Creamy Tuscan Chicken

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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

4.99 from 230 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

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!

Video

Ingredients 
 

  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or a mix of individual spices such as oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream, *see note above for dairy-free options
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan

Instructions 

  • Prep the chicken. Season both sides of each chicken breast in Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
    A plate of seasoned chicken for tuscan chicken
  • 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.
    A skillet with seared chicken for tuscan chicken
  • 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.
    Cooking onions in a skillet for tuscan chicken
  • Add the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic and saute another minute, until fragrant.
    Sun-dried tomatoes in a skillet for tuscan chicken
  • Add the spinach, and saute another minute, until just starting to wilt.
    Cooking spinach in a skillet for tuscan chicken
  • Add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese, stir together, and bring to a simmer.
    Creamy tuscan sauce in a skillet
  • Let it simmer. Place the chicken back in the skillet and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
    A skillet of tuscan chicken next to a napkin

Lisa’s Tips

  • 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 extra large or super thick chicken breasts, you may need to sear them longer in step 2. You could also pound them evenly flat or butterfly each chicken breast for a faster cook time.

Nutrition

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
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Marry Me Chicken, Tuscan Chicken, Tuscan Chicken Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




453 Comments

  1. Great recipe as usual! Even our teenagers loved it! We cubed the chicken before adding back to simmer. Next time I am going to add pine nuts.5 stars

    1. This is now a staple dinner for us over rice. I also tried to make it with plant based heavy cream and you can’t tell the difference. Yummy!5 stars

  2. I LOVE THIS RECIPE! Would the texture/taste be different if I used heavy whipping cream instead of heavy cream?5 stars

  3. Delicious with your roasted broccoli. Timing for both is 20 minutes. I tried it with coconut cream the first time and cashew cream this time, both are yummy, but I love the cashew cream. Thanks for this quick and healthy recipe Lisa!5 stars

  4. Easy recipe to follow to make gourmet food 🤤🤤I’ve used it several times and the people I made it for all are shocked by the restaurant quality of it. Thanks for the recipe5 stars

  5. I’ve made many of Lisa’s recipes and have been super happy with all of them. This is by far one of my top 3! My husband Loves it and always says it’s RESTAURANT QUALITY! I recommend you often to friends/family and clients (I’m a Health & Wellness RN) A few have even bought your book, like I did! Thank you for sharing such amazing recipes and teaching us!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much, Judy! I’m thrilled you and your husband both love it! And thank you for spreading the Downshiftology love. I sincerely appreciate it!

  6. I’ve made this several times now using chicken breast and chicken thighs. Which ever one you use the result will be the same DELICIOUS. Whenever I do make it at least one of the family takes a portion away with them.5 stars

  7. Delicious way to spice up a mid-week meal! I may try this with coconut cream next time to cut back on the dairy.5 stars

  8. Turned out amazing! My husband doesn’t like to eat vegetables so I made it without the tomatoes and spinach and still turned out great. It’s also very quick, easy and MESS FREE. Just one dirty skillet!

  9. This was the first time I had tried tomatoes this way! So delicious! Thank you for this recipe, my spouse really loved it! Also, another thing, I used chicken thighs instead, and were they tender! Thank you again

  10. Once again, you knocked it out of the park! This was so full of flavor and simple. I added zucchini while the onions cooked to give it more veg factor and it was a great compliment to the dish. Thank you!5 stars

  11. We make this dish every month and it just gets better every time. We now incorporate cauliflower rice into the chicken so that the rice is fully coated in that rich flavorful sauce. Highly recommend this recipe.5 stars

      1. Very easy recipe, with great results. Got a thumbs up from my husband so I’ll definitely be making it again :)5 stars

  12. I made this last night and it was a HUGE hit with everyone from 2 to 50!! It definitely found its place on our menu!!5 stars

  13. It’s an easy recipe that tastes really good. I served it with garlic hassleback potatoes and steamed cauliflower. My husband enjoyed it all.5 stars

  14. Awesome recipe! Absolutely love it, I add mushrooms and I pair it with protein pasta and a side Caesar salad. Great dinner recipe.5 stars

    1. This has been added to our go-to chicken recipes! Perfect with some potatoes and your roasted broccoli! Have made this twice already and were great both times, hubby approved! Love sundried tomatoes!5 stars

  15. I have made your recipe before and it’s delicious. Tonight I’m being lazy so I’m substituting jarred Alfredo Sauce for the cream and parmesan. Everything else will be the same as yours. Probably won’t be as good but it will do for this tired woman.5 stars

  16. Made this dish last night. It was delicious and easy to prepare due to your amazing videos.
    Lisa, your videos are stellar. You have literally brought the cook back out in me. :)5 stars

  17. Loved this dish. It was exactly what we needed to spruce up some new flavors at the dinner table. I added two handfuls of fresh grape tomatoes and about half a bunch of asparagus (chopped into about 2 inches in length). We didn’t have heavy cream, so I subbed 1 cup of half and half and 1/4 cup of butter. It came out great. We’ll definitely enjoy this one again. Thank you!5 stars

  18. This will forever be on my menu rotation. Easy, delicious, leftovers keep well, and it’s a lovely dish to serve to guests, too. Thank you, Lisa!5 stars

      1. This was very fast and easy to make. Also a short list of simple, staple ingredients.
        A deceptively nice meal for such simplicity!
        We will definitely make it again. And again.
        And again. :)
        Your videos in general consistently prove to be excellent tutorials.
        Thanks Lisa!5 stars

  19. This is going to be a weekly recipe from now on! It has all of my favorite flavors. I have made it with chicken breast and thighs and with leftover roasted chicken. I love fresh mushrooms, so add those too when I have them. Perfect with a kale salad.5 stars

    1. It’s such a great recipe to have in regular rotation. Happy you love it, Stacy! And sounds delish with the added mushrooms.

  20. Amazing recipe! I didn’t have sundried tomatoes so I used fresh baby tomatoes which were great. Thank you, Lisa, for all of your hard work to post great recipes for us to make for our family..

      1. Love this recipes. I’ve been putting adobo seasoning on and it’s so darn good. Thank you5 stars

    1. The sauce should be pretty thick all on it’s own, due to the cheese and simmering on the stove. Did you make any alterations to the recipe?

  21. Amazing flavours !!! Served it with some Paccheri pasta 🤪. Big hit easy to make on week night fancy enough for a Saturday. Must try!!!5 stars

  22. I tried this for the first time, and I did substitute for heavy, whipping cream for nondairy, heavy whipping cream. It turned out amazing. It didn’t take long at all to cook. Yummy 🤤5 stars

  23. Have made this and is fantastic. I love it. How do we swap nutritional yeast as a replacement for the heavy cream? The heavy cream is liquid and the nutritional yeast is a powder. How will there be liquid? Trying to make it a little healthier.

  24. I made this for a dinner party and it was absolutely amazing. I love the creamy sauce and the sun dried tomatoes added just the right amount of sweetness. Everyone in my family loved it. Simple to follow recipe and nice and filling! I used it once with white rice and once with noodles. Both work great! Highly recommend.5 stars

  25. Unfortunately, I didn’t have sun dried tomatoes so I used fresh, but even with this change this was an amazing recipe. My husband and son both gave it a thumbs up.5 stars

  26. This is the family’s favorite chicken dish. We serve it over mashed potatoes most of the time with a small salad. My 92 year old father in law who hates spinach loves it and asks for it nearly every day. He does ask each time we eat it what the green stuff is, but eats it! The sun roasted tomatoes really make it flavorful. We also do the tip for nutritional yeast and no one can tell it is in there.
    We love all your recipes but this one is our favorite chicken dish so far. Got your cookbook so there are lots of other good things waiting to try. Thank you so much. You gotta try this!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much, Madglyn! And your father-in-law sounds like my dad, who never much enjoyed “rabbit food.” Haha. But the more you can sneak it in there the better! ;)

  27. I’ve tried your 10+ recipes, and this is one of my favorites. I made this recipe couple times, and every time the result was WOW!
    Thank you Lisa.5 stars

  28. What are your thoughts on serving this dish in bulk (50 servings) from a chaffing dish, would it serve ok? I also considered adding Cheese Ravioli.5 stars

  29. Love this easy, quick, and healthy recipe! I also used the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and I ended up adding extra spinach! Delicious.