Creamy Spinach, Sundried Tomato and Shallot Chicken

If these photos make you happy, the dish itself will make you happier.

Serving Size: 4 to 6

Creamy Spinach, Sundried Tomato and Garlic Chicken / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

A while back, in honor of Julia’s Child’s birthday (she would have been 104 this year), I created a dish that embodies one of her many excellent sayings: “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”

You can fuss all you want with fancier dishes, with exotic ingredients, with new techniques, but isn’t it true that when you make something super homey, super comforting, that’s the meal that makes everyone ask for seconds?  When in doubt, choose the path of comfort food.

Creamy Spinach, Sundried Tomato and Garlic Chicken / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

Here thinly sliced chicken breasts are enveloped in a creamy, cheesy sauce peppered with wilted spinach and sundried tomatoes.  Sundried tomatoes were all the rage years ago, and then they faded out of fashion, but I always think it seems a shape to turn your back on a great ingredients, just because it was a little overexposed for a while.

If you can find real sundried tomatoes, which won’t be hard little dried-up disks, but rather pliant, brick red, little chewy bites then that will make all the difference.  If there is a store that sells good Italian ingredients in your world, seek them out there.  Oil packed sundried tomatoes can also be used, but use paper towels to blot excess oil before chopping them.

Creamy Spinach, Sundried Tomato and Garlic Chicken / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

You can buy thin sliced chicken cutlets at the market or the butcher, or use a steady hand and a large sharp knife to cut regular chicken breasts horizontally into thinner slices – depending on how thick your chicken breasts are you will get two or three slices per breast, about 1/2 inch thick apiece.  And if you don’t have fresh herbs, dried are perfectly acceptable here.

This makes a nice amount of sauce, which is a very good thing, because when you serve up this chicken over a plate of steaming pasta or rice you’ll want to have lots of starchiness alongside the chicken to ladle the luscious sauce over.

Creamy Spinach, Sundried Tomato and Shallot Chicken


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ pounds thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • ½ cup grated Fontina cheese
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups roughly chopped spinach
  • ½ cup roughly chopped sundried tomatoes
  • Hot cooked rice or pasta to serve

1. In a very large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sear the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned and just barely pink in the center. Do this in batches if needed, and remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

2. Return the skillet to medium heat, add the shallots, and sauté for 2 minutes until they starts to become tender. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Stir in the heavy cream, oregano and thyme, and heat until the edges of the sauce start to bubble. Sprinkle in the Fontina and the Parmesan cheeses and stir until they are melted. Stir in the spinach and the sundried tomatoes and keep at a very low simmer until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.

3. Return the chicken to the pan and allow it to heat through, about 2 minutes. Serve the chicken with the sauce over hot rice or pasta.

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