Enjoy this perfect pasta recipe that is a copycat version of the Cheesecake Factory’s Tomato Basil Pasta dish. Everyone loves this protein-rich pasta dish that has a gluten-free option. The leftovers are great for lunch the next day.

tomato basil pasta with mozzarella

I love The Cheesecake Factory just as much as the next person. They have a large and delicious menu full of burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta, and steaks. There’s truly something for everyone! Their Tomato Basil Pasta is one of my favorite dishes and it’s a cinch to make in your own kitchen.

I’ve even adapted it to make it gluten-free (see my list of the best gluten-free pasta brands).

Why You Need This Recipe

  • It’s done in 30 minutes! You likely can’t even drive to Cheesecake Factory and be seated in that amount of time. See my complete list of 30 minute meals.
  • This dish is made with simple everyday ingredients like chicken, tomatoes, and mozzarella.
  • This pasta recipe is a cinch to make. It’s just a simple recipe with a delicious result.

Key Ingredients

Dry penne pasta – Cheesecake Factory uses penne in this pasta dish but you can use any form of pasta you prefer. You can also substitute a gluten-free pasta in it’s place for a gluten-free version of the dish!

Chicken breasts – Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch chunks so they will cook up bite size. Chicken is a great source of lean protein and helps make this pasta dish a complete meal.

Diced tomatoes – Diced tomatoes with the juice is what sauces the chicken and pasta so don’t drain the tomatoes first.

Fresh mozzarella – Fresh mozzarella is creamier and softer than the block or shredded kind. Cut it up into small pieces so you can get a little bit of everything in one bite!

Basil – You can’t have tomato basil pasta without basil! This sweet but peppery herb belongs with tomatoes and mozzarella. The flavor combo is truly amazing.

Garlic – Garlic adds that nutty component. You can mince it with a knife or use a garlic press. Just be sure not to burn the garlic or it can take on a bitter taste.

ingredients for cheesecake factory's tomato basil pasta

Recipe Steps

Step One

Heat a large pot of salted water on high heat. Cook the penne according to the directions on the package.

Step Two

While the pasta cooks heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it’s fragrant. Don’t let it burn.

As always, please do see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

how to make tomato basil pasta

Step Three

Add the chicken and diced tomatoes then stir them together. Cover the skillet and let the mixture cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Step Four

Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add the chicken and tomato mixture and toss well.

Step Five

Top with fresh mozzarella and basil. Enjoy immediately.

tomato basil pasta in skillet

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • Most dry pastas are sold in 16-ounce (1 pound) containers. So, for this recipe, just cook half of the box.
  • You can use regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free penne pasta, whichever you prefer.
  • The Cheesecake Factory recipe uses grilled chicken. To make it simpler to prepare, this version uses chicken cooked on the stovetop.
  • You can easily double this recipe if you want extra servings (or leftovers).
  • Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat the leftovers or just eat them cold.

FAQs

Can I make this recipe with leftover grilled chicken?

Yes! Slice up the grilled chicken and toss it in with the diced tomatoes until reheated then continue the recipe as follows. Just skip the part where you cook the chicken for 9 minutes.

Do I have to use penne?

Cheesecake Factory uses penne in this dish so if you want it just like theirs stick with penne. Otherwise you can use whatever shape of pasta you prefer. Just be sure to follow the directions on the package so you cook it correctly.

plate of pasta with fresh basil on top

Other Copycat Recipes You Might Like

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

And, consider following me on social media so we can stay connected. I’m on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube!

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Cheesecake Factory Tomato Basil Pasta (Copycat)


Description

Enjoy this perfect pasta recipe that is a copycat version of the Cheesecake Factory’s Tomato Basil Pasta dish. Everyone loves this protein-rich pasta dish that has a gluten-free option. The leftovers are great for lunch!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 8 ounces dry penne pasta (half of a one-pound bag or box)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 chicken breasts), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 14.5ounce can diced tomatoes, with the juices
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (for vegan or dairy-free, use a plant-based mozzarella substitute), sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped into small pieces

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and let it cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and diced tomatoes, and stir together. Cover the skillet and cook the chicken mixture for 7-9 minutes, or until it is no longer pink in the center.
  4. Drain the cooked pasta and transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add the chicken and tomato mixture and toss to combine.
  5. Top with the fresh mozzarella and basil. Serve hot.

Notes

  1. Most dry pastas are sold in 16-ounce (1 pound) containers. So, for this recipe, just cook half of the box.
  2. You can use regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free penne pasta, whichever you prefer.
  3. The Cheesecake Factory recipe uses grilled chicken. To make it simpler to prepare, this version uses chicken cooked on the stovetop.
  4. You can easily double this recipe.
  5. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat the leftovers or just eat them cold.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: Healthy

Keywords: pasta cheesecake factory recipe, chicken cheesecake factory recipe, healthy copycat recipe

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