Creamy Chicken Florentine

Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins

This one-pot Chicken Florentine is a classic skillet dish made with tender, juicy chicken breast in a rich, creamy mushroom and spinach sauce. It’s easy, satisfying, and comes together in about 30 minutes!

A skillet of Chicken Florentine with fresh cherry tomatoes.

Elegant Seared Chicken in Creamy Mushroom-Spinach Sauce

Do you ever want to make something a little out of the ordinary, more like a gourmet restaurant dish than a home-cooked meal? This recipe for Chicken Florentine has all of those gourmet vibes, but it’s incredibly easy to make, even for a beginner (or should I say novice) cook! You’ll love the ultra-creamy sauce and juicy, golden-brown chicken breast.

Plus, it comes together in one skillet. I love one-skillet meals, because they are so flavorful and so easy. Throw some rice in your rice cooker, or make a batch of pasta, and you’ve got dinner done in half an hour – with minimal cleanup. This one is a keeper, you guys!

Three dinner plates. Each plate has a seasoned chicken cutlet in creamy sauce with tomatoes and spinach.

Why Is It Called Chicken Florentine?

“Florentine” is a reference to Florence, Italy. Many dishes that feature spinach, like this one, are called “Florentine,” not because Florence is the spinach capital of the world, but because of Catherine de Medici. In the 1500s, Catherine (who hailed from Florence) became the queen of France. According to history, she popularized cooking with spinach in France, and spinach dishes were called “a la Florentine,” because of her influence. 

From top left: Chicken breast, cream, butter, dried basil, oil, mushrooms, salt and pepper, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, chicken broth, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese.

What Is Chicken Florentine Made Of?

To make this version of Chicken Florentine, you will need chicken breast, heavy cream, parmesan, and your veggies. Additionally, you’ll want some basic pantry items like butter, salt, and pepper. To make this recipe easier and a little lighter, we’re skipping the traditional breading step with the chicken and going with seared chicken breast, instead.

  • Olive Oil: For sauteing. 
  • Chicken Breast: You’ll want large boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cut them in half, lengthwise, to make thin cutlets.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Butter
  • Mushrooms: Slice the mushrooms and make sure they are cleaned.
  • Garlic: Press or mince the garlic.
  • Basil: Dried basil adds a sweet, herbal note to the sauce.
  • Heavy Cream: Don’t substitute half and half here – the heavy cream helps ensure a thick, savory sauce.
  • Broth: A little bit of chicken broth gives the sauce the correct texture. You can substitute vegetable broth or even water, if needed.
  • Parmesan: Freshly-grated parmesan cheese adds a ton of flavor.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Cut these in half. You can also use chopped roma or plum tomatoes.
  • Spinach: Because spinach wilts down to a fraction of its volume, you’ll need about four cups to start with. I like baby spinach.
  • Crushed Red Pepper: For a little kick. This is optional.

Can You Use Frozen Spinach in Chicken Florentine?

Yes, you can! Keep in mind that frozen spinach usually contains plenty of water, so it’s best to thaw and drain it well in a colander. Squeeze out as much water as you can before adding it to your sauce.

How to Make It

To make this recipe, you’ll need to cook the chicken first, and then make the sauce in the pan that the chicken was cooked in, incorporating any browned bits and juices right into your sauce ingredients. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cook the Chicken. Heat up your olive oil in a large skillet. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, saute for about 5 minutes per side, or until it’s cooked through. You can use a meat thermometer to test for doneness (when inserted into the thickest part of the meat, it should read 160°F). Remove the chicken, and keep it warm. I wrap mine in foil for this.
  2. Cook the Mushrooms and Garlic. Next, melt the butter in the same pan. Cook the mushrooms and garlic in the pan for 4 minutes, using a wooden spoon to scrape any little bits of chicken off of the bottom of the pan and stirring them into the mushroom mixture.
  3. Make the Sauce. Now add the basil, cream, and broth. Stir well, and let the mixture heat to a simmer. Then add the parmesan cheese and keep stirring to melt it. Finally, add the halved cherry tomatoes and pile on the baby spinach. Turn the heat to medium low, cover the skillet, and let the spinach wilt, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Serve. When the sauce is done, return the chicken to the pan and sprinkle crushed red pepper over everything. Enjoy!

Tips and Variations

Creating classic Chicken Florentine really couldn’t be easier, especially in this breading-free version. But before you start cooking, I hope you’ll take a minute to browse these helpful tips and variation ideas. Enjoy!

  • Watch the Chicken: When you’re working with chicken breast, it’s easy to overcook it. This is especially true with whole chicken breast, which can dry out on the outside before it finishes cooking on the inside. Slicing each breast in half (making cutlets, essentially) makes it easier to cook the whole piece without drying it, but you should still watch it carefully!
  • Add Veggies: If you like, you can easily boost the nutrition and fiber in this recipe by adding extra vegetables, like broccoli florets, cut green beans, carrot matchsticks, or zucchini rounds.
  • Sundried Tomato Variation: Substitute chopped sundried tomatoes for the cherry tomatoes to give this dish a rustic, summery taste.
An overhead shot of a two-handled skillet of cooked chicken in Florentine sauce.

Easy Serving Suggestions

This dish is great served over noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes. You can also whip up some great sides or starters, like these:

  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes: One of my very favorite side dishes, Garlic Mashed Potatoes are must-make recipe if you love mashed potatoes and garlic!
  • Garlic Bread: For those of us not watching our carbs, bread and pasta are a winning combo! This tangy, creamy Goat Cheese Garlic Bread is everything you want in a warm side dish.
  • Asparagus: When fresh asparagus is in season, there’s no easier way to fix it than by making Air Fryer Asparagus. You’ll love the crisp-tender texture of this healthy green veggie, lightly dressed with lemon and Parmesan.
Overhead shot of skillet chicken in a creamy veggie sauce.

Storing and Reheating

  • Leftover Chicken Florentine should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 5 days. 
  • Reheat in a covered skillet over low heat until the chicken is just heated through. Be sure not to overcook, or the chicken will be dry!

Does Chicken Florentine Freeze Well?

In general, I don’t recommend freezing a recipe with creamy pan sauce like this one. Freezing and thawing can cause the cream to separate, giving the reheated dish an unpleasantly grainy texture.

Yield: 4 Servings

Creamy Chicken Florentine

A skillet of Chicken Florentine with fresh cherry tomatoes.

This Chicken Florentine comes together in 30 minutes. It is made of seared chicken in a delicious cream sauce with spinach and mushrooms.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Salt and pepper the chicken and cook on each side for 5 minutes, using a meat thermometer to test for doneness (when inserted into the thickest part of the meat, it should read 160°F). Remove the chicken, and keep warm. (I wrap mine in foil.)
  2. Melt the butter in the pan and cook the mushrooms and garlic for 4 minutes, scraping any little bits of chicken off of the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the basil, whipping cream, and chicken broth. Heat until simmering, and then stir in the parmesan cheese.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes and baby spinach, and turn the heat to medium low. Place the lid on the pan. Let the spinach wilt, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Return the chicken to the pan, sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes, and serve immediately.

Notes

Storage:

  • Leftover Chicken Florentine should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 5 days. 
  • Reheat in a covered skillet over low heat until the chicken is just heated through. Be sure not to overcook, or the chicken will be dry!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 589Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 178mgSodium: 748mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 28g

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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