Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta

Ground chicken, sautéd herbs and pesto tossed with tomatoes and basil in a brown butter sauce. This Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta is packed with flavor!

Ground chicken sautéd herbs and pesto, then tossed with tomatoes and basil in a brown butter sauce. This Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta is packed with flavor!

Fresh Herbs and Vegetables

There was a beautiful week last month when I had a plethora of fresh basil in my own herb garden, and a bounty of fresh tomatoes given to us by friends. I took it for granted. I used just a little basil here and a few tomatoes there, assuming it would last forever.

Then one day I came home, and something terrible had occurred. The tomatoes were starting to rot and stink, and the majority of my herbs were dried and wilted. It didn’t make ANY sense. Seriously. Okay, maybe I had forgotten to water my herbs the day before, but that had happened in the past and no biggie. And the tomatoes, they were inside on my kitchen counter. It was like a produce monster came to visit my house while I was at work.

In any case, I had this long list of things I wanted to make, such as a pasta with chicken, tomatoes and basil. I didn’t make it before the incident. I had to purchase the basil and tomatoes from the grocery store. I wish I could tell you that the beautiful red and green you see in these photos was grown by me and my friends, but it wasn’t. I have zero emotional attachment to this tomato and basil.

Ground chicken sautéd herbs and pesto, then tossed with tomatoes and basil in a brown butter sauce. This Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta is packed with flavor!

Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta

When developing this recipe, I did not want to make a generic Caprese pasta recipe. Although I love Caprese, I wanted to do something more unique that incorporated multiple flavors. The result was magnificent! Here a couple of tricks to help ensure success:

How to Cook the Best Ground Chicken

I find that all ground meats can dry out when sautéing, especially chicken. To help keep the chicken in this recipe moist, I use this neat trick:

For each pound of meat, mix together 1 tablespoon of water and 1 teaspoon of corn starch. Then, stir the mixture into the ground meat, and let it sit for 20 minutes.

This helps lock in moisture and prevent the meat from drying out. Keep this tip in mind for all recipes using ground meat.

Ground chicken sautéd herbs and pesto, then tossed with tomatoes and basil in a brown butter sauce. This Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta is packed with flavor!

Browning Butter

To make the sauce, I used brown butter, because let’s be honest, brown butter takes every dish to the next level.

If you have never used brown butter – all you really need to do is place it over medium heat, stirring continuously until a dark amber color and a nutty smell develop. This takes about 10 minutes.

Advance Preparation

This dinner comes together quickly and easily, but if you’re short on time, you can prepare the sauce in advance. Simply place the cooked sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator. You will need to heat it over low heat in a small sauce pan when ready to use.

This Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta is an ideal weeknight meal that the whole family can enjoy!

Ground chicken sautéd herbs and pesto, then tossed with tomatoes and basil in a brown butter sauce. This Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta is packed with flavor!
Ground chicken sautéd herbs and pesto, then tossed with tomatoes and basil in a brown butter sauce. This Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta is packed with flavor!

Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta

Ground chicken sautéd herbs and pesto, then tossed with tomatoes and basil in a brown butter sauce. This Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta is packed with flavor!
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 599kcal

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp pesto

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves fresh minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Assembly

  • 12 ounce package dried bow tie pasta
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced
  • balsamic reduction to taste

Instructions

Chicken

  • Stir together cornstarch and water until smooth, then stir together with chicken. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Stir garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, and thyme together with chicken.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken with spices. Saute until chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Then add pesto and saute for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

Sauce

  • Heat butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir continuously until butter is amber is color and has a nutty smell, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.
  • Remove from heat and stir in flour, salt, pepper, and onion powder until well mixed. Let sit for about 5 minutes before using.

Assembly

  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • In an oven safe pot, stir together chicken, tomatoes, and fresh basil.
  • Pour brown butter sauce over mixture and stir until well combined. Spread sliced mozzarella over top of pasta.
  • Place in oven under broiler until cheese starts to melt, about 2 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic reduction before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 599kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 725mg | Potassium: 713mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 806IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 2mg

If you enjoyed this Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta, you should check out these other SugarSpicesLife recipes:

Brown Butter Chicken and Vegetable Orzo
Brown Sugar Caprese Chicken
Prosciutto Caprese Skillet Pizza
Italian Sausage Pasta Bake
Skillet S’mores Brownie

Links to items used to make this recipe:

Calphalon non-stick pans
Staub 4 quart dutch oven. This is my favorite small dutch oven!
Ground chicken sautéd herbs and pesto, then tossed with tomatoes and basil in a brown butter sauce. This Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta is packed with flavor!

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