Ready in under 30 minutes, this one-pan creamy tomato chicken is perfect for a weeknight meal! Tender chicken breasts come together in a cheesy and creamy tomato sauce that can be served over pasta as a healthy and high-protein dinner that makes great leftovers too.
If you’re looking for a cozy yet easy dinner idea, look no further than this creamy tomato chicken recipe. Part tomato sauce, part tomato soup, part grilled chicken, this dish is a great way to make the most of pantry staples while having a little fun in the kitchen at the same time.
What You’ll Need
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this chicken with creamy tomato sauce:
- Chicken Breasts: The recipe calls for boneless chicken breasts, however, you could certainly use chicken thighs if you prefer. If using chicken thighs, you’ll just need to reduce the cooking time slightly since they cook faster.
- Crushed Tomatoes: Using canned tomatoes makes this creamy tomato chicken quick to prepare without forgoing taste. If possible, use fire-roasted crushed tomatoes for an extra depth of flavor.
- Tomato Paste: Just enough to thicken the sauce.
- Olive Oil: To cook the chicken while adding some healthy fats and flavor at the same time.
- Heavy Cream: The key to a good creamy sauce!
- Parmesan Cheese: To help enhance the creaminess and give the sauce a nice salty bite.
- Onion and Garlic: Some tomato sauce essentials.
- Red Pepper Flakes: For a bit of heat. You can omit them if you don’t like spice.
- Basil: To balance out the flavors and add a bit of freshness.
If you’d like to add a bit more flavor or want to amp up your pantry staples, add some fennel seeds along with the red pepper flakes.
How to Make Creamy Tomato Sauce for Chicken
Making a creamy tomato sauce is quite simple and can easily be done with kitchen and pantry staples. Here’s what you’ll do:
- Brown the chicken breast in a large skillet in olive oil. This helps to sear the chicken, lock in the juices, and flavor the tomato sauce. Set them aside.
- In the same skillet add some onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, and crushed tomatoes. Stir everything until well combine and bring it to a bubble.
- Pour in the heavy cream, add the parmesan cheese, and stir until the tomato sauce until nice and creamy.
- Return your chicken to the pan to finish up until the chicken is cooked through, and that’s it!
For an extra creamy and flavorful touch, grate parmesan cheese over the top of the chicken and sprinkle with a bit of fresh basil.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
When people see the word “creamy” in conjunction with a recipe there is often an immediate assumption that it’s unhealthy but that could not be further from the truth. In fact, the use of a little heavy cream and parmesan cheese in this dish helps to give the sauce a velvety texture, while providing some healthy fats at the same time.
What to Serve with Creamy Tomato Chicken
This creamy tomato chicken recipe is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. While it can be consumed as is, by pairing it with a source of complex carbohydrates and fiber-rich vegetables you can easily create a balanced meal without much effort. Here are some examples of what you could serve the chicken with:
- Pasta and Baby Spinach
- Potatoes and Broccoli
- Rice and Asparagus
- Couscous and Green beans
- Quinoa and Kale
If you’re serving the chicken over pasta, I’d recommend penne, rigatoni, or fusilli, as these short-cut pasta shapes will hold the sauce well and be similar in size to the chicken when cut. While you can pour the sauce and chicken directly over cooked pasta, for the best results, I’d recommend removing the cooked chicken from the pan, then adding cooked pasta to the sauce and giving it a good toss to ensure it’s well coated before serving it onto a plate and topping it with a chicken breast.
Storage + Reheating
To Store: Allow the dish to cool completely and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: I don’t recommend freezing this dish as cream sauces have a tendency to split when reheating after being frozen.
To Reheat: The dish can be reheated in a skillet on the stovetop for 5-6 minutes or in a microwave-safe container for 1-2 minutes, with additional 30-second increments as needed to not overcook the chicken.
More One-Pan Chicken Recipes:Print
Creamy Tomato Chicken
This creamy tomato chicken is a quick, low-cost, high-protein recipe that’s perfect for casual dinners. Serve it with pasta for a well-balanced meal.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
- 1 shallot or small onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
- 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted if possible
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus more to serve
- Black pepper
- Fresh basil, to serve
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a large skillet or pan, warm the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until each side is golden brown and has a good crust on it. Once cooked, remove the chicken breasts from the pan and set them aside on a plate. (Don’t worry that the chicken is not cooked through, it’s not supposed to be, we will finish cooking it later.)
- In the same pan, reduce the stove to medium heat, add the shallot or onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender. Add the red pepper flakes, tomato paste, and a pinch of salt, stir to coat and cook for an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Pour in the chicken broth or water, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan, and stir into the onion and garlic mixture and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until most of the liquid has reduced.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, stir to combine, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, add heavy cream and parmesan cheese, and stir until the sauce is smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Return the chicken breasts to the pan, submerging them in the tomato sauce as much as possible, and cook for 5-7 minutes, covering the pan with a lid if possible, until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. If you own one, use a meat thermometer to ensure you cook the chicken to the perfect temperature.
- Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and additional shredded parmesan cheese to serve. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 287 calories
- Sugar: 4 grams
- Fat: 16 grams
- Carbohydrates: 7 grams
- Fiber: 1 grams
- Protein: 29 grams
Keywords: creamy tomato sauce for chicken