Creamy sun dried tomato chicken with spinach is one of our favorite easy dishes. Chicken breasts are pounded until thin and cooked with spinach in an ultra-creamy sauce flavored with basil, sun dried tomatoes, white wine, and garlic. This satisfying chicken dish can be on your table in about 35 minutes which means little effort for a lot of flavor.
I love a good chicken dish. I especially love the ones that require very little effort, and minimal ingredients because they can be made on a whim.
This creamy sun dried tomato chicken is definitely one of those.
I always have a jar of sun dried tomatoes hanging out in the pantry, and my wife usually buys a large container of baby spinach every week for use in salads and pasta such as this spinach sun dried tomato pasta recipe.
I love that this creamy chicken with sun dried tomatoes was borne out of trying to use up what's on hand - a skill that was lovingly passed on to me from my mom and grandma, and one that Italian-Americans are known for.
How to make creamy spinach sun dried tomato chicken
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Begin by slicing a ½ cup of oil-packed sun dried tomatoes into strips. Also, slice 5 cloves of garlic. If using store-bought thin cutlets, skip to step 3. Begin by filleting the 2 chicken breasts and cutting those fillets into two more pieces each. You should have 8 total pieces from 2 chicken breasts.
- Place one piece of chicken into a plastic bag and pound it out evenly to approximately ⅜'s of an inch thick.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper on both sides. Then, dredge the chicken in flour and shake off the excess. Place the dredged pieces on parchment paper or a plate off to the side. Note: The remaining flour should be discarded so only use a ½ cup or less for the dredging process.
- Heat a stainless steel pan to medium heat and wait 3 minutes before adding the oil. Once the pan is hot, add 1-2 tablespoons of the reserved sun dried tomato oil and sear the chicken on both sides until browned and cooked through (should take about 3 minutes per side). Work in batches and do not crowd the pan! Place the seared chicken on a plate off to the side and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic. Add a bit more oil if the pan is dry. Once the garlic turns slightly golden add the sun dried tomatoes and cook for 30-60 seconds more.
- Add a ½ cup of dry white wine and turn heat to high. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the brown bits. Cook the wine out for 1-2 minutes until it reduces by about half.
- Add a ½ cup of low sodium chicken stock and bring the sauce to a simmer.
- Once simmering turn the heat to medium and cook for 3 more minutes to reduce.
- Add ¾ cup heavy cream and a ½ cup of Pecorino Romano cheese. Mix well.
- Add the spinach. Cook the sauce for 3-5 minutes until the cream is bubbly and starts to thicken.
- Once the sauce has thickened (it should coat a spoon well and not drip off) add the chicken. Coat the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes until the chicken is hot.
- Taste test the sauce and make final adjustments to salt and pepper. With the saltiness of the Pecorino and sun dried tomatoes you might not need any extra salt. Once satisfied with the taste, turn the heat off and add the basil. Hand tear a ¼ cup of basil leaves and sprinkle on top. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the extra sauce.
Making creamy chicken with sun dried tomatoes is fairly simple, but here are a few tips to help.
- Heat your pan. I prefer to cook using a stainless steel pan. When using stainless steel, it's important to allow your pan to heat up for about 3 minutes before adding the oil. This will allow the oil to skate on the pan once added, and will help prevent your chicken from sticking to the pan.
- Sun dried tomatoes. I always keep a jar of oil-packed sun dried tomatoes in the pantry for use in a pinch. You can sometimes find dried ones in the grocery store, but I prefer the jarred as they're packed in oil and tend to be more flavorful. I especially like adding some of the jar oil when searing the chicken.
- The greens. I used baby spinach here for its mild flavor and accessibility, but feel free to use any green you'd like, such as kale or chard.
- The chicken. I used whole chicken breasts and filleted them myself. If you prefer, you can buy cutlets that are already thinly sliced. I'd still advise pounding them thin though as it creates a more even cooking and reduced cooking time. If you prefer to use boneless/skinless chicken thighs, you can do so. Just note you'd need to cook those for roughly 5-7 minutes per side.
More go-to chicken recipes
As I mentioned above, I use chicken breasts all the time for their versatility. In addition to the chicken cutlets and piccata recipes mentioned above, here are a few more of my absolute favorites I know you'll love!
- Chicken parmigiana - Perfectly fried chicken cutlets topped with tomato sauce, melted mozzarella, and plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Chicken pizzaiola - Seared chicken cutlets with bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, and white wine.
- Chicken marsala - Thinly sliced chicken cutlets with mushrooms, smoked prosciutto, and Marsala wine.
- Chicken francese - Egg battered cutlets in a buttery lemon sauce.
- Spinach mushroom chicken - Chicken cutlets with spinach and mushrooms in a garlic white wine sauce.
- Chicken valdostana - Prosciutto, and fontina cheese in an easy white wine sauce.
- Chicken with capers and tomatoes - Another weeknight go-to, chicken cutlets with cherry tomatoes, capers, and parsley.
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For the chicken
- 1 ½ pounds chicken cutlets filleted and pounded to about ⅜" thick
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup flour for dredging
For the sauce
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes drained, cut into strips
- 3 tablespoons sun dried tomato oil
- 5 cloves garlic sliced
- ½ cup dry white wine sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, chardonnay, etc
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces baby spinach
- ½ cup Pecorino Romano grated
- ¼ cup basil leaves packed, hand torn
- salt and pepper to taste
- Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides then dredge in flour and shake off the excess.
- Heat a stainless steel pan to medium heat then add in the olive oil. Cook the chicken cutlets for 3 minutes per side or until well browned and cooked through. Work in batches if required and do not crowd the pan. Place the cooked chicken onto a plate and tent with foil.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and add the garlic to the pan. Cook until fragrant and golden (about 1 minute). Next, add the sun dried tomatoes, cook for 30-60 seconds more, then add the wine and turn heat to high. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits.
- After 1-2 minutes and once the wine has reduced, add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the cream, spinach, and Pecorino and cook until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add the chicken to the pan. Cook until the chicken is hot and the sauce thoroughly coats the chicken (about 2-3 minutes). Now is the time to taste test the sauce and make final adjustments to salt and pepper.
- Once satisfied with the taste, turn off the heat and hand tear the basil leaves on top. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce. Enjoy!
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs can be substituted. You will need to cook them longer (about 5-7 minutes per side) than thin-sliced cutlets.
- Use either store-bought thin chicken cutlets or fillet and pound them out to about ⅜" thick. A thinly pounded cutlet will allow even cooking and will only take a few minutes per side to cook.
- Sun dried tomatoes are sold dry or in jars packed in oil. Either can be used, but the oiled-packed ones tend to have more flavor plus the oil can be used for searing the chicken.
- Parmigiano Reggiano can be subbed for the Pecorino Romano.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave or on a stovetop over medium heat.