Hands-down the BEST chicken spaghetti recipe you'll find! Ditch those heavy spaghetti casseroles and try this easy option with bright Mediterranean flavors including tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and citrus.  

Meal-prep friends love this recipe, it's one you can prepare in advance and enjoy for lunch over the next few days. Be sure to watch the video for how to make this chicken spaghetti. 

Spaghetti twirled on a fork from a bowl

Spaghetti is the ultimate every-day kind of meal.  And as casual and unpretentious a warm bowl of spaghetti can be, it is simply hard to resist. At least for me!

One of my family's favorite dinners is this easy chicken spaghetti recipe.

It's not your usual hefty chicken spaghetti casserole, drowned in cheese or some sort of a heavy sauce. This is a much lighter and brighter option using some well-seasoned baked chicken breasts and more fresh Mediterranean flavors--tomatoes, basil, garlic, and citrus.

Whenever I feel the need for some Italian comfort food on the quick, this is one of the options I think of (there is always eggplant parmesan for leisurely weekend meals!)

Spaghetti with tomatoes, basil, pine nuts and Parmesan in a large pot

Lighter Chicken Spaghetti with Tomatoes an Basil  

Many chicken spaghetti recipes are casserole dinners that are rather heavy with cheese and cream-based sauces. Not the case here.

This is a healthy chicken spaghetti with bold, fresh flavors. The secret is in the braised tomato and white wine sauce!

Rather than drowning the spaghetti in a thick, heavy sauce, I decided to braise some fresh tomatoes, along with garlic, and chopped green onions in some good extra virgin olive oil.

From there, I added white wine and lemon juice; both citrus added brightness. Once the pasta is tossed in the sauce, we layer in more flavor with fresh basil, freshly grated Parmesan and some toasted pine nuts.

Fresh ingredients for chicken and spaghetti recipe

Shortcut for Chicken Spaghetti

I find this chicken spaghetti dinner a great opportunity to do some easy backed chicken breasts. And if I'm feeding a crowd, it's easy to slice the chicken breasts into smaller pieces to toss in the pasta bowls.

To make the baked chicken breasts, give them a quick seasoning (I used a combination of oregano, coriander, paprika, and a pinch of nutmeg.) I like to use a cast iron skillet (or any oven-safe skillet), to first brown the chicken before transferring to the oven for baking.

Here's my shortcut. It's not hard to make a few chicken breasts to throw into this chicken spaghetti recipe, but, in a pinch, you can totally use store-bought rotisserie chicken instead. Remove the bones and shred the rotisserie chicken and toss into your pasta. Whatever makes your life easier!

And if you feel like ditching the chicken part all together, this spaghetti recipe will rock as a vegetarian main!

How to Make this Easy Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

1. Start by making the baked chicken breasts. Season chicken with kosher salt, pepper and spices. Brown in olive oil, then add water and lemon juice.  Transfer skillet to heated oven (400 degrees F) to bake for 20 to 25 minutes (turning once half-way through). Tip: Chicken is down when internal temperature registers 165 degrees F.

Blackened chicken breast in a fyring pan

2. While chicken is baking, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Mine cooked in about 9 minutes in boiling water with a dash of salt. When ready, drain in a large colander. Set aside briefly.

3. Prepare the sauce. In a large heavy cooking skillet, heat ½ cup extra virgin olive oil. Stir in crushed red pepper flakes. Add tomatoes, garlic and green onions. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-high. Season with kosher salt and pepper.

Now add white wine and lemon juice an bring to a boil to reduce slightly. Turn heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 7-10 minutes or until tomatoes soften an turn a nice rusty orange.

Roma tomatoes and diced green onions fried in a large pan

4. Toss pasta into the tomato mixture. When the pasta heats through, toss in the basil leaves, grated Paremsan and toasted pine nuts (if you choose). Transfer spaghetti to serving bowls. Slice baked chicken breasts and add them on top. Enjoy!

Chicken and spaghetti with tomatoes and basil served in a bowl

What to Serve Along?

You hardly need to add anything to this chicken spaghetti dinner. But for me, it never hurts to start with a big bright salad. In the summer months, I love this grilled lettuce salad. Mediterranean avocado salad, Balela, or this 3-Bean Salad, are also great options.

Watch the Video for How to Make this Chicken Pasta Recipe: 

More Recipes to Try

Greek Chicken Orzo 

Simple Italian Minestrone

Sicilian Style Fish Stew

Easy Seafood Paella




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Chicken and spaghetti with tomatoes and basil served in a bowl

Tomato-Basil Spaghetti with Blackened Chicken

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Easy chicken spaghetti recipe, packed with bright Mediterranean flavors including tomatoes, basil, garlic and citrus. Serve it for dinner with your favorite salad (see ideas in the post.)



For Chicken:

  • 1.5 lb boneless chicken breast pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • ½ tsp ground corinader
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Extra virgin olive oil (see our olive oil options here)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 lemon, juice of

For Pasta:

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Extra virgin olive oil (see our olive oil options here)
  • 2.5 lb grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (you can leave some whole)
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7-8 green onions (both white and green parts), trimmed and finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 20 large basil leaves, roughly torn
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pat chicken breasts dry and season with kosher salt and black pepper. In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, coriander, paprika and nutmeg. Apply the spice mixture to chicken breasts on both sides.
  3. In an oven-safe skillet, heat 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add chicken and brown deeply on both sides (about 4 to 5 minutes in total) Turn heat off. Add ¼ cup water and lemon juice.
  4. Transfer chicken to the 400 degrees F-heated oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning over once. (Chicken is ready when internal temperature in its thickest part reads 165 degrees F. )
  5. While chicken is baking, cook spaghetti according to package. Mine took about 9 minutes in boiling water with a dash of salt. Drain in a large colander. Set aside briefly.
  6. In a large heavy cooking skillet, heat ½ cup olive oil. Stir in crushed red pepper flakes, tomatoes, garlic, and chopped green onions. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high. Now add white wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, allowing the sauce to reduce a little, then reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 7-10 minutes or until tomatoes sofetn and turn a nice rusty orange.
  7. Now, add cooked spaghetti to the tomato mixture and stir to combine. When pasta heats through, toss in the basil leaves, Parmesigiano Reggiano, and pine nuts (if you choose).
  8. Transfer spaghetti to serving bowls and top with the baked chicken breasts. Enjoy!


  • Cook's Tip for Shortcut: Although it's not hard to bake a few chicken breasts to through into this chicken spaghetti dinner, in a pinch, you can use rotisserie chicken. Just remove the bones and shred the rotisserie chicken into your pasta.
  • Leftovers? You can refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days. You can also meal-prep this and store in separate boxes for lunch.
  • Visit our shop to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2015 and has been recently updated with new media and information for readers' benefit. Enjoy!


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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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  1. Elena says:

    I air fried my chicken! Saved time and mess! Was delicious.

  2. Michele Pawley says:

    Made this for the 1st time tonight & Loved it!!
    It did take me longer than 40 minutes, hopefully I'll improve next time.
    I was wondering if you could use squash noodles to save carbohydrates? Hubby is diabetic.

    1. Suzy says:

      You'll for sure get faster each time :). You could certainly give squash noodles a try. I've never used them with this particular recipe, but have with others with great results.

  3. Tania Jacobs says:

    wow wow wow amazing! now I know what homemade spaghetti can taste like over canned tomato sauce. THANK YOU!

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Glad you tried this one, Tania! It is a bit different than the canned tomato sauce, eh?