Juicy chicken breasts are seasoned with Italian spices and grilled till golden before being cooked in the most decadent cream sauce with parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, and lots of spinach.
WHAT IS TUSCAN CHICKEN?
The warm cream and spinach base was then given a Tuscan flavor by the addition of garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.
However, it was Olive Garden's Tuscan Garlic Chicken, a dish with a similar taste profile served over fettuccine, that really popularized this dish (at least in America).
Mix in the spinach. Put the spinach in the skillet and cook for another minute, or until it begins to wilt.
TUSCAN CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
There are several methods for preparing the Tuscan sauce, including using dairy or dairy-free products, fresh cherry tomatoes, or sun-dried tomatoes.Here are the ingredients as well as some possible substitutions:
- Chicken: Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are typically used to prepare this dish. However, if chicken thighs are more your style, you could also use those instead.
- Italian seasoning: Italian seasoning is typically available at markets. If not, simply combine different spices like oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary.
- Garlic and onions: Extra garlic is always a plus. You can use white, yellow, or even shallots as an alternative to onions.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: After experimenting with a number of jars from various brands, I found this jar of sun-dried tomatoes that tasted incredibly delicious and fresh. Plus, it’s the perfect amount for this recipe!
- Spinach: Since baby spinach wilts down to teeny bits as it cooks, feel free to use a lot of it (I really pack it in the measuring cup)!
- Heavy Cream: Dairy-based heavy cream is the standard, but dairy-free alternatives are also available. You can either make your own cashew cream at home or use coconut cream from a can (not to be confused with coconut milk).
- Cheese: In this case, freshly grated parmesan is preferred. Nutritional yeast simulates a similar cheesy, nutty flavor without dairy.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST TUSCAN CHICKEN RECIPE
- Cook the chicken after seasoning it. Season each chicken breast on both sides with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Next, in a big pan, heat some olive oil. Sear the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side before transferring it to a dish. If your chicken breasts are thicker, you may need to cook them for an extra minute.
- Begin making the Tuscan sauce. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet with the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic and continue to cook for another minute, or until the mixture smells extremely great and aromatic.
- Mix in the spinach. Put the spinach in the skillet and cook for another minute, or until it begins to wilt.
Complete the Tuscan sauce. Combine the heavy cream and cheese in a mixing bowl. Let this simmer so that all of the flavors may combine.
- Return the chicken breasts to the pan using tongs. Let the chicken simmer for 5 minutes on the stovetop, or until warmed through, before removing it from the heat. Remember, the sauce will thicken as it cools!
WAYS TO SERVE CREAMY TUSCAN CHICKEN
Add the chicken over rice, lentils, polenta, mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower to make a full, substantial dinner. Any of these dishes will absorb the sauce well!
CREAMY TUSCAN CHICKEN
- 4 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or a mix of individual spices such as oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream, *see note above for dairy-free options
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
- Prep the chicken. Season both sides of each chicken breast in Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Sear the chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and sear for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate and set aside.
- Cook the onions. In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of oil and the onion. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion has softened.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic and saute another minute, until fragrant.
- Add the spinach, and saute another minute, until just starting to wilt.
- Add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese, stir together, and bring to a simmer.
- Let it simmer. Place the chicken back in the skillet and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
- If you need some help choosing out a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, I’ve been loving this Alessi brand!
- For dairy-free folks swapping in nutritional yeast, I’d recommend 1 to 2 tablespoons.
- If you have extra large or super thick chicken breasts, you may need to sear them longer in step 2. You could also pound them evenly flat or butterfly each chicken breast for a faster cook time.