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Creamy Tomato Chicken Skillet Dinner

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Calories: 509
Creamy Tomato Chicken Skillet with basil and parmesan cheese in a cast iron skillet

Tender chicken breasts cook a garlicky, creamy tomato bath, and the addition of kale rounds the creamy chicken skillet meal into a true one-pan dinner. Plus, it’s ready in just about 20 minutes.

Kick Your Pasta Craving to the Curb

Creamy, tomato-y, cheesy meals are definitely our kryptonite. Usually, they come in the form of some sort of baked pasta dish—baked penne alla vodka or easy stuffed pasta shells, or regular old lasagna, we’re really not picky. But when we’re trying to keep things a little lighter and healthier, we turn to this creamy tomato chicken skillet dinner recipe! It truly takes barely 20 minutes to put together—just a single pan full of simple ingredients. Easy, healthy-ish, cheesy, kale-y—it’s a real everyone-pleaser.

ingredients laid out for Creamy Tomato Chicken Skillet Dinner cream, tomato paste, kale and basil
4 chicken breast browned in a large cast iron skillet

What You’ll Need to Make this Chicken Skillet Dinner

We bet you’ve already got everything you need to make this creamy tomato chicken recipe! It’s sort of unbelievably basic. You’ve got oil, salt and pepper, right? You’ll just need a few more things to make this skillet dinner:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Garlic
  • Fennel seed
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Canned, crushed tomatoes
  • Heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Kale
  • Basil
  • Tomato paste
tomato paste and garlic in a cast iron skillet
garlic, tomato paste and tomato sauce in a cast iron skillet
garlic, tomato paste and tomato sauce simmering in a cast iron skillet
garlic, tomato paste and tomato sauce in a cast iron skillet with cream and kale

Why This Recipe Works

We’re not trying to toot our own horn (or maybe we are a little bit) this recipe works really, really well! It uses basic flavors and ingredients to create a hearty, comforting chicken skillet dinner that satisfies your most carb-y cravings, without succumbing to them! So what, exactly, makes this creamy one-pan chicken recipe work so well? We’re so glad you asked! There are a few things that make it so super delicious:

  1. Tomato paste! If you’re not in the habit of keeping this superstar ingredient in your pantry, it’s time to pick up a new habit! Tomato paste is essentially tomato concentrate—tomatoes are cooked down for hours until nearly all of the moisture has been cooked out, and all that’s left is a densely flavorful distillation of tomato flavor. It’s a source of umami, and really intensifies the tomato flavor of this dish.
  2. Cream! Oh yeah. Heavy cream. It satisfies like none other, and the combination of heavy cream and tomatoes is what makes this dish so comforting, and so reminiscent of your favorite baked pasta dishes (sans carbs!).
  3. Cheese! If you’re feeling luxe, spring for a real-deal, grate-yourself hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano. In a pinch, the pre-grated Parmesan cheese will do, though. Just like the tomato paste, Parmigiano-Reggiano is a source of umami, that delicious savory 5th flavor.
Creamy Tomato Chicken Skillet 7
Creamy Tomato Chicken Skillet with kale and basil in a cast iron skillet

How To Make This One-Pan Chicken Skillet Recipe

Grab yourself 20 minutes, and get cooking! Here’s how easy it is:

  1. Brown the chicken breasts in a bit of olive oil, to give them a nice crisp outside. Set them aside.
  2. Keep the skillet warm, and add tomato paste, garlic, fennel seed and red pepper flakes. Then pour in the crushed tomatoes, and get the sauce simmering.
  3. Pour in the heavy cream along with some Parmesan and kale.
  4. When the kale looks wilty, add the seared chicken breasts back to the skillet, and cook until the chicken is done!
  5. Serve! We like to top the finished chicken skillet with cheese and fresh basil.
Creamy Tomato Chicken Skillet with kale and basil in a cast iron skillet with parmesan

Tools You’ll Need:

More Skillet Dinner Recipes!

For when you can’t even deal with opening the oven—one-pan, stove-top dinner recipes are what’s up!

Creamy Tomato Chicken Skillet with kale and basil in a cast iron skillet with parmesan

Save Us, Skillet Dinners!

And save us they do! Week in, week out, we turn to these trusty, easy recipes to get dinner on the table fast. Let us know how you like this creamy tomato chicken recipe! Snap a photo of your skillet dinner and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Creamy Tomato Chicken Skillet Dinner

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Calories: 509

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs Chicken breast (4 medium), boneless, skinless
  • 1 tsp Salt, divided
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (14 oz) can Crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 cups Kale, ribs removed, torn into small pieces, packed
  • 1/4 cup Basil leaves, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in an ovenproof skillet cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season chicken breasts with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  3. Add chicken to skillet and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add tomato paste, garlic, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minutes.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer, allow to cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in heavy cream, ¼ cup parmesan cheese and kale, stirring until kale is just wilted, about 3 minutes.
  7. Season with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and add chicken back into the skillet. Allow to cook for 5 more minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165°F with an instant read thermometer.
  8. Serve topped with fresh basil and remaining cheese.