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Marry Me Chicken Pasta (Dairy Free)

Marry me chicken pasta has tender chicken breasts cooked in a tomato cream sauce with sundried tomatoes, onion, garlic, and fresh herbs. This delicious pasta recipe is dairy free and gluten free.

Looking for more pasta recipes? Try my beluga lentil bolognese, burst cherry tomato pasta, spaghetti alla nerano, or margherita pasta.

What You’ll Love About This Recipe

  • Simple ingredients – You only need a handful of ingredients to make this dish and you likely already have many of them in your pantry.
  • Easy – This Tuscan chicken dinner is great for date night or busy weeknights and is made in one pan (minus the pasta) for an easy cleanup!
  • Flavorful – the creamy sun-dried tomato sauce is so good you’ll want to drink it.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this marry me chicken recipe with pasta:

  • Penne pasta – or any shaped pasta such as rigatoni, fusilli, ziti, etc.
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts.
  • Dairy free butter and olive oil – the combination of the two add extra flavor.
  • Onion
  • Fresh garlic
  • Tomato paste – adds an extra rich tomato flavor to the sauce.
  • Italian seasoning
  • Chicken broth
  • Full-fat canned coconut milk – an excellent substitute for heavy cream. It makes the sauce nice and creamy without adding any coconut flavor. 
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – use oil-packed for the best flavor.
  • Nutritional yeast – adds a savory, cheesy flavor.
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper – to taste.
  • Fresh basil – for serving.

How to Make Marry Me Chicken Pasta: Step By Step

Here are some quick visual instructions. The full instructions and ingredient list will be in the printable recipe card below!

1. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente according to package directions. 

2. Sear the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil and butter. While the pan is heating up, generously season your chicken breasts on both sides with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Once the pan is hot, sear the chicken breasts on each side for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden brown. It’ll finish cooking in the sauce later. Remove the seared chicken breasts from the pan, set them aside on a plate, and reduce to medium heat.

3. Cook the aromatics. Add the diced onions and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Deglaze the pan with the broth, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

4. Make the sauce. Pour in the sun-dried tomatoes, coconut milk, and nutritional yeast. Stir until combined then nestle the seared chicken breasts into the sauce.

5. Finish cooking in the flavorful sauce. Cover with a lid and reduce to medium-low heat. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Serve the cooked chicken on top of the pasta and spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with torn basil leaves.

Helpful Tip

  • Generously season the chicken breasts on both sides with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. This helps build the flavors early on.

Quick Tip: Don’t sear the chicken for too long because you don’t want it to overcook when you finish cooking it in the sauce.

Storage

Let cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this marry me chicken pasta recipe using what you already have? Here are some ideas…

  • No chicken breasts? – use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
  • No fresh garlic? – you’ll need 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Add it in at the same time as the Italian seasoning and tomato paste.
  • Not dairy free? – use unsalted butter and heavy cream or half and half, and grated parmesan cheese instead of nutritional yeast.
  • Make marry me chicken without sun dried tomatoes – use 1/2 cup of tomato paste instead of the sun dried tomatoes.
  • Add-ins – chopped kale, spinach, or red pepper flakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What else can you serve marry me chicken with besides pasta?

Marry me chicken is also great served over rice, mashed sweet potatoes, or cauliflower mash.

Why is it called Marry Me Chicken?

The story behind the name is that the chicken dish is so good it could result in a marriage proposal to the chef.

More Pasta Recipes

I hope you love this Marry Me Chicken Pasta! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment & a star rating so I know how you liked it!

Marry Me Chicken Pasta (Dairy Free)

Two bowls of dairy free marry me chicken over penne pasta with torn fresh basil leaves.
Marry me chicken pasta has tender chicken breasts cooked in a tomato cream sauce with sundried tomatoes, onion, garlic, and fresh herbs. This delicious pasta recipe is dairy free and gluten free.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Serving Size 4

Ingredients
 

  • 12 ounces penne pasta use GF if needed
  • 1 tablespoon dairy free butter or unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
  • ½ cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes oil packed
  • ½ cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • diamond crystal kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente according to package directions.
  • Sear the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil and butter. While the pan is heating up, generously season your chicken breasts on both sides with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Once the pan is hot, sear the chicken breasts on each side for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden brown. It'll finish cooking in the sauce later. Remove the seared chicken breasts from the pan, set them aside on a plate, and reduce to medium heat.
  • Cook the aromatics. Add the diced onions and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Deglaze the pan with the broth, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Make the sauce. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, coconut milk, and nutritional yeast. Stir until combined then nestle the seared chicken breasts into the sauce.
  • Finish cooking in the flavorful sauce. Cover with a lid and reduce to medium-low heat. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Serve the cooked chicken on top of the pasta and spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with torn basil leaves.

Notes

See the blog post for helpful tips, storage, and FAQs.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

No chicken breasts? – use boneless skinless chicken thighs
No fresh garlic? – you’ll need 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Add it in at the same time as the Italian seasoning and tomato paste.
Not dairy free? – use unsalted butter and heavy cream or half and half, and grated parmesan cheese instead of nutritional yeast.
Make marry me chicken without sun dried tomatoes – use 1/2 cup of tomato paste instead of the sun dried tomatoes.
Add-ins – chopped kale, spinach, or red pepper flakes.

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