Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce

DinnerChickenPasta

Cubed chicken sautéed in olive oil, served with pasta in a creamy sauce infused with thyme, mint, and honey.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

We tried this thyme mint cream sauce from another recipe and loved it so much I decided to make it with chicken and pasta. Great flavor combination, and the kicker is that by the time the pasta water has come to a boil and the pasta is cooked, everything else is ready too, making for a filling, tasty midweek meal.

Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta, such as linguine or fettucini
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

1 Heat 4 quarts of salted* water in a large pot for the pasta. As the water heats, prepare the chicken. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the chicken pieces, spreading them out initially and then not stirring them, so they have an opportunity to brown. Once lightly browned on one side, use tongs to flip the pieces over so they brown on the second side. When pieces are browned on both sides, and just cooked through, remove to a paper towel lined plate.

2 Deglaze the pan with white wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and let liquids reduce by half (turn up the heat if necessary). Add the cream, mint, thyme, lemon zest, honey, salt, and vinegar. Reduce the sauce by half again.

3 Once the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta and cook following directions on pasta package. When pasta is ready, drain and add to cream sauce when cream sauce has been reduced by half and is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add chicken to the pasta and sauce. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

* Use a teaspoon of salt for every quart of water. Some people wait until the water is boiling to add the salt. Makes little difference to me. Just make sure you get the salt in the pasta water or your pasta will be tasteless.

Serve immediately. Garnish with a little chopped fresh mint and thyme.

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Adapted from a fried chicken recipe by Chef Stephen Pyles, as reported in the Wall St. Journal, April 14, 2007.

Showing 4 of 25 Comments / Reviews

  • Annie

    The thing I find most interesting is the original source you cited. Did Chef Stephen Pyles serve a thyme-mint cream sauce with fried chicken?

    Yes he did. Tasted great, but a little over the top in terms of richness in my opinion. ~Elise

  • Michael

    Lemon and thyme!

    I’m really happy to see this recipe here. You guys are right, it must be absolutely delicious.
    I sometimes make this kind of pasta at home, it is not only easy to make, but also suitable for all kinds of dinners, and your guests will not feel that you have neglected the food preparation.

    Here’s my personal variant: put some sage together (or instead of) with the thyme, and add them to the oil with the chicken so that it gets a deeply aromatic taste.
    You can also add dried chilies and roughly chopped garlic, it’s even better.
    Extra tip: serve with some parmesan cheese AND finely chopped raw garlic to enhance the ‘wow’ flavor at the end.

    I also have a secret version of this recipe, but I haven’t made up my mind on giving it away yet hehehe… :p

  • Sunny

    I was wondering if one could somehow reduce the fat content of the heavy cream and use 1/2 and 1/2 instead. Can’t wait to try.

    You can try it. I usually stick to heavy cream in recipes because then there is less chance of curdling. ~Elise

  • Teresa

    I went right out to my herb garden and snapped up some mint and thyme and OMG! This recipe was amazing!!! My husband loved it, my two very picky kids loved it, and the most spoiled member of our household (Phoebe our Yorkie) even got a taste afer we were all too stuffed to move. This recipe will become the one we pull out time and time again. I’ve even been thinking about some variations already. The funniest thing is my husband said, I get the thyme, but I don’t see the mint idea at all. He totally gets it now! Thank you Elise!

    Awesome. I was hoping someone would try it, and like it as much as we did. :-) ~Elise

  • Julianne

    Just thought you’d like to know that I made this tonight here downunder in Melbourne, Australia and we loved it! Yummo!

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Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce