July 7, 2020 Editor 0Comment

If you are a cheese lover, this recipe is for you! The Pecorino cream sauce checks all the boxes of rich, creamy, and cheesy, and the chicken and spinach adds a boost of protein and nutrients that makes this recipe both delicious and filling! 

Looking for more whip-up-quick dinners? Check out this baked lemon chicken!

chicken pecorino from above

The first cheese that this recipe calls for is Pecorino Romano, one of Italy’s oldest known cheeses. If you’ve had it, you probably remember it from its strong, robust flavor! If used too generously, it can overpower other flavors.

However, in this recipe, you’ll also add Parmesan. This creates a great balance of the strong, rich Pecorino with the more mild, smooth Parmesan. You might be tempted to just use Parmesan to keep it simple, but I promise you will love the kick of the Pecorino!

chicken pecorino from above

How to make this chicken with Pecorino cream sauce

Start this recipe by pounding your chicken breasts to create tender, evenly thick pieces of chicken.

Pro tip: put the chicken breasts between plastic wrap and use a rolling pin instead of a mallet when you tenderize it; No more meaty mess on the cutting board! 

After you heat up your skillet and season the olive oil with garlic, cook your chopped chicken until it’s golden brown. Once your chicken is evenly cooked, take it out of the pan and let it sit. 

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you cook everything in the same pan! Don’t we all love those meals that you barely have to clean up after?  

The sauce is a simple combination of half and half, chicken broth, Pecorino and Parmesan cheese, and oregano. Throw some sun-dried tomatoes in to give a nice tang and some baby spinach for those nutrient rich greens! I love soups and sauces that don’t have to simmer for long! This sauce should take less than 25 minutes from start to finish. This meal is perfect for those busy nights! 

cast iron skillet with cooked chicken in a white sauce

Want to make this Keto?

Substitute the half and half with equal amount heavy whipping cream and water. Your sauce will be just as creamy as the original recipe, but the water will help your sauce not become too thick. Leave out the Tuscan White Beans to keep it keto, or cook up some cauliflower rice and season them like you would your beans. 

chicken pecorino from above

Chicken with Pecorino Cream Sauce

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Pecorino Romano is a well known and distinctive Tuscan cheese made from 100% sheep’s milk. It is sometimes used interchangeably in recipes with the more mild Parmesan. However due to Pecorino’s stronger flavor profile, this isn’t really an ideal swap.

Here, the stronger flavor of Pecorino Romano is balanced with an equal amount of Parmesan to create a flavorful cream sauce that isn’t overwhelming. Of course, the ratio of Pecorino to Parmesan can be easily adjusted up or down to suit individual tastes.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • 1 cup chicken broth, preferably organic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1½ cups baby spinach
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

    1. Place chicken breasts between two layers of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin to a uniform thickness. Discard plastic and transfer chicken to a clean work surface. Cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
    2. Heat olive oil and garlic in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic for several minutes until golden brown. Remove garlic with a slotted spatula and discard.
    3. Add chicken to hot skillet and cook until golden brown on each side, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
    4. Add half & half and chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Add oregano and grated cheese to skillet and whisk until cheese is completely melted, approximately 3-4 minutes.
    5. Reduce heat to just below medium and add the sun-dried tomatoes and baby spinach. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tomatoes are softened and the spinach wilts.
    6. Add chicken and its juices back to skillet and simmer for another 3-5 minutes, or until chicken is heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.
    7. Remove from heat and serve immediately with a side of Tuscan white beans or fresh pasta.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 405Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 497mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 52g

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