Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce

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

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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

  • 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

  • RD

    I made this a few days ago for the family. Fettucini seems to be the perfect pasta for creamy sauces. I used some boneless chicken thigh meat we had in the freezer. Followed the advice for letting the chicken pieces brown as I sometimes start stirring things up too soon. My wife took the left-overs in for lunch at work the next day without telling me. I was upset because I wanted it. I will definitely make this again.

  • Abby

    This pasta dish is delicious! Honey, mint and thyme —– who would have thought. Be sure thyme and mint are well chopped. Also, I like to warm my plates before serving.

  • Rebecca

    I made this last night, and it was delicious – but very slightly too subtle for me. I wanted more punch from the mint and thyme. I never would have expected to put those herbs together and have it taste so fantastic. Next time I’ll just up the herb amounts. Wonderful website – thank you so much for your recipes!

  • Bogdan

    Very nice recipe, just tried it. I did not have any lemons so I put a stick of lemon grass. Works perfectly.

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Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce