For all of my Mediterranean food lovers, I’ve got a creamy Tuscan chicken recipe for you today that you are gonna fall in love with.
Juicy chicken breasts are seasoned in a classic Italian spice blend, seared until golden, and paired with sun-dried tomatoes, baby spinach, garlic, and onions, in the most lusciously creamy sauce.
And since we’re talking about the sauce, I’ll give you both the classic option, which is a Parmesan and cream dairy-based sauce.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST TUSCAN CHICKEN RECIPE
I’ll show you how to make this recipe 100% dairy free because the more options, the better.
Prep the onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach:
You’ll need about 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion to get started.
I like to dice the onion fairly small for this recipe so that it sort of melts into the sauce, rather than distinctly large chunks, but that’s just my preference.
And since I’m already going about chopping 1/2 an onion today after I’ve measured out the amount I need for this recipe, I’ll go ahead and save the rest of the onion for recipes like scrambled eggs, sautes, and stir-frys, to enjoy throughout the week.
Because you know I’m all about that meal prep life, and chopping onions the least number of times possible.
Next up is 4 garlic cloves, and I think this amount gives a good garlicy flavor to the sauce, without it becoming too overpowering.
In terms of where this dish originated from, some say the classic Florentine sauce of white wine, cream, and spinach was given a Tuscan twist with garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.
But let’s be honest, what really popularized it, at least in America, was Olive Garden’s Tuscan garlic chicken recipe served over fettuccine.
But we’ll leave off the fettuccine today, and I’ll give you some other serving ideas at the end.
The sun-dried tomatoes give this recipe that unmistakable Tuscan flavor, and you’ll need a 7 ounce jar of sun-dried tomatoes.
The tomatoes will be in a jar with oil, and you can either pluck these out one by one as I’m doing, which isn’t very efficient, or you can drain them over a colander.
But you might wanna save the oil because if you love the flavor of sun-dried tomatoes, you can replace the olive oil in the pan with some of this remaining oil from the jar for a little extra zhuzh in the sauce.
And for the tomatoes themselves, all you’ve got to do is slice them up into long strips and then place them in a bowl so you can take them over to the stove.
For the lovely pop of green color, you’ll need 2 cups of baby spinach. And as you can see, I like to really pack it down, so it’s 2 really full cups of spinach.
If you’ve ever sauteed spinach, you know it wills down to virtually nothing. I mean, I could probably toss this entire tub of spinach into the recipe if I wanted to.
So if you’re a spinach lover, feel free to add more.
Option for the cream sauce (with dairy and dairy-free):
All right, let’s talk about the cream sauce. This recipe is classically made with heavy cream, and if you do dairy, then you are good to go.
But if you’re dairy free, you can choose from a can of coconut cream, which is not the same as coconut milk, it’s actually much creamier.
And to make that, it’s as easy as blending up raw cashews, water, and a pinch of salt, in a high powered blender.
You definitely have options for this recipe, so you do you, and whichever version you make, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of cream.
I’m making the classic Tuscan chicken recipe today, so I’m adding 1/4 cup of freshly graded Parmesan, which gives the sauce a nuanced and slightly nutty flavor.
But if you’re dairy free, you can swap in 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast for the cheese.
Season the chicken breasts:
The last little bit of prep work is seasoning 4 chicken breasts, so season both sides of the chicken to your liking with about 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can use a mix of individual spices like oregano, thyme, basil and rosemary.
And pro tip, try to make sure your chicken breasts are all about the same size, so that they cook evenly in the pan on the stove.
Cook the chicken breasts:
All right, now that we’ve got all that done, let me show you how to make this Tuscan chicken.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan on medium high heat. If you save some of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, you can use that here instead.
Add the season chicken breasts and sear them on each side for about three to four minutes, or until they’re golden.
They should flip easily and naturally release from the pan once they’ve gotten that golden crust, but if you try to flip them at too early or peek too early, they’re far more likely to stick to the pan.
Once they’re cooked through, or about 90% of the way cooked through, remove them to a plate.
You’ll add them back into the pan shortly, but first we need space in the pan to make the sauce.
Make the Tuscan cream sauce:
If your pan is dry and needs a little bit more oil, feel free to add some, then add the diced onion.
Stir that around for about two to three minutes, or until the onion has softened, and the moisture starts to release some of those brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add in the sun-dried tomatoes and mince your 4 peeled garlic cloves straight into the pan.
Stir these two items around for another minute, or until fragrant, which essentially means you get this lovely Italian aroma permeating your kitchen.
Add the baby’s spinach, and stir that just until the spinach starts to wilt, which should take another minute or so.
I know it’s harder to stir when you first add the spinach to the pan, because it’s easy to chuck a few leaves overboard, but it wilts sound pretty fast, making it manageable.
Add in your cream of choice, along with the graded Parmesan or cheese alternative.
Give that a stir, and let the sauce come back to a simmer with lots of little bubbles dotting the pan.
As you can see, the sauce comes together quickly, and you really just add one ingredient after the other.
Add the chicken back to the pan and warm through:
Using tongs, add the chicken breast back to the pan and let them simmer for about five minutes, or until they’re heated through, and the sauce has reduced slightly.
You also wanna make sure to spoon the sauce all over the chicken breast so that they’re fully coated in the abundance of garlicy, tomatoey Tuscan flavor in this recipe.
And you can do that while it’s on the stove, or as soon as you remove it from the stove.
Now if you’re using dairy as I am today, the cream sauce will be more white while it’s hot on the stove, but as soon as it starts to cool, it will turn a more golden sunshiny color.
And I promise you this, making this recipe will make you want to watch or re-watch the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun.”
And even though I was just in Tuscany a couple of months ago, this recipe has me wanting to hop on a plane right back, because these Mediterranean flavors are definitely my love language.
Serve with lentils, rice, mashed potatoes or more:
Okay, to serve this up, you could top it on rice, quinoa, mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, or lentils, as I’m doing today.
I actually really love the contrasting color of the black lentils with the golden chicken and sauce, but any of those options will soak up the sauce beautifully.
This is one of those dinner recipes that’ll wow your family or guests, and it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Now, normally I’d give you tips for saving the leftovers, but to be honest, there’s never any leftovers of this recipe, someone always goes back for seconds to finish it off.Print
This creamy Tuscan chicken soup is a delicious and easy dinner recipe! Juicy chicken breasts are simmered in a luxurious cream sauce with parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, onions and plenty of spinach.
- Prep the chicken. Season both sides of each chicken breast in Italian, 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 it 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 until heated for about 5 minutes.
- I’d recommend 1 to 2 tablespoons for dairy-free folks swapping in nutritional yeast.
- If you have two super thick chicken breasts, you could also butterfly each one and cook with those 4 pieces.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: dinner
- Cuisine: italian
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 595
- Sugar: 3
- Sodium: 896
- Fat: 49
- Saturated Fat: 24
- Trans Fat: 0.01
- Carbohydrates: 9
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 30
- Cholesterol: 179
Keywords: marry me chicken, tuscan chicken, tuscan chicken recipe