Creamy Healthy Tuscan ‘Marry Me’ Chicken

How to make a rich and creamy healthy Tuscan Marry Me Chicken w/ spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parmesan, cottage cheese, & coconut milk. It’s a delicious burst of savory and tangy Italian flavor with juicy chicken!

How to make healthy Tuscan Marry Me Chicken w/ spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parmesan, cottage cheese, & coconut milk

I’m giving Creamy Tuscan Marry Me Chicken a healthy twist using cottage cheese and coconut milk to make a rich and creamy chicken dish. My delicious chicken recipe also includes spinach and sundried tomatoes for additional nutrition and flavor. The juicy chicken breasts are pan-seared in a large skillet and then combined with a parmesan cream sauce.

Your kitchen will smell like an Italian restaurant, and you will feel proud of yourself for making such an impressive dish with my easy marry me chicken recipe. I’m not sure how this savory Tuscan dish earned the nickname Marry Me Chicken but it is definitely delicious enough to inspire a marriage proposal. 

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love My Healthy Tuscan Marry Me Chicken Recipe

  • It’s easy to prep and only takes 15 minutes to cook.
  • The chicken is cooked juicy and tender.
  • The healthy sauce is rich and creamy.
  • All the simple ingredients are easily digestible and anti-inflammatory for a gentle tummy.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make the best-tasting creamy healthy tuscan ‘marry me’ chicken recipe:

Whole Chicken Breasts: You can use boneless chicken thighs, turkey cutlets, chicken cutlets, or even tofu for a vegetarian option.

Butter: Replace butter with olive oil, ghee, or a non-dairy butter alternative for a dairy-free version.

Coconut Milk: Use almond milk, cashew milk, or any other plant-based milk for a lighter option. Regular milk or heavy cream can be used for a non-vegan version. For a less creamy alternative, you can use vegetable stock.

Cottage Cheese: Greek yogurt or a dairy-free yogurt alternative can replace cottage cheese for creaminess.

Italian Seasoning: You can make your own Italian seasoning blend using dried basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary if you don’t have pre-made Italian seasoning.

Parmesan Cheese: Nutritional yeast or a dairy-free Parmesan cheese can be used to make it vegan. For a milder flavor, try Pecorino Romano or Asiago cheese.

Tangy Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes can replace sun-dried tomatoes. You can also use rehydrated dried tomatoes.

Fresh Spinach: You can omit the spinach.

​Garlic Cloves: These can be replaced with garlic powder.

Fresh Basil: Use dried basil, or substitute with fresh parsley, fresh thyme, cilantro, or another fresh herb of your choice.

Salt and Pepper: You can use sea salt, kosher salt, or any other salt you prefer. Freshly ground black pepper or ground white pepper can be used in place of pepper.

Olive Oil: You can use avocado oil, canola oil, or any other cooking oil you have on hand.

How to Make My Healthy Tuscan Marry Me Chicken Recipe

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

Place a thawed, boneless skinless chicken breast in a 1-gallon plastic bag. Pound the chicken with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin until it is an even thickness. Roughly .5″ thick.

Remove the chicken breast from the bag with a pair of tongs and place it on top of the bag. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and pepper. Use your hand to pat the seasonings into the chicken. Flip the chicken breasts over and repeat the seasoning.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

Combine the coconut milk, cottage cheese, and Italian seasoning in a food processor, blender, or chopper cup with an immersion blender. Blend until smooth.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 3: Prep the Rest

Dice the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic cloves and shred the parmesan cheese.

Juiced and zested orange on a kitchen counter.

Step 4: Cook the Chicken

Heat a frying pan over high heat for several minutes. Add two tablespoons of extra light olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil) to the pan and let it heat up for about a minute.

Carefully place the seasoned chicken breasts into the hot pan. They should instantly start the sizzle. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes without moving them. This will create a golden brown crust on the underneath side of the chicken. Then flip them over and allow to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Then remove from the pan onto a plate. 

Remove your pan from the heat for about a minute to cool. Then return your pan to the burner and turn the heat to medium. Add the butter and crushed garlic and stir. Allowing the pan to cool slightly will avoid burning the butter and garlic.

Add the spinach leaves and gently stir until they cook down and are wilted.

Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Pour in the sauce and parmesan cheese. Stir with a spatula until the cheese is melted. 

Add the sun-dried tomatoes and return the chicken breasts to the pan.  If your chicken pieces are large, you can cut them in half before putting them in the pan. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the chicken. Once it reaches 165°F, the chicken is done.

Slice the chicken pieces and serve over your favorite pasta, rice, or spaghetti squash. 

Juicy Tuscan Chicken with Cottage Cheese Recipe Notes

Chicken Thickness: Ensure that you pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness, approximately 0.5 inches thick. This helps in even cooking and ensures that the chicken cooks through without overcooking the exterior. Pounding the chicken will also create tender chicken.

Seasoning: Don’t forget to season the chicken breasts with coarse sea salt and pepper on both sides before cooking. This step adds flavor to the chicken.

Sauce Creaminess: Blending the coconut milk, cottage cheese, and Italian seasoning until smooth is crucial to achieving a creamy sauce. You can use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender for this step.

Cooking Spinach: When adding the spinach, it wilts quickly, so be prepared to stir and cook it only until it’s wilted. Overcooking can lead to spinach becoming mushy.

Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165°F (74°C) to ensure that the chicken is cooked through and safe to eat.

Refrigeration: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to transfer the food within two hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth.

Cooling: Allow the cooked dish to cool to room temperature before refrigerating it. Placing hot food directly in the fridge can raise the temperature inside and affect the quality of other stored items.

Divide into Portions: If you anticipate having multiple servings left, consider dividing the dish into individual portions before storing. This makes it easier to reheat only what you need.

Labeling: It’s helpful to label the container with the date you stored the dish, so you can keep track of freshness and consumption.

Shelf Life: Leftover Tuscan Chicken can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to consume it within this time frame to maintain optimal taste and quality.

Reheating: When reheating, it’s best to use a microwave or stovetop. Reheat the portions gently to avoid overcooking and maintain the creamy texture of the sauce. If you find the sauce has thickened in the refrigerator, you can add a small amount of milk or broth to restore the desired consistency.

Freezing: While the creamy sauce can sometimes separate when frozen, you can freeze this dish for longer storage. Place it in an airtight container suitable for freezing and label it with the date. Ensure you cool it to room temperature before freezing. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Thawing: When ready to use the frozen leftovers, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat as described above.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts in this easy chicken recipe?

Yes, you can substitute chicken thighs for chicken breasts. Just adjust the cooking time to ensure they are cooked through.

What can I use instead of cottage cheese in the sauce?

Greek yogurt or a dairy-free yogurt alternative can replace cottage cheese for a creamy texture in the sauce.

How can I make this recipe dairy-free?

To make it dairy-free, use non-dairy butter, almond milk or another plant-based milk, and a dairy-free Parmesan cheese substitute.

What should I serve this dish with?

You can serve this dish over your favorite pasta, rice, or spaghetti squash. It also pairs well with a side salad or garlic bread.

Can I make the creamy sun-dried tomato sauce recipe in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the sauce and store it separately. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce and cook the chicken, then combine them.

Is Tuscan Marry Me Chicken gluten-free?

Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free. Just ensure that any accompanying pasta, rice, or bread you serve it with is also gluten-free if needed.

How to make healthy Tuscan Marry Me Chicken w/ spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parmesan, cottage cheese, & coconut milk

Healthy Tuscan Marry Me Chicken

How to make a rich and creamy healthy Tuscan Marry Me Chicken w/ spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parmesan, cottage cheese, & coconut milk. It's a delicious burst of savory and tangy Italian flavor with juicy chicken!
4.23 from 9 votes
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup coconut milk (from a can)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil

Instructions
 

  • Place a thawed, boneless skinless chicken breast in a 1-gallon plastic bag. Pound the chicken with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin until it is an even thickness. Roughly .5" thick.
    Remove the chicken breast from the bag with a pair of tongs and place it on top of the bag. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and pepper. Use your hand to pat the seasonings into the chicken. Flip the chicken breasts over and repeat the seasoning.
  • Combine the coconut milk, cottage cheese, and Italian seasoning in a food processor, blender, or chopper cup with an immersion blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Dice the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic cloves and shred the parmesan cheese.
  • Heat a frying pan over high heat for several minutes. Add two tablespoons of extra light olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil) to the pan and let it heat up for about a minute.
    Carefully place the seasoned chicken breasts into the hot pan. They should instantly start the sizzle. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes without moving them. This will create a golden brown crust on the underneath side of the chicken. Then flip them over and allow to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Then remove from the pan onto a plate. 
  • Remove your pan from the heat for about a minute to cool. Then return your pan to the burner and turn the heat to medium. Add the butter and crushed garlic and stir. Allowing the pan to cool slightly will avoid burning the butter and garlic.
    Add the spinach leaves and gently stir until they cook down and are wilted. 
  • Pour in the sauce and parmesan cheese. Stir with a spatula until the cheese is melted. 
    Add the sun-dried tomatoes and return the chicken breasts to the pan.  If your chicken pieces are large, you can cut them in half before putting them in the pan. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.
    Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the chicken. Once it reaches 165°F, the chicken is done.
  • Slice the chicken pieces and serve over your favorite pasta, rice, or spaghetti squash. 

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Calories: 340kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 22gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 1610mgPotassium: 855mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2627IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 207mgIron: 4mg
Keyword chicken, freeze spinach, Italian, parmesan, tuscan
Did you make this recipe and love it?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

5 Comments

  1. Super-Duper website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am taking your feeds also.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was a hit! It was easy to make and we loved the flavor in the sauce using cottage cheese. Thank you for such an easy and healthy recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never thought of using cottage in the sauce. It tasted delicious!!! We ate with steamed broccoli and bowtie pasta and it was a hit. I will for sure be making this again.

    1. I’m so glad you liked this recipe! That’s a great idea to eat it with broccoli and bowties! Thanks for sharing 🙂

4.23 from 9 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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