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This tomato spinach chicken is a one-pan wonder, and perfect for a weeknight meal. The creamy sauce is full of flavor, and it's super easy to make. Pair it with polenta, pasta or mashed potatoes for a great family dinner experience.
I'm a sucker for anything the comes in a cream sauce, but sometimes I feel like it can be too heavy to eat during warmer months. Not so with this one. The chicken, tomatoes, and spinach all help it feel *slightly* lighter and brighter - which totally justifies eating it year round.
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How to Make Creamy Tomato & Spinach Chicken
This dish is super easy to make, especially when you're using chicken thighs rather than breasts. I find chicken thighs are easier to cook and more forgiving. Drying out a chicken breast is the worst, and sometimes, even a rich creamy sauce like this one can't save it. First let's dive into the ingredients.
- Olive oil
- Chicken thighs
- Salt & pepper
- White wine
- Chicken broth
- Cherry tomatoes
- Heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese
- Lemon zest
Tomato, spinach and chicken are a flavor match made in heaven. Add traditional parmesan cheese and basil? Game over.
Making this One-Pan Wonder
First, we're going to heat up our pan. I love using a cast iron skillet for meals like these, because it heats so evenly through the cooking process. Let the oil heat up over medium high heat, season your chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and place them in the pan. Don't move them at this point! Let them sear until golden brown, then flip, and allow them to cook through. Use a meat thermometer if you're not sure. The internal temperature should be 165F. Remove the thighs to a plate.
Next up, let's add our aromatics. Sauté the shallots and garlic for about 2-3 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add the cherry tomatoes, and let them cook until they start to burst, around 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, and let it reduce by about half. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
Add your heavy cream and parmesan cheese, and bring to a simmer. Add the spinach and allow it to wilt. Add the chicken thighs back to the skillet, making sure they heat through.
Take the skillet off the heat. Add your lemon zest, and garnish with plenty of fresh basil. Serve your tomato spinach chicken with polenta, pasta, or mashed potatoes, along side a salad.
Can you use Chicken Breast Instead of Thighs?
Yes, you totally can. Just make sure you make the breasts thinner somehow, either by cutting them in half, or by thinning them out using plastic wrap and a rolling pin. This will make cooking them much easier, and quicker.
Tips and Tricks for this Dish
- Make sure your pan is hot enough to sear the chicken before you add it.
- Don't burn your garlic! This may seem obvious, but it's important when it's such a strong flavor in this dish.
- Use the same type of wine for cooking that you would serve with dinner. If it's not good enough to drink, it's not good enough to eat.
- Don't overcook the chicken at the very end when you add it back to the pan. You just need to make sure it's heated through.
- Don't add your basil until the very end - the fresher it is the better it tastes!
What to Serve with this Dish
This tomato spinach chicken is pretty heavy, especially if you're pairing it with pasta or polenta, so a salad might be a nice choice here. There are my recommendations:
Reheating and Freezing Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken
This dish will last about three days in the fridge, and you can just nuke it to reheat it. A better option would be to return it to a skillet, and gently warm it through over medium-low heat. This process should take between 10 and 15 minutes.
Make this dish the whole way through, store it in an airtight container, and put it in the freezer. Pull it out and allow it to thaw when you're ready to eat. Add some water or cream to loosen up the sauce when it comes out, as it tends to thicken the colder it gets.
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
- salt & pepper for seasoning
- 2 shallots diced
- 3 garlic cloves diced
- 2 C cherry tomatoes
- ½ C white wine
- 2 C chicken stock
- ½ C heavy cream
- ½ C parmesan cheese
- 3 C fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoon fresh basil
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat on the stove. Add the oil.
- Season the chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper. Add them to the skillet, searing until golden (about five minutes). Flip, and continue to cook through, until the internal temperature is 165°F. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- To the same skillet, add the shallots and garlic. Cook until fragrant, 1-2 mintues. Add the cherry tomatoes and let them cook until they burst, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes).
- Deglaze the pan with white wine. Make sure you scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce by about a half.
- Add the chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Add the cream and parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning, add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Add the spinach, and allow it to wilt. Return the chicken to the pan, and heat through.
- Take off the heat, garnish with lemon zest and basil.
- Serve immediately.
The wine deglaze was overpowering to me. I tasted more wine in the dish than I did the veges and tomatoes. The next time I will deglaze with the chicken broth only.
Hi Sonya, totally understand if you're not into the white wine flavor. Glad you found a work around.