Creamy Tuscan Chicken might be the best skillet chicken dinner recipe I have! The flavors are just so perfect and the sauce is decadent, creamy, and perfect for serving with rice or pasta. Juicy, thin sliced chicken is cooked to golden perfection with sundried tomatoes, garlic, and cream, then tossed with tender spinach to create this masterpiece.
My family specifically asks for this sundried tomato infused chicken dinner – like, all the time. I go back and forth between this recipe and my Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken. Your family will love it too, and you won’t mind making it for them, because it truly is an easy and delicious Italian inspired dinner that’s ready in less than 20 minutes.
You have to try my other skillet chicken dinners too! Make Marry Me Chicken, which is very similar to Tuscan chicken, but without the addition of spinach. Chicken Florentine skips the sundried tomatoes. Or try a different flavor with Chicken Cacciatore, Creamy Lemon Chicken, Creamy Mushroom Chicken, or Cream of Mushroom Chicken.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Bold Flavors: Sundried tomatoes give this creamy chicken dish an amazing and unexpected flavor that is addicting. At my house we almost fight over the last drops of the sauce!
- Dinner in Less Time: In less than half an hour, you’ll have a show-stopping meal ready for your family.
- One Skillet: I’m a fan of any meal that I can make that doesn’t require me to do a lot of dishes after.
- Impressive Meal: You can make this seemingly fancy dinner on any busy weeknight, or save it for a special occasion. Date night, dinner parties, or family dinners are all made better by this tuscan chicken dish.
Love salmon? Try my Tuscan Salmon as well!
Ingredients in Creamy Tuscan Chicken
Here’s what you need to make this delectable and rich chicken skillet dinner:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: Use 3 breasts, cut lengthwise into 6 thin cutlets, or buy your chicken already trimmed and cut into thin pieces. This way the chicken will cook faster on the stovetop, so you won’t need to finish it off in the oven. Overall you need about 1 and ½ pounds of thin chicken slices.
- Salt and Pepper: We’ll season this dish well as we cook it.
- Flour: I toss the chicken in all-purpose flour for an irresistible pan seared exterior! I’ve tested this using GF flour and it also worked great.
- Olive Oil and Butter: Honestly, cooking chicken with both olive oil and butter is tastier than using just one of them on their own.
- Garlic: A generous 4 cloves of garlic go into this recipe, infusing every bite with delicious garlic flavor.
- Sundried Tomatoes: Jarred sun dried tomatoes in oil are perfect. Chop up the tomatoes into smaller pieces, and save the oil from the jar. You can add it to this recipe for extra flavor, or save it for another recipe. If you prefer, you can leave the sundried tomatoes whole, but I find them too big to enjoy in this dish.
- Chicken Stock and Heavy Cream: Together these two create a silky, creamy, savory sauce for the chicken. Water can be used instead of stock if desired, but try not to substitute the heavy cream with milk. It won’t work.
- Dijon Mustard: This mustard made with wine gives a sophisticated flavor note to the sauce, super easily. Do not worry, it won’t make your sauce taste like mustard, it will just enhance the flavor.
- Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan is best, and adds a cheesy creaminess, plus salt to this skillet chicken.
- Herbs: A bit of oregano and thyme add to the rustic, savory flavors of this dish. Dried herbs work just fine.
- Spinach: The addition of baby spinach leaves at the end of cooking gives more body to the sauce, and adds delicious nutrients.
Don’t have the herbs listed here? Use ½ teaspoon of Italian Seasoning blend instead.
How to Make Tuscan Chicken
Start by cooking the chicken cutlets.
- Season: Season the cutlets with salt and pepper, then sprinkle flour over each cutlet and spread to cover.
- Heat Fats: In a large skillet, heat oil and melt butter over medium heat, swirling the pan to coat the entire thing.
- Cook Chicken: Add chicken to the pan, working in batches if needed to avoid crowding the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate, cover with foil or with a plate to keep warm as you make the sauce, and set aside.
To make the cream sauce:
- Cook Aromatics: Add more oil to the pan, or use the oil from the sundried tomato jar. Add chopped sundried tomatoes and minced garlic, and cook for about 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Deglaze: Add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Make Sauce: Adjust the heat to medium-low and add the heavy cream, dijon mustard, dried herbs, and parmesan cheese to the skillet. Allow the sauce to simmer for a couple of minutes and thicken.
- Add Spinach: Add the spinach to the sauce, stir, and let it wilt into the sauce.
- Finish Dish: Return the chicken to the skillet with the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve warm.
Want to use your instant pot instead? Make Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken.
- Heat Resistant Spatula: You can see this tool in many of my recipe photos. I’ve had it for a while now, and I honestly don’t know how I cooked without it! It’s a spatula, but also a spoon, and works with any kind of cookware.
- Tongs: For flipping over chicken breast, tongs are the best option. They allow you to really get a hold of whatever you’re turning.
- Stainless Steel Skillet: You’ll need a large skillet to contain this recipe! I love my stainless steel 12.5 inch one. A cast iron skillet works well for tuscan chicken as well.
Tips for making this recipe
- Easy Chicken Cutlets: Many grocery stores have chicken cutlets already sliced and ready to buy. Look for thinly sliced white mean chicken, labeled as cutlets.
- Or DIY Chicken Cutlets: To do this, place a chicken breast down flat on a cutting board. Hold one hand flat on top of the breast, and use a sharp knife to cut the breast in half, parallel to the cutting board. Typically, that is all you need to do! The cutlets should be about ¼ inch in thickness. If they are thicker than that, use a meat mallet to pound them down thinner.
Avoid overcrowding the pan when cooking the chicken cutlets. Brown three pieces at a time to allow the cutlets to get nice and golden.
- Other Cuts of Chicken: If you are a fan of dark meat, I’m sure that you can use skinless boneless chicken thighs but they will take longer to cook.
- Use the Sun Dried Tomato Oil: The reddish oil left in that jar is pure gold flavor! Use it in this recipe when starting the sauce, it’s delicious!
- Controlling the Heat: Once you add the heavy cream to the skillet, you have to make sure that you control the heat so the sauce does not come to a rolling boil. You want it to gently simmer instead, this way you will ensure that the milk proteins do not break or separate as the sauce is being made.
- Add More Flavor: Add grated parmesan cheese directly to the chicken along with the flour before searing.
- Parmesan: Please make sure that you’re using good quality parmesan cheese that you grate directly from a wedge rather than using the boxed pre-grated stuff! It really does make a big difference. I use a 24 or 36-month matured parmesan cheese that I pick up from Costco.
Substitutions and Variations
This recipe for tuscan chicken is already pretty amazing, but you can add or adjust things to make it your own.
- Use Dark Meat: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used in place of the chicken cutlets. Use a meat mallet to pound them down into thin pieces of about the same size, and remove any excess fat before cooking.
- Deglaze with Wine: Skip the chicken stock and use a dry white wine instead. Go for something like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio.
- Add Fresh Herbs: Fresh basil or parsley added as a garnish, after the dish is cooked, adds delicious fresh flavor, and makes it look very pretty.
- Try Other Vegetables: Saute mushrooms before cooking the garlic and sundried tomatoes. You can also use another vegetable instead of or in addition to the spinach. Try other baby greens such as kale or swiss chard. Steamed green beans or broccoli will also work. Try any green veggies that your family likes. Even if they are veggies they don’t like, the sauce will make them irresistible.
If you have any leftovers, store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Gently reheat in the microwave or in the oven, you will need to add a splash of water to thin out the sauce as it thickens in the fridge.
I don’t recommend freezing creamy sauces as they change textures to grainy when frozen, the sauce can also break when it’s thawed.
What to Serve with Creamy Tuscan Chicken
With Carbs: This dish and all of its delicious sundried tomato cream sauce is best served over pasta, rice, polenta, quinoa, mashed potatoes, or even cauliflower rice. Something to soak up the sauce is a requirement.
Make this easy Garlic Butter Pasta, Olive Oil Pasta, Brown rice in the instant pot, or serve with homemade 30 Minute Bread Rolls. Crispy Crushed New Potatoes are also amazing dipped into Tuscan chicken sauce!
I’m not an expert in low carb diets, but this recipe without a carb-y side doesn’t include any high carb ingredients. If you are watching carbs, you can leave out the flour in the recipe.
If sundried tomatoes are not your thing, you can use grape tomatoes instead. But keep in mind that the flavor will be milder, and the sauce might be a little thinner.
If needed, substitute half and half or evaporated milk for the heavy cream. This will save some calories and fat and still allow the sauce to thicken (but it won’t be as thick as intended). Regular milk will not work. Keep in mind that heavy cream (double cream in the UK) will give you the best, creamiest result.
There are a few reasons that the sauce in this dish might not be thick enough. If you’ve left out any of the ingredients, specifically the flour or the parmesan cheese, the sauce won’t thicken very well. It’s also important to let the sauce reduce after deglazing the pan. Low fat substitutes for the heavy cream can also cause a thin sauce.
To thicken a cream sauce that is too thin, add a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch or flour and 1 tablespoon of cold water, whisking as you add it. Bring the sauce back to a low boil and it should thicken.
If the sauce becomes too thick at any point, add more water or broth to thin it back out.
Regardless of if you use chicken breasts or thighs, all chicken must be cooked to a minimum temperature of 165°F/74°C. Use an instant read kitchen thermometer to check the temperature of the center of each cutlet.
You are going to feel like a rockstar when you serve this delicious meal. Even better, it’s so fast and easy, but they’ll think you cooked all day to make a dish this great!
For the cream sauce:
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes chopped, Note 3
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup water or chicken stock or dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream this is called double cream in the UK
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves fresh, not frozen
- Start by seasoning the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle flour over each cutlet and spread to cover.
- In a large skillet, heat oil and melt butter over medium heat, swirling the pan to coat with melted butter.
- Add chicken to the pan, working in batches if needed to avoid crowding the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through to a temperature of 165°F/74°C. Transfer chicken to a plate, cover to keep warm, and set aside.
To make the cream sauce:
- Add more olive oil or sundried tomato oil (From the jar), add chopped sundried tomatoes, garlic and cook for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the chicken stock or water, and deglaze the pan scraping any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Adjust the heat to medium-low, and add the heavy cream, Dijon mustard, dried herbs, and the parmesan cheese to the skillet. Allow the sauce to simmer for a couple of minutes and thicken (if too thick, add a splash of water).
- Add the spinach, stir it in and let it wilt in the sauce.
- Put the chicken back in the sauce, spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve warm over pasta, rice, or with steamed veg.
- To Make Chicken Cutlets: Place a chicken breast down flat on a cutting board. Hold one hand flat on top of the breast, and use a sharp knife to cut the breast in half, parallel to the cutting board. The cutlets should be about ¼ inch in thickness. If they are thicker than that, use a meat mallet to pound them down thinner.
- Dark Meat: Boneless and skinless chicken thighs can be used instead of chicken breasts. Use a meat mallet to pound them down into thin pieces of about the same size, and remove any excess fat before cooking.
- Avoid overcrowding the pan when cooking the chicken cutlets. Brown three pieces at a time to allow the cutlets to get nice and golden.
- Use the Sun Dried Tomato Oil: The reddish oil left in that jar is full of flavor. Use it in this recipe when starting the sauce for more flavor.
- Add More Flavor: Add grated parmesan cheese directly to the chicken along with the flour before searing.
- If you don’t have the herbs listed above, use ½ teaspoon of Italian Seasoning blend instead.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen