The colors in this dish are amazing and the taste is even better. Italian Creamy Garlic Chicken can be ready in 30 minutes and the flavor of the garlic and tomato blend well in the creamy sauce. There is no need for pasta to absorb this delicious sauce; it is perfect by itself. It is also a one skillet dish and goes from the stove top to the plate with little clean up. A perfect Italian dinner ready quickly with no fuss . . . what can be better?
We almost forgot – it is very low carb with less than 6 grams per serving.
Eliminate the Pasta
When we moved to Arizona, prior to adopting the low-carb lifestyle, we found an excellent Italian restaurant only a mile from our home. The restaurant served pasta with virtually every dish and even featured a spaghetti and meatball dinner every Monday and Tuesday night for only $5.99. It was delicious. But even their chicken, beef, and veal dishes were all served over pasta.
We haven’t been back very often now that we are low-carb foodies, but they do have an appetizer or two that we found are low carb and we have even adopted a few of their dishes creating our own recipes.
We wondered . . . could we enjoy Italian food and avoid the pasta? If the protein is delicious and it is combined with a superb sauce, the pasta is not needed. Traditional Italian ingredients of garlic, tomatoes, spinach, parmesan cheese, and lean chicken cutlets make this dish low carb and outstanding.
The first time we made this dish we felt it needed something to make it tasty. Garlic, garlic, garlic! We also added some red pepper flakes for a little kick and we salted and used pepper to our taste. Although we use a lot of spinach, we also found that combining the chicken with a side of broccoli sautéed in butter and garlic continued the theme and went well with the dish.
Feel free to use your favorite low-carb vegetable. Brussel sprouts are finding more favor in the kitchen recently and we have a few really good recipes with balsamic vinegar and bacon (later posts).
Also, you may need a bit more olive oil to cook the chicken, but make sure that you do not overcook, since it will continue to cook when reserved in foil and also when you put it back in the pan. Use your judgment on the amount of chicken stock needed to de-glaze the pan.
Our next tip on cooking would be to make sure that you whisk the heavy whipping cream vigorously, especially after adding the parmesan cheese. This will help to thicken the dish. The time to accomplish this may vary depending upon your heat and on how thick and creamy you want the sauce. The garlic will continue to flavor as it thickens and all the flavors meld together.
Once you add the spinach and tomatoes, the spinach will wilt quickly. Again, do not overcook since the spinach will continue to wilt when you add the chicken back to the dish.
Make sure that the chicken juices are not discarded – add them into the pan. Finally, a quick stir to coat the chicken and you are ready to plate and enjoy our delicious Italian Creamy Garlic Chicken.
Light a candle, put your favorite checkered tablecloth on the table, add some Andrea Bocelli or Pavarotti softly in the background, and enjoy a taste of Italy. You will feel like you are actually at your favorite Italian restaurant only without the carbs and with all the flavor and taste.
With only a bit over 5 grams of carbs you might even be tempted to add a very small glass of Merlot to highlight the meal . . . but you did not hear that from us. Enjoy the meal!
Italian Creamy Garlic Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts thin boneless skinless
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 4 ounces chicken stock organic
- 6 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup Roma tomatoes chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Add olive oil to a large skillet and cook chicken on medium high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden.
Remove the chicken and wrap in foil.
Use a splash of chicken stock to deglaze the pan then add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.
Whisk the heavy whipping cream, the remaining chicken stock, Italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese until it begins to thicken.
Add the spinach and tomatoes and let simmer until the spinach begins to wilt.
Unwrap the chicken and add the meat and juices back to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes just until blended and hot.
Add sea salt and pepper to your taste and adjust the red pepper flakes if you wish.