Italian Skillet Chicken with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Onions

Break out your skillet tonight for this Italian-inspired chicken dish! Spinach, tomatoes, red onion, and capers combine to make this super simple meal a flavor superstar. Freezes well, too!

  • Prep time: 12 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6

Ingredients

For the marinade

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders, tenderloin, or thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from about 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the vegetables

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 large handfuls spinach, about 2 packed cups
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Crusty bread, to serve

Method

1 Label the bag: Use a sharpie to write the date and the title of the recipe on a gallon-sized zip top bag so you can easily find it on SimplyRecipes.com when you want to cook it. Alternatively, write the cooking instructions on the bag.

Skillet Chicken -- hands labeling a zip top bag

2 Combine the ingredients: Roll down the opening of the bag a little just so you don’t accidently get raw chicken juices on the outside of the zip top. Add the chicken, spices, zest,  lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.

Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. Smoosh the chicken around so it’s coated in the marinade.

Marinated Chicken - hands rolling down a zip loc bag Easy Chicken Freezer Meal with Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast-plastic bag wtih chicken, herbs, and lemon zest

3 Lay the chicken flat in the freezer and freeze for up to 6 months.

Alternatively, you could skip the freezer and let it marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours and up to two days, then cook it according to the directions below.

4 Thaw the chicken before cooking: Take the chicken out of the freezer in the morning before you go to work, and it will be ready to cook by the end of the day.

5 Prepare the onion: Peel and trim the stem ends of the onion, but leave the stem intact so it can keep the onion layers together. Slice the onion in half. Then slice each half into 5 wedges leaving a little stem with each one.

Easy Skillet Chicken-woman slicing red onion with knife

6 Cook the chicken: Set a large skillet over medium heat add 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Once the oil shimmers, add chicken and any marinade in the bag. If any chicken is folded up, unfolded it so it lays flat in the pan. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes, then flip it.

Chicken Freezer Meal with Chicken Tenders-woman's hand holding a fork and moving a chicken breast around inside a silver skillet breast

7 Add the vegetables: Add the onion wedges, tomatoes, and capers. Cover with a lid. Let everything simmer together for 12 to 15 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft, and the onions dull in color.

Italian Chicken Recipe in Skillet-top down shot of a silver skillet filled with chicken breasts, grape tomatoes, and red onions

8 Check the chicken: Check the chicken to see if it’s cooked through by cutting a piece open. If the juices run clear, and you don’t see any pink the chicken is ready. Use a fork to remove the chicken to a plate and tent with foil.

Chicken Recipe in Skillet with Italian Seasonings-woman's hand lifting a chicken breast out of a skillet with a fork

9 Finish the sauce: Turn the heat up to medium high. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the sauce. Stir it in and let the sauce reduce uncovered for about 2 minutes. Add the spinach stir to coat a couple of times until the spinach has wilted.

Easy Skillet Chicken-tomatoes, red onion, and butter cooking in a skillet

10 To serve: Nestle the chicken back into the pan, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring the skillet to the table. Spoon up chicken, vegetables and sauces into shallow bowls or plates. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the sauce.

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Comments

  • Suzanne

    This was absolutely delicious! That sauce! I served it with rice. And super easy too. I cooked it the day after marinading. The entire family loved it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Suzanne! Serving it over rice sounds like a great idea! I’m glad you found this recipe easy and delicious!

  • Amy B

    Excellent. The whole family loved this. Leftovers are great. I put one serving over two cups of fresh spinach to take to work for lunch. Heated up, the spinach wilts and it makes a delicious lunch. Thank you for a great recipe.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Amy! Thanks for letting me know how much you liked it. I love it when dinner also counts as lunch the next day!

  • JUDI

    This was delicious and so easy, served with angel hair pasta and parmigiano reggiano

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Summer

      Hi, Judi! Thanks for letting me know how much you loved this dinner!

  • kjill

    Very good, used a cup or so of frozen spinach and microwaved it a bit so I could get excess moisture out. Served over pasta.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Kjill — Great idea to use frozen spinach, and serve it over pasta! I love versatile dishes! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the meal!

  • Carol Gladstone

    Easy and delicious! Great weeknight dinner!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Marta Rivera

    The taste of this reminded me of walking into an amazing Italian restaurant. The flavors were so on point that this is going to be a regular weeknight meal at our house.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Al

    I made this tonight and it was fantastic! I doubled the garlic, because that’s how I roll, but yeah, good stuff! Definitely making up a few batches of the chicken in marinade to go in the freezer.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Summer

      Hi, Al! I feel you on the garlic! I’m glad you plan to make this again. Thanks for letting us know how much you enjoyed it!

  • Abcp

    Excellent! Easy and wonderful flavors.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • C. Gliebal

    Excellent and very easy to make. Will definitely make this again❣

    xxxxxyyyyy