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Sage Butter–Basted Chicken

Sage Butter–Basted Chicken with Rigatoni, Balsamic Tomato Sauce, and Mozzarella

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Chef Liz firmly believes that a homemade sauce can take any pasta to the next level. Tonight's version is so easy to make, but so impressive. Liz roasts whole grape tomatoes with thyme sprigs, then finishes with balsamic vinegar for tangy richness. It's stirred into rigatoni with fresh mozzarella, then topped with chicken that's basted with aromatic sage butter. A garnish of garlicky breadcrumbs adds crispy texture and depth of flavor.

Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
By Chef Liz

By Chef Liz

  • Calories 1150
  • Protein 62g
  • Total Carb 97g
  • Total Fat 59g

Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

Ingredients & Equipment

What we send

  • sage
    • 1/8 ounce
    • sage
  • fresh mozzarella
    • 4 ounces
    • fresh mozzarella
  • thyme
    • 1/8 ounce
    • thyme
  • garlic
    • 1 clove
    • garlic
  • boneless skin-on chicken breasts
    • 2
    • boneless skin-on chicken breasts
  • grape tomatoes
    • 1 pint
    • grape tomatoes
  • balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon
    • balsamic vinegar
  • rigatoni
    • 8 ounces
    • rigatoni
  • panko breadcrumbs
    • 2 tablespoons
    • panko breadcrumbs
  • unsalted butter
    • 2 packets
    • unsalted butter

What You’ll Need

  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 8" medium pot
  • aluminum foil
  • baking sheet
  • 12" large pan

Cooking Steps

  1. Prepare ingredients

    Prepare ingredients

    Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Line a baking sheet with foil. Rinse all produce. Pick sage leaves, discarding stems. Roughly tear or cut mozzarella into 1-inch pieces. Mince garlic. Pat chicken very dry with paper towel (this will help the skin crisp up in the pan) and season all over with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.

  2. Roast balsamic tomatoes

    Roast balsamic tomatoes

    On prepared baking sheet, toss whole grape tomatoes and whole thyme sprigs with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Roast until tomatoes have softened, 12-15 minutes (move on to Step 3—but don't forget to come back!). Then, using a fork, gently mash tomatoes on baking sheet to release their juices. Add balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Continue roasting until sauce has thickened, 3-4 minutes more.

  3. Cook rigatoni

    Cook rigatoni

    While tomatoes roast, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in rigatoni and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain and return to pot, off heat. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add breadcrumbs, garlic, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; wipe pan clean for the next step.

  4. Cook chicken

    Cook chicken

    Return pan from breadcrumbs to medium-high heat with 2 teaspoons olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add chicken skin-side down; sear until skin is golden and easily lifts from pan, 5-7 minutes. Flip chicken, then add butter, sage, and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Cook, spooning over melted sage butter repeatedly, until chicken is cooked through and sage is crisp, 5-7 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate, skin-side up; set aside to rest. Reserve sage butter in pan, off heat.

  5. Finish chicken and rigatoni

    Finish chicken and rigatoni

    Once tomatoes are roasted, remove and discard whole thyme sprigs from baking sheet. To pot with rigatoni, still off heat, add balsamic tomatoes and half of mozzarella and stir to combine. Adding 1 tablespoon at a time, stir in reserved pasta cooking water until sauce clings to pasta. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

  6. Plate chicken

    Plate chicken

    Cut rested chicken into ¼-inch slices. Divide rigatoni with balsamic tomato sauce between serving plates. Top with sliced chicken and drizzle over sage butter (and any crispy sage leaves in pan). Garnish with garlic breadcrumbs and remaining mozzarella. Dig in!

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