Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

Idea: Parmesan Dusted Chicken Fingers with Whole Wheat Pasta and Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

Posted by 5 years ago 15 Comments

This idea just popped into my head when I started thinking about what to make for dinner. I gotta be honest, I haven’t gone grocery shopping since coming home from the beach. I just haven’t been in the mood and I decided to use what I had on hand until my trip to the CSA farm this Friday. I can’t wait to see what goodies got harvested this week!

Anyway, with stocks running low my options were pretty limited. I had a package of chicken tenders in the freezer and a container of sun dried tomatoes I bought for Feta month (for some reason feta inspired me to try sun dried tomatoes, not sure why) in the fridge. I decided it was time to use the tomatoes by making a sauce and pair it with some simple chicken fingers “breaded” in parmesan cheese and dried herbs.

The result was an absolute hit! While cooking the little guy actually walked in to the kitchen and said “MMmmmm it smells DELICIOUS in here! When’s dinner??” It totally cracked me up an put a smile on my face. :)Idea: Parmesan Dusted Chicken Fingers with Whole Wheat Pasta and Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

Here’s what I did….

  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 6oz sun dried tomatoes (dried NOT packed in oil)
  • 2 cups of water
  • About 3/4 lb of chicken tenders or boneless chicken breast cut into tender size pieces
  • 6-8 oz of you favorite whole wheat pasta
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Sauté the onion and garlic over medium high heat with the olive oil until transparent and just browning. Add the sun dried tomatoes….

Sun Dried Tomatoes

…and 2 cups of water. Crank up to high and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.

Place a pot of water on the stove over high and bring to a boil to cook your pasta.

Mix the parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and place in a large ziplock bag. Put the raw chicken tenders in the bag and shake to coat. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Lay your coated chicken down and cook in the preheated 425 degree oven for about 10 minute until cooked thru.

Now back to the sauce. Pour the pot of boiled sun dried tomatoes into a blender or food processor and puree. (This is when the little guy walked in to smell the glorious smell!)

sun dried tomato sauce

At this point your pasta should be done. Drain and toss with the pureed tomatoes.

Pull the chicken out of the oven and serve the pasta with 2-3 chicken tenders.

No nutritional info on this one just yet hence the “idea” categorization. It’s one of those family meals that are just hard to calculate because servings vary but I really wanted to share it hoping to inspire. I will tell you I used 8oz of pasta and the 3/4 lbs of chicken. The sauce to pasta ratio was perfect but we had a leftover serving. The chicken was so good I wish I made more. :) Oh! and proof that the little guy went gaga over this, here’s a little before and after dinner. Notice the thumbs up. :)

Idea: Parmesan Dusted Chicken Fingers with Whole Wheat Pasta and Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce - beforeIdea: Parmesan Dusted Chicken Fingers with Whole Wheat Pasta and Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce - after

See other recipes using: chicken, garlic, onion, Parmesan Cheese, pasta, sun-dried tomatoes

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There are 15 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.

    Krista S.

    August 26, 2010

    I'm giving you a thumbs up from over here, too! Wow that looks good and I have to say, I absolutely love the flavor of sun dried tomatoes. Can't wait to try this out sometime. And Ryan, gosh, he just gets cuter every day, doesn't he! Reply


    August 27, 2010

    Oooh! This looks Hubby-friendly too! I have some dried tomatoes that my Mom did in her dehydrator. No sun involved, but they should work the same? ( I'll let you know! :) ) Reply

    Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf

    August 27, 2010

    Hmm, I never thought of "pureeing" the sundried tomatoes! The last time I used sundried tomatoes, I didn't like the smell or taste, but it was also mixed with other things which might have been offenders. Maybe I should give it another go... Reply


    August 27, 2010

    The thumb's up (and the picture of the clean plate) definitely have me convinced to try this! Reply

    Christina P

    August 27, 2010

    I made your cheesesteak wraps last night. WOW!! Very good even my husband liked it. Thanks Reply

    August 27, 2010

    Looks delicous! So cute to see your little boy enjoying his dinner :) That's the biggest reward of healthy homemade cooking isn't it? Reply

    Lindsay Morrison

    August 28, 2010

    It looks really good, but do you have an idea on what the nutritional info is?? Reply


    August 28, 2010

    This once was too hard to calc for me in a generic way since I didn't measure servings. You can always pump it into a site like or using the amount of chicken and pasta you use. Sorry I'm not more of a help on this one. :( Reply


    August 29, 2010

    i made the chicken tonight and served it with spinach & arugula salad. It was delicious! or like my 3 year old said 'most delicious!' =) Reply


    September 1, 2010

    this is super delicious and healthy. Kids don't lie I'm sure my nephew will love this too :-) Reply


    September 1, 2010

    Ok this looks delicious! If I just recently found out my husband loves tomato soup (ok we've been married 9 years, I'm bad!), is that kind of what the sauce tastes like? I've never had sundried tomatoes... where are they even in the grocery store? Reply


    September 1, 2010

    Good question! I never really saw them before a few weeks ago. They were in my produce section on a special display. I bet if you asked the produce person they would know. I think they also have some packed in oil by the olives and stuff but that's a lot of extra calories. The ones I found where simply dried. Hope that helps! Reply


    September 11, 2010

    Hi, Roni. This looks delicious! When you list the thyme and rosemary, is that dried or fresh? Reply


    September 11, 2010

    everything was dried for this one. Reply

    Karen Chatters

    February 4, 2011

    This was great! I didn't have dried tomatoes so had to use oiled ones. I rinsed them first in an attempt to de-oil them and the sauce was great. I don't know if the man liked it (although he ate it) but the toddler had seconds! Reply