Easy Tuscan Chicken
I have a lot to say about this chicken. I really do. The first thing I will say is that it’s one of the most delicious chicken dishes I have made in a while. The second thing I will say is that 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.
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).
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!
How to Make Creamy Tuscan Chicken
Dredging the chicken cutlets in flour before sautéing them does a few things. It helps them brown better, which gives them appealing color and deeper flavor.
And the flour from the chicken toasts in the oil, and then adds richness to the dish, and thickens the sauce as well.
You saute a bit of garlic for just a moment after the cutlets have browned, and then add broth to the pan. This is the “deglazing the pan” part, where the liquid releases all of those lovely browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and starts to form a sauce. Again, the flour causes the broth to gain some body and coat the chicken and pasta really well.
And then the heavy cream. Not a ton, but enough to make the sauce rich and delicious. Cream has wonderful flavor, and fat also carries flavor, so you are on your way to an amazing sauce now.
Parmesan, which will add savory cheesy saltiness to the sauce. Plus thicken it up even more. Fresh herbs, because they are awesome. But if all you have is dried, they will be absolutely fine.
Spinach flecks the sauce with brilliant green color. And then – boom – in go the cherry or grape tomatoes.
The chicken is returned to the pan to get sauced and finish cooking. And chopped parsley is added at the end for even more freshness and color. Serve this over the pasta or starch of your choice – rice, quinoa or polenta would also be great.
Ok, this was clearly like a love letter to this creamy chicken dish. But I think we can all see why. And while pictures do say 1000 words, that clearly doesn’t stop me from a writing a few hundred more.
This Creamy Tuscan Chicken is one of the most delicious chicken dishes I have made in a while. It also might be one of the prettiest.Tweet This
Also cherry tomatoes are easily available year long, and are on the whole MUCH less disappointing than larger tomatoes out of season. Yes, this is best with fresh herbs and tomatoes picked from the vine, or procured from a farmers’ market (preferably in Tuscany). But in the depth of winter if you need a cheery colorful pick-me-up dinner, I highly recommended this creamy chicken dish.
What to Serve with Creamy Tuscan Chicken:
- Chopped Winter Salad
- Roasted Asparagus with Creamy Lemon Dressing
- Spicy Braised Radicchio and Red Cabbage with Citrus
- Green Beans with Tarragon Vinaigrette
- Best Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
More Creamy Chicken Recipes:
- Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet
- Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken with Mushrooms in Cream Sauce
Like this recipe? Pin it to your favorite board on Pinterest.Pin This
Creamy Tuscan Chicken
- 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
- 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 bit stuck to the bottom of the pan are released into the liquid. Stir in the cream, basil, 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.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
Made this recipe? Post a photo of your delicious creation on Instagram with our hashtag #dinnersolved
I made this for my husband and I, following the recipe exactly, except I doubled the spinach. Spinach always melts so well into sauces I knew it could only enhance the sauce and kick up the nutrients. I served it with a mix of rice and grains and with so many tomatoes plus all that spinach in the recipe, I did not add a side vegetable. Although I think asparagus would have looked lovely on the plate. Bottom line… it was delicious and looks so good on a plate that I would definitely make this for guests.
Thank you for sharing this recipe. A definite keeper!!
Excellent! Everything went well and all the flavours melded! Thank you!
Been making this a couple years now and is always a family request. One change I’ve made recently is “low cooking” the tomatoes in the oven first. Halved, tossed in olive oil, cut side up on a sheet pan, sprinkle with kosher salt and cook about 3 hours at 225. Almost like sun dried tomatoes but not so overpowering or chewy. Also great by themselves.
This is my go-to when I am making a meal to take to a family for a mealtrain. I’m always nervous when cooking for others but I feel like I can’t go wrong with this and everyone loves it. Plus, it looks as good as it tastes! I love this recipe. Thank you for sharing!
How is this 63g carbs?
Hi Genie! it’s just because the pasta which it can be served with (but is optional!) was included in the calculations. I removed it, so the nutritional info should be accurate now!
This was absolutely delicious! We all loved the flavor, the crispiness of the chicken coating, and the tomato spinach creamy sauce. Perfection! Thank you!
My family loves it. And they don’t like anything good. 4 kids and the wife.. they tear it up.
It is one of my most favorite recipes. Everyone in my family loved it. My mom asked for the recipe because she loved it so much. The 1st time I used penne pasta and the 2nd time I used egg noodles. I love both but leaning toward the egg noodles. They hold more of the flavor. Thank you for sharing this dish. So quick, easy and wonderfully delicious!
Just made this for tonight dinner it was great thank you
this recipe was simple and tasted gourmet. i loved the creaminess and the cherry tomatoes. I added fresh thyme and rosemary & served with jasmine rice. my sons said the chicken was perfectly moist.
This was so delicious We all loved it! Thank you so much. This one will definitely be in my regular rotation.
This dish was a hit!!!! I added bacon to it as well!! Everybody loved it!!!
I loved that I only had to dirty one pan, plus it was pretty easy as your directions are superb. I served ir with Trader Joe’s Brown Rice which is found in their frozen food aisle; a quick and easy microwave side that is also nutritious. I always keep it on hand. The chicken and sauce over the brown rice was devine! Thank you, I was so proud of mysel lol.
proud of you, too!!!!
This is a delicious recipe. Husband and kids all enjoyed it! I could drink the garlicky cream sauce; it’s that tasty!
Fabulous! Whole family loved it. This one is a keeper for us. Served it with roasted Brussel sprouts and green salad. So good!
what was the fancy salad you have in picture.
it’s pubbing in the spring! But here is a preview!
You can make this up to two days ahead of time, and store it well sealed in the refrigerator.
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 red or yellow onion, halved and very thinly sliced
3 baby cucumbers, thinly sliced
¼ cup torn or roughly chopped fresh dill
¼ cup torn or roughly chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 small shallot, minced
Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Everybody loved it! Only change is that I added sundried tomatoes in addition to the halved grape tomatoes because I like them both. It was a hit!!
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!
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.
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.
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.
love all of the detail, thank you!
Question: can you use frozen spinach instead of fresh?
yes, for sure!
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!!!
Delicious both my boys licked their plates lbvs
Made this and there was no complaints even my grandkids ages 2-8 loved it
Thank you so much for sharing
wonderful, thank, Amy!
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.
I made this dish last night for company. Recipe was delicious and relatively easy. I used boneless skinless thighs that worked well. Beautiful presentation.
happy to hear!
I never comment on recipe blogs, but dang, this was good. Had to restrain myself from eating too much of it. But how can you go wrong with garlic, Parmesan, and cream?
Used broccoli raab instead of spinach, as it’s what I had. Would have preferred it on long pasta vs. rigatoni, as pictured and as I prepared it.
broccoli rabe sounds like a great variation!
One of the four best meals I’ve had in my life. The sauce is amazing – creamy without being gloppy. Just a light parmesan and garlic flavor. The vegetables are bright and tasty. It’s pleasing in appearance and also very easy to make.
Thank you for this delicious recipe. My (20 YOA) daughter and her friends thought this was the best meal they’ve had. I agree. One of the best…and they all have various ethnic backgrounds with delicious dishes of their own.
Wow. This was delicious! I basically doubled the recipe so I have some leftovers to take to work. I also added in even more spinach and grape tomatoes because yum!
Now that I’ve made it for my family, time to do it for guests. It looks fancy.
I made this last night and it’s AWESOME!! My family were thoroughly impressed and thought I spent hours cooking it.
Very good. I deglazed with white wine before adding chick broth. No left overs!
Can you substitute the heavy cream with yogurt or 2% milk?
Mmmm, I would use whole milk if you’re going to try and substitute. It will be a less rich sauce, but still delicious.
Flavor was great but by cheese congealed. What did I do wrong?
just add the cheese slowly, sprinkling it in as you stir!
I had the same problem with the cheese clumping and congealing on the bottom of my pan. I used a cast iron skillet. Could that have been the problem?
shouldn’t have been a problem! do add the cheese gradually and whisk, and make sure it’s finely grated.
I don’t think it’s that you used a cast iron pan. My theory is that your broth/cream mixture wasn’t hot enough when you added the cheese, or it was added too fast. I grated a block of parmesan (rather than from a container), added it slowly to steaming hot broth/cream. I also *always* heat cream in the microwave before adding it to a hot liquid, otherwise it can scald and separate (which may be what happened too). Note that the cheese is not just being melted, but it’s being dissolved, so keep the liquid hot, close to boiling (but try not to boil because it can separate) and add patiently over a couple of minutes.
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. I will post a general comment later on. 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.
This recipe was actually served to me via Google News, of all things.
This sounds delicious, but at 15 grams of saturated fat, I’ll pass. Would love to see recipes that are both delicious AND healthy!
I’ve got plenty of those – this was just a big old treat. Try the Greek Roasted Chicken Thighs!
This sounds delicious but is 767kcal right? That’s 767000 calories.
no it’s 767 calories! a kcal is just another way of saying calorie.
It’s the pasta not the fat that isn’t so healthy. Especially if you buy organic cream.
No need to comment then, Laurie. The internet is a vast world where you can google “delicious and healthy recipes” and you will be treated with thousands that fit your needs. Move along.
We are a very active and healthy family and I’m looking forward to feeding this to my growing and hungry teenagers. Thanks for the recipe!
Agree w you Kfromco.
Really good flavor and easy recipe. Whole family loved it!
Wonderful easy recipe with ingredients you probably have on hand.. especially of you have a garden! Family loved it. Served over garlic buttered noodles.
Made this for the first time last night and it was a huge hit for 4 of us. Great recipe with some roasted asparus with made alongside a rustic baguette. I added some paprika to the flour / salt / pepper mixture and used 2 lbs of chicken thighs instead of flattened breast meat which added another layer of depth. I look forward to playing around with this recipe a lot more!
sounds like a delicious version!