One Pot Bruschetta Chicken Pasta is a full-flavored pasta dish made with tender chicken, garlic, fresh basil, and bright cherry tomatoes. It’s an easy weeknight meal made entirely in one pot with all the flavors of my favorite bruschetta (pronounced “broo-sketta”, not “broo-schetta”).
One of my favorite appetizers of all time is classic bruschetta, which is really just diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil piled on top of toasted crostini. I fell in love with bruschetta when we were hiking in Cinque Terra, Italy and stopped in Corniglia for lunch and I had the most amazing bruschetta of my life.
But for a weeknight dinner, bruschetta itself doesn’t quite cut it. So I took all the flavors of bruschetta and put them into pasta form with some chicken for the protein to make it a filling, complete meal.
And just for good measure, I decided to make the entire meal in one pot.
One Pot Meals
In a recent reader survey, I had an overwhelming 60% of readers respond that they wanted to see more one pot meals here on House of Nash Eats. The next highest category was for meals that took 30 minutes or less to prepare. So that’s what I’m setting out to share more of in 2019!
This one pot bruschetta chicken pasta checks both boxes since it can be made from start to finish in about 20-25 minutes and it’s all done in the same dutch oven or heavy duty pan.
And oh baby is it ever delicious. Paul raved and raved about this one, and the leftovers were just as delicious the second day as they were the first.
I have a handful of one pot, sheet pan, and skillet meals on the blog already but I will continue to work on adding more here throughout the year to try to give you guys more variety for your weeknight needs. In the meantime, check out my homemade hamburger helper cheeseburger pasta skillet, sheet pan shrimp fajitas, one pan green bean chicken and potato dinner, and skillet lemon chicken and rice for even more easy dinner inspiration.
Although some one pot recipes have you literally add everything to the pot all at once, then cook it ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom, I actually think that most one pot recipes benefit from just the tiniest little bit of extra effort of preparing the dish with just a couple extra, simple steps. This is what I have done with my one pot bruschetta chicken pasta by browning the chicken first before adding everything else.
Could you literally throw everything into the pot – uncooked chicken, pasta, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chicken broth, etc. – and have this turn out good? Absolutely. But it’s lots better if you take the additional five minutes to give the chicken a little color and draw out some of the flavor by searing it just a bit before adding everything else.
Also, holding the cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, and mozzarella balls in reserve allows their freshness and flavors to really be front and center and add a little extra texture to this dish that makes it so much more than many one pot pasta dishes that I have tried so far.
It’s a common trick I use to elevate a basic one pot pasta – to sprinkle fresh herbs, chopped green onions, or even chopped peanuts over a one pot meal to add texture and flavor that might otherwise be missing by cooking most of the ingredients at the same time.
How to Make Bruschetta Chicken Pasta
- Begin by heating a little olive oil in a dutch oven or other heavy duty pot on medium-high heat on the stove. Add the chopped chicken breasts that have been seasoned with a little salt and pepper. Leave the chicken alone for a couple of minutes to sear on one side before stirring and continuing to cook for a couple minutes more, just until lightly browned but not cooked through. Not only does this improve the texture and flavor of the chicken in the final dish, but it also develops wonderful flavor in the pot from the browned bits on the bottom known as fond.
- Transfer the partially cooked chicken to a plate and add the chicken stock, dry linguine (you may want to break it in half), chopped onions, tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings to the pot, heating over high heat until it comes to a boil.
- As soon as the liquid starts to boil, decrease the temperature to medium-low and add the chicken and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the linguine noodles. As the liquid simmers, it cooks the pasta and chicken, and gets mostly absorbed by the noodles.
- Once the noodles are al dente, there should still be a decent amount of liquid left, but don’t worry yet about the pasta being too soupy. Just remove the pot from the heat and add the cream, Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, chopped basil, and mozzarella balls and give everything a good stir. The cream and Parmesan cheese combine with any remaining broth to create the most wonderful, flavorful sauce. If you want, you can drizzle the pasta with a good balsamic vinegar or just serve it on the table for everyone to drizzle as much balsamic vinegar over the pasta as they like.
- Serve immediately.
Tips for One Pot Bruschetta Chicken Pasta
- In order for everything to cook correctly, you will want to make sure that you use the right amounts of chicken stock to pasta, otherwise the pasta will dry out. Be sure to stir a couple of times while the pasta cooks, both to ensure that it is cooking evenly, but also to see if too much liquid has been absorbed or evaporated.
- Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces rather than larger chunks. This helps them cook in the same amount of time as it takes the pasta and the other ingredients to cook so that they are all done at once.
- Don’t skip the cream at the end. It’s not a lot, but it adds a wonderful richness to the pasta that makes every so slightly creamy and delicious. Sure you could save a few calories omitting it, but I highly recommend including the cream.
- The recipe as written has the tiniest bit of heat from just 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. It is noticeable without making this a spicy pasta dish. My kids didn’t have any trouble with it at all, but if you have family members who are super averse to spice, just leave this out. Or if you really love spicy pasta, double the amount!
- Have extra Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar on hand for family and guests to use to top their pasta.
- You could even replace the chicken with sweet Italian sausage or shrimp, if you like, although I would wait to add the shrimp until the very end since you wouldn’t want them to overcook and get rubbery.
More Pasta Recipes You’ll Want to Try
- Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce over Fettucine Noodles
- The Best Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe EVER
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 large chicken breasts)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups chicken stock, plus a little extra if needed
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 pound dry linquine pasta
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves
- 1 bunch fresh basil, chiffonaded into strips
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella balls, sliced into halves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to garnish
- Optional: balsamic vinegar for drizzling over the finished pasta
- Heat oil in dutch oven. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then brown a few minutes without stirring. Brown a couple minutes more then transfer to a plate.
- Add chicken stock, chopped tomatoes, sliced garlic, linguine pasta (may need to break in half to fit into the pot), and all the herbs and spices through the salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
- As soon as the liquid is boiling, add the chicken and stir, then lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente and the chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally so the pasta cooks evenly and doesn't get stuck to the bottom of the pot. If necessary, add additional liquid 1/2 cup at a time if it looks like the pasta is drying out too much.
- There should still be a decent amount of liquid left in the pot after 8-10 minutes, but it will continue to be absorbed and create a delicious sauce so never fear.
- Remove from heat and add the cream, cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella balls, and Parmesan cheese and toss well to combine. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan and basil to serve over top and balsamic vinegar on the side for drizzling over the pasta, if desired.
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