Easy Creamy Tuscan Chicken

4.81 from 42 votes

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This is one of the most delicious chicken dishes I have made in a while. It also might be one of the prettiest. A one skillet dish!

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

This is one of the most delicious chicken dishes I have made in a while. It also might be one of the prettiest. We’ll have to throw our thanks for all of the above to a bit of cream, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and fresh herbs. And it’s all made in one skillet!

For a complete and heartwarming meal, you can serve this chicken over some simply cooked pasta, or try Mashed Potatoes or polenta. Pair it with the Best Parmesan Roasted Broccoli. And, if you want to go for broke, you can sop up that creamy sauce with the Best Garlic Bread Ever! Comfort food doesn’t get any more comforting than this.

Creamy Tuscan Chicken in a skillet.

One Skillet Creamy Tuscan Chicken: Tender chicken breasts are simmered in a rich and creamy Parmesan sauce colorful with tomatoes, spinach, and herbs.

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What Is Tuscan Chicken?

The definition of Tuscan chicken is somewhat loose and flexible. This recipe contains a number of ingredients that are classic to Tuscan cooking: olive oil, spinach, tomatoes, Parmesan, garlic, and fresh herbs. All of it is bound together with broth and cream, then, of course, there is the chicken, and the results are fantastic.

I’ve heard this is also called Marry Me Chicken — I think it’s as good a way to propose (or I guess solicit a proposal?) as possible!

Ingredients

When in doubt, these are ingredients to turn to for color, freshness, flavor, and lushness. Or when you want to pretend that you are in Tuscany (or Umbria, or somewhere else in Italy that’s really, really good).

  • All-purpose flour – This is used to dredge the cutlets before they are cooked, giving them a great texture and also thickening the sauce as it simmers.
  • Thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts – You can either buy thinly sliced chicken breasts or slice them in half on your own.
  • Olive oil
  • Finely minced garlic
  • Less-sodium chicken broth – Broth enhances the flavor of the sauce.
  • Heavy cream – This gives the sauce richness and body and provides a lush, creamy, golden color.
  • Fresh or dried basil – Basil is a mainstay herb in Italian cooking and adds freshness.
  • Fresh or dried oregano – Another quintessential Italian-Mediterranean herb.
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese – Gives the sauce a nutty cheesiness (save some for passing at the table!).
  • Fresh spinach – The chopped spinach quickly cooks down when added to the sauce, adding pretty green flacks to the sauce.
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes – The acidity of these little tomatoes really brings this dish together.
  • Orzo or cooked hot pasta (optional) – Any pasta shape will be great with this dish.
  • Fresh parsley – A final little sprinkle bit of fresh green parsley adds that restaurant flair!

How to Make Creamy Tuscan Chicken

  1. Dredge the chicken: Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Using tongs, dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour.
Woman using tongs to dredge chicken in flour.
  1. Cook the chicken: Heat the oil, then cook the cutlets for about 2 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and almost but not quite cooked through (a bit pink in the center). Transfer the cutlets to a large plate as they are cooked.
Woman using tongs to flip floured chicken in a skillet.
  1. Start the sauce: Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic. Stir for just one minute until you can smell the garlic. Add the chicken broth and stir so that any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan are released into the liquid.
Woman pouring broth into a pan to deglaze it.
  1. Finish the sauce: Stir in the cream, basil, and oregano, and gradually add the Parmesan, sprinkling it slowly as you stir. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in the veggies: Stir in the spinach and tomatoes, and simmer for another two minutes or so, until the spinach is wilted and everything is well combined.
Stirring pa sauce with tomatoes for Creamy Tuscan Chicken.
  1. Return the chicken: Tuck the chicken back in the pan with any juices that may have collected, making sure it is at least mostly covered by the sauce. Cook for 2 more minutes until the chicken is hot and cooked through.
  2. Serve: Either serve the chicken over the hot pasta or transfer it to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the parsley, and serve hot with extra Parmesan passed on the side.
Creamy Tuscan Chicken over noodles on a plate.

Storage and Leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, and then reheated over low heat in a skillet until hot throughout.

FAQs

Do I need to use cherry/grape tomatoes, or can I use another variety of tomato?

Of course you can! I recommend using cherry tomatoes because they are easily available all year long, and are on the whole MUCH less disappointing than larger tomatoes out of season. However, any variety of tomato will do, and when tomatoes are at their best in late summer you can sub in plum, beefsteak, and heirloom varieties. Just be sure to chop them into 1-inch or so chunks, and remove the seeds too if you dislike their texture.

What kind of pasta pairs best with Easy Creamy Tuscan Chicken?

Whatever kind of pasta your heart desires. A shape with lots of nooks and crannies, such as farfalle (bowtie) or penne will pick up lots of that gorgeous sauce. Or you can’t get more classic than a long pasta like spaghetti or angel hair! This dish would be great with a variety of starches: quinoa, polenta, orzo…you can’t go wrong!

Do fresh herbs taste different from dried herbs in this recipe?

When fresh herbs are dried, their flavor becomes concentrated, meaning that you don’t need as much of the herb to achieve the flavor you’re after. The drying out also brings about a deeper but milder flavor, whereas fresh herbs taste more, well, fresh! Because the herbs are cooked in this dish you can use either dried or fresh; note the variation in quantity for each version.

Plate of Creamy Tuscan Chicken over noodles.

How to Reheat Rice

There are few things more disheartening to find in the fridge than a container of cold, hard rice fused together…

Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Pasta

More Creamy Chicken Recipes

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4.81 from 42 votes

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

This is one of the most delicious chicken dishes I have made in a while. It also might be one of the prettiest. A one skillet dish!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1 ½ pounds thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts (about ½ inch thick)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 cup less-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (plus more to serve)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (halved or quartered if large)
  • ½ pound orzo or cooked hot pasta (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions 

  • Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
  • Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour mixture, and once the oil is hot, cook the cutlets in the pan for about 2 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and almost but not quite cooked through (a bit pink in the center). Transfer the cutlets to a large plate as they are cooked.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic. Stir for just one minute until you can smell the garlic. Add the chicken broth and stir so that any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan are released into the liquid. Stir in the cream, basil, and oregano, and gradually add the Parmesan, sprinkling it slowly as you stir. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach and tomatoes, and simmer for another 2 minutes or so, until the spinach is wilted and everything is well combined. Tuck the chicken back in the pan with any juices that may have collected, making sure it is at least mostly covered by the sauce. Cook for 2 more minutes until the chicken is hot and cooked through.
  • Either serve the chicken over the hot pasta or transfer it to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the parsley, and serve hot with extra Parmesan passed on the side.

Video

Notes

  • Serve this over the pasta or starch of your choice – rice, quinoa, or polenta would also be great.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, and then reheated over low heat in a skillet until hot throughout.

Nutrition

Calories: 553kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 45g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 170mg, Sodium: 1851mg, Potassium: 1125mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 3193IU, Vitamin C: 39mg, Calcium: 214mg, Iron: 4mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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63 Comments

  1. Made this many times and am always amazed by the color and beauty of the finished product Took a photo and sent it on to friends along with the recipe and ingredients! Great way to use cherry tomatoes that are a bit soft. They puff up from the heat! I use only organic baby spinach and always fresh basil. That’s the flavor (and fresh taste) you want to come through! Once you start over-adding other spices and ingredients you lose sight of the beauty and simplicity that makes this recipe so special ! Good quality ingredients in it’s simplest form-enhancing the natural flavors of everything you see in the dish-adding fresh herbs to awaken the palate-this is how I prefer to cook in the Pacific Northwest! Thank you for developing this recipe!

  2. My husband and I loved it!!! I also added sautéed mushrooms which were a big hit!!!! One question; how do I double the sauce mixture for additional chicken? Would like to cook this for guests.

    1. you really can just double the recipe! if you have a big enough pan, like a 13-inch deep skillet you can do it in one pan, just make sure to cook the chicken in batches. or, use two pans, and just make each a single batch side by side.

  3. This is an exceptionally good recipe that was actually served to me via Google News!
    I only made minor modifications:
    – In addition to slicing the cutlets, I pounded them for extra tenderness.
    – I applied the spices directly to the chicken, then coated in Wondra flour; rest 10 minutes before frying.
    – Used a sprinkling of paprika and cayenne on chicken per reader suggestions.
    – Deglazed pan with 1/3 C dry white wine, then the chicken broth, per great reader suggestion.
    – Used 2 on-the-vine tomatoes, seeds and pulp completely removed, instead of cherry tomatoes because that’s what I had on hand.
    – Fresh basil growing in kitchen… a little extra: 2.5 T; spinach: also a little extra
    – More cream: I used 1+1/3 cup; cooked sauce a bit longer to reduce and thicken.
    – Used 2 tsp Minor’s chicken base + 1 C water as the broth.
    – Added 1/4 tsp dijon mustard to sauce. I love wine/mustard/herb cream sauces.
    – Heat cream in microwave before adding to hot liquid; add cheese slowly when broth/cream mixture is hot and steaming, stirring continuously so it dissolves.
    – Sprinkled half the chopped Italian parsley onto the chicken and into the sauce while cooking, reserving half for sprinkling at serving time.

    I’m a huge fan of cream sauces and made this recipe tonight with only minor modifications and it was exceptional. Although it took me a *lot* longer to prep than 20 minutes lol. My girlfriend said it was one of the best recipes I’ve ever made, and I’ve been cooking some amazing things for her for 9 years now. I would say that 1.5 lbs. chicken (which fit as a single layer in my deep 12″ pan) in this recipe served over penne is about 3 servings not 4.
    An excellent recipe! I took photos.

  4. This was so amazing!!! My whole family loved it. I let the sauce and chicken simmer for about 10 minutes and the sauce tasted AMAZING, but I think it was a bit thin. Id hold back on the chicken broth and do like 3/4 cup and then add more if the sauce it too thick? Also, ADD SOME CAYENNE! :) (if you like a little spice)– it made this sauce perfect. 10/10 thanks so much for the recipe!!!

  5. Great recipe and tasty. I doubled the chicken broth and cream to make more sauce but not the cheese so it wouldn’t be quite as thick. I also added sun dried tomorrow’s in place of fresh, mushrooms, and red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. Really good.

  6. I made this dish last night for company. Recipe was delicious and relatively easy. I used boneless skinless thighs that worked well. Beautiful presentation.