This Chicken Pasta Primavera is something to swoon over. With a creamy Parmesan sauce and just the right kick from garlic and red pepper flakes, this recipe is perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. (But easy enough for a weeknight!) Fresh grape tomatoes, carrots, and baby peas lend a refreshingly vibrant bite to the pasta. This is a forgiving recipe, so feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand.
This Pasta Primavera with Chicken is perfect for those times where you want to gather friends and family, and would prefer not to spend the whole time in the kitchen.
You can make the entire dish ahead of time, and then reheat gently on the stove. I like to do just the chicken and sauce ahead of time, because I typically use a fresh gluten-free almond flour fettuccine and I think it tastes better when it is first cooked.
Either way, you've got a limited amount of hands-on cooking time, leaving you free to enjoy the celebration.
- Pasta: Use fettuccine, spaghetti, or penne pasta. Either gluten-free or regular will work.
- Olive oil: Used to cook the chicken breast and vegetables.
- Chicken: I used chicken breast in this pasta dish, but you could use chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Red onion: Adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the sauce.
- Garlic: Adds depth of flavor to the sauce.
- Red pepper flakes: Adds a bit of heat and spice to the dish.
- Grape tomatoes: Halved and added for their fresh, juicy flavor.
- Carrots: Cut into matchsticks and added for their crunch and sweetness.
- Baby peas: Drained and added for their bright green color and delicate texture.
- White wine or chicken broth: Deglazes the pan and adds a depth of flavor to the sauce. When I use chicken broth, I like to finish the dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Half-and-half or quinoa cream: Gives the sauce its creamy consistency.
- Parmesan cheese: Adds a salty tang to the dish.
- Fresh thyme: Chopped on top for an herbaceous note. Feel free to substitute whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. Both basil and parsley are nice in this recipe.
Step by Step
Step 1: Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
Step 2: While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Season chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Remove from the pan.
Step 3: Add red onion, and cook for four minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute.
Step 4: Place the grape tomatoes and carrots in the pan and cook for three minutes. Add the peas and cook another minute.
Step 5: Add wine to the pan and cook, scraping up the brown bits, until the liquid has evaporated.
Step 6: Stir in the half and half and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add cheese and cook until melted and slightly thickened.
Step 7: Return the chicken to the pan and add pasta. Stir to combine. Garnish with thyme and serve warm.
Variations for Pasta Primavera with Chicken:
- Replace the tomatoes and carrots with broccoli florets, great beans, and red bell pepper.
- Alternatively, replace them with zucchini and asparagus.
- Top the finished dish with fresh basil and the juice and zest of one lemon in place of the thyme.
- Add a touch of heat with a thinly sliced Fresno Chile pepper. Seed the pepper for a little less heat.
- Make this recipe low carb by using heavy cream, reducing the tomatoes to ¾ cup, and using zucchini noodles in place of pasta.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can this recipe be made ahead of time?
Yes! The dish can be made ahead of time and gently reheated on the stove.
If you are using gluten-free pasta, you may want to wait until just before you are ready to serve to cook it because it tends to be better when eaten right away.
Can I use different vegetables?
Absolutely! Other vegetables that would be fabulous are broccoli, red bell pepper, green beans, asparagus, yellow squash, and zucchini.
How do I make vegetarian Pasta Primavera?
You can simply omit the chicken or add a vegetarian protein! Chickpeas or sauteed tempeh would be nice here.
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30-Minute Chicken Pasta Primavera
- 8 ounces fettuccine spaghetti or penne
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 16 ounces chicken breast
- ½ red onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ cups grape tomatoes halved
- 2 carrots cut into matchsticks
- 15 ounces baby peas drained
- ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth
- ¾ cup half and half or quinoa cream
- ⅓ cup Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. And to the pan and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. (Depending on the size and thickness of your chicken breast.)
- Remove chicken from the pan. Allow to cool slightly and slice.
- Add red onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.
- Place the grape tomatoes and carrots in the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Add peas to the pan and cook for an additional 1 minute.
- Add wine or broth to the pan and cook, scraping up the brown bits, until the liquid has evaporated.
- Stir in the cream and simmer for two minutes. Stir in Parmesan and cook until melted and slightly thickened.
- Return the chicken to the pan and add the pasta. Stir to combine.
- Garnish with thyme and serve warm.