Tender chicken breasts. Creamy tomato sauce bursting with flavor. Crunchy, tasty kale. All in one skillet! That’s what we’re making with this awesome creamy tomato basil chicken recipe.
While creamy, cheesy meals with tomato are delicious, they aren’t exactly what most people think of when they want to eat healthy. With this meal, you’ll satisfy your pasta cravings while avoiding the heavy carbs of pasta.
Think of this as ticking all the baked pasta boxes without actually involving pasta!
Like all great Mediterranean style food, this recipe is simple, using fresh, high quality ingredients. It’s deceptively healthy (ish) too! With the addition of kale, a genuine superfood, you’ll be shocked at how light and healthy you feel after indulging in this creamy dinner.
How This Recipe Works
The combination of salt and sweetness, fresh ingredients and good cheese really make this recipe a star. It will satisfy even the most stubborn of carb cravings without actually requiring you to eat a bowl of pasta or a loaf of bread.
Here’s the secret stars of this recipe.
- Tomato sauce. This is pretty much tomato flavor concentrated, cooked down to remove almost all of the tomato’s natural moisture. It is great to add intense tomato flavor to your dish without making it overly watery or creating too much volume.
- Cheese. Cheese is delicious, but did you know that Italian parmigiano-reggiano is a “perfect food”? Its balanced flavor - salty and sweet, light but rich, grassy but nutty - isn’t its only feature. Parmigiano-reggiano can compete with virtually any food with its pound-for-pound levels of for calcium, amino acids, protein, and vitamin A. It’s like a mixed martial artist of cheese! Try to get authentic imported parmigiano-reggiano for this dish, but if you can’t then ordinary Parmesan cheese will do.
- Half & half or Cream. The half & half we use in this recipe makes this dish filling and satisfying. It brings a gratifying weight to the sauce, which will help satiate any of your carb cravings.
What You Need to Make This Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken
One of the best things about this recipe is it only needs a few kitchen staples. Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper are probably already in your pantry. All you need is a few extra ingredients and you’re on your way to an awesome chicken dinner.
- Chicken breast
- Half & half
- Tomato sauce/ marinara
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Parmesan cheese
How To Make Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken
- Brown your chicken breasts in oil in your skillet, getting a good sear. Set the chicken aside.
- In the same skillet, throw in your garlic and red pepper flakes .
- Add the half & half and tomato sauce and bring to a gentle simmer. Then, add in your parmesan and kale.
- Once your kale starts to wilt, put the chicken breasts back in the skillet.
- Cook for about 1 minute, and serve topped with more parmesan and basil.
- A medium to large skillet
- A can opener
- A sharp knife (blunt knives are prone to slipping)
- Cutting board
- Grater, preferably microplane if you’re using a big hunk of parmesan
Single-pan skillet dinners are an awesome weeknight treat. These easy-to-make dinners are even easier to clean up after, because you’ve only used a single pan. They save time both before and after cooking, which is perfect for busy families and working people.
Cooking this awesome skillet dinner shouldn’t take much longer than twenty minutes, or half an hour at the most.
You can serve this dinner on its own, or with a side salad. If you’re not watching your carb intake, try serving it alongside some crusty bread or over pasta.
Creamy Tomato Chicken Tips
If you don’t like (or don’t have) any of the ingredients above, you can make some minor alterations to the recipe. Some things, like half & half, chicken, and tomato sauce, can’t be changed, but a few of the other ingredients can.
- You can make this recipe with the crushed red peppers, or use spicier chili flakes if that’s what you like.
- Add your basil earlier for a more subtle flavor, or very late in the cooking process for a fresher, more intense basil taste.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano, with its awesome flavor and crumbly texture, is by far the best cheese for this dish. However, you can substitute it for regular parmesan. You can even use the parmesan that comes shredded, grated, or shaved in the packet. If you’re using a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and you end up with the cheese rind, you can add the rind to the sauce during the simmering stage.
- This sauce can be very sweet, so be sure to taste as you go. If it is too sweet, a small amount of salt will balance this out. Similarly, it may lack in acidity. If that’s the case, add about half a teaspoon to a teaspoon’s worth of red wine vinegar.
- If you like to cook with wine, you can also use a small amount (such as a tablespoon) of red wine. This will help the tomatoes to mix with the heavy cream, and add depth of flavor. This, like the red pepper flakes, is completely optional, and up to depends on your own palate.
If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment or give this recipe a rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐! I will be happy to hear from you!Print
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