how amazing it is! I added sauteed mushrooms and omitted the chicken for a Lent Friday dinner and my fiance loved it – he had no idea that the sauce was made with almond milk. I’m having my three best friends over this Friday night to ask them to be in my bridal party and I know they are going to LOVE this dinner and also have no idea that it’s a lighter version of a classic. Since my best friend hates mushrooms, I’ll use chicken this time around :)
Chocolate & Wine
Fantastic!! So glad you enjoyed it! :)
I made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit. Thanks so much and I’ll definitely be making again. I threw in. Few vegetables I had on hand and it was excellent!!
That’s great, Carolyn! We’re so glad it was a hit!
I made this pasta today & it was great , everyone love it!
Thanks Selva, we’re so glad to hear that!
A jar of sun-dried tomatoes has been sitting in my fridge desperately begging to be used. So glad I found this recipe! I can not wait to try it out tonight. If I do not eat it all before I can snap a picture, it will be posted on twitter! woohoo!
Awesome, we hope you enjoy this Alyssa! Definitely share it with us on Twitter if you can! :D
I made the sauce tonight to use on a pizza. I did a half recipe, so I’d only have enough for one pizza, but messed up and put in the full amount of flour. It actually worked very nicely for the pizza, but next time I’d use regular cow’s milk in place of the almond milk. I use almond milk for a lot of things but in this sauce I could really taste it, and it was not the flavor I wanted for the pizza. Since I prefer my pizzas with white sauce, I’ll definitely be making this again.
Thanks for sharing Susan, what a great idea to use this sauce on a pizza – we totally want to try that now!
Looks fantastic! Will try this with some zucchini noodles!
Thanks, and we think this would be super yummy with zucchini noodles — great thinking! :)
Made this with your chicken breast recipe and grilled some eggplant, and the boyfriend and I were both drooling! We look forward to making this many more times to come. Truly an easy, quick recipe — great work!