Everyone who tries this creamy Tuscan Chicken recipe loves it. Brimming with Italian flavor, it’s a restaurant-worthy dish you’ll be craving on repeat. And who doesn’t adore an easy, one-pan recipe? Especially one that features juicy, golden chicken breasts and a creamy tomato sauce.

The best Tuscan Chicken recipe in a pan with a spoon.

Tuscan Chicken, or Chicken Toscana, is a delicious and flavorful Italian-inspired dish that typically features chicken cooked in a creamy sauce with ingredients commonly found in the Tuscany region of Italy. The dish includes garlic, tomatoes, spinach, and herbs, creating a combination of rich and aromatic flavors.

The chicken breasts are seasoned and seared in a skillet until golden brown, then set aside while the sauce is prepared. The sauce is made by sautéing minced garlic and halved cherry tomatoes in olive oil until softened. Spinach is added to the pan and wilted, followed by the addition of heavy cream and chicken broth. Grated Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, and dried basil are added to the sauce to enhance its taste and create a creamy consistency. The chicken is then returned to the pan, allowing it to absorb the flavors of the sauce.

Authentic Tuscan Chicken is often served with pasta, rice, or crusty bread, making it a comforting and satisfying meal. The combination of the creamy sauce and the Tuscan recipe flavors makes it a favorite with anyone who tries it.

Gather Your Ingredients to Make This Easy Tuscan Chicken Recipe

Get ready to meet the Tuscan Chicken Ingredients, or your new best friends for the night:

  • Chicken breasts: They’re the star of the show.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper: Your basic seasoning pals.
  • Cooking oil: For that golden sear on the chicken.
  • Onion and garlic: Flavor boosters for the recipe’s base.
  • Unsalted diced tomatoes: Bringing some tangy freshness (feel free to swap in the same quantity of fresh cherry tomatoes).
  • Chicken broth: Layers more flavor into the sauce.
  • Heavy cream: For a creamy, indulgent touch.
  • Dried Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes (optional): The dish is delicious with or without, but if you want to use it, this Litehouse brand is my favorite Italian Seasoning.
  • Fresh baby spinach: A hint of green never hurt.
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese: Adds rich, nutty, cheesy umami flavor and thickens the sauce like magic.
  • Fresh basil leaves: To make it look like you really know what you’re doing.

Variations and Substitutions

Got dietary needs or just feeling experimental? Don’t sweat it. This simple Tuscan Chicken recipe is flexible, and I’ve got a smorgasbord of variations and substitutions to make it just right for you:

  • Different protein: Instead of chicken breasts, try boneless, skinless chicken thighs, salmon, or even paneer (like an Italian take on Butter Paneer). Each one brings a unique flavor and texture to the dish.
  • Fresh herbs: I am personally not crazy about dried basil (found in Italian seasoning). If I don’t have my favorite Italian Seasoning on hand, I’ll sometimes skip it altogether and just add a handful of chopped fresh basil at the very end.
  • Spice it up or down: The crushed red pepper flakes are optional, so add more if you love heat or skip it if you’re not into spicy food.
  • Add more veggies: Want more greens? Throw in some kale, arugula, or even broccoli to up the nutritional content.
  • Add some sun-dried tomatoes: these are a delicious addition to the sauce if you have them on hand.
  • Gluten-free: Serve this over gluten-free pasta or with gluten-free bread to make the entire meal celiac-friendly.

What are some tips for swapping in half-and-half or milk without making it curdle the sauce?

  • Use Lower Heat: Milk and half-and-half are more prone to curdling at higher temperatures, so keep the heat medium or low.
  • Temper the Dairy: You can temper the milk or half-and-half by gradually whisking in some of the hot liquid from the skillet before adding it into the pan. This gently raises the temperature of the dairy, reducing the risk of curdling.
  • Stir Frequently: Keep the sauce moving by stirring often, especially as it’s coming up to temperature.
  • Avoid Prolonged Cooking: Add the milk or half-and-half only at the end of the recipe (with the spinach) and aim for a gentle simmer and avoid cooking for a long time.
  • Consider a Stabilizer: If you’re particularly concerned, a teaspoon of flour or cornstarch whisked into the cold milk or half and half before adding can help stabilize it and prevent curdling.

Grab these Tools

Before we dive into cooking, here’s what you need to make magic happen in your kitchen:

  • Large skillet: To sear the chicken and create the sauce, all in one pan.
  • Spatula or spoon: For stirring and ensuring that everything’s mixed perfectly.
  • Cheese grater: Freshly grated Parmesan is key, so get that arm workout in!

How to Make Creamy Tuscan Chicken: Easy Step-by-Step Directions

You got this. Here’s how to whip up some incredible chicken breasts in the yummiest Tuscan sauce:

  • Prep the chicken: Season and sear until it’s looking golden. Set aside like you’re saving it for later (because you are).
  • Cook the onion and garlic: In the same pan, until soft. We’re layering flavors here.
  • Add liquids and seasonings: Pour in the broth, cream, tomatoes, and seasonings. Simmer to get everything nice and cozy.
  • Cheese time: Stir in that Parmesan until it’s all melted and thickens the sauce.
  • Bring back the chicken: Nestle it into the sauce, and let it simmer until cooked through.
  • Finish with spinach and basil: Add the spinach just until wilted, then garnish with basil.
Seasoning chicken for the tuscan chicken recipe.
Adding tomatoes to tuscan chicken sauce.

Expert Tips and Tricks

Ready to elevate your creamy chicken recipe?

  • Sear the Chicken Well: This adds an incredible depth of flavor, so don’t rush this step.
  • Use Fresh Parmesan: Seriously, don’t skip this part. The pre-grated stuff just isn’t the same.

How to Serve Tuscan Chicken

Oh boy, get those taste buds ready, because serving this Tuscan Chicken is like presenting a culinary masterpiece straight from the heart of Italy! Here’s how to make the magic happen:

  • Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta: Want to keep things classic? Serve each Tuscan chicken breast over your favorite pasta like spaghetti, penne, linguine or fettuccine. I also love it with orzo. There’s enough sauce for four servings of pasta.
  • With Crusty Bread: If you’re after the rustic experience, a slice of warm, crusty bread is your best friend here. Dip and scoop that creamy sauce, and prepare for taste explosion. Or try my yummy no-knead garlic cheese bread.
  • Garnished with Fresh Herbs: Don’t forget a sprinkle of basil or fresh parsley right before serving. It adds color, freshness, and a touch of sophistication. Bon appétit!

Remember, it’s not just about the food; it’s about the experience. So light some candles, play some Italian melodies, and enjoy your Tuscan night at home. Happy eating!

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

Got leftovers or planning ahead? I’ve got you covered:

  • Make Ahead: You can cook the chicken and create the sauce separately. When you’re ready to serve, combine them and heat.
  • Storage Tips: Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pan, adding a splash of cream if needed.

Can you Freeze Tuscan Chicken?

The short answer is yes, however there is a caveat. Freezing creamy sauces can be tricky as they may separate or become grainy when thawed.

It’s usually best to consume this dish fresh, but if you must freeze it, make sure to allow it to cool completely and store it in an airtight container.

Upon reheating, you may need to whisk it vigorously or even add a touch more cream to help bring it back together.

FAQs

This is a TLDR section in case you skimmed through. Let’s get to tackling all of the questions you might have:

Will half and half or milk curdle if I substitute them for heavy cream?

Generally, no. As long as you keep the heat moderate and don’t bring the sauce to a rapid boil, you should be fine. Please read the tips in the article above.

What is Tuscan Chicken made of?

Tuscan Chicken is a delightful dish featuring chicken breasts, a creamy sauce with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and some optional seasonings like Italian herbs and red pepper flakes.

What to pair with Tuscan Chicken?

The dish pairs well with sides like garlic bread, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh green salad.

What is Tuscan Cream Sauce made of?

It’s a luxurious blend of heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and tomatoes, often seasoned with Italian herbs.

What makes Tuscan Chicken Tuscan?

The use of flavors common to Tuscan cuisine, like garlic, tomatoes, and fresh herbs, gives this dish its name.

Is Tuscan Chicken Italian?

While inspired by the flavors of Tuscany, it’s more of an Italian-American creation.

Is Tuscan Chicken spicy?

It can be! Adjust the red pepper flakes to your taste.

Is Tuscan Chicken gluten-free?

As long as you’re reading the labels on your ingredients and not serving it with something that contains gluten, like certain pastas or bread, it should be.

Tuscan Chicken history?

Though it bears the name of Tuscany, this dish is more of a modern fusion, combining Italian flavors in a way that appeals to various palates.

Try These Yummy Italian Recipes Next:

The best Tuscan Chicken Recipe.

The Ultimate Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Dinner
Italian
Keyword Tuscan Chicken

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (that’s 1 – 1 ½ lbs)
  • 2 ½ tsp kosher salt divided use
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil I use avocado oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion that’s one 10 oz yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic that’s about 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning optional
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish if desired

Instructions
 

  • Season the chicken breasts on both sides with 1 tsp of the salt and the pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and Sear until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the onion cook and ½ tsp salt. Cook until translucent, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat if onions start to scorch before they fully soften (you want them properly soft – no semi-raw onion crunch in the sauce, please). They pick up the color and browned flavor from the seared chicken, too. Yum. Add garlic and cook a minute more.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, and scrape the bottom of the skillet to deglaze it, lifting off any browned bits stuck to the bottom.
  • Add the heavy cream, diced tomatoes, dried Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Stir well and bring the mixture to a simmer to let the sauce reduce for 5 minutes to thicken it up and let the flavors meld.
  • Stir in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese until melted in. Taste and add about 1 tsp more salt (add it in pinches and taste).
  • Return the chicken to the skillet, nestling it into the sauce. Let it simmer in the sauce until cooked through to 165ºF. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves just before serving.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 379kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 8gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 1942mgPotassium: 496mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 3696IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 215mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Tuscan Chicken

Last Updated on August 11, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

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Austin
Austin
5 months ago

5 stars
Just had this creamy Tuscan chicken and it was a hit with my family! Easy to make and bursting with Italian goodness. Gonna make it again soon!

Chloe
Chloe
5 months ago

5 stars
Made this Tuscan Chicken for dinner and I’m hooked! Creamy sauce, tender chicken – it’s like a restaurant dish at home.

Ava
Ava
5 months ago

5 stars
I’m in love with this creamy Tuscan Chicken! The combination of flavors is amazing, and the fact that it’s a one-pan recipe makes it even better.

Emma
Emma
5 months ago

5 stars
Tried this Tuscan chicken recipe and it’s officially a favorite now. Creamy sauce, juicy chicken, and those Italian flavors – perfection!

Steffy
Steffy
5 months ago

5 stars
Made this creamy Tuscan Chicken last night and it was a hit! The flavors are so delicious and it’s a breeze to make in one pan.

Melissa
Melissa
6 months ago

5 stars
Obsessed with this creamy tuscan chicken recipe. Made it last night expecting leftovers and every drop is gone.

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