So, here we are right smack in the middle of it…Christmas week. We are behind on everything and need to make our last efforts count. Who has time for dinner? I sure don’t. But we got to pull it together somehow in the midst of all the chaos. That means making it quick (and preferably easy).

This is my go to cheat meal when I would just assume pull out my hair than think of what to cook. Roasted Chicken and Tomato Pasta.

I’ve been making it for years now. One because it’s healthy and two because it’s easy!!! Now, because I’m in a hurry too, I’m going to make this short and sweet.



1-1½ Lbs Chicken

½ C Balsamic Dressing

1 Package Grape Tomatoes

2/3 Lbs Penne Pasta

Olive Oil (for drizzling)



Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add ½ cup of balsamic salad dressing to a glass cooking dish. If you feel like keeping it a little more organic, add 3 Tbs olive oil, 5 Tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. I generally go with making my own because I make my own salad dressing and have all the seasoning on hand. If you don’t have Italian seasoning (which I rarely do), add a couple dashes of basil, parsley, and thyme. This recipe is hard to mess up!

Add about 1-1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken (thighs, breasts, whatever you like). Add one package of grape tomatoes. Toss everything in the dressing to coat. Cover with lid or foil and pop in the oven.


After about twenty minutes in, begin making 2/3 lbs of your favorite pasta (I like penne). When done drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to keep from sticking. Allow chicken dish to cook for about 40 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.

Remove chicken and chop into bite size chunks. Return to baking dish and toss with juices. Spoon chicken and roasted tomatoes over the pasta and toss together. Add chicken broth from baking dish as needed to keep everything moist. Serve!!!!

For an added touch, drizzle a little extra balsamic over the dish before diving in. It really brings out the flavor of the roasted tomatoes.

For other variations, add freshly chopped basil or spinach to the finished product. Other veggies are great to add to the roasting pot too. Don’t be shy and don’t stress over this dish!



Published by JM Sayles