Garlic Basil Chicken

I was reading an article in the Boston Globe from 2012 about a study about Life at Home in the 21st century (click for link to article). It was interesting because I wonder in the 5 years since this article was published have things changed? Have we decluttered as we move toward a more minimalistic style (see the many articles about people trying to figure out what to do with parents possessions because they don’t want to keep them) and are we still screen obsessed? I know I actively try to not look at my phone when I am with others.

But, the one tiny line that stuck out to me was families using prepared meals because it saves them time. On average they found that they only saved 12 minutes by using frozen or canned foods. Twelve minutes. Hmmm. I began to think about that.  Some days I am just too tired and need the convenience to open a can or bag but I know in the end I feel a tad guilty. Twelve minutes. As I made this sauce rather than used a jar that thought kept me going 12 minutes…..


This was a super simple and delicious meal. Even though it is almost summer everyone here was craving pasta. I think we are still looking for those comfort foods as the last day of school is Friday. Everyone is under a bit of stress and pressure for finals, recitals, and last-minute meetings this week.

You can use canned or fresh tomatoes and fresh basil or dried basil in this dish. In both cases the fresh is a bit better but both are good.

Garlic Basil Chicken in our To-Go containers with a piece of Foccacia bread.

Garlic Basil Chicken

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. chicken breasts, pounded down to 1/2″
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes or 4-5 large tomatoes (skinned and chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 heaping tablespoons dried basil or large handful of fresh basil cut into strips
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 oz. pasta (spaghetti, angel hair, or linguine)


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan. Cook until chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan.
  2. Boil pasta as directed on package.
  3. Add garlic to the skillet and stir for 1 minute until it become fragrant. Add tomatoes to pan. Simmer and crush fresh tomatoes with a spoon if needed. Add basil. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Stir in cooked pasta to pan. Return chicken to pan to warm. Serve hot.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. readytomum says:

    Definitely one to try – sounds delicious! Sometimes opening a jar of sauce seems like the easiest option but I’m not sure how this is any harder! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you. I never really thought about it before I started trying to cook more. It does seem easier to open a jar but this tastes such better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nancyruth says:

    12 minutes hmmm? I, too, feel a tad guilty at times for using frozen or prepared foods. So I strive for high quality prepared and feel less guilty. This sounds super easy and quick and tasty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you. According to this long term study it was 12 minutes I was surprised how little it was.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds very good Marci!


  4. Wow only 12 minutes? Then really we have no excuse not to use fresh, for sure. The chicken looks fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you. I was surprised by the number but if you think about it an average of 12 minutes – whip up a batch of non canned cream of soup thickener takes about 8 minutes, cutting french fries would take longer, jarred sauce versus making it may take 10 minutes? Average it out. Seems plausible.

      Liked by 1 person

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