Creamy Tuscan Chicken – Downshiftology

Creamy Tuscan Chicken – Downshiftology

Win over dinner guests with this simple Tuscan chicken recipe! Juicy chicken breasts are seasoned with Italian spices and seared until golden, then simmered in the most luxurious cream sauce filled with parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, onions and plenty of spinach.

A skillet of tuscan chicken

What is Tuscan Chicken?

I’ll admit, I had to do a bit of research on where “Tuscan chicken” actually originated from. But it seems like there’s no one strict answer. My two cents is that it’s a spin on a classic Italian Florentine sauce, which is made from white wine, cream, and spinach. Then it was given a Tuscan twist by adding garlic and sun-dried tomatoes to the warm cream and spinach base.

But what really popularized this dish (at least in America) was Olive Garden’s Tuscan Garlic Chicken, a dish with a similar flavor profile, served over fettuccine.

Either way, I’m glad this Tuscan chicken became a trend because it’s literally the best thing ever. Especially when you’re craving something rich and cheesy, with an Italian flair.

Ingredients for tuscan chicken on a table

Tuscan Chicken Ingredients

There’s a few ways you can go about making the Tuscan sauce – with fresh cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes and with dairy or dairy-free. For this version, I’m using sun-dried tomatoes since it has a deeper, bolder flavor that just makes this dish pop. And going classic using dairy. But you tweak to your liking! Here’s the ingredients, plus a few substitution ideas:

  • Chicken: This dish is typically made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. But you could also use chicken thighs as well if that’s more your thing.
  • Italian Seasoning: You can usually find Italian seasoning at the market. If not, just use a mix of mix of individual spices such as oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary.
  • Garlic and Onion: Lots of garlic is always welcome. And for onions, you can use white, yellow, or even shallots.
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes: After trying several jars from different brands, I came across this jar of sun-dried tomatoes that tasted so fresh and delicious. Plus, it’s the perfect amount for this recipe!
  • Spinach: Feel free to go heavy on the baby spinach (I really pack it in the measuring cup) since it wilts down to teeny bits as it cooks!
  • Heavy Cream: While dairy-based heavy cream is traditionally used, you have dairy free options as well. You can use a can of coconut cream (not to be confused with coconut milk) or you can make cashew cream at home.
  • Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan is the way to go here. For a dairy-free option, nutritional yeast mimics a similar cheesy, nutty flavor.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

A close of up a skillet with creamy tuscan chicken

How to Make The Best Tuscan Chicken Recipe

Season and cook the chicken. Season both sides of each chicken breast in Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Then warm up a large skillet with some olive oil. Add the chicken, sear for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, and transfer the chicken to a plate. If your chicken breasts are on the thicker side, you might need an additional minute.

Cooking chicken breasts in a skillet for tuscan chicken

Helpful tip: You can swap olive oil with the sun-dried tomato oil from the jar to give your chicken extra flavor!

Start the tuscan sauce. In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of oil with the onion, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic, and saute for another minute, or until it smells incredibly delicious and fragrant.

Sauteing onions and tomatoes for tuscan chicken

Helpful tip: If you want to deglaze the pan a bit more, feel free to pour in a bit of white wine as you’re cooking the onions.

Add the spinach. Pile the spinach in the pan and saute for another minute, until it just starts to wilt down.

Cooking spinach and tomatoes in a skillet for tuscan chicken

Finish the Tuscan sauce. Add the heavy cream and cheese, and stir everything together. Go ahead and let this simmer so all the flavors can meld together.

Adding cream into a pan for tuscan chicken

Tuck the chicken back into the skillet. Using tongs, add the chicken breasts back to the pan. Let the chicken cook for about 5 minutes on the stovetop, or until warmed through, then remove from heat. Just be aware that the sauce will also thicken as it cools!

A white skillet filled with creamy tuscan chicken

Ways to Serve Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Make this a full, hearty meal by adding the chicken (and of course large spoonfuls of sauce) on top of rice, lentils, polenta, mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower. Any of these options will soak up the sauce beautifully!

Want a side salad? You can whip up this massaged kale salad really quickly, or continue the Mediterranean theme with my Mediterranean Chickpea salad.

A plate of lentils and tuscan chicken

Storage Tips

Not gonna lie, you’ll be hard-pressed to have leftovers of this recipe. Because if there’s a chicken breast left in the pan someone is going back for seconds! But here’s how you can store leftovers:

  • To store: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
  • To freeze: Freezing is also a smart idea if you want to enjoy this again in the near future. You can store leftovers (or a second batch) in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Tuscan Chicken Recipe Video

Trust me, you’re going to want to see a visual of this recipe with how satisfying it looks on screen. I mean, that creamy drizzle is everything! Follow along with the video when you make it yourself! Click below to watch.

More Favorite Easy Chicken Recipes

If a pack of unused chicken is staring at you – here’s some easy dinner ideas I guarantee you’ll love. And if you need more inspiration, check out my roundups of the best chicken breast recipes or chicken thigh recipes.

I can’t wait for you to make this Tuscan chicken. I guarantee you’ll have it on repeat when you need something super delicious and impressive. Once you cook this up, let me know your thoughts in a comment below!

A white skillet of tuscan chicken

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

This creamy Tuscan chicken recipe is a dinner winner! Seared Italian chicken simmers in a rich and creamy, spinach and sun-dried tomato sauce. For visual reference – be sure to check out the video above!

  • Prep the chicken. Season both sides of each chicken breast in Italian seasoning, 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 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 and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

  • If you need some help choosing out a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, I’ve been loving this Alessi brand!
  • For dairy-free folks swapping in nutritional yeast, I’d recommend 1 to 2 tablespoons.
  • If you have two super thick chicken breasts, you could also butterfly each one and cook with those 4 pieces. 

Calories: 595kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 49g, Saturated Fat: 24g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 18g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 179mg, Sodium: 896mg, Potassium: 850mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2994IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 158mg, Iron: 2mg

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