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Chicken Pasta with Coconut Milk

Chicken pasta with coconut milk is a dreamy way to enjoy tasty, creamy pasta. Made with a handful of staple ingredients, it’s easy to make and comes together in no time in just one pot!

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I’ve cooked chicken breast with coconut milk before and I was in awe at how creamy and juicy it was. The coconut milk did wonders!

So, I dreamt up the possibilities as a creamy pasta, and this creamy chicken pasta with coconut milk made those dreams come true!

chicken pasta with coconut milk in pan with two white bowls

Why We Love Chicken Pasta with Coconut Milk

There are so many reasons to rely on this easy one-pot pasta with coconut milk.

It’s versatile, easy to prep, easy to clean, and overall, just absolutely delicious.

  • One pan – Don’t we all love recipes with minimal prep and cleanup? You can cook the chicken and pasta individually in the same pan so you have just one pan to wash! You could also bake your chicken if you want things to cook quicker and not dirty up a second pan.
  • Kid-friendly – I feel like pasta is generally safe with kids. While you can decide what you do and don’t add, this pasta is creamy and filling. My kids love it!
  • Great for postpartum and easy freezer meal – This was one of my favorite nourishing postpartum freezer meals! It has all the macronutrients, plus fats and veggies, and was easy to make, freeze and reheat. I also love making as a freezer meal for new moms.
  • Easy pasta night – If you’re sick of the same old thing for pasta night, switch it up with this chicken pasta with coconut cream recipe. It’s different, but still pasta as a safe food for the kids. Each time you make it, you could try a different veggie in there.
  • Easy leftovers that reheat well – We love leftovers for their convenience so anything that can be reheated in minutes is a win. Sometimes I’ll even add some more cheese and bake the leftovers into a pasta bake, kinda like this vegetable pasta bake. Eating the same thing, just in a new way!
  • Balanced meal for after workouts/kids practices, etc. – One meal with all the macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) is my favorite. Efficiency for the win!
creamy coconut milk pasta in pan

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this chicken pasta recipe with coconut milk.

  • Pasta of choice – I like using ziti, but any type you enjoy will work well. I will say that smaller pasta shapes are easier to coat in the creamy coconut milk sauce.
  • Chicken breast – You’ll want thawed chicken breast that you can easily dice.
  • Full-fat coconut milk
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Peas – Frozen peas work fine, but if you prefer fresh, that works too!
  • Shredded parmesan
  • Spinach, optional
  • Spices – cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, black pepper
ingredients for chicken pasta with coconut milk
raw chicken on cutting board with other ingredients for pasta with coconut milk

How to Make Chicken Pasta with Coconut Cream

  1. First, you’ll start by boiling your water and cooking your pasta. While the pasta is cooking, cut the chicken into strips and season.
seasoned chicken breast on cutting board
spice blend in clear bowl for chicken pasta with coconut milk

2. Add your chicken to the pot and cook over medium-high heat with some olive oil. Make sure to spread the chicken in a single layer in the pot so it cooks evenly.

I like to cook these simultaneously to save time, but if you want to use one-pot, you can cook them individually.

Set aside the chicken when done (make sure it reaches 165 degrees F internally, I recommend a good food thermometer)!

cooked chicken in pan

3. Once the pasta is done cooking, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Then, mix the other ingredients for the creamy coconut cream pasta sauce.

clear bowl with pasta water
clear bowl with coconut cream pasta sauce

You’ll then add everything back to the cooking pot with the pasta, including the coconut cream sauce which you’ve previously mixed and set aside, reserved pasta water and cooked chicken.

If there are additional spices, seasonings or anything you’ll want to add, do it here.

pot with cooked pasta and coconut cream sauce
pot with cooked pasta, chicken and coconut cream sauce

Heat on low, stir on spinach, and mix until cheese melts.

The spinach is optional, but I love getting some extra veggies. Enjoy!

creamy chicken pasta with coconut milk in skillet

FAQ and Tips

How to store chicken pasta with coconut cream

Once everything cools, store in a large tupperware in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

How to freeze chicken coconut milk pasta

To freeze, I prefer using the BPA-free glass containers, but you’ll want it in something large enough that it can stay flat. You can even freeze in smaller portion in these souper cubes. Freeze for up to 3-6 months!

Why do I add reserved pasta water?

Pasta water is such a rich addition to keep on hand as a base for soups, stews, sauces, etc. In this case, it helps thicken the coconut cream sauce with its leftover starch, salt and more. Here is a great article from Bon Appetit about why pasta water is so great!

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coconut milk pasta in skillet
Yield: 4-6 servings

Coconut Milk Chicken Pasta

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Chicken pasta with coconut milk is a veggie-rich, creamy, one-pot pasta that's great for the whole family.

Ingredients

For the pasta

  • 1 lb pasta – I used ziti
  • 1 lb chicken breast cut into strips or cubes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Seasonings of choice*

For the coconut sauce

  • ½ cup pasta water (reserved from cooking pasta)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup Shredded parm cheese
  • 1-2 cusp raw spinach, optional

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, boil water for the pasta. Once the water is boiling, cook your pasta according to directions, 8-10 minutes. I like to cook the pasta a little al dente, since we’ll add everything back in warm it all up.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, cut your chicken intro strips and add olive oil to a medium pan. Cook in a over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. Spread chicken in single layer so it cooks evenly.
  3. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Once pasta is done cooking, drain it, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.
  4. In a small to medium bowl, mix the other ingredients for the coconut milk pasta sauce.
  5. Add the pasta back into the pot or pan you cooked with, and add in the sauce and cooked chicken. Reheat everything for a few minutes and add parmesan cheese.
  6. Add spinach and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese melts.

Notes

* I like to mix a bit of the seasoning to put on the chicken strips when cooking, and save the rest for the coconut milk pasta sauce.

- You can easily make this a one-pot dish. To do so, cook your chicken first and then remove it from the pot and set aside while pasta boils. Then, add the cooked chicken back in with the coconut sauce.



Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 550Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 630mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 38g

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