Chicken Florentine is a dish that feels restaurant-quality but is surprisingly simple to make at home and ready in 30 minutes flat. With tender chicken cutlets nestled into a creamy spinach sauce, this recipe uses just one pan and is practically a complete meal all on its own. Serve with hot pasta, rice, or crusty bread for soaking up the sauce.
Chicken breast cutlets are dredged in flour to give the meat a slight crust and add some body to the sauce. Sautéed mushrooms, garlic, Parmesan, and wilted spinach flavor the cream sauce that pairs wonderfully with the chicken. It’s satisfying but not too rich, reminiscent of creamed spinach but with the addition of hearty chicken and mushrooms.
How to Cut Chicken Cutlets
Chances are you’ll find chicken cutlets at your local grocery, often in packs of four. If you don’t see any in the meat aisle, buy boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can cut them into cutlets.
To portion a whole chicken breast into cutlets: Lay a chicken breast on a cutting board and flatten it down with one hand. Use a sharp chef’s knife or serrated knife to slice the breast horizontally into 2 cutlets. Each chicken breast will yield 2 cutlets. For this recipe, you’ll need 4 cutlets or 2 chicken breasts.
Cooking With Wine
This recipe calls for a small amount of white wine for a couple of reasons. The wine helps to deglaze the skillet—it picks up flavorful oils and browned bits from the chicken that get stuck to the bottom and sides of the skillet. It also adds a little acidity, brightening up the sauce.
The wine is simmered until the alcohol cooks off and only the flavor of the wine remains. A dry white wine is best, such as a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or a dry Riesling. As a rule of thumb, if you would enjoy the wine with the dish then it’ll taste good in the dish.
If you’re out of white wine, dry vermouth makes an excellent substitution. You can also make it without alcohol. Use chicken broth instead and add a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice for some brightness.
Swaps for Heavy Cream
While this dish has a creamy, rich sauce, it only calls for 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Heavy or light cream is the best option since it thickens the sauce, avoiding a watery mixture. If you’d like to lighten it up a bit, use half-and-half. The sauce won’t be quite as luxurious, but it will still have a lovely flavor.
Most unsweetened, non-dairy liquid creamers like almond milk creamer will also work. If you’re dairy-free, leave out the Parmesan or use vegan Parm instead.
Recipes are for Playing
This recipe is flexible, allowing you to swap the protein, use frozen spinach instead of fresh, or adapt to varying tastes or dietary restrictions:
- Veal Florentine: Veal cutlets are also delicious in this recipe. Keep a close eye on them while they cook since they are thin and will cook very quickly. Depending on their size, you may want 2 veal cutlets per person.
- Frozen spinach: Replace the fresh spinach with a 10- or 12-ounce bag of thawed frozen spinach. Give the soggy leaves a quick squeeze to remove some liquid—they don’t need to be completely rung dry—and add the spinach to the simmering sauce.
- No mushrooms: If you don’t care for mushrooms, leave them out and add about 1 1/2 ounces more spinach.
- Gluten-free: To make this recipe gluten-free, don’t dredge the chicken with flour. The sauce will be slightly thinner but still delish.
What to Serve With Chicken Florentine
If you’re eating low carb, serve this recipe with a salad and call it a day. Otherwise, a grain or bread is nice for soaking up the sauce. Here is some inspiration:
One-Skillet Winner Winner Chicken Dinners
Creamy Chicken Florentine
Can’t find chicken cutlets at your local grocery store? Buy 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds total). Lay the chicken breast flat on your cutting board and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut it in half horizontally. Each chicken breast will give you 2 cutlets.
Dry white wines I recommend for this recipe: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or a dry Riesling.
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided, plus more to taste
4 chicken cutlets (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 medium shallots, chopped
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (about 3 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
12 ounces fresh baby spinach
Dredge the chicken:
In a shallow bowl, add the flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well with a fork or a spoon.
Lay a chicken cutlet on top of the flour. Sprinkle some of the flour mixture on top and press with your hands to coat. Flip the chicken to evenly coat both sides, sprinkling flour over any bare spots and shaking off the excess. Transfer it onto a large plate and repeat with the remaining cutlets. Discard any leftover flour.
Cook the chicken:
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Tilt the skillet to evenly coat it with oil. The oil should shimmer, but not smoke. Add the dredged chicken cutlets in a single layer. Let them cook, without moving, until the bottoms are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Use tongs to flip the cutlets and cook the other side is lightly browned and the chicken is cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. If your skillet isn’t big enough, you can cook the chicken in 2 batches.
Transfer the chicken onto a clean plate and tent it with foil. Set it aside while you make the sauce, which will be made in the same skillet.
Cook the vegetables:
Turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté until they begin to turn translucent, about 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms and garlic, and season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
Make the sauce:
Add the white wine and scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon, loosening any browned bits. Bring the wine to a simmer and cook until the alcohol smell dissipates, about 1 minute.
Stir in the heavy cream. Bring it to a gentle simmer. Add the spinach in 2 or 3 batches, stirring after each addition until all the leaves are wilted and incorporated into the sauce.
Stir in the Parmesan until it is completely melted.
Assemble the dish:
Nestle the chicken cutlets in the sauce and let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to reheat. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with more salt and black pepper, if needed. Serve!
Leftovers keeps well since it has a moist sauce. Refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 3 days and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add a splash of heavy cream if it feels dry.
I don’t recommend freezing this dish since the texture of the sauce gets wonky. Cream sauces have a tendency to split when frozen, thawed, and reheated.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 28g||36%|
|Saturated Fat 11g||54%|
|Total Carbohydrate 17g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|Total Sugars 5g|
|Vitamin C 27mg||137%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|