Spinach artichoke skillet chicken is a delectable dish that combines the classic flavors of creamy spinach artichoke dip with juicy pan-seared chicken. This comforting one-skillet meal is made using simple ingredients that all cook together for a quick yet satisfying weeknight dinner. You’ll love the mouthwatering, delicious final result, which pairs well with your preferred side dishes.
The preparation of spinach artichoke skillet chicken involves seasoning the chicken breasts before pan-searing them to perfection. Once the chicken is cooked, you’ll create a rich and creamy sauce using fresh baby spinach, artichoke hearts, and a few other ingredients. Combining the sauce with the chicken ensures each bite is bursting with the delightful tastes of spinach and artichoke.
With a 30-minute cook time, this easy-to-follow recipe is perfect for those seeking a healthy dish that doesn’t compromise on flavor. Furthermore, the minimal cleanup entailed in creating this one-skillet meal ensures you’ll have more time to enjoy this delicious dish with your family and friends. So go ahead, give this intriguing spinach artichoke skillet chicken a try, and watch it become a favorite in your meal rotation.
What Is Spinach Artichoke Skillet Chicken?
Defining the Dish
Spinach Artichoke Skillet Chicken is a delicious and versatile dish that combines tender, seared chicken breast with a creamy, satisfying spinach and artichoke sauce. This meal is perfect for those seeking a low-carb, high-protein option that doesn’t compromise on flavor. Ideal for dinner, this meal can be prepared in just 30 minutes, making it a go-to choice for busy weeknights.
What sets this dish apart is the way it caters to various dietary preferences. It can be easily adapted for Paleo, Whole30, and Keto diets by making simple ingredient swaps, such as using dairy-free cream cheese. Thus, it’s a perfect choice for those searching for healthy yet satisfying recipes.
The main components of Spinach Artichoke Skillet Chicken include:
- Chicken – The primary protein source, using boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- Spinach – Fresh baby spinach adds color, flavor, and nutrients to the dish
- Artichoke – Artichoke hearts bring a tangy and unique taste that brightens the sauce
- Cream Cheese – For a creamy and indulgent texture (dairy-free options are available)
- Parmesan Cheese – Adds depth of flavor and a slight saltiness to the sauce
The combination of these key ingredients results in a satisfying and flavorful dish that hits the spot without the heaviness of more traditional creamy dishes.
To maximize the taste and success of your Spinach Artichoke Skillet Chicken, keep the following tips in mind:
- Selection – Choose high-quality chicken for the best taste and texture
- Preparation – Trim any excess fat from the chicken and season it well before searing
- Cooking – Ensure a fantastic sear on your chicken by using a hot non-stick skillet
By incorporating the above suggestions and using the specified ingredients, you can create a mouthwatering Spinach Artichoke Skillet Chicken that’s sure to become a staple in your cooking repertoire.
Preparing the Ingredients
To start with, choose high-quality boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Ensure they are fresh and have a pink hue. If they are too thick or uneven in thickness, you can pound them with a meat mallet for even cooking. Make sure to wash your hands and utensils thoroughly after handling raw chicken to prevent cross-contamination.
Preparing Spinach and Artichokes
For this recipe, you’ll need fresh baby spinach and artichoke hearts. Begin by washing the spinach leaves gently but thoroughly, and then pat them dry with a paper towel. You can then roughly chop the leaves. As for the artichoke hearts, if you’re using canned or jarred ones, drain them, and give them a quick rinse to remove excess brine. Chop them into smaller pieces before adding them to your skillet.
Seasonings and Add-Ins
To bring out the flavors of both the chicken and vegetables, gather these seasonings:
Start by seasoning your chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Then, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté it for about 30 seconds until fragrant, careful not to burn it. Proceed to cook the chicken breasts in the skillet until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), then set them aside.
Once the chicken is cooked, you can add the chopped spinach and artichoke hearts to the skillet. Sauté these ingredients together with some additional salt and pepper until the spinach wilts and the artichokes become tender. Remember to stir frequently to ensure even cooking. Combine the cooked spinach and artichokes with the seared chicken, and your skillet creation is ready to serve.
Using Your Skillet Effectively
When cooking a spinach artichoke chicken skillet, choosing the right skillet is imperative. We recommend using a large, heavy-bottomed pan (such as a cast iron skillet) for optimal heat distribution. Before starting, ensure your skillet is clean and free of moisture.
To begin, heat your skillet over medium-high heat. Hold off on adding olive oil until the skillet is hot, as this prevents the oil from burning and producing an unpleasant flavor. Make sure to place the chicken in a single layer with enough space between each piece so they cook evenly. Add additional olive oil or butter if needed to prevent sticking and maintain a rich, creamy flavor.
Achieving the Perfect Sear
When it comes to searing the chicken, be patient and let each side cook until a golden-brown crust forms. This is typically achieved after 4-5 minutes per side, depending on your skillet and the thickness of the chicken breasts.
Once the chicken is seared, remove it from the skillet and prepare the creamy spinach artichoke sauce. Begin by melting butter in the skillet, followed by the addition of garlic, artichokes, and spinach. Sauté until the spinach wilts and the artichokes start to brown around the edges.
Simmering to Perfection
For a luscious, creamy sauce, sprinkle some flour into the skillet and stir well to incorporate with the vegetables, butter, and remaining oil. The flour will help thicken the sauce as it simmers.
Next, pour in chicken broth and let it simmer for a few minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce by half. As the mixture thickens, it’s time to add the heavy cream. Stir in the cream, allowing it to incorporate fully, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, return the seared chicken to the skillet, ensuring it’s fully covered by the sauce. Let the dish simmer for a few more minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors meld together. Serve your creamy spinach artichoke chicken skillet hot and enjoy!
Serving and Pairing Suggestions
When enjoying Spinach Artichoke Skillet Chicken, there are several accompaniments that can enhance the flavors and elevate your dining experience.
- Rice: A simple side of white or brown rice can complement the creamy chicken and vegetables. For an aromatic and flavorful twist, consider serving your dish with basmati or jasmine rice.
- Pasta: A bed of pasta, such as orzo, spaghetti, or fusilli, can soak up the rich sauce from your spinach artichoke skillet chicken, making for a delicious combination.
- Mashed potatoes: Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes make a comforting side that pairs well with the dish by balancing the flavors and textures.
- Quinoa: For a healthier and protein-packed alternative, try serving your skillet chicken with cooked quinoa. The nutty flavor of quinoa will complement the dish’s creamy characteristics.
A garnish of freshly squeezed lemon juice can also be added to cut through the richness and brighten the dish. Additionally, a side of crusty bread can be served to sop up the remaining sauce, ensuring that none of those delicious flavors go to waste.
Selecting the right wine can further elevate your spinach artichoke skillet chicken experience. Here are some suggestions to consider:
- White Wine: A crisp, light-bodied white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, can balance the rich flavors and creamy texture of the dish. These wines offer a refreshing acidity that pairs well with the spinach and artichoke.
- Red Wine: For those who prefer reds, Chianti or Pinot Noir can provide a smooth, light-to-medium body that complements the dish without overwhelming its flavors. These wines bring out the earthiness of the artichoke and spinach without clashing with the creaminess of the sauce.
Storage and Leftovers
Proper Storage Methods
Storing your leftover healthy spinach artichoke chicken properly is crucial for maintaining its taste and freshness. First, let the dish cool to room temperature. Afterward, transfer the leftovers to an airtight container. Make sure the container is made of glass or quality plastic that is both microwave and freezer safe. To further preserve the meal, you can use these storage methods:
- Refrigerator: Store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure the container is properly sealed to prevent any odor cross-contamination.
- Freezing: If you plan to keep the leftovers for an extended period, consider freezing them. Place the airtight container in the freezer and store spinach artichoke chicken for up to 3 months. To avoid freezer burn or loss of taste, label the container with the date of freezing.
Reheating Without Losing Flavor
Reheating leftovers should be done carefully to retain the delicious flavors of your spinach artichoke chicken dish. Here are a few methods to consider:
- Microwave: This is the quickest and most convenient method to reheat your dish. Place the leftovers in a microwave-safe container, cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, and heat for about 2-3 minutes. Stir halfway through the reheating process to ensure even heating.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Transfer the leftovers to an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil to retain moisture. Reheat for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
- Stovetop: Place the leftovers in a skillet over low-medium heat. Add a splash of chicken broth or water to prevent the chicken from drying out. Stir occasionally and heat until warmed through, about 10-15 minutes.
Remember, always ensure that your leftovers reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure food safety when reheating. Enjoy your tasty and healthy spinach artichoke chicken the next day!