Creamy Spinach Chicken is delicious comfort food that comes together in just 30 minutes. It's a perfect recipe for a family weeknight dinner! Very creamy, lots of spinach, moist and tender chicken with a golden-brown crust. What's not to love?
Creamy spinach chicken
The chicken smothered in creamy spinach is so moist and tender, it melts in your mouth. If you want comfort food + some veggies, go for this recipe - you will not be disappointed!
- First, the chicken is seared in a cast-iron skillet to perfection.
- Then, the simple cream sauce is made with heavy cream, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and spinach.
- Next, the chicken is added back to the skillet and smothered in all this creamy cheesy goodness. Sprinkle some fresh herbs (thyme) on top and you have comfort food.
If you love creamy chicken, I also highly recommend these two recipes: Creamy Mushroom Chicken and Creamy Tuscan Chicken.
30-minute one-pot recipe
Creamy spinach chicken is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. It's made with basic ingredients, and the whole recipe takes only 30 minutes. Because everything is cooked in one pan, the cleanup is minimal. What's not to like? It's a logical choice for a quick dinner on a busy weeknight. It also looks beautiful and presentable - a great dish to serve a company.
What kind of chicken to use?
- Skinless, boneless chicken breast. This is what I used in this recipe. Make sure to slice each chicken breast in half horizontally, especially if you bought large chicken breasts, to make them thinner. This will help the chicken to cook faster and more evenly.
- Skinless, boneless chicken thighs. The dark meat of chicken thighs will go really well with creamy spinach.
- Chicken Tenderloins or Tenders. Chicken tenders are tender, small, and will cook similarly to thinly sliced chicken breasts.
What kind of spinach to use?
- Fresh spinach. This is what I used in this recipe - just add it to the sauce and let it wilt.
- Cooked spinach. Make sure cooked spinach is drained of any liquid before adding it to the sauce.
- Frozen spinach. If using frozen spinach, make sure it's thawed and drained of all water. Then, add it to the sauce just as you would fresh spinach.
Substitutes for the cream
- Heavy cream works the best in this recipe. It has enough fat content to form a thick enough sauce to coat the spoon.
- Half-and-half is the next best alternative to heavy cream. It will work well in this recipe since you will be melting Parmesan cheese.
- Milk can be used if mixed together with roux or cornstarch.
- Coconut milk or coconut cream will be a good dairy-free substitute as it has a high enough fat content.
How to make creamy spinach chicken
1) First, season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge it in the flour.
2) Then, sear the chicken with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet (I used cast-iron) until the chicken acquires a beautiful golden-brown crust and is cooked through. How do you know that the chicken is cooked through? The meat thermometer should register 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the chicken.
3) Make the cream sauce by adding heavy cream, minced garlic, and Parmesan cheese to the same skillet and cooking for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts.
4) Add fresh spinach.
5) Stir until the spinach wilts.
6) Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet and top with fresh herbs (thyme).
- Use thinly sliced skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Thinly sliced chicken breasts cook faster and more evenly. If you bought large chicken breasts, slice each chicken breast in half horizontally.
- When is the chicken done? Use a meat thermometer. The chicken is done when the juices run clear, and the meat thermometer should register 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the chicken.
- Use fresh herbs. I've added fresh thyme at the end, and it really adds a nice touch. You can also add fresh oregano or fresh sage.
- Serve this with pasta. Creamy spinach sauce will go well with any type of pasta, especially those flavored kinds that you can so often find in the store, such as lemon pasta, spinach pasta, or even truffle pasta.
- Create a beautiful presentation. Spoon small amounts of creamy spinach sauce over the cooked chicken, allowing the chicken to display golden-brown color.
- Fridge. Store this in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I do not recommend freezing this dish because that will destroy the texture of the sauce.
- Reheat on the stovetop. Reheat it on low heat in the skillet on the stovetop to prevent the sauce from separating. When reheating, add extra heavy cream or half-and-half to thin out the sauce.
What to serve with creamy spinach chicken
- Vegetables. This recipe will go well with roasted or steamed vegetables, such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or green beans.
- Rice. Serve this over a small portion of jasmine rice, basmati rice, or long-grain rice.
- Wild rice is a great side to go with creamy spinach chicken.
- Cauliflower rice is a lower-carb alternative to some other sides.
- Mashed cauliflower will work as a lower-carb substitute for mashed potatoes.
- Potatoes. Serve the chicken with mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, or sweet potatoes.
- Pasta. Serve this dish over any type of pasta, such as angel hair pasta, bow-tie pasta, or other types of pasta.
- Ravioli or tortellini (filled with cheese) will go really well with creamy spinach chicken.
More chicken recipes you might like
- Creamy Mushroom Chicken
- Chicken Thighs with Creamy Bacon Mushroom Thyme Sauce
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes
- Chicken Thighs with Creamy Tomato Basil Spinach Sauce
Creamy Spinach Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breasts skinless boneless (2 chicken breasts, sliced horizontally)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- black pepper freshly coarsely ground
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Creamy spinach sauce
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese freshly shredded
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme
Sear the chicken
- This recipe uses 1 lb of chicken breasts which usually means 2 large chicken breasts. Make sure to use thinly sliced chicken breasts. Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper in a large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour and dredge both sides of each chicken breast in the flour.
- Heat an empty large, high-sided skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. This allows the skillet to heat through. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add chicken breasts. Cook the chicken on one side on medium heat for 5 minutes, without moving it. This allows the chicken to sear.
- Flip the chicken over, reduce heat to low-medium, and cook for about 5 more minutes. The meat thermometer should register 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the chicken. Remove from heat. Remove chicken to a plate.
Make creamy spinach sauce
- To the same (now empty) skillet, add heavy cream and minced garlic. Bring to boil, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to get the bits from searing the chicken into the sauce. When the sauce is boiling, add shredded Parmesan cheese. Reduce to low-medium heat and keep stirring until the cheese melts, for about 2 or 4 minutes.
- Add fresh spinach, stir in the sauce just until the spinach starts to wilt and sinks into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Add back the cooked chicken breasts. Spoon the sauce over the center part of each chicken breast leaving other parts of the chicken to show a beautiful golden-brown crust (for presentation purposes).
- Sprinkle with fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper (freshly ground coarse black pepper).
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
I made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic. I followed the recipe as written and added all the leftover cooked veggies I had in the fridge. The cream sauce was so velvety! I definitely make this again!
Sharon, thank you for taking the time to share such a positive comment and the 5-star review! 🙂 So glad the recipe turned out well and was enjoyed! 🙂
Very flavorful. Followed the recipe exactly. Definitely a keeper.
David, thank you for trying the recipe, and glad you liked it! 🙂
Can frozen chopped spinach be used ?
Yes, you can. Make sure to thaw it and remove any extra water - might have to dry thawed spinach with paper towels, too.
Making this tonight for my fiance and daughter and I!!! I love this so much. Delicious and simple at its FINEST.
Nancy, thank you so much for such an enthusiastic and positive comment - it made my day! 🙂
If using g frozen chopped spinach how much do I use ?,
Mitzi, I would use about 5 ounces of frozen spinach. Make sure it's completely thawed and drained really well. Use paper towels to get rid of any moisture. When adding spinach to the sauce, don't just dump all the spinach in one spot in the sauce - sprinkle it evenly across the whole surface of the cooking pan and stir it in. Enjoy!
I made this when my mother-in-law was visiting for myself and my wife. My wife said it was the best chicken she's ever had and my mother-in-law loved it. This dinner was amazing, thank you so much for the yummy recipe.
Larry, you are very welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!
Amazing...I served this over angel hair pasta and finished the dish drizzled with lemon and sprinkled with lemon zest...
Alexandra, I love how you served it. This dish goes great with pasta!