Aren’t we all looking for the latest, greatest way to get lunch in the bag? Why not repurpose dinner recipes like this Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken & Pasta?
It’s a recipe everyone will love and one you can pack for lunch in a matter of minutes with leftover pasta. Let me show you how it’s done!
Dinner Leftovers for Lunch the Next Day
The beauty of this Creamy Sun Dried Tomato and Chicken Pasta Skillet Meal recipe is that it tastes like it took a lot more time to bring together than it actually does.
Simple ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, half and half, fresh basil and chicken breasts combine with penne pasta to create a filling, quick meal your family is sure to enjoy.
Best of all, it’s so easy to send these leftovers in a thermos for lunch the next day. Sending warm, home-cooked meals for lunch is one simple way I like to keep bellies full with healthy and nutritious foods.
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In this book, I share 70+ recipes that can be cooked ahead, stored in single-serve portions or frozen, and save you time and effort in the kitchen.
Cook once and have ready-to-eat meals for an entire week. These nutritious and filling recipes can be enjoyed as dinner or packed for lunch.
If you need a gluten-free version of this simple dinner idea, simply use your favorite gluten-free pasta in place of the penne.
It’s a simple swap I often make at my house with this recipe and our non-gluten-free family members never even notice the difference.
Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested
How to Pack Tomato Pasta in a Thermos
Alright, let’s pack this cheesy pasta for lunch!
Fill your thermos container with boiling water, top with the lid, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, add a portion of the pasta to a microwave-safe dish with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir and reheat until piping hot.
- Bag it
Carefully transfer the hot pasta into the thermos and seal the container. Add it to a lunch bag with snacks and an ice pack.
So easy, right? This is one of those lunches that’s quick to assemble and a winner with the kids.
Need a double insulated thermos container that will keep your food hot and hold up in the lunchbox? You’ll find some great options in this post as well as the video below:
You can also get details on how to pack warm thermos lunches, how long the food will stay hot, and my favorite thermos picks for lunch right here.
For more recipes, like this skillet meal, that will bring variety to your family dinner table, subscribe to our meal plans and get fresh recipes and shopping lists delivered to your inbox every single week.Print
Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken – Thermos Lunch Idea
This creamy pasta is a delicious dinner and leftovers work perfectly for a thermos lunch the next day!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Skillet
- Cuisine: Italian
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 4-ounce jar sundried tomatoes in oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound chicken breasts, cubed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Spanish paprika
- 1 cup half & half or milk
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Parmesan cheese, optional
- In a large pot, bring pasta water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain. Set the pasta aside.
- While the pasta cooks, on a cutting board, finely chop sun-dried tomatoes. Season chicken with salt and paprika.
- In a large 10-12 inch skillet over medium heat, heat up a tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato jar’s oil and sauté the chicken until it’s browned on both sides and cooked through.
- To the same pan, add the sun-dried tomato pieces and garlic, and sauté for an additional minute. Add half and half to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to combine liquid and sundried tomatoes. Once a thick sauce is formed, add Italian seasoning and stir.
- Add cooked pasta to the skillet and combine with sauce. Add ½ cup of the reserved water, and mix throughout to thin out the sauce. If it’s too thick, add in the additional reserved pasta water. Mix to combine.
- Serve and sprinkle parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if desired.
- To pack for lunch, preheat the thermos container with boiling water.
- Drain and fill the thermos with the pasta and seal the container.
- Place the thermos in a lunch bag and pack it with your choice of snacks and an ice pack.
- Recipe nutrition facts are calculated with 1 cup half and half.
- Serving Size: 1 ½ cups
- Calories: 292
- Sugar: 2.7g
- Sodium: 470.5mg
- Fat: 12.8g
- Saturated Fat: 4.2g
- Trans Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 35.2g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Protein: 10.2g
- Cholesterol: 22.2mg
What a perfect recipe! It was so yummy! My kids couldn’t stop eating it. A quick question, can the sauce be cooked seperate and reheated the next day? It will be for a party of 40 and would like to serve this as a meal.
MOMables - Laura
Leftovers taste AMAZING the next day!! It’s a terrific party recipe. Have a great time.
Cooking this now and it smells great! Love your quick simple video!
I hope you enjoy this recipe Kayla! :)
Looks so tasty!!! Will try it
I made this for my family last night. Two of the three kids gobbled it up, and my husband and parents thought it was great! The third child is super picky and slow to adapt to new foods. I got him to eat a piece of the chicken, which is a step in the right direction.
Super easy. Super tasty. Perfect for a mid-week meal. Love this!