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. Made it! Loved it! Thought I was at a restaurant! Hard to believe I made such a delicious dinner! Thank you for inspiring me to enjoy cooking again!

    1. Hi Ginny – I’m so glad you enjoyed this Tuscan chicken! Sometimes, it’s recipes like this that make us feel confident again.

  2. I’ve made this many times already! I like to double the recipe and add about a pound of pasta, either penne or rigatoni to stretch the meal prep! I also like to do half milk and half heavy cream!5 stars

  3. Another one of your great, easy, healthy recipes now on rotation here! I had a bit of leftover roast pumpkin which I added in as well.5 stars

  4. Oh my gosh!!! This came out soooo good! Most important thing is to marinate your chicken prior and season it well! Thank you soo much!! Definitely will be making this again and again!5 stars

  5. Hi Lisa. I made the Tuscan chicken yesterday. It was so delicious. I will be making it on repeat. Also on repeat, is your homemade yogurt. I’m always excited to see an email from you. Thank you for doing this. I have followed you for years. Lori

  6. Got the email for this recipe and decided it would be the perfect quick dinner for Valentines Day! It was so easy to prep for, (I cheated and got julienne sundried tomatoes in oil), and came together beautifully! Very tasty and definitely saving to make this again! Was a hit with the hubby and his friend that joined us! The sauce alone could go with so many different meal ideas. I’d like to make this instead of hollandaise for my poached eggs! We added in sliced mushrooms with the baby spinach, and steamed broccoli for the side. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!5 stars

  7. Great recipe! Made this for my husband and before I could even ask him if he liked it he told me, “This is amazing!” Only thing I changed was adding in some sliced mushrooms to saute for a few minutes, deglaze the pan with a little pino grigio, then introduce the onions, etc. I also added 1/2 cup more cream just to have a little extra sauce. Only reason I did that is because I knew I’d want to load it right on! Lol. So good! Will definitely be making this again! Thank you! ☺️5 stars

  8. Thank you Lisa for emailing me this wonderful recipe. I made this dish tonight for my wife for Valentine’s Day. It turned out perfectly and we both loved it. I had all the ingredients on hand. It was definitely a restaurant quality experience.

  9. Lisa. Hi, I have beeni following your recipes via my email. I don’t do social media, but did purchase your healthy meal prep book from amazon which I have found extremely useful. I just love the simplicity of the video’s you produce that take you through the step by step instructions. Thank you5 stars

  10. Hi Lisa, I love your cookbook and your channel on YouTube! Thank you for all the inspo you bring to us in the kitchen. I am making this recipe for a dinner party and wonder if I prepare it a little ahead of time, prior to guests arrival, and serve just after appetizers, would it be okay on low heat, covered, in the oven? I’m concerned about breaking the sauce so hope you have suggestions. Thank you!

      1. Thank you, Lisa! I was thinking 150 degrees and likely no more than an hour. I appreciate your input and sharing the recipe. (: Excited to try it!

  11. Hi! Thanks for sharing this recipe! I am wondering if I can use salmon with this recipe. If so, would I follow the same instructions as is, exchanging the salmon for chicken?

    1. Hi Kathleen – You can also use coconut cream or cashew cream in replacement, but you’ll have to see if that works with your diet.

  12. Turned out great! Changes I made:
    1. Used boneless skinless chicken thighs. Breasts are too finicky
    2. 4 garlic cloves? Really? I used eight is better
    3. 1/3 cup onion instead of 1/4 cup.
    4. 1/3 cup parmesan

    Served over jasmine rice. Incredible.5 stars

    1. Hi Shane – I have a few salads and sides listed out in the post! As a heads up, I will usually write out this information in the post :)

  13. Oh my! This was FANTASTIC! We added a little more spinach and some grape tomatoes cut it half right before serving! This is a repeat again and again! So yummy!!!! I’m a huge fan, everything I’ve tried on your site has worked well! Thank you! Bought the cook book for my mom. Next time I’ll take a picture and post on instagram!5 stars

    1. Hi Julie – Happy to hear you’re loving this recipe among many others! And yes, be sure to tag me in any photos so I can see!

  14. I made this tonight for the 1st time and I used whole milk instead. My sauce never thickened and so I added some condensed milk to try to save it but it just really never got thick and creamy. I will make it again with the proper ingredient. It was very easy to make though!

  15. So easy and so so delicious. My husband found this recipe and sent it to me when I was grocery shopping. I am making this for the third time in three weeks per his request. I don’t leave the garlic out so I can enjoy the meal. Hubby hasn’t even noticed the no garlic.5 stars

  16. I have been eyeing this recipe forever and finally made it last night! Boy, was it dee-lish!!
    I used Springer Mountain Farms prepackaged breasts which were the perfect size (4 oz)
    and added a few mushrooms that I had on hand. Thank you for providing another great recipe. This is definitely a keeper and will be in my rotation of dinners.5 stars

  17. i’m a caregiver and this is one of my go to recipes to treat myself. It’s so savory and delicious. i cook double the chicken and freeze it. i also bake a large spaghetti squash for a base to extend it throughout the week and freeze the other half for the next go round. i use heaping measurements to accomodate the squash. i like the idea of the mushrooms from another comment which i’m going to try and will also pound the chicken. thanks again!! xoxo5 stars

  18. This was delicious. I only had 3/4 cup cream so I added 4 oz cream cheese and a little bit of milk. I also added a lot more spinach, a couple of handfuls, and sauteed mushrooms and so glad I did. Not sure why, but my chicken was very tough. I followed the directions for the chicken as written so not sure what I did wrong. Maybe it was just the way it was when I bought it. Any suggestions on what to do next time to combat this would be appreciated.5 stars

    1. Hi Deanna – It sounds like your chicken may have been slightly overcooked. I recommend using an instant-read thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature as you make this recipe next time! It could also be that you had slightly smaller chicken breasts.

    2. If after the last 5 minutes of cooking the chicken is not tender you can cook low and slow to braise the chicken for an hour but the chicken is more of a stewed version not seared and quick sauté.

  19. This is one of my favorite recipes. It is easy to prepare, and so TASTY! It reminds me of a dish I would get at a very nice Italian restaurant. I was surprised that I could make something that both looked and tasted like it was prepared by a chef.

  20. Have made this quite a few times and it’s always a big hit! I use half the cream and top up with 2% milk.
    Thanks for all your great recipes Lisa!5 stars

  21. I’ve made this recipe many times and we absolutely love it. I follow the recipe exactly as written but there is one modification I make and that is a squeeze of lemon before serving. I also make pasta and add a little of the sauce. This with garlic bread is a delicious meal and we eat it for days.5 stars

  22. wonderful and easy . I love every recipe I have tried and I have tried many!!!!
    I would love to go on a tour of Italy with you as the guide.5 stars

  23. What’s the best way to reheat this meal? There’s only my husband and I and I’d like to make enough for 4 and freeze half. Not sure if reheating in the microwave would dry out the chicken…..5 stars

  24. I make this a lot. Sometimes I’ll use shrimp instead of chicken. I use butter instead of oil and I also put a touch of Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper to the cream. Sooo good. I can make this for a large gathering and triple it then keep it in oven on warm until time to eat and my noodles are done.5 stars

  25. I just made this recipe as written and it was absolutely amazing!!! My family loved it and definitely a keeper!!! Thank you.5 stars

  26. I used half & half instead of heavy cream to lighten it up. When I added the Parmesan, it started to look “piecy” as opposed to creamy. Not sure what happened as I grated the Parmesan myself. The flavor was still excellent, and I added mushrooms —just not AS pleasing to the eye as yours. Thanks for the recipe! Will be making again.

  27. So rich and creamy I could eat this meal every week. The first time I made it I served it with broccolini and asparagus, the second time I made it I served this with mini gnocchi and the whole family devoured it. Even my toddler asked for seconds.5 stars

  28. Just made this last night but didn’t have any sun dried tomatoes. I substituted sun dried tomato paste and it turned out well.

    Great recipe, everybody loved it! Thank you!5 stars

  29. Wow! This Tuscan chicken is absolutely wonderful! It’s easy & quick to make! I left my chicken breasts thick and seared them for about 5 minutes on each side. The sauce is soooo good and the chicken is moist and tende!5 stars

  30. I made this recipe and it was really delicious! However, I made a few modifications. For example, there is no salt or pepper other than what is added to the chicken when sauteing. When I removed the chicken, I sautéed the onions with salt and pepper and then deglazed the pan with just a touch of chicken broth. At every step of sauteing I added salt and pepper. In addition, I increased the amount of cream to 3 cups, the amount of spinach to 4 cups and instead of parmesan, I used 3/4 of a cup Pecorino-Romano. To finish the sauce before adding the chicken, I added an additional tablespoon of Italian seasoning and approximately two teaspoons of crushed red pepper just to add a little heat. I served the dish over Rice Select Royal Blend rice.4 stars

      1. Can I use skinned and deboned thighs? I’m not mad about breast of chicken and can I use arugula instead of spinach?5 stars

  31. I have made this recipe at least ten times. I made a large batch for a family gathering about the months ago. Everyone said it was THE best chicken they’ve ever had.
    I continued to recommend it to my family and friends and continue to share the link.
    Thank you!5 stars

  32. Dear Lisa
    thanks for the recipe
    I smiled when you said there would be no leftovers, you were right nothing left, even my picky teenager liked it, good job,I substituted the cream with coconut cream, it was not heavy at all. Definitely, I have to do it again5 stars