There are so many reasons to love this dish. It’s easy, beautiful, delicious, and always a hit.
This dish makes a spectacular weeknight chicken dinner. But, trust us, it’s not your run-of-the-mill chicken dinner. In fact, it’s so impressive and so delicious, it’s ideal to serve to guests. We love to serve it over fresh pasta or steamed rice. So good!
How To Make Creamy Chicken Florentine
This recipe is not difficult to bring together.
The ingredients are straightforward and the preparation isn’t complicated.
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The Ingredients You Will Need
As mentioned, the ingredient list for this deeply flavorful dish is not complicated, or even that lengthy. Many of the items you may already have on hand.
Here’s What You’ll Need to Have on Hand
Oil – Olive oil or extra-virgin olive oil are excellent choices.
Spinach – We recommend mature fresh spinach that is washed and stems removed, however, baby spinach will also work. If using frozen, let thaw and squeeze out excess liquid.
Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are perfect. If they are too large, cut them in half, lengthwise.
Seasoning – Salt and pepper is all you need
Shallot – Or white, yellow, or red onion – chopped
Garlic – Fresh and minced
Chicken stock – Homemade is great, but store-bought is perfectly fine.
Cream – Heavy cream makes the sauce luxurious, but, half-and-half will work, too.
Parmesan cheese – Grated, have extra on hand for garnishing
Lemon – Zest and freshly juiced
Red pepper flakes – A little for a little spice, more for extra spice, omit for no spice at all.
EXPERT TIP: Sear the chicken until browned on both sides. Let it cool and then, if desired, slice or cut it into bite-sized pieces. If it still a little pink in the center, that’s okay, it will cook perfectly as it simmers in the sauce.
Tips for Perfect Creamy Chicken Florentine
Chicken Thickness – Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are of even thickness: This will ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and doesn’t become dry or overcooked. You can pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness or slice them in half horizontally to create thinner pieces.
The Creamy Sauce – Allowing the seared chicken to simmer in cream and broth sauce ensure the chicken will be moist and tender. As the sauce cooks down, it will deepen in flavor.
Add Final Ingredients at the End of Cooking – After the sauce has cooked down and the chicken is fully cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the sautéed spinach, Parmesan cheese, lemon, and seasonings. Be sure to taste to make sure the seasonings are correct (you may need to add a little more salt).
How To Serve
This dish is very versatile when it comes to serving it to family or for having guests over.
We often just bring the skillet right to the table and allow folks to serve themselves.
As mentioned, it’s wonderful served over cooked pasta or even steamed rice. If serving with pasta, your can stir the pasta into the skillet before serving for a perfect true one-pot dish.
Be sure to have plenty of extra Parmesan cheese on hand at the table. Grating a block of cheese over individual servings is a nice touch.
Other Classic Chicken Recipes to Try
Chicken is a universally loved protein with so many options for preparing it. Here are some our favorite chicken recipes that you will love, too:
Caprese-Stuffed Chicken with Balsamic GlazeCaprese-Stuffed Chicken
Coq au Vin (French Wine-Braised Chicken)
Classic Chicken Molé
Roasted Chipotle Chicken
Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Cheese
Roasted Lemon Chicken
Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
Creamy Tuscan Chicken
In the meantime, isn’t this incredible chicken creation calling your name?
If you’re like us, you’re always on the lookout for a delicious way to prepare chicken.
Boneless and skinless chicken breasts are budget-friendly and when prepared correctly, juicy and flavorful.
This dish is one of our most popular recipes on the blog, and once you try, you’ll understand why. And, leftovers are absolutely amazing!
Ready to make the best chicken dish this side of, well, Florence, Italy? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!
Creamy Chicken Florentine
- 1 Large skillet 12-inch, or larger - or Dutch oven
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 16 oz fresh spinach washed, dried, and stems removed
- 6 chicken breasts boneless, skinless, about 2 to 2¼ lbs (See NOTES)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 shallot chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese divided, grated, plus more for topping
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice from half of the lemon
- ½ ts red pepper flakes optional
- 8 oz pasta cooked
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.3 tbsp olive oil
- Add spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes.16 oz fresh spinach
- Transfer spinach to a colander and press with a large spoon to release excess liquid. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.
- Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels and then season with salt and pepper.6 chicken breasts, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken and cook until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
- Transfer the chicken to a clean platter or plate.
- To the same skillet, add the shallot and cook for about 2 minutes, or until soft. (If the pan is dry, add a little more oil). Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.1 shallot, 3 cloves garlic
- Stir in stock and cream, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.2 cups chicken stock, 1 cup heavy cream
- Meanwhile, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut it into strips or bite-sized pieces. Add back into the sauce and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by about 1 cup.
- Off heat, stir in the cooked spinach, ½ cup Parmesan, lemon zest, juice from half a lemon, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and the red pepper flakes.¾ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp lemon zest, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, ½ ts red pepper flakes
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler to HIGH.
- Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan over the top of the chicken florentine.
- Broil until golden brown, about 3 - 5 minutes, or less (keep a close eye, broilers vary!). Serve at once over cooked pasta or steamed rice.8 oz pasta
POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in February 2015, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in July, 2023!