Creamy Tuscan Chicken is incredibly easy to make and is one of those recipes that make you realize cooking delicious Italian chicken dishes is even better homemade than at a restaurant!
This Easy Tuscan Chicken Recipe is made with tender pieces of chicken and a mouthwatering sauce that is loaded with garlic and Parmesan cheese with a base of heavy whipping cream and Italian seasoning. It’s creamy and is brimming with aromatic flavors that will leave everyone wanting more!
One of the great things about making a dish from scratch is that you can be flexible with the ingredients. It’s not as scientific as baking is, so getting creative and adjusting tastes to your preferences is very much encouraged!
Creamy Tuscan Chicken comes together in under 40 minutes and other than cooking the pasta, it’s all done in one skillet and can be made with virtually any type of pasta! It’s simply made, yet elegant, so it works for any and all occasions.
As perfect as it is for special occasion dinners it makes just as much sense cozying up with a bowl of this comfort food while watching a movie in your sweats. It’s just that good!
Ingredients Needed for Creamy Tuscan Chicken
Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts trimmed of any fat. I prefer to cook mine sliced in half and let them rest before cutting them into slices, but if you prefer to cook them whole, you can.
Salt & pepper – A simple seasoning of sea salt and black pepper is all you need for the chicken. The sauce will add plenty of flavor to this dish as it is.
Italian seasoning – For that extra Italian flavor.
Pasta – Penne is my personal favorite for this dish, but you can definitely use whichever medium to long pasta you have on hand.
For the Tuscan Sauce
Butter – A good quality butter has not only health benefits but a delicious taste. It’s used to sear the chicken then the onion and garlic for the base of the sauce and won’t overpower any of those flavors.
Garlic & Onion – Finely chopped aromatic ingredients that pair well together to give this sauce it’s immense flavor. 3 cloves of garlic make this one beautifully garlic-y sauce! Play around with the amount, if you like yours a little lighter on the garlic.
Red pepper flakes – For a little heat!
Sun dried tomatoes – Gives this Creamy Tuscan Chicken Recipe an incredible deep flavor.
Heavy whipping cream – It is what makes the sauce extra creamy.
Parmesan – Giving the sauce a signature Italian cheese flavor as well as giving it an extra creaminess.
Greens – Baby spinach is used towards the end. The residual heat wilts the leaves, adding a nice texture and added flavor. Also, finely chopped parsley is used for garnish.
How to Make Creamy Tuscan Chicken
Step 1: In a small bowl combine together sea salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning. Season chicken on both sides with the spice mixture.
Step 2: Into a non stick skillet, add 2 tablespoons of butter and preheat it over medium/low heat. Once the butter is melted add chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until chicken it golden brown. Flip the chicken on the other side and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees. Transfer onto a plate and cover with a lid.
Step 6: Finally, stir in Parmesan cheese and let simmer for 2 minutes, stirring few times. Slice chicken and return it to the skillet. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with parsley and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy with pasta.
Is it Better to Cook the Whole Chicken Breast or Cut it Up First?
When you cook a whole breast, you’re searing the juices on the inside. Adding it to a hot skillet quickly cooks the outside and allows the inside to catch up while remaining nice and juicy.
Then, you allow it to rest and have the juices settle before cutting it up and adding it to the sauce.
On the other hand, cutting it before hand, will allow each individual piece to get brown all around and seasoned a little extra. They’ll cook faster, speeding up the overall time, which some people are on board with.
Cutting them beforehand won’t allow the juices to remain intact, leading to the possibility of drier chicken.
So, in the end, the choice is totally up to you!
Tips and Variations
- Adjust the heat from the red pepper flakes as needed. Like a little more? Add in some more. Like a little less? Hold back on it slightly.
- Freshly grate Parmesan from a block makes all the difference to the consistency of the sauce. When you buy pre-grated it comes with a whack load of anti-clumping agents and additional ingredients that are unnecessary, making it harder to melt into a creamy texture.
- This dish is loaded with all the garlic-y goodness, but if you want a less intense flavor, use fewer cloves!
- Replace the baby spinach with baby kale or baby arugula if you’d prefer.
- Add more sun dried tomatoes for a pop of color, and an additional layer of yum!
How Long Does Tuscan Chicken Pasta Stay Fresh?
This dish will keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove top on low, adding in a splash of milk or heavy whipping cream if needed to thin out the sauce which may have thickened over time.
What to Serve with Creamy Tuscan Chicken
Pair this delicious chicken recipe with a hot bowl of soup and a salad for a comforting and family-friendly meal:
Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes sliced into small pieces
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated, plus extra for serving
- 2 tablespoons parsley washed and finely chopped
- 8 oz penne pasta cooked according to the package
- In a small dish combine sea salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning together. Season chicken on both sides with the spice mix.
- Using a non stick skillet, preheat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted add chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until chicken it golden brown. Flip the chicken on the other side and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees. Transfer onto a plate and cover with a lid.
- To the skillet add onion and saute for 3-5 minutes or until translucent color, stirring few times.
- After add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, saute for 1 minutes. Stirring few times. Next pour in heavy whipping cream and bring it to a gentle simmer, stirring with a spoon, over medium heat.
- Once the sauce starts simmering add spinach and sun dried tomatoes. Let simmer for 3 minutes. If needed season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Now, stir in the Parmesan cheese and let simmer for 2 more minutes. Slice chicken into slices and return it to the skillet. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with parsley and extra Parmesan cheese. Enjoy with pasta.
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This recipe was updated on July 19, 2023.