This right here is a winner, winner Chicken dinner!! This is just ❤️
Once you make this and find out how amazingly delicious it is compared to the efforts you put in, it’s going to be your forever favorite. It has that creamy, dreamy, garlicky parmesan sauce with spinach and sundried tomatoes. All these bold flavors enhance modest chicken into soul warming Italian flavors. This Tuscan chicken… easy enough to put together on a busy week night, yet elegant enough to serve to company.
Tuscan chicken might not be from Italy, but was created much closer to you. It’s the brainchild of Olive Garden and became very popular, as people fell in love with the beautiful combination of ingredients and colors in this dish.
It has classic Italian flavors in the form of sun dried tomatoes, plenty of parmesan and bright green spinach. Red, white and green… the tricolor of the Italian flag!
Today we are making this in the crockpot instead of stove top. We want the chicken to slow cook in the sauce for a long time to create a beautiful delicious sauce, almost like liquid gold, with the end result of fall off the bone tender meat.
Once the chicken and sauce goes in the crock, you are free to do whatever you want, as it doesn’t require active hands-on attention.
On extremely lazy days, you can actually plop all the ingredients straight into the crock and still end up with mighty good Tuscan chicken. If you want some good color and added flavors, you need to prep the chicken and make a quick sauce before dumping everything in for slow cooking.
I personally don’t mind a few minutes of prepping the ingredients if the end result is like the following picture. What do you say?
First, what cut of chicken to use
You can cook Tuscan chicken with any part, but if you ask my opinion, dark meat chicken is the best for any recipe that cooks slow and low. You can either use bone in thighs or boneless skinless thighs like me. Believe me, they are best in the crock.
Ingredients for Tuscan chicken
- Chicken stock (optional)
- Parmesan cheese
- Sun dried tomatoes – Diced or cut into strips.
- Herbs and spices – Italian seasoning, chili flakes, freshly cracked black pepper, salt
Now lets see how easy it is to assemble everything in your crock
Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper and chili flakes (the flakes are optional, but add a nice punch of flavor).
Heat oil or butter in a skillet or cast iron pan and sear the chicken 5-6 minutes on one side, flip and sear for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the chicken thighs to the crockpot.
Lazy day tip 1: I seared the chicken mainly for the color, and browning the meat adds tons of flavor to the end result. I understand completely if some days you just want to place your chicken thighs straight in the crock after seasoning.
Now making the quick parmesan cream sauce…
Heat butter in a pan and sauté garlic for 30-40 seconds. Add in cream along with chicken stock. If you don’t have access to chicken stock, just increase the amount of cream. Stir it for 3-4 minutes. Add in parmesan cheese along with Italian seasoning and cook for another couple of minutes. Add in sundried tomatoes and cook for a minute. That’s it.
All this yum sauce goes over the chicken thighs in the crock pot. Cover and cook…
Lazy day tip 2: Mix cream, melted butter, garlic, chicken stock, Italian seasoning, parm cheese and sundried tomatoes in a bowl and pour it all over the chicken.
Lazy day tip 3: Instead of making the sauce at home, you can use store bought alfredo sauce along with sun dried tomatoes. Sometimes you just need quick hacks to make life that much easier… I totally get you 🙂
Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on HIGH or 6-8 hours on LOW. When the chicken is tender and cooked, stir in spinach and cover and cook till it’s wilted. That’s it..!!
When you open the lid, you will be greeted by a meal that’s not only delicious, but also pretty looking. It’s amazing that just a few simple ingredients can create such a flavor bomb.
Some interesting variations and addons to Tuscan chicken
- When you are searing the meat, sprinkle some cajun or creole seasoning on the chicken. Or even my Montreal steak seasoning. Great flavors.
- Add in extra ingredients like artichoke hearts, capers, roasted peppers or mushrooms.
- Stir in some white wine when you are making the sauce.
- Instead of parmesan, try different cheeses like provolone or mozzarella. Cream cheese can give you an even creamier dish.
Can I make Tuscan chicken on stove top?
Of course, in about 30 -40 minutes. You will start with the same first few steps. Season and sear chicken, plate it out.
In the same pan, make the creamy parmesan sauce as mentioned above.
Return the chicken back into the pan.
Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes till it’s cooked and tender. Stir in spinach and cook till it wilts.
How about Instant Pot?
Season chicken with salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
Heat up the instant pot using SAUTE mode. Wait till it’s hot then add in oil and butter. Once butter is melted, add chicken and sear on both sides. Plate it out.
Heat more butter then add garlic and sauté for 30-40 seconds. Add in cream along with chicken stock. If you don’t have chicken stalk, just increase the amount of cream. Stir it for 3-4 minutes.
Add in parmesan cheese along with Italian seasoning and cook for another couple of minutes. Add in sundried tomatoes and cook for a minute.
Return the chicken back into the sauce. Seal the lid and cook on HIGH pressure for 5minutes, then natural release pressure for 10 minutes.
Put instant pot back on SAUTE mode. Stir in spinach and cook until it is wilted.
What to serve Tuscan Chicken with
- This chicken is so keto friendly and carb less. You can keep it keto and have it over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
- It’s called Tuscan chicken, so pairing it with some kind of pasta seemed obvious. Try penne, bowties, spaghetti or, like us, tricolor tortellini. You can serve it over the cooked pasta or mix the pasta straight in the crock.
- It’s yum over a bed of mashed potatoes.
- Try it with some nice crusty bread, like my no knead bread.
How long can you store Tuscan chicken?
This is great in an airtight container for 3 days in your refrigerator.
You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge and reheat gently in a pan, covered, or microwave it with a dash of water or cream.
So guys, if you haven’t made this Tuscan chicken yet you are soo missing out on greatness! Tonight is the night to treat yourself to this fabulous and easy chicken dish drenched in the most amazing sauce.
Let me tell ya again… this is a winner, winner Chicken Dinner!
Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 tbsp butter, divided
- 1.5 cup cream
- 1/2 cup chicken stock (optional)
- 3/4 to 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped or cut into strips
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 3-4 cups spinach, packed
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp oil
Crock Pot Method
- Season the chicken with salt, pepper, red chili flakes. Heat oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a pan on medium high heat. Add chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side. Transfer them to crockpot.
- In the same pan, add in the remaining 2 Tbsp butter. Add in garlic and sauté for 30-40 seconds. Add in cream and chicken stock and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning and cook for a minute. Add in sun dried tomatoes and cook for a minute.
- Pour the sauce over chicken in the crock pot. Spread well. Cover and cook 3-4 hours on HIGH or 6-8 hours on LOW.
- Once the chicken is tender and cooked, stirred in spinach leaves and mix well with the sauce. Cover and cook till wilted.
Instant Pot Method
- Season chicken with salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
- Heat up the instant pot using SAUTE mode. Wait till it's hot then add in oil and butter. Once butter is melted, add chicken and sear on both sides. Plate it out.
- Heat more butter then add garlic and sauté for 30-40 seconds. Add in cream along with chicken stock. If you don’t have chicken stalk, just increase the amount of cream. Stir it for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in parmesan cheese along with Italian seasoning and cook for another couple of minutes. Add in sundried tomatoes and cook for a minute.
- Return the chicken back into the sauce. Seal the lid and cook on HIGH pressure for 5minutes, then natural release pressure for 10 minutes and remove lid.
- Put instant pot back on SAUTE mode. Stir in spinach and cook until it is wilted.
- If you don't feel like cooking sauce in pan, mix cream, melted butter, garlic, chicken stalk, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, sundried tomatoes in a bowl, then pour it over the chicken.
- You can skip the searing the chicken and add raw chicken directly to the crock, though searing the chicken increases the flavor tremendously.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 592Total Fat 45gSaturated Fat 23gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 276mgSodium 585mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 43g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Never miss a recipe!
Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.