Creamy Chicken With Tomatoes & Spinach

Important Note: When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Content, pricing, offers and availability are subject to change at any time - more info.

Is your taste palette craving an exquisite, hearty, and absolutely scrumptious meal that can be whipped up in no time? Look no further, because we have the perfect one-pan wonder for you! This mouthwatering dish showcases tender, succulent chicken swimming in a luscious creamy sauce, mingling with the delightful tang of tomatoes, and adorned with verdant, nutritious spinach. With its unbelievably simple preparation and minimal cleanup, this dish is the perfect answer for those busy weeknights when you want to dazzle your family with a restaurant-quality meal but don’t have hours to spare.

But wait – this gastronomic masterpiece isn’t just a treat for your taste buds; it’s also steeped in culinary heritage from around the world. The humble tomato, a gift from the Americas, joins forces with the ancient, iron-rich spinach, a culinary staple hailing from Persia. This seamless unity of flavors, further enriched by the velvety cream sauce, is truly an awe-inspiring symphony on a plate. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to don your apron, channel your inner gourmet chef, and dive into the next section to create this delectable one-pan wonder that will leave your family clamoring for more!

Yield & Servings

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Notable Equipment & Tools:

Large skillet with a lid
Cutting board
Knife
Measuring cups and spoons
Wooden spoon or spatula

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Gather and Prep Your Ingredients

All ingredients ready? Let’s begin!

Step 2: Season Chicken with Salt and Pepper

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.

Step 3: Sear Chicken in Skillet

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 5-6 minutes per side, or until they are cooked through and golden brown. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Step 4: Sauté Onion and Garlic in Skillet

In the same skillet, add the diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

Step 5: Add Cherry Tomatoes to Skillet

Add the cherry tomatoes to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they start to soften and release their juices.

Step 6: Stir Baby Spinach

Stir in the baby spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until wilted.

Step 7: Simmer with Heavy Cream

Pour in the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the cream starts to thicken.

Step 8: Flavor with Parmesan and Herbs

Add the grated Parmesan cheese, dried basil, dried oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Stir well to combine and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick and creamy.

Step 9: Reheat Chicken in the Sauce

Return the cooked chicken breasts to the skillet, nestling them into the sauce. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.

Step 10: Serve and Savor Creamy Chicken with Tomatoes and Spinach

Serve the creamy chicken with tomatoes and spinach over rice, pasta, or with crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. Enjoy!

Substitutions & Alternatives

Fear not, my kitchen comrades! Flexibility and creativity are the lifeblood of culinary adventures. Whether you’re catering to dietary restrictions, or simply don’t have the exact ingredients on hand, here are some substitutions and alternatives to ensure your creamy chicken with tomatoes and spinach remains a scrumptious masterpiece.

1. Chicken: If poultry isn’t your preferred protein, feel free to swap it out for turkey cutlets, pork chops, or even fish fillets like salmon or cod. For a vegetarian option, try using thick slices of portobello mushrooms or firm tofu.

2. Olive oil: If you’re out of this Mediterranean staple, don’t fret! You can use other oils like canola, vegetable, or even coconut oil for a slightly tropical twist.

3. Onion: Can’t find a small onion in your pantry? Shallots or green onions will do just fine. Even leeks can join the party, just remember to thoroughly clean and chop them before cooking.

4. Cherry tomatoes: Fresh, juicy cherry tomatoes truly make this dish shine, but if they’re out of reach, swap them for diced Roma or plum tomatoes. In a pinch, you can even use a can of petite diced tomatoes, drained to keep excess liquid at bay.

5. Baby spinach: If Popeye’s favorite green isn’t available, try using chopped kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens. Just remember to adjust the cooking time, as these tougher greens may take a bit longer to wilt to perfection.

6. Heavy cream: Looking for a lighter option? Try using half-and-half or whole milk, thickened with a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of cold water). For a dairy-free alternative, opt for full-fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk, also using the cornstarch slurry.

7. Parmesan cheese: For the cheese lovers seeking a twist, feel free to use Pecorino Romano, Asiago, or even Gruyère. Need a dairy-free alternative? Nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan cheese will save the day!

8. Dried herbs: Fresh basil and oregano can be used in place of their dried counterparts, just remember the golden ratio: 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon of dried herbs. For an exotic touch, try adding some chopped fresh cilantro or parsley.

9. Crushed red pepper flakes: If you’re seeking a different kind of heat, replace the red pepper flakes with a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce.

Remember, the culinary world is your oyster—or chicken, in this case. Don’t be afraid to explore new ingredients and make this dish your own. The result? A plateful of deliciousness that reflects your unique taste buds!

Storage & Reheating

Now that you’ve mastered this scrumptious creamy chicken with tomatoes and spinach, you’re probably wondering how to store any leftovers (if there are any, of course!). Fear not, we’ve got you covered with some simple tips to keep your culinary masterpiece as fresh and flavorful as possible.

First, let’s talk storage. Allow your creamy chicken to cool down to room temperature – but don’t leave it sitting out for more than two hours (food safety first, folks!). Once cooled, transfer your tantalizing creation to an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. Pop that container in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to 3-4 days. If you’d like to store it for longer, you can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just make sure your container is freezer-safe!).

When you’re ready to reheat your creamy chicken with tomatoes and spinach, here’s what you need to do:

1. If you’ve stored your leftovers in the freezer, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. This will ensure even reheating and maintain that delightful creamy texture.

2. To reheat on the stovetop, place your creamy chicken mixture into a skillet over low-medium heat. Gently stir the sauce and chicken, warming it up slowly to prevent the cream from separating. You may need to add a splash of milk or cream to achieve that desired saucy consistency.

3. If you prefer to reheat your leftovers in the microwave, transfer the creamy chicken to a microwave-safe dish and cover it loosely with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Zap it in 1-minute intervals at 50-60% power, stirring gently between each interval, until the chicken and sauce are heated through.

4. Once your creamy chicken is piping hot, whip up some fresh rice, pasta, or grab that crusty bread, and get ready to relive the deliciousness all over again!

There you have it – the art of storing and reheating your creamy chicken with tomatoes and spinach, ensuring that you can savor every last bite of your flavorful creation. Bon appétit!

Serving Ideas

This delightful creamy chicken recipe is not only mouthwatering but also incredibly versatile. With simple tweaks and twists, you can serve it in various ways to please your taste buds and showcase your culinary prowess! Let’s explore some exciting serving ideas that will have your guests asking for seconds.

1. Italian Inspiration: To take your taste buds on a trip to Italy, serve this scrumptious dish over a bed of linguine or fettuccine pasta. Sprinkle some extra Parmesan cheese on top and garnish with fresh basil leaves for an authentic touch. A side of garlic bread will complete this Italian feast.

2. French Connection: Elevate the dish with a touch of sophistication by serving the creamy chicken with a side of creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Add a simple yet elegant green bean almondine or a French-style ratatouille to round out the meal and impress your guests with your worldly culinary skills.

3. Far East Fusion: Give this creamy chicken a delightful Asian twist by serving it over jasmine or basmati rice. Add a burst of flavor by stirring in a tablespoon of soy sauce or fish sauce and a pinch of ground ginger to the sauce. A side of steamed or stir-fried veggies will make this dish the ultimate East meets West fusion.

4. All-American Comfort: For a cozy, comforting meal, serve the creamy chicken over creamy polenta or a bed of buttered egg noodles. Don’t forget to add a side of freshly steamed broccoli or roasted asparagus to balance out the richness of the dish. A salad with a tangy vinaigrette will add a refreshing touch to this soul-warming meal.

5. Low-Carb & Gluten-Free Goodness: For the health-conscious diners or those with dietary restrictions, serve the creamy chicken atop a bed of sautéed zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) or spaghetti squash. This healthy and delicious alternative will have everyone guiltlessly indulging in seconds.

So go ahead, unleash your inner foodie and play around with these delectable serving ideas. Put your personal stamp on this creamy chicken with tomatoes and spinach recipe, and enjoy the culinary adventure! Bon appétit!

Variations & Customization

1. Vegan: Transform this dish into a vegan delight by swapping out the chicken for tofu or a plant-based alternative, like Beyond Chicken. Replace the heavy cream with a non-dairy alternative like coconut milk or cashew cream, and use a vegan Parmesan cheese substitute or nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor. Don’t forget to check the label of your favorite plant-based chicken to ensure it fits your dietary needs.

2. Gluten-free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free, but if you’re serving it over pasta, opt for a gluten-free variety made from rice, corn, or legumes. Make sure the other ingredients, such as dried spices and vegan alternatives, are labeled gluten-free as well.

3. GAPS/AIP: For those following the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) or AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diets, modify this recipe by using coconut oil instead of olive oil, and removing the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, as they are part of the nightshade family. Replace the heavy cream with coconut milk, and omit the Parmesan cheese. To add flavor complexity, consider adding other AIP-compliant herbs like thyme or rosemary.

4. Keto: The keto diet emphasizes low-carb, high-fat foods, making this recipe an easy fit. But to make it even more keto-friendly, increase the amount of heavy cream, add more cheese, and consider adding chopped bacon or avocado to the dish for an extra boost of healthy fats. For a delicious low-carb side, serve the creamy chicken over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles instead of rice or pasta.

5. Other popular variations: Customize this dish to your heart’s content by playing around with the ingredients and flavors. Add mushrooms or bell peppers for extra veggies, use sun-dried tomatoes in place of cherry tomatoes for a more intense flavor, or stir in some pesto for an Italian twist. The possibilities are as endless as your culinary imagination!

In conclusion, this creamy chicken with tomatoes and spinach recipe is not only delicious but also extremely versatile, making it a perfect canvas for your dietary needs and creative culinary experimentation. With a little ingenuity, you can transform this dish to suit any dietary preference, while still maintaining its scrumptious appeal. So go ahead, embrace your inner chef, and start cooking up a masterpiece that will make your taste buds sing and your belly happy!

Notes & Tips

  • Chicken Choice: For the juiciest and most tender result, opt for chicken breasts with even thickness. If your chicken breasts are too thick, you can butterfly them or pound them to an even thickness using a meat mallet. This ensures even cooking and prevents overcooking the thinner parts.
  • Customize Your Veggies: Feel free to swap out the cherry tomatoes and baby spinach for other vegetables you have on hand, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini. This recipe is an excellent way to use up leftover veggies and turn them into a delicious meal.
  • Say Cheese: If Parmesan isn’t your favorite or you don’t have it in your pantry, you can substitute it with other hard, aged cheeses like Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano. These cheeses will give a similar nutty flavor and melt beautifully into the sauce.
  • Spice it Up: If you’re a fan of a little heat in your dishes, don’t hesitate to add the crushed red pepper flakes! You could also try adding a pinch of smoked paprika for a slightly smoky flavor.
  • Avoid a Soggy Sauce: Make sure to drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes and spinach before adding them to the skillet. This will help prevent a watery sauce and ensure it thickens nicely.
  • A Lighter Option: If you’re looking for a lighter alternative to heavy cream, you can use half-and-half or whole milk. Just be aware that the sauce may not be as thick and creamy as when using heavy cream. To help thicken the sauce, you can add a cornstarch slurry (a mixture of cornstarch and cold water) while it simmers.
  • Time-Saving Tip: To save time on busy weeknights, prep your ingredients (chop the onions, mince the garlic, and halve the tomatoes) ahead of time and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
  • A Global Twist: Celebrate global culinary heritage by adding a splash of white wine or a squeeze of lemon juice to the sauce for a Mediterranean-inspired flavor. Alternatively, you could add a teaspoon of curry powder for an Indian twist on this creamy dish.
  • Leftovers Like a Pro: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently warm the creamy chicken in a skillet over low heat, adding a splash of cream or milk if needed to rehydrate the sauce. Leftovers are perfect for a quick and comforting lunch or dinner the next day.

Common Mistakes

1. Overcooked chicken: The star of this dish is the succulent, tender chicken breast. However, the line between perfectly cooked and dry, overcooked chicken can be thin. To achieve that juicy perfection, make sure to follow the cooking time in the recipe and use a meat thermometer to check if the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Remember, the chicken will continue to cook a bit when it’s added back to the sauce, so resist the urge to overcook it in the first step.

2. Skimping on seasoning: Sure, the sauce is deliciously creamy and flavorful, but don’t forget the importance of seasoning your chicken with salt and pepper before cooking. This simple step will help to elevate the overall taste of your dish and prevent bland bites of chicken.

3. Burnt garlic: Garlic can go from heavenly aromatic to acrid and burnt in the blink of an eye. Keep a watchful eye on your skillet and stir frequently during the garlic-cooking step. If you notice your garlic starting to brown too much, reduce the heat and move on to the next step.

4. Watery sauce: The key to a luscious, velvety sauce is allowing it to thicken enough. Don’t be shy about letting your heavy cream simmer for a few minutes to help concentrate the flavors and achieve that desired consistency. However, keep an eye on it to prevent it from reducing too much and becoming overly thick.

5. Wilted tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are the unsung heroes of this dish, providing bursts of tangy sweetness that complement the creamy sauce. Be careful not to overcook them, as they can become mushy and lose their shape. Aim for softened tomatoes that still hold their form.

6. Overcooked spinach: Spinach doesn’t need much time to wilt, so don’t leave it in the skillet for too long. A quick 1-2 minutes should do the trick and will prevent your spinach from becoming a soggy, overcooked mess.

7. Forgetting the global culinary heritage: While this dish may be reminiscent of Italian cuisine, don’t be afraid to give it your own twist by incorporating different herbs, spices, or vegetables. Cooking is a fun and creative process, so feel free to make this dish your own.

Now that you’ve got the scoop on common mistakes to avoid, you’re well on your way to mastering this creamy chicken with tomatoes and spinach recipe. Time to put on your chef’s hat and get cooking! Buon appetito!

Health Risks & Benefits

Let’s discuss the fantastic health benefits of this delectable dish, which combines the protein-packed power of chicken with nutrient-rich veggies like spinach and tomatoes. Your taste buds, and your body, will thank you!

Firstly, chicken breasts are lean meat, meaning they have less fat and fewer calories than other parts of the chicken, like the thigh or drumstick. This makes them a great source of protein for those watching their weight or looking to build muscle. Plus, they’re packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, phosphorus, and selenium.

Next up, we’ve got the dynamic duo of cherry tomatoes and spinach. Tomatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants, particularly lycopene, which has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They’re also high in vitamin C, potassium, and folate. And let’s not forget spinach, which is brimming with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron, calcium, and magnesium. Popeye definitely knew what he was talking about!

Now, let’s address the creamy elephant in the room: the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. While these ingredients certainly make the dish richer and more indulgent, they also add some health benefits. Both heavy cream and Parmesan cheese are excellent sources of calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth. And while they do contain fat, your body needs some fat to function properly, particularly to absorb certain vitamins.

That being said, if you’re watching your fat or calorie intake, you can still enjoy this dish with a few modifications. Try swapping out the heavy cream for a lighter milk, like whole or 2%, and using a smaller amount of Parmesan cheese. There’s no need to compromise on flavor or nutrition!

So go ahead, dig into this creamy chicken with tomatoes and spinach, and revel in the deliciousness of a meal that’s both scrumptious and nutritious. It’s a win-win!

Recipe History & Context

This creamy chicken with tomatoes and spinach recipe is a delightful fusion of Italian and American culinary traditions. With its roots in rustic Italian cuisine, the recipe showcases the simplicity and bold flavors that have made Italian food so universally adored. At the same time, it incorporates classic American comfort food elements, such as rich, creamy sauces and hearty portions. The result is a crowd-pleasing dish that’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a cozy weekend feast.

The use of chicken in this recipe is no accident. As a lean and versatile protein, chicken has been a staple in kitchens around the world for centuries, and for good reason. It’s affordable, easy to prepare, and takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with, making it the perfect canvas for this dish’s bright, zesty flavors.

Of course, we can’t talk about this recipe without mentioning the true stars of the show: tomatoes and spinach. These two humble ingredients have long played a key role in Mediterranean cuisine, and their inclusion here adds not only flavor but also important nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K.

Heavy cream and Parmesan cheese serve to add a velvety richness to the sauce, transforming this dish from a simple sauté to a sumptuous, indulgent affair. These ingredients are classic components of many beloved Italian-American dishes, from fettuccine Alfredo to chicken Parmesan, which further highlights the recipe’s cross-cultural appeal.

Finally, the use of dried herbs, such as basil and oregano, adds an aromatic depth to the dish. These herbs are common in Italian cuisine and provide a taste of the Mediterranean, even if you’re cooking in your own kitchen.

So there you have it: a history steeped in culinary tradition and a modern recipe that brings the flavors of the world to your table. With its mouthwatering combination of tender chicken, juicy tomatoes, earthy spinach, and rich, creamy sauce, this recipe is a testament to the power of simple ingredients and bold flavors. So grab your skillet and get ready to enjoy a true culinary gem!

Common Questions

Can I use different types of tomatoes in this recipe?

Absolutely! While cherry tomatoes add a pop of sweetness and vibrant color, you can easily substitute them with other tomato varieties. Try using diced Roma tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or even sun-dried tomatoes for a delicious twist on this creamy dish. Just remember to adjust the cooking time depending on the size and firmness of the tomatoes you choose.

Is there a way to make this recipe dairy-free or lower in fat?

Yes, there are a few options to make this creamy chicken dish healthier or cater to dietary restrictions. For a dairy-free version, you can replace the heavy cream with a plant-based cream alternative, such as cashew cream or coconut milk. For a lower-fat option, you can use half-and-half in place of the heavy cream, and opt for a lighter cheese like mozzarella or a smaller amount of Parmesan. Keep in mind that the sauce might not be as thick, but it will still be packed with flavor!

Can I add other vegetables to this dish?

Of course! This recipe is versatile and easily customizable. Feel free to add other veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, or even artichoke hearts. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure all the vegetables are cooked to your desired tenderness.

How can I store leftovers and reheat them?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply transfer the creamy chicken and vegetable mixture to a saucepan and heat gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. You may need to add a splash of milk or cream to loosen up the sauce as it reheats. Serve over freshly cooked rice, pasta, or with a slice of crusty bread for a quick and satisfying meal.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

Definitely! Chicken thighs are a great alternative to chicken breasts, as they are often more flavorful and tender due to their higher fat content. Simply follow the recipe instructions, but adjust the cooking time to ensure the thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before serving. Dark meat lovers, rejoice!

Chicken With Tomatoes & Spinach

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 465kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 5-6 minutes per side, then set aside.
  • In the same skillet, cook diced onion for 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add cherry tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in baby spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour in heavy cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add Parmesan cheese, dried basil, dried oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Return chicken to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve over rice, pasta, or with crusty bread.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 661mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1945IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 1mg

Recent Recipes