Go Back

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders Over Pasta with Warm Tomatoes

This recipe has quite a few steps, but don’t be intimidated. Just take one step at a time and it will all flow.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cream sauce, easy pasta recipe, pasta
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Linda Spiker


For chicken:

  • 1 pound Chicken Tenders (store bought, or make your own by slicing chicken breast into 1/4" pieces)

Chicken Coating

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • juice from half a lemon

Chicken Crumbs

  • 1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Sage Cream Sauce~

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper

Pasta with Warm Tomatoes

  • 1 lb linguine, cooked to package instructions
  • 4-5 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • Pine Nuts (to taste) optional


Prep and measure all ingredients before you begin for a smoother cooking experience

Chicken Prep:

  1. Chicken tenders should be about ¼ inch thick. If they are thicker, place between two sheets of parchment paper and pound with a rolling pin till they are about a ¼ inch thick. Set aside.
  2. In a shallow dish combine egg whites, corn starch and lemon juice.
  3. In another large shallow dish combine all crumb ingredients and toss well.
  4. Dip chicken tenders in egg mixture and coat both sides with bread crumb mixture.
  5. If it falls off, press more on. The egg coating acts as a ‘glue’ to hold crumbs on to chicken.
  6. After coating with bread crumbs allow chicken tenders to “rest” on a wire rack for ½ hour.

While chicken is resting :

  1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic and a pinch of sea salt in a large serving bowl with a paper towel in the bottom of bowl. Toss. Cover and let sit until pasta is ready. Start cream sauce.

Cream Sauce Prep:

  1. In a pot, melt butter on medium heat. When melted add salt, pepper and flour. Whisk until a ‘roux’ forms, this will thicken your sauce. Slowly add cream while whisking. When cream thickens slightly lower heat and add lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Add sage and lower flame to keep warm till chicken is ready. Start a large pot of water to cook pasta according to package directions.

Cooking Chicken and Pasta

  1. You will start the chicken and the pasta at the same time.
  2. After chicken has rested for a half hour and pasta water is boiling, use a non stick skillet to sauté chicken on med/high heat in olive oil until golden and crisp, about 4-5 minutes each side, chicken is thin so it cooks quickly. Be sure pan and oil are hot before adding chicken. After placing chicken in pan to cook, add pasta to water, stirring frequently while keeping an eye on chicken.

Cook pasta to package directions and toss with tomatoes:

  1. When pasta is 'al dente', drain into a colander without rinsing, remove paper towel from under tomatoes and immediately place hot pasta on top of the tomato mixture. The heat from the pasta will warm the tomatoes without making them mushy. Drizzle the pasta with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, toss.

To Plate:

  1. Place pasta and tomatoes on plate, top with chicken and sage cream sauce. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Enjoy!