The flavors of Tuscany, a picturesque region in central Italy, are celebrated worldwide for their simplicity and deliciousness. If you’re looking for a way to bring a touch of Tuscan cuisine to your dinner table, look no further than this delightful recipe for Creamy Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken. This dish combines the richness of creamy sauces, the earthy goodness of spinach, and the wonderful aroma of Italian seasonings, resulting in a meal that’s both comforting and flavorful. Whether you’re a busy parent or a cooking enthusiast, this recipe is designed to make your life easier and your taste buds happier. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the art of making the best Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken, complete with detailed ingredients, step-by-step instructions, cooking tips, variations, and even keto and low-carb options. So, let’s embark on a culinary journey to Tuscany, one bite at a time.
Table of Contents
Keto and Low-Carb Versions
For Creamy Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken, you’ll need:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup diced onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 cups fresh baby spinach
Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Before you get started, make sure you have the following equipment on hand:
Crock-Pot (slow cooker)
Cutting board and a sharp knife
Measuring cups and spoons
Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of creating Creamy Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken.
Preparing Creamy Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken:
Start by seasoning the chicken breasts with salt, black pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme, and dried rosemary. Ensure the chicken is evenly coated with the seasoning.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken breasts and cook until they are golden brown on both sides. This step is not meant to fully cook the chicken but to sear it for extra flavor. Transfer the seared chicken to a plate.
In the same skillet, add the diced onions and minced garlic. Sauté for about 2 minutes, or until they become fragrant and slightly translucent.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the skillet. Sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
Pour in the chicken broth and heavy cream, stirring to combine all the ingredients. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes until it thickens slightly.
Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook, stirring, until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce becomes creamy.
Place the seared chicken breasts at the bottom of the Crock-Pot.
Pour the creamy sauce, along with the sautéed onions, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes, over the chicken.
Cover the Crock-Pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
Finishing the Dish:
About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the fresh baby spinach into the Crock-Pot. It will wilt and incorporate beautifully into the creamy sauce.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper if needed.
Serve the Creamy Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken over your choice of pasta, rice, or with a side of crusty bread. Garnish with fresh basil leaves for a burst of fresh aroma.
Here are some notes to ensure that your Creamy Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken turns out to be a masterpiece:
Searing the Chicken: Searing the chicken before slow cooking helps seal in the juices and enhance the flavor. It’s an optional step, but highly recommended.
Heavy Cream: For a richer and creamier sauce, use heavy cream. If you prefer a lighter version, you can use half-and-half.
Red Pepper Flakes: The red pepper flakes can be adjusted according to your preferred level of spiciness. Add more or less based on your taste.
Spice up your Creamy Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken with these creative variations:
Mushroom Medley: Add a mix of mushrooms to the sauce for a hearty twist.
Artichoke Hearts: Incorporate marinated artichoke hearts for extra tanginess.
Fresh Cherry Tomatoes: For a burst of freshness, add halved cherry tomatoes during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Kalamata Olives: For a Mediterranean touch, include some pitted and sliced Kalamata olives.
Fresh Herbs: Replace dried herbs with fresh ones. Use basil, thyme, and rosemary for a garden-fresh taste.
Keto and Low-Carb Versions
If you’re following a keto or low-carb diet, you can still savor the flavors of Creamy Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken. Simply skip the pasta and rice, and serve it with steamed vegetables, cauliflower rice, or a crisp salad.
Creamy Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken is a dish that captures the essence of Italian cuisine with its delightful creaminess and harmonious blend of flavors. It’s the perfect choice for a hassle-free weeknight dinner or when you’re entertaining guests. The tender chicken, creamy sun-dried tomato sauce, and vibrant spinach make every bite a Tuscan-inspired delight. Whether you serve it over pasta, rice, or low-carb alternatives, this recipe brings a piece of Tuscany to your home.
Now it’s your turn to enjoy this easy yet gourmet-quality dish. Gather the ingredients, fire up your Crock-Pot, and embark on a culinary journey to Tuscany from the comfort of your own kitchen. Bon appétit!