Creamy Tuscan chicken with fresh garlic, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes is a meal worthy of entertaining or special occasions, yet it can be on your table in under 30 minutes.
I don’t know about you, but one thing we nearly always have in the freezer, or can easily pick up from the store, is a few chicken breasts. They are endlessly versatile and so easy to make a meal from, even when you’re in a hurry. So, it stands to reason that I’m always on the lookout for new recipes to make full use of this humble staple!
Besides the chicken, there is a LOT to like about this meal. A rich, flavorful cream sauce, infused with fresh garlic, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning. Colorful spinach and sun-dried tomatoes perk everything up and ensure there’s some nutrition. 🙂
And, while you could serve this plain or alongside nearly anything, I mean, pasta goes with it so well. Why fight it?
You’ll also love that this tastes like a special occasion dinner, without being a huge amount of work. In fact, it’s pretty easy to get on the table in about 30 minutes, prep work included, and without dirtying a huge volume of pots and pans.
Now that is a winning combination!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Pass me a fork and pour the wine – this creamy Tuscan chicken with fresh garlic, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes is a meal worthy of entertaining or special occasions, yet ready in under 30 minutes.” quote=”Pass me a fork and pour the wine – this creamy Tuscan chicken with fresh garlic, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes is a meal worthy of entertaining or special occasions, yet ready in under 30 minutes.”]
What is “Tuscan chicken” exactly?
Now, although I understand that many online recipes for “Tuscan chicken” are inspired by a dish that is or used to be served at The Olive Garden, full disclosure: I have never personally eaten this dish. In fact, I’m not entirely sure I have ever even been to an Olive Garden. So, I can’t say whether this is close or not to that dish.
I can say with confidence that it’s absolutely delicious, and I’d wager it’s much better than the restaurant version – especially when home-cooked and served around your very own table to grateful family and friends.
What is Tuscan seasoning?
Tuscan seasoning is a convenient spice blend that is very similar to standard Italian seasoning, but with a few swaps. Typical ingredients in Tuscan seasoning would include basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, sage, and thyme, along with garlic powder, fennel seeds, and sun-dried tomatoes. Some versions may also include dried red or green bell peppers.
I personally don’t keep Tuscan seasoning on hand, so this recipe incorporates many of those flavors, but in an easy, fresh way – just how I like it!
Tips to set this Tuscan chicken recipe apart
A few things set this recipe for creamy Tuscan-style chicken apart:
- Flavorful Chicken – however flavorful the sauce is, you do not want to spoon it over bland chicken breasts! Taking 30 seconds to season the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper does wonders, as does a light dredge in flour, which gives the chicken the tiniest little “crust.”
- Fresh Garlic – In a real pinch, you could sub garlic powder for the minced cloves, but fresh really does a make difference here.
- Just Enough Cream – You want the sauce to be rich but not too heavy. And really, do any of us need more heavy cream just for the sake of it? 🙂 I’ve tried it with more, I’ve tried it with less, and I really believe this ratio is best, with 3/4 cup as written.
What To Serve With Creamy Tuscan Chicken
If you’re looking for side dishes to pair with this recipe, I’d suggest:
- a five-minute arugula parmesan pine nut salad
- roasted lemon pepper asparagus
- Ina Garten’s roasted parmesan broccoli would also be amazing with this – it’s truly the best broccoli I’ve ever prepared or eaten!
And now for the recipe. ♥
Creamy Tuscan Chicken
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts thinly-sliced (about 1-1.5 pounds) (see note 1)
- 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
- a few turns of freshly-ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic minced (see note 2)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1-2 cups fresh spinach roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped (see note 3)
- pasta for serving
- In a large skillet, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Place flour in a small bowl or plate. Lightly sprinkle each side of the chicken breasts with kosher salt and black pepper, then dredge each side lightly through the flour. Shake off any excess, then place chicken breasts in the warm pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, just until browned and no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
- If the skillet is dry, add a tiny bit more olive oil, followed by the garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, just until fragrant. Add chicken broth, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
- Add cream, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce visibly thickens.
- Stir in spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, and simmer for 1-2 minutes, until spinach wilts.
- Add chicken back to the skillet, spoon a bit of sauce over each piece, and serve with pasta or other sides as desired.