This creamy sun-dried tomato chicken will be your favorite weeknight recipe with its lush sauce, tender chicken, and tons of flavor from oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. It’s perfect on pasta or served with bread. This sun-dried tomato recipe uses oil-packed tomatoes instead of dry-packed tomatoes. Why? Keep reading to learn the difference between oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and dry!
What’s the difference between oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and dry?
For sun-dried tomato recipes, I always pick oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes instead of dry-packed tomatoes. What are the differences? Well, it comes down to just the packing.
Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes:
Unlike their dry counterparts, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes come jarred in oil and occasionally include aromatics and herbs, like garlic, Italian herbs, or even olives. Kazzen, for instance, makes sun-dried tomatoes that are packed with fennel and capers. These tomatoes can be used straight from the jar and need not be rehydrated. The oil can be used to add a little extra punch of flavor to your recipe, like in this sun-dried tomato pasta with corn.
Dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes:
Dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes are more similar to dry fruits, like figs or apricots. Because they aren’t jarred in oil, they can be a little tough and chewy. Before using them in your recipe, you’ll want to rehydrate them in a bit of warm water.
The reason I go with oil-packed tomatoes comes down to the fact that I like having the extra flavorful oil available. I also like that I don’t need to rehydrate them before using them.
How to make creamy sun-dried tomato chicken:
Making this recipe is such a breeze, and you’ll love this meal for a quick weeknight dinner recipe. You need just a handful of ingredients, including:
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Crushed red pepper, if you like a bit of heat!
- Stock or water
- Heavy cream
- Splash of lemon, if you like
You can make this recipe in just 5 easy steps!
Step 1: Fry up the chicken! Once the chicken is browned all over and mostly cooked through, transfer it to a plate and dice it up.
Step 2: Once you’re done chopping the chicken, cook up the mushrooms and onions in a bit of butter.
Step 3: Throw in the garlic, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, and crushed red pepper. From there, add in the diced chicken.
Step 4: Pour in the liquid–chicken stock or water–and bring it to a boil. Simmer it for 20–30 minutes. You want the liquid to reduce significantly. As in, you want just the bottom of the skillet coated with liquid after it finishes simmering.
Step 5: From there, simply add the heavy cream, spinach, and basil and simmer it briefly until the spinach wilts.
Finish the sauce with a touch of lemon juice for a touch of brightness. The acid of the lemon juice will really round out the creamy richness of the sauce, so don’t skip it!
How to serve this sun-dried tomato and chicken recipe:
You can serve this sauce in so many ways. My suggestions:
- Pasta! Try it with pappardelle or fettuccine. Or try it with a small pasta shape, like orzo or ditalini. Cook up the pasta as the sauce finishes, stirring it into the skillet at the end. Be sure to thin out the sauce with a touch of pasta cooking water!
- Rice or risotto! Make a batch of rice or plain risotto and spoon the sauce at the end!
- Veggies! Looking for low-carb? Serve this alongside grilled or roasted vegetables, like asparagus, cauliflower, broccolini, and zucchini.
- Soup it up! Thin it out with more water and add some diced potatoes to it, and baby, you got a stew going! Use 4 cups of water or stock, and then throw in some potatoes. No potatoes? No problem. Try stirring in gnocchi with the spinach at the end, and you have a beautiful gnocchi soup!
- Bread! Keep it simple! Serve it up with a slice of crusty, toasted bread. Even better if you rub the bread with a touch of garlic!
However you serve this sauce, it’ll be an instant favorite with your family. The sun-dried tomatoes bring a gorgeous funky sourness to the creamy sauce. Whatever you do, don’t forget that splash of lemon juice at the end! It really cuts through the richness of the cream and rounds out the flavors really well.
Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken
- Large skillet
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
- 3 sprigs thyme
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- 1½ cups chicken stock or water
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 5 ounces spinach
- .5 ounces fresh basil, torn
- Splash of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Cook the chicken:
- Heat neutral oil in a big skillet over medium-high heat. Pat chicken dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Cook in the skillet for 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Sauté mushrooms and onions:
- Melt the butter in the skillet and add the onion and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook, occasionally stirring, for 10 minutes until mushrooms brown.
Simmer the sauce:
- Add garlic, thyme sprigs, and crushed red pepper to taste. Next, add the diced chicken and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Pour in the stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes until the liquid reduces significantly. Taste and season.
Finish the sauce:
- Add heavy cream, spinach, and basil and cook for 5-7 minutes until spinach is wilted.
- Taste and season once more. Finish with a splash of lemon juice.
- Serve with your favorite pasta. Enjoy!
And this recipe be made in a slow cooker?
Yes! Just gather all ingredients in crockpot except spinach and cream. Cook on high for 3–4 hours or low on 6. Shred the chicken and add cream and spinach. Cook in slow cooker until spinach is wilted.
Can this be made dairy free?