This easy Chicken Bruschetta Pasta is packed with tender chicken breast and zesty tomatoes in a sweet and tart balsamic sauce. Enjoy it with a glass of wine on date night, or at family dinner with sparkling grape juice for the kids.
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Garlicky Tomato Basil Pasta With Chicken
Bruschetta and pasta are both classic Italian dishes, so why not put them together? This chicken bruschetta pasta brings your favorite style of pasta together with chopped basil, chunks of fresh tomato, and homemade vinaigrette dressing. Every bite bursts with a comforting blend of familiar flavors.
Chicken bruschetta pasta is a great-tasting way to get in some protein and other nutrients. This makes it the perfect family meal, since even picky eaters won’t find anything to complain about. Trust me, this recipe is going straight into your Sunday dinner rotation.
What Is Bruschetta?
Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer traditionally served on a slice of toasted bread. The bread is rubbed in olive oil and garlic, then topped with a mixture of chopped tomatoes and basil, sometimes along with other ingredients. These toppings are usually tossed in balsamic vinegar before being piled on top of the crispy bread. For this pasta dinner, we’re taking all those traditional bruschetta flavors and swapping the bread with pasta!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this chicken bruschetta pasta. Scroll to the recipe card below to find the exact amounts for each ingredient.
- Pasta: I like to use bowtie pasta because the balsamic sticks to it really well, but you can use any kind of pasta you prefer.
- Olive Oil
- Chicken Breast: Deboned, skinless, and cut into cubes.
- Salt and Pepper
- Tomatoes: I use Roma tomatoes, which are tender but still hold up well in the sauce.
- Basil: Cut the fresh leaves into thin strips.
- Garlic: Minced whole cloves.
- Tomato Sauce
- Balsamic Vinegar: For the balsamic glaze.
- Granulated Sugar: This goes into the glaze.
How to Make Bruschetta Chicken Pasta
This pasta with bruschetta and chicken makes a great meal for the whole family. It’s filling, healthy and flavorful, making it an instant favorite.
- Cook the Pasta: Boil a pot of water over the stove and prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- Cook the Chicken: Season your diced chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet and add the cubed chicken. Cook it for 8 minutes, or until the chicken has browned evenly and its internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Make the Bruschetta: Dice the tomatoes and save the juices from them in a small bowl. Combine the diced tomatoes, tomato juices, basil, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and half of the minced garlic.
- Sauté the Garlic: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it starts to sizzle, add the remaining garlic and sauté it for about 20 seconds, or until the garlic gets soft and tender.
- Make the Tomato Sauce: Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in your previously prepared tomato salad. Add the tomato sauce to the pan and bring it to a boil. Pour the prepared pasta into the saucepan and toss it all around until the sauce coats the noodles completely.
- Make the Vinaigrette: Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small separate pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook it until the vinaigrette turns into a thick syrup. Remove it from heat and add it to the pan of prepared pasta, tossing it again so the vinaigrette coats the noodles.
- Serve: Split the pasta into four equal portions. Arrange the prepared pieces of chicken breast on top of the pasta evenly across all four servings.
Can I Make It in Advance?
It’s best to make individual components of this dish ahead of time and throw them together when you’re ready to eat, instead of saving the finished dish. You can make the veggie mix up to 2 hours beforehand and leave it covered in the fridge. If you want, you can also cook the pasta in advance and keep it refrigerated in a ziplock bag. The balsamic is also easy to throw together ahead of time. Everything will be freshest if it’s used within 2 hours of being made, but it should last overnight too.
Tips for Success
With only 7 steps, meal prep doesn’t get much simpler than this. Here are some things to keep in mind to get the very best results.
- Follow the Pasta Directions: Make sure you look at the directions on the pasta box before you cook it. Different kinds of pasta cook at different speeds, so one type of pasta might get mushy in the same amount of time that it takes another to reach the al dente stage.
- Cut the Chicken Evenly: Make sure that you dice the chicken into equal pieces. If there’s a lot of variation in the size of the pieces, they won’t all cook at the same speed, and you might end up with dry pieces – or even undercooked ones, which can be dangerous.
- Don’t Burn the Garlic: Garlic can go pretty quickly from just right to overdone, so make sure you keep an eye on it. Once the scent becomes strong and the garlic turns translucent yellow, it’s ready for the tomato.
This dish has the classic and beloved flavors of bruschetta, but that doesn’t mean you can’t switch it up! Try one of these ideas to make this recipe your own.
- Marinate the Chicken: If you want even stronger balsamic flavor, try whipping up some extra vinaigrette and marinating the chicken in it for a few hours before cooking it. Make sure not to leave it for more than 4 hours though, or the acid can start to eat away at the chicken.
- Add to the Bruschetta: There are a ton of other options for bruschetta ingredients, both traditional and more creative. Many classic recipes include onion and feta cheese. Some more interesting but still traditional ideas include beans, cured meats like salami or prosciutto, and green olives. Adding more veggies like cooked eggplant, artichoke, zucchini, mushrooms or bell pepper can give you even more flavor – and some extra nutrients, too.
- Switch out the Protein: You can try out different meats for this recipe, like beef, ground turkey, or Italian sausage. You can also go with tofu for a vegetarian dish, or just take out the protein altogether. If you decide to do that, consider adding beans to the bruschetta so you still get a complete meal.
- Go Gluten-Free: If you want to cut out gluten from this recipe, it’s pretty simple. Since there’s no gluten in the bruschetta or the vinaigrette, the only thing you have to worry about replacing is the pasta. Use your favorite brand of gluten-free noodles, or go with something more creative like sweet potato noodles, gluten-free rice noodles, zucchini noodles or tapioca noodles.
- Spice it Up: If you want to give this recipe a little kick, consider adding jalapeños to the bruschetta, swapping out the chicken for a spicy sausage like chorizo, or adding some red pepper flakes to taste. You can also try sprinkling in some cayenne pepper or hot sauce.
Since this bruschetta pasta is soft and tender, it pairs really well with dishes that fall on the firmer or crispier side of things. These Baked Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Chips offer a satisfying crunch, with flavors that match the pasta. You can even sprinkle any leftover parmesan from these babies over the main dish. Another great option is Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze, which goes perfectly with the balsamic flavor in the pasta. It also adds a saltiness that balances the sweetness and tang of the vinaigrette.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
You can keep this pasta in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep it sealed tightly, either in a bowl with plastic wrapped snugly over it or in an airtight container. If you don’t think you’ll get around to the leftover pasta within this time frame, pop it in the freezer so it doesn’t go to waste.
When you’re ready to reheat it, either warm it on the stove over medium heat, or microwave it for 30 seconds at a time until it’s warmed through.
Does This Freeze Well?
Since the sauce for this bruschetta pasta doesn’t contain any dairy, it actually freezes a lot better than many other pasta dishes. You can keep it in a double-lock freezer bag or a tightly sealed freezer-safe container. It can stay in there for up to 3 months. Just make sure to let it thaw overnight before you serve it.
Chicken Bruschetta Pasta
- 1 pound bow tie pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 (4- ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
- 6 roma tomatoes
- 10 fresh basil leaves , cut into thin strips
- 4 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 4 garlic cloves , minced, divided
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- Prepare pasta according to the directions on the package.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet; add cubed chicken and cook for 8 minutes, or until chicken is browned and internal temperature reaches 165°F degrees. Set aside.
- Dice tomatoes and save the juices in a small bowl.
- Combine tomatoes, tomato juices, basil, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, & half of the minced garlic; set aside. You can also make this ahead of time and refrigerate for 2 hours, covered.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add remaining garlic and sauté for about 20 seconds, or until soft and tender – do not burn the garlic.
- Increase heat to medium high and stir in previously prepared tomato salad.
- Add tomato sauce to pan and bring to a boil.
- Add prepared pasta to sauce pan and toss around until coated. Set aside.
- In a small pan, bring to a boil vinegar and sugar; reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook until sauce turns to a thick syrup. Remove from heat and add to prepared pasta.
- Transfer pasta to a platter.
- Arrange prepared chicken breasts on top of pasta.
- To Store: Keep sealed tightly in the fridge covered in plastic or in an airtight container up to 5 days.
- To Freeze: Freeze in a double-lock freezer bag or a tightly sealed freezer-safe container up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight before serving.
- To Reheat: Cook on the stove over medium heat or microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.