Herb seasoned chicken breast, spinach and plenty of cheese come together for an easy one pan meal. Simple ingredients come together to create big flavor in this hearty and nourishing Chicken Spinach Skillet dinner!
For more low carb dinners be sure to try this reader favorite Baked Ranch Chicken. Packed with flavor and ready in 30 minutes!
Why this Recipe Works
Is there anything better than a one pan recipe? If you’re like me, the only thing stopping your from making healthy homemade dinners every single night is the thought of all those dishes.
I’d gladly stand over a hot stove for hours, but ask me to wash even one unnecessary dish and I start to have second thoughts. That’s why one pan dinners like this Chicken Spinach Skillet are amazing!
This recipe is inspired by a Chicken and Spinach Pasta dish I love, only made without any of the carbs and with way fewer dishes.
Chicken browned on the stove top gets combined with spicy tomatoes and fresh spinach then covered with cheese and baked until bubbly.
Using an oven safe skillet (or cast iron), you can transport everything from the stove top to the oven in one fell swoop! Including the time to tenderize the chicken and melt the cheese, it’s ready in less than 30 minutes.
I used staple ingredients that I almost always have in stock in this recipe. That way I’m never more than a few minutes from having a hot, delicious homemade meal ready to serve, even on busy days (or when I forgot to pick up the week’s groceries!).
The fact that this Chicken Spinach Skillet is low carb and packed with good-for-you greens is just the sugar-free cherry on top!
- Chicken breasts. Chicken thighs can be substituted, but make sure they are boneless and skinless.
- Rotel tomatoes. I love the added spice they give this meal, but regular canned tomatoes would be delicious too if you want your chicken less spicy. (Be sure to check the label for added sugars first.)
- Fresh spinach. Chopped kale (with the stems remove) would make a tasty substitute to change up the greens.
- Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Buy in blocks and shred it yourself at home for best results. Pre-packaged shredded cheese has a caking agent that makes it melt less smoothly.
Start by rubbing your chicken breasts in a bowl with the herbs and spices. I used red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper.
Next, cook the chicken in a 12 inch oven safe skillet with olive oil on both sides until cooked through. This takes about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
Add more olive oil to the pan, and saute garlic and onions in the oil until translucent. Stir in the rotel tomatoes and spinach, cooking until the spinach wilts.
Put the chicken back in the pan with the tomatoes and spinach. Sprinkle the grated cheeses on top, then transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbly and beginning to brown.
Serve with a sprig of parsley for freshness!
How to make Chicken Skillet without a cast iron pan: Place the cooked chicken in a baking dish. Cook the remaining ingredients on the stove top as directed, then pour over the chicken breasts and bake.
Tips and Tricks
- Pound the chicken breasts firsts. Use a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken until the breasts are the same thickness. You can pound them to any thickness you like, just know that the thicker the chicken breast, the longer it will take to cook through.
- Use a meat thermometer. It’s important for food safety to make sure your chicken is cooked all the way through before it goes in the oven. Using a meat thermometer is the best way! The chicken breasts need to reach an internal temperature of 165 F before you remove them from the pan and cook the remaining ingredients.
- Serving suggestions. I love this Chicken Spinach Skillet meal all on its own. It would also be delicious served over your favorite low-carb/gluten free noodles, cooked spaghetti squash or cauliflower mash.
- Spice it up. Add more red pepper flakes to taste for a spicier take on this skillet dinner.
- Don’t want it spicy? Use regular canned tomatoes instead of the Rotel and reduce or omit the red pepper flakes.
- Save room for dessert! Enjoy some keto peanut butter balls for a sugar free treat!
Yes, you can make this without a cast iron skillet or other oven safe pan? Just transfer the ingredients to a baking dish after you’ve cooked them on the stove.
Yes, this recipe is suitable for those following a Keto eating plan. The rotel tomatoes are low in carbs and do not contain any added sugars, unlike some brands of canned tomatoes and tomato sauces.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can check if your chicken is done by piercing it with a knife and form, then looking at the color of the flesh and juices. The meat should be fully white with no trace of pink and the juices should run clear.
More Easy No Sugar No Flour Dinners
- 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes
- 6 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Prep the chicken by using a meat tenderizer to pound to same thickness. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Rub the chicken on both sides with seasoning and set aside.
- In a large 12-inch skillet (cast-iron or other oven safe skillet) add 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Cook chicken for 5-6 minute on each side , until cooked through (use a meat thermometer to make sure chicken is cooked to 165 degrees F). Depending on the thickness you pound your chicken, you may need to add or subtract cooking time.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove to a plate. In the same skillet add remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and onion and saute for one minute, until onions are transluscent. Add tomatoes and spinach and cook until the spinach breaks down and is wilted.
- Add chicken back to skillet. Sprinkle both cheeses over the top and transfer skillet to oven. Cook for about 5 minutes, until cheese begins to brown. Remove and garnish with fresh parsley.
- If you don't have a large skillet that is oven safe, after cooking chicken in frying pan or skillet, place in bottom of 13x9 baking dish. Cook remaining ingredients on stovetop, then transfer to oven safe baking dish on top of chicken.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 737mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 44g
You’ll love the Italian flavors and spicy kick of this low carb Chicken Spinach Skillet almost as much as you’ll love how easy it is to make!