Thursday , August 13 2020

Tomato Basil Chicken – Slender Kitchen

Easy, 6 ingredient Tomato Basil Chicken with a buttery tomato sauce made with canned tomatoes and fresh basil. Delicious with pasta, polenta, or spaghetti squash. Jump to Recipe keyboard_arrow_down


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This healthy Tomato Basil Chicken is ready in less than thirty minutes and made with just a few ingredients. The rich tomato sauce with fresh basil and butter is just so good. Serve it with freshly cooked pasta or creamy polenta.

Last week the fridge was looking pretty barren but I was trying to hold out a few more days until my grocery delivery arrived. It was already late, I was tired, and I just wanted something easy and comforting. 

Instead of ordering takeout or grabbing something frozen, I did a quick once over of the fridge and pantry and decided that with chicken breasts, canned San Marzano tomatoes, and fresh basil – there must be something yummy to be had. I also needed something fast because we were starving.

Not quite sure of my plan, I started by pounding out the chicken and coating it in salt, pepper, and oregano. Then I quickly cooked it in olive oil while I figured out the rest of my plan. Once the chicken was cooked, I added the garlic to the pan and let that cook for a minute and then added the tomatoes, thinking I would make a quick tomato sauce for the chicken and serve it alongside some pasta or rice.

However, after adding the tomatoes and letting it simmer for a bit, there was still something missing. It was a bit too acidic and missing richness. That’s when I decided to add butter! And the resulting sauce was delicious like we were spooning it out of the pan delicious. Tossed with some fresh basil – this chicken is a dish you will want to make again and again.

Tomato basil chicken breast on a plate with sauce and cherry tomatoes and fresh basil on the side.

How to Serve Tomato Basil Chicken

Almost every time I make this dish I am serving it over a bed of rice, pasta, or polenta since I want something that will soak up the sauce. Crusty bread would also be delicious. 

  • Go with classic Italian flavors and just cook up a big pot of regular pasta, whole wheat pasta, or alternative pasta on the side. Consider using medium pasta shapes like rigatoni or penne that can really soak up the sauce.
  • For a lower carb option, go with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. These palmini noodles are also becoming increasingly popular.
  • Polenta is an overlooked side dish that is actually quite simple to make and all you need is some corn grits. Another option is pre-cooked polenta tubes.
  • For side dishes, go for something green like this Parmesan Roasted Broccoli or Cauliflower.

Recipe Ideas and Tips

There are lots of ways to customize this recipe based on what you have at home or your personal preferences. Here are some ideas:

  • If you can find San Marzano tomatoes, then use those. They are sweeter and less acidic than regular canned tomatoes. However, if you don’t have any, regular canned tomatoes will work. You may need to add a teaspoon of sugar to balance out the acid. Just taste and adjust as needed. 
  • If you like things spicy, add some red pepper flakes at the same time you add the garlic.
  • If you don’t have chicken breast, you can make this with chicken thighs, pork cutlets or chops, and even white fish or shrimp. Just adjust the cooking time so the protein doesn’t overcook. 
  • If you don’t have fresh basil, you can make this with dried herb instead. Both dried basil and Italian seasoning will work. Add and adjust to taste. If you have some fresh parsley, add that for that fresh herb flavor.
  • You can make this dish with fresh tomatoes, it will just take some extra work since you will need to cook the tomatoes down until they are tender and have released the juice to make a sauce.
  • For a slightly different flavor, add some roasted red peppers to the sauce as well. Just chop them up and stir them into the tomatoes. This adds a delicious smoky element and some sweetness.
  • If you want more veggies, you could wilt some spinach into the sauce. You could also start by sauteing some zucchini or kale. 
  • Add a can of white beans or chickpeas right to the dish. 

Looking for more tomato basil recipes?

Original Recipe By Slender Kitchen

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