HomeDinnerTomato Basil Pasta with Balsamic Grilled Chicken Recipe

Tomato Basil Pasta with Balsamic Grilled Chicken Recipe

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Tomato Basil Pasta with Balsamic Grilled Chicken Recipe

Tomato Basil Pasta with Balsamic Grilled Chicken is a delightful and vibrant dish that combines the fresh flavors of tomatoes and basil with the rich, tangy taste of balsamic-marinated chicken. This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a special weekend meal. The balance of flavors and textures will surely make it a favorite in your household.

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Ingredients Needed

Before you begin, gather all the ingredients to ensure a smooth cooking process.

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Main Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 oz pasta (spaghetti, fettuccine, or your choice)
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Seasonings and Spices

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Optional Additions

  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Extra balsamic glaze for drizzling

Preparing the Ingredients

Marinating the Chicken

In a bowl, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag or shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Seal or cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

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Prepping the Vegetables

While the chicken marinates, dice the tomatoes and chop the fresh basil leaves. If using sun-dried tomatoes or pine nuts, prep them as well.

Cooking the Chicken

Grilling Instructions

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill for 6-7 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C). Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing it thinly.

Alternative Cooking Methods

If you don’t have a grill, you can cook the chicken in a skillet over medium-high heat or bake it in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 25-30 minutes.

Cooking the Pasta

Choosing the Right Pasta

While spaghetti or fettuccine works well with this dish, you can use any pasta you prefer. Penne, rigatoni, or even angel hair pasta can be great alternatives.

Cooking to Al Dente

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

Making the Tomato Basil Sauce

Ingredients for the Sauce

  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking the Sauce

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped basil and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Combining the Pasta and Sauce

Mixing Instructions

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the tomato basil sauce. Toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.

Adding Fresh Basil

Stir in additional fresh basil just before serving for a burst of flavor and color.

Serving the Dish

Plating Tips

Plate the pasta in bowls or on plates, topping each serving with sliced balsamic grilled chicken. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

Garnishing Ideas

Garnish with extra chopped basil, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and toasted pine nuts for added texture and flavor.

Variations and Customizations

Vegetarian Options

To make this dish vegetarian, simply omit the chicken and add more vegetables such as zucchini, mushrooms, or bell peppers. You can also use tofu or a plant-based protein.

Gluten-Free Alternatives

Use gluten-free pasta and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free. Many stores offer a variety of gluten-free pasta options that work well in this recipe.

Tips for Success

Ensuring Even Cooking

Make sure the chicken breasts are of even thickness for uniform cooking. You can pound them to an even thickness if necessary.

Enhancing the Flavors

For deeper flavors, marinate the chicken overnight and use high-quality balsamic vinegar and fresh, ripe tomatoes.

Health Benefits of Ingredients

This dish is packed with health benefits. Chicken provides lean protein, tomatoes are rich in antioxidants like lycopene, and basil offers anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil contributes healthy fats, making this a nutritious and delicious meal.

Conclusion

Tomato Basil Pasta with Balsamic Grilled Chicken is a simple yet elegant dish that brings together fresh ingredients and rich flavors. Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, this recipe is sure to impress. The combination of tender grilled chicken, aromatic basil, and sweet tomatoes creates a harmonious and satisfying meal.

FAQs

1. Can I use store-bought marinara sauce instead of making my own?

Yes, you can use store-bought marinara sauce if you’re short on time. However, the fresh tomato basil sauce adds a unique and vibrant flavor to the dish.

2. How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.

3. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

You can prepare the components ahead of time (marinate and cook the chicken, make the sauce) and store them separately. Combine and reheat just before serving.

4. Is it possible to freeze this dish?

It’s best to freeze the components separately. Freeze the cooked chicken and sauce in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Cook fresh pasta when ready to serve.

5. What can I use instead of balsamic vinegar for the marinade?

If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, you can use red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar as a substitute. Each will impart a slightly different flavor but still be delicious.

By following this detailed guide, you can create a delicious and impressive Tomato Basil Pasta with Balsamic Grilled Chicken that will delight your taste buds and those of your guests. Enjoy!

Source: reciperunner.com

Yield: 4

Tomato Basil Pasta with Balsamic Grilled Chicken Recipe

Tomato Basil Pasta with Balsamic Grilled Chicken Recipe

Tomato Basil Pasta with Balsamic Grilled Chicken is a delightful and vibrant dish that combines the fresh flavors of tomatoes and basil with the rich, tangy taste of balsamic-marinated chicken. This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a special weekend meal. The balance of flavors and textures will surely make it a favorite in your household.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 38 minutes

Ingredients

  • Balsamic Grilled Chicken
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Tomato Basil Pasta
  • 12 ounces uncooked pasta, gluten-free if needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Balsamic glaze and extra chopped basil for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Balsamic Grilled Chicken

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a freezer bag along with all the marinade ingredients. Seal the bag, pressing out the air as you do, and massage the marinade into the chicken. Let the chicken marinate for at least an hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat your grill to approximately 400° F. and spray or brush the grates with oil. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for approximately 7-8 minutes, then flip and grill another 6-8 depending on the size and thickness of the chicken. The internal temperature should be 165° F.
  3. Remove from the grill and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Tomato Basil Pasta

  1. Cook the pasta according the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta into a colander.
  2. Return the pan or pot to the stove and add in the olive oil. Heat the oil over medium heat and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds then pour in the cherry tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  4. Sauté the tomatoes and garlic for several minutes or until they soften and release some of their juices. Add in the chopped basil and stir everything together. Pour the pasta back in with the tomato basil mixture along with some of the reserved pasta water and toss everything together. Add additional pasta water as need to create more sauce.
  5. Top with the sliced balsamic grilled chicken, parmesan cheese, balsamic glaze and extra basil.
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