Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce

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

  • Yield: Serves 4-6.


  • 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


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.

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Showing 4 of 33 Comments

  • Cathy at Wives with Knives

    Honey and mint together in the pasta sauce. Sounds wonderful.

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    You’d think for all the mint I have in my garden that I’d have tried a recipe like this one — but I haven’t… so time to remedy that. Even here in New England, the mint survives in my garden until Thanksgiving, and I’m always looking for new ways to use it.

  • Sues

    And noww I’m starving!! I bet the mint gives it an awesome little kick. Need to get some fresh from my dad’s garden!

  • Joanna

    Oh, this looks delicious! I’m not sure I’ve ever used thyme and mint together but I’m intrigued. Also, re: salting pasta water, I always wait until the water is boiling because that way the salt dissolves quickly. If you add salt to cold water, it won’t dissolve right away and it can eat away at the coatings on some pots. (My dad always used to salt first, and now his pasta pot is a brilliant example of this unfortunately!)

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