Skillet Pasta

Update 01/11: This meal is fantastic. It is lightly creamy with a deliciously slight zip of flavor from the lemon juice and sun-dried tomatoes.

Because the pasta simmers in a flavorful broth, it plumps up with extra tastiness and the bites of tender chicken and hearty broccoli are like icing on the cake.

A glorious dish, this one! I’ve made several adaptations to the recipe since originally posting it to make the overall consistency more to my liking. I’ve updated the recipe below.

What To ServeBroccoli Salad
Buttery Peas with Thyme
Fresh fruit

Skillet Chicken Pasta with Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Skillet Chicken Pasta with Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomatoes


  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces ziti or penne pasta
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4-5 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, drained and chopped coarse
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until it is rippling and very hot. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the pasta, water and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. There should still be a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the skillet but the pasta should be tender.
  4. Add the broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir lightly to incorporate them into the pasta mixture. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 2-3 minutes. While the broccoli is cooking, whisk the cream and cornstarch together.
  5. Uncover the skillet and stir in the cream, Parmesan, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topped with extra Parmesan, if desired.

Recipe Source: adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes

91 Responses to Skillet Chicken Pasta with Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  1. Samantha M. says:

    Hi Mel. I made this dish a few days ago and it was TERRIFIC. We just love sun-dried to tomatoes and broccoli (and pasta!), so I knew I had to try this. After reading Danielle’s comment above, I decided to use my Dutch Oven which worked out well. It would have been too much for my deep skillet. Also, like her, I used a pound of pasta so I decided to use an extra cup of liquid, but I split it and used an extra half cup of water and an extra half cup of chicken broth. It came out just perfect! Thanks for a great recipe I will surely be making often.

  2. Kate says:

    Made this once and loved it! When I went to make it again my half bottle of sundried tomatoes in the fridge looked a little iffy. So I used a handful of slightly wrinkled grape tomatoes, cut in half, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with s&p, roasted cut side up for 30-40 mins at 300 F. These little tomatoes were so good they almost didn’t make it into the pasta, but it only made it that much better. Thanks, Mel!!

  3. Rayna V says:

    Hey Mel. I’ve been following you for a couple of years and love your blog. Recently, I have been having problems accessing your site. My antivirus software has repeatedly blocked certain pages (that I have bookmarked and previously viewed) and flagged them as malicious. I was just wondering if anyone else has had this issue or if your security has been compromised in the past few months.

  4. Kim o says:

    Thanks for the great recipe, Mel! What would you suggest to put on the side?

  5. Ruth Higham says:

    I love your recipes, especially how you describe their yuminess. Thank you so much.

  6. Pam says:

    Our dinner plans fell through last night, and I couldn’t believe I had all the ingredients on hand for this! I was a little hesitant about the lemon juice because I didn’t want it to taste too lemony, but it just added a nice zesty flavor! The dish was so delicious! We’ll definitely be having this again soon! Thanks Mel!

  7. Marcie says:

    Just wanted to say this is one of our family favorites! All 6 of us love it, which is a miracle πŸ™‚ I leave out the tomatoes, just to make the kiddos happy, but other than that, we make it as is. Very very yummy! Thank you for the recipe.

  8. Danielle says:

    This dish was fantastic!! I made this tonight and it was delicious and came together quickly. I made mine in a 6 quart dutch oven. The only changes I made were that I used evaporated milk instead of the heavy cream (WW friendly) and used a 1 lb. box of penne so I increased the water to 4 cups. It came out great and we have lots of leftovers for tomorrow! My kids asked where I got the recipe and I said “Mel”. They all said “Of course!” πŸ™‚ You’re famous in our house!! Thanks for another great recipe to put into the rotation!

  9. This looks great! I have so much broccoli in my fridge right now – needed to figure out what I was going to do with it all. Just need a different non-dairy sauce. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Sarah G. says:

    I’m wanting to make this but, try to avoid using heavy cream at all cost…what do you suggest I use but, still obtain the creaminess?

    • Mel says:

      Sarah – you’ll have to experiment. If there was a calorie free sub for the heavy cream with the same creaminess, I’d be using it too! πŸ™‚ You lose creaminess by subbing in lower fat milk products but it will cut calories so you’ll have to try other ingredients that you don’t mind using (regular milk, etc.). Good luck!

  11. Katrina says:

    Made this last night, and my family loved it! We always know that a recipe from your site is sure to please- and this was no exception. I might try with half-and-half next time. We also talked about all the great variations we could do. Peas, bacon, carrots…. Looking forward to making it again. Thanks!

  12. Kelli says:

    This looks delicious, as are all your recipes! Do you ever use milk instead of cream if you don’t have cream on hand?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kelli – I haven’t subbed milk but I think several commenters said they did. The mixture won’t be quite as thick but should be ok.

  13. Diane K says:

    Yum! It had a bit more of a kick than I was expecting, but so good! I used whole wheat rotini because that’s how we roll around here, so it was a smidge over cooked. And my not-quite-two-year-old was not impressed with the slight crunch that remained in the broccoli. Overall: I loved it! I’m hoping by making it more often, I’ll cut down the time a little bit.

  14. Emily says:

    We made this tonight and it was yummy! I like that it’s one pot so there is less to clean up. However, I found it in the 30 minute meal section and even having all of my ingredients prepped, it still took more like 45 minutes to cook. When you add the prep time in for chopping onions, garlic, broccoli, chicken and grating the cheese it’s probably about an hour total. I guess you could do the broccoli and cheese while the pasta is cooking and save a bit of prep time there. And maybe I’m just a slow chopper. πŸ˜‰

  15. Melissa says:

    I know I’ve commented on this recipe before – but we just can’t get enough of it at our house!! This is sooooo good!!! One of my favs on here πŸ™‚

  16. Katrina Vega says:

    Loved this dish! Even the hubby (pickiest of eaters) said he would eat it again! Whoo hoo! Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Jujuwags says:

    I made this tonight. Our new favorite pasta dish!

  18. Joelle says:

    LOVE this recipe! It has become a favorite of ours. In fact I am a big fan of your site, Mel. Your recipes are good, simple and so satisfying. I have yet to find a recipe on this site that we haven’t liked – it has all been SO good! Thank you!!!

  19. Nadia says:

    Absolutely AMAZING!!!

  20. Kelly says:

    Just wanted to finally comment and tell you how much we LOVE this dish. We make it at least once a month, often twice a month. My husband has an aversion to white/creamy sauces, so he was a bit skeptical, but now it’s one of his favorite dishes ever. I don’t like broccoli and my husband doesn’t like sundried tomatoes, so we make it with carrots and red peppers. I put the carrots in with the pasta to boil, and I put the red peppers in to steam where the recipe says broccoli. Also, after making it so many times, I’ve noticed it’s better if we leave a little more of the chicken broth when we add in the cream. I know it says “there should still be a little bit of liquid”, but I’ve found if I leave a little bit more than what I would normally think is a little bit, it turns out creamier and tastier. I’ve even had to add some extra chicken broth or water part way through sometimes (probably if I’ve added extra pasta, since I just eyeball it). So folks who are making it for the first time should definitely keep an eye on the amount of liquid if they want it to turn out super tasty and delicious.

  21. Rebecca says:

    This is one of our favorites! I have made it a bunch of times. I thought it was a little dry for my tastes the first time, but probably my fault because I put in too much pasta. I did make a revision, so it’s a but creamier, and still so delish! I omit the heavy cream and put in mascarpone cheese instead, who doesn’t love more cheese right?

  22. Melanie says:

    From one Melanie to another: This is one fantastic dish! I’ve made it twice (today marks the second time around) and have tweaked it according to personal taste. I decided to add it to my own blog (with full credit given to you, of course!) because it’s just too good not to share!

  23. Kim in MD2 says:

    Made this for dinner last night & am having the leftovers for dinner right now. I have that Best Skillet Recipes cookbook & am looking forward to trying out many more of those recipes. I love a good one-pot meal!

  24. Grace says:

    This meal and your Crispy Southwestern Chicken Wraps were the first two dinners that I made in my boyfriend and my new apartment this week. They were amazing and easy to whip up! Thank you for taking the time to post such great recipes.

  25. Jill Zamojcin says:

    We made this tonight and LOVED it. Another Mel’s Kitchen Cafe added to our favorites list πŸ™‚ Thank you for the recipe!

  26. Katy says:

    This is a go-to recipe for us…I love it, and we eat it at least once a month if not more. I see that Audrea had a question (a year ago!) about lowering the calorie count, and I was just coming to share that after making it a bajillion times, I now always halve the meat, double the veggies (and add asparagus if I can find it!), and use whole milk instead of cream with great success. The texture is a bit lighter than with cream, but I don’t miss it one bit. Just thought I’d share!

  27. […] Skillet Chicken Pasta with Broccoli and Sun-Dried TomatoesΒ  […]

  28. Happy mommy says:

    Oh my… This is delicious, so very delicious! I made this for a get together and everyone loved it! My husband won’t stop talking about it. I may have even hoarded the leftovers for myself… Shhhhh don’t tell my husband πŸ˜‰

  29. Audrea says:

    This is delicious! I made it for my family last night and they loved it! It is definately a keeper! I was wondering though if you have any suggestions for a lighter version? It is delicious just the way it is, but I would love to try to lower the calories.

  30. Sue E says:

    I have to say it is so nice to come to your site and decide what I want to make for dinner for the week. It all turns out fabulous! Made this meal last week, it was so good! Keep the recipes coming – love them!

  31. Mel says:

    Thanks, Jessica!

  32. Jessica Z says:

    Yum! I was a bit skeptical, but it turned out fabulous! Def will be making this again!

  33. Emily says:

    Hi, I just wanted to let you know that this is one of my very favorite dinners. It’s so, so delicious! Since my sister shared this recipe with me last fall, I’ve usually made it every other week at least. I scale down the ingredients a bit so that I end up with four servings–enough for me and my husband to have for dinner one night, and then I divide the leftovers into two containers so each of us gets one leftover serving (if he doesn’t eat his the next day I usually end up snagging it, lol). One of the best things about this meal is that it’s so easy and fast to prepare, yet it’s tasty enough to serve for friends and have it seem like a fancy, special meal. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing!

  34. Heather says:

    Dinner tonight! Sooooo yummy! Love CI and love your site, thanks for sharing.

  35. Melissa says:

    Mmmmmm!!! This was DELISH!! Thanks πŸ™‚

  36. Kelli says:

    All I have to say this is an all time favorite of mine! I make it often when we have friends over for dinner and they rave about it.

  37. Marcie says:

    This turned out so good! Thank you so much. My whole family liked this. We’ll definitely make it again πŸ™‚

  38. Bethany S says:

    Made this tonight. Yum! Rachael Ray has a tuna “casserole” dish that is very similar to this and it is one of our favorites. Renaissance of Tuna Casserole. So, if you ever get bored of chicken, here is another option for you.

    • Mel says:

      Bethany – glad you liked this and you won’t be surprised to know that I’ve actually made that Rachael Ray recipe and I do love it. Now I’m wondering why I’ve never posted it!

  39. […] Year Ago: Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta, and Parmesan Two Years Ago: Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas Printable Version Printable Version with […]

  40. Melanie says:

    GGHadden – so glad you liked this! I’m on my way to check out your blog…

  41. GGHadden says:

    Wow, what a great but simple recipe!!! I made this last night and it was a big hit. I posted it on my blog along with a link to yours, hope you dont mind. Thanks Again….will definately be making more from your site.

  42. koby says:

    Wow, I love this. We stumbled across it about 6 months ago and have cooked it at least 12 times πŸ™‚ It is a huge hit with my whole family. Keep them coming, thanks!

  43. Melanie says:

    koby – so glad you liked this! It is definitely one of my favorites, ever!

  44. Kara Miller says:

    I’m totally making this! It sounds fabulous!

  45. jm says:

    This was AWESOME!!!! My husband and I just made this and it was amazing! Thanks so much for sharing it. WE LOVE IT!!!

  46. Melanie says:

    Beansieleigh – thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the Magic in the Middle cookies!

  47. Donna-FFW says:

    I love most of their dishes also. They never seem to fail. Iam so trying thisone, it looks great. Your blog is wonderful, you are just loaded with GOOD stuff!

  48. Melanie says:

    Shirley – thanks for checking back in and letting me know you liked this! So glad it was good for you.

  49. Melanie says:

    Jan – yeah! I love to know when people have tried a recipe and if it is a success (and even if it is not a success!). Thanks for letting me know. I agree that it tastes like something from a restaurant. So glad you liked it!

  50. Queen B. says:

    Oh goodness gracious how I adore your blog !!

  51. Melanie says:

    Jennie – how fun! I’m glad we made the connection! I haven’t tried the salmon dish at my fave restaurant but I’m glad for the recommendation, although with a new baby and other kids at home it might be a while before we get there again!

  52. Beansieleigh says:

    My first visit here, and just made your “magic in the middle” cookies!!… Delicious! That recipe is a definite keeper!! Love them, and look forward to stopping by here OFTEN!! (0:

  53. Annemarie says:

    I’ve heard great things about that cookbook. I’ll have to check it out. Can’t wait to try this!

  54. Ashlie says:

    This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it either. However, it’ll be a long 4 weeks before I can. I really should just stop reading the blog for those 4 weeks…Nope can’t do it. I’m on this no-grocery-shopping-for-6-weeks thing and I don’t have heavy cream or tomatoes, hence the waiting for 4 weeks to try it. I will let you know how it goes when I do! Until then, I’ll keep reading the site just in case I have everything in one of your delectable recipes:)

  55. Melanie says:

    Annabeth – this is one of my favorite meals so I’m glad you liked it, too. Thanks for letting me know!

  56. grace says:

    i think the very best way for me to get my dose of broccoli is to surround it with pasta and cheese. i like what you’ve done here. πŸ™‚

  57. Chelsea and Cody says:

    THis was so delicious! I had to adapt it to our diet, but it worked and is now an addition to our regulars! yum!!!

  58. Joie de vivre says:

    I am a lover of Cook’s Illustrated too! There is no shame in it!

  59. Maria says:

    Perfect for a weeknight meal!

  60. Melanie says:

    Chels – I saw your post on this dish. Your changes look great!

  61. Gianina says:

    Hey Melanie! This sounds wonderful! Just wanted to let you know that I have something for you over at my blog.

  62. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Hi there! Just stopping by to let you know that you won one of the 3 month milestone prizes on The Foodie Blogroll. We sent you an email, but haven’t heard back and wanted to make sure you knew!For more info please email: support(at)foodieblogroll.comGreat looking pasta dish! πŸ™‚

  63. Melanie says:

    Rebecca – thanks for your comment. I’m glad you liked this and that’s a great idea to use a pot in place of a skillet!

  64. Michelle says:

    I just found your site via Christy’s Kitchen Creations. This looks so yummy – I’m definitely going to try it out!Thanks for sharing!

  65. Colleen says:

    This has been starred – looks delicious!

  66. Melanie says:

    jm – thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know you liked this meal. I’m glad you liked it just as much as we do!

  67. Bastian's says:

    wow!!!! melanie i am so excited about this blog…..AMAZING. i’m so glad someone is planning my meals for me. YOU ROCK. my family will appreciate this. sure hope things are going well, i’ve been thinking about you alot.jen

  68. Jan says:

    I saw this recipe on your blog about 2 hours ago and decided to make it for dinner tonight! I’m eating it this very second and it is FANTASTIC absolutely DELICIOUS!!! It tastes like something I’d order at the Macaroni Grill – LOVE! I didn’t add the brocoli because I’m as bad as my kids about green vegetables, and honestly I don’t think they would have fit in my skillet – lol – so it was a good thing. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly.YUMMY! Thank you for sharing this one!

  69. Rebecca says:

    I made this tonight and it was fantastic! We prepared it in a large pot instead of the skillet to avoid any boilovers. I’m so glad that I found this blog. I’ve tried three recipes and they’ve all been delicious!

  70. Hypnotic Marketing says:

    Wow! I can’t wait to try this! I think I gained 2 pounds just reading the recipe. LOL I’ll let you know how it comes out.

  71. Anna says:

    Hi Melanie,Thanks for your comment on my blog, Cookie Madness. I clicked on your link and LOVE your blog already. I am always looking for good, family friendly recipes. This is one my daughter will love.

  72. Annabeth says:

    This dish IS awesome!!! I read the reviews, made it for dinner, and my 9 year old daughter said the same thing “It tastes like a restaurant!”
    My husband was surprised that I liked it, because I’m not a fan of garlic. But it doesn’t have a strong garlic taste at all…only deliciousness!
    Thanks a bunch!

  73. Marisa says:

    That sounds amazing! I totally agree that anything you make in one skillet and is good and easy is a total winning dish!

  74. Lynda says:

    That looks delicious and easy. I love skillet meals, not only because they are easy, but also the the mingling of flavors!

  75. jennie says:

    I just discovered your blog and have found so many great things to try – thanks for sharing your recipes with us! I read your post for gargonzola/pear pasta and now I’m wondering if we live in the same northern utah town and visit the same quaint restaurant?

  76. Shirley says:

    I cooked this tonight and it was outstanding. Thanks for posting it.

  77. jennie says:

    Hi Melanie – I think it’s so funny I could pinpoint your location based on a recipe! we ARE in the same town. by the way, that’s my second favorite dish there, have you tried the farfalle al salmone? yum. and, i found your post about your son’s birth – such a cutie. our little ones are about 2 weeks apart I think – my girl was born on 12/31.

  78. Healthy Food says:

    i’ve run out of ideas on what to prepare today – you have just given me one. πŸ™‚

  79. Janae says:

    I happened to stumble across your blog and have since added it to my favorites. Thank you for single-handedly planning my meals for the next few months! πŸ™‚ We tried this recipe last night and simply couldn’t get enough. I made a little change and added artichoke hearts instead of broccoli and sun-dried tomatos. This meal is one we are definitely making again in the very, VERY near future. In fact it’s only 9 AM and I can’t wait for lunch to finish off what was left! I also made the Garlic Knots. They also, to say the least, were amazing. Thanks again for such a wonderful blog!!!


  80. Melanie says:

    Janae – I’m very glad you liked this recipe and I love the changes you made (artichokes – yum!). I also was anticipating the leftovers with this one. Glad you liked the garlic knots, too! Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

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