If you are looking for a wholesome family dinner, look no further than this baked Tuscan chicken casserole. If you are like me, then baked dishes perfectly encapsulate the warm feeling of sitting at the family dinner table. This baked Tuscan chicken with rice recipe proves that classic does not have to equal boring.
One of the best things about this tuscan chicken and rice is that you can prepare the whole thing in one skillet. Dishes are the last thing I feel like doing after cooking, so this baked tuscan chicken is my best friend.
Why You'll Love This Baked Tuscan Chicken
- One Pan Wonder - This entire creamy tuscan chicken recipe cooks in one cast iron skillet. It makes both cooking and cleanup a breeze!
- Simple Classic - Creamy baked chicken is kind of a staple in my kitchen. I have had so many different kinds, and they’re usually good, but this recipe is one of my favorites. I love that there are no overly complicated steps or ingredients, just beautiful flavors that work well together.
Ingredients for Baked Tuscan Chicken Marinade
- Chicken - You can’t make tuscan baked chicken without the chicken! You will need 4 or 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs. This usually translates to about 2-2 ½ pounds of chicken. I prefer not to use large chicken breasts, because they take longer to cook and are drier. Skinless chicken breast may sound like the healtheir choice, but in my opinion it doesn't result in a juicy chicken.
- Salt & Pepper - Salt and pepper are essential to just about any recipe. Regular table salt and black pepper will do fine!
- Olive Oil - The olive oil is going to help your seasonings stick to your chicken. Since it will go directly on your chicken, and not just inside the pan, I recommend using an oil you enjoy.
- Italian Seasoning Blend - You will need 1 tsp of Italian seasoning for your chicken thighs. Since we are making tuscan chicken bake, it is really important to get the italian flavors into the dish.
- Smoked Paprika - Smoked paprika lends this dish a nice hint of zest. Most of the other ingredients are salty, savory and creamy. Smoked paprika really complements those flavors.
Ingredients for Rice
- Butter - Good butter can make any dish delicious. You will only need 2 tbsp for your Tuscan chicken casserole. Sometimes I like to serve crusty bread and butter with this dish, so I always recommend using a good quality butter.
- Onion - Small dice ¼ cup onion for this recipe. You don’t want large pieces of onion to bite into, but rather that savory note that sauteed onion lends.
- Broccoli - Broccoli looks beautiful on the plate with a creamy dish like this one. Plus, it brings a nice earthy element in both flavor and mouthfeel. You will need 1 cup of fresh, raw broccoli. You should chop it finely before you start!
- Garlic - Of course we are packing a garlic punch in a Tuscan dish! For this recipe, we will use 3 cloves of minced garlic.
- Rice - Chicken and rice go together like peanut butter and jelly! I love how easy they are to prepare in this tuscan chicken bake. You will need 1 cup of rice. I recommend jasmine rice or instant rice.
- Chicken Broth - Your chicken broth is the hero ingredient that brings all of your elements together! You will need 2 ¼ cup.
- Sundried Tomatoes - Sundried tomatoes add such a yummy, bright, herbaceous bite to this dish! You should drain the oil and slice ⅓ cup.
- Heavy Cream - You will need ½ cup heavy cream to build the sauce for this dish.
- Parmesan - Parmesan is the final ingredient that makes this Tuscan chicken irresistible. You will need ⅓ cup, shredded, if you really like cheese feel free to top with another ¼ cup parmesan cheese.
- Lemon Juice - Lemon also helps to brighten up the flavors in this dish. You will just need 1 tbsp. Bottled lemon juice is fine, but fresh always tastes better. Plus, you may wish to garnish your dish with additional slices of lemon.
- Parsley - Fresh parsley adds such a lovely, yet subtle element. Chop 1 tbsp before you begin.
- Optional Garnishes - A few simple garnishes can easily make the presentation of this dish gorgeous. I recommend sliced lemon, and some additional parsley and parmesan.
- If you don’t have Italian seasoning on hand, basil and oregano are the two main ingredients. Many Italian seasoning blends also contain oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley and marjoram.
- For dairy sensitivities, you can use non-dairy butter, plant based heavy cream, and plant based parmesan. You can typically find all of these ingredients in the health foods section of your grocery store!
- You can substitute fresh spinach instead of broccoli.
- If you don't have an oven safe pan, you may cook the chicken separately and transfer the ingredients into a a baking dish.
How to Make Tuscan Baked Chicken
- Preheat your oven to 375F. Coat the chicken in olive oil, then sprinkle salt, Italian seasoning, paprika and pepper evenly.
- In a large, cast iron skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté the chicken for 5-6 minutes, or until mostly done, in olive oil. Set aside when done, leaving any drippings in the pan.
- Melt the butter into the hot pan and sauté the garlic, onions and broccoli for 2-3 minutes.
- Add rice to the pan and stir around until all ingredients are fragrant and coated. Pour chicken stock into the pan and bring to a boil. Cook for around 3 minutes
- Stir in parmesan cheese, lemon juice, parsley, tomatoes and whisk together cream. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until well incorporated. Place chicken back in and bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and cheese as desired. Serve your baked Tuscan chicken immediately.
Start by preheating your oven to 375F. Lightly coat your chicken thighs with olive oil. You want to make sure there is just enough oil so that your seasonings will stick. Then, sprinkle your salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, and paprika evenly over the chicken.
Heat a little olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add your chicken, and saute for 5-6 minutes. You want your chicken mostly cooked, however, keep in mind that it will continue cooking when it goes into the oven. Remove your chicken and set it aside, but leave the drippings in the pan.
Next, add your butter to the hot pan so that it melts. Add your onions, minced garlic, and chopped broccoli to the pan, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add your rice to the pan and stir so that everything is evenly coated. Pour your chicken stock into the pan, and bring it to a boil. Continue boiling for 3 minutes.
Next, add your parmesan cheese, lemon juice, parsley, sundried tomatoes, and heavy cream. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. You want your ingredients to be completely combined and evenly mixed. Add your chicken back to the pan.
Then, cover your pan and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish your tuscan baked chicken with fresh parmesan, herbs and lemon slices if desired. Serve hot!
- One lemon usually yields about 2-3 tablespoons of juice, so if you are planning to squeeze your own fresh lemon juice, about half a lemon should do the trick.
- This dish is really lovely served with a side salad. Save the oil you drain from your sundried tomatoes and make a salad dressing with it!
- When adding your chicken broth, be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so that the browned bits from your chicken will incorporate into your broth.
- This baked tuscan chicken will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat it on the stovetop, or in the microwave in 30-second intervals.
- You can keep your chicken in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat your frozen chicken in the microwave, or in the oven. Heat your oven to 350F and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
Serving Suggestions For Tuscan Chicken and Rice
- This dish goes great with crusty bread served with butter or herbed oil.
- If you don’t like broccoli, omit it and serve this dish with a side of stewed spinach.
- Enjoy a bright side salad for contrast of texture and temperature.
- Serve this with baked sweet potatoes if you are looking for a healthy way to shake up your sides!
Tuscan chicken got its name from its place of origin - Tuscany, Italy! There are variations on the dish, but it is typically a dish of chicken in cream sauce.
Tuscan chicken sauce consists of heavy cream, butter, parmesan, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes.
Tuscan baked chicken is a great family dish. It has elements of comfort food, but it also contains veggies, grains, dairy, and protein, making it a great way to hit several food groups at once. If your kids are picky eaters, it is easy to chop the broccoli and tomatoes big enough for them to eat around.
Looking for more easy dinner ideas? Try these:
Baked Tuscan Chicken
- 4-5 or 2-2 ½ lb Chicken Thighs
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Pepper
- 1 tbs Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning Blend
- ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
- 2 tbs Butter
- ¼ cup Onion small diced
- 1 cup Broccoli Florets raw and finely chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 cup Instant Rice
- 2 ¼ cup Chicken Broth
- ⅓ cup Sundried Tomatoes drained of oil & sliced
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- ⅓ cup Parmesan Cheese shredded
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley chopped
- Optional Garnish- Parsley Parmesan, Lemon Slices
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- After coating in olive oil, sprinkle salt, Italian seasoning, paprika and pepper evenly on the chicken..
- In a large, cast iron skillet, over medium high heat, sauté the chicken for 5-6 minutes, or until mostly done, in olive oil. Set aside when done, leaving any drippings in the pan.
- Melt the butter into the hot pan and sauté the garlic, onions and broccoli for 2-3 minutes.
- Add garlic and rice to the pan and stir around until all ingredients are fragrant and coated.
- Pour chicken stock into pan and bring to a boil. Cook for around 3 minutes
- Stir in parmesan cheese, lemon juice parsley, tomatoes and cream. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Place chicken back in and bake, covered, in oven for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs and cheese as desired. Serve immediately.
Reheat by stovetop or microwave in 30 second intervals
May be frozen up to 3 months and reheated by microwave or oven at 350 F for 10-12 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165F
Notes: If you like your broccoli more crunchy. Don't overcook your broccoli and just add it to the dish when baking.