Enjoy all the bold flavors of classic Tuscan Chicken with a healthier twist! This low carb and gluten free dinner recipe is packed with colorful vegetables and tender chicken in a creamy, dairy free sauce, served over nutty roasted spaghetti squash. It’s a healthy one-skillet wonder jam packed with flavor!
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Italian food is hands down my favorite cuisine. I grew up making and eating the recipes that my Nonna brought over from the homeland and passed down over the years. I spent countless Sunday afternoons in the kitchen learning how to craft everything from classic red sauce with homemade pasta, to chicken cacciatore and passatelli, to sweet treats like pizzelle and biscotti.
One of the things I love so much about Italian cuisine is its versatility. It isn’t just pastas with heavy sauces! It’s green salads with just enough tangy cheese for a bite of richness. It’s fresh fish with delicate herb sauces and tender roasted vegetables.
There are innumerable ways to embrace the flavors of Italian cuisine while keeping things light, healthy, and crazy flavorful. Need proof? You’re in the right place. Look no further than this Healthy Tuscan Chicken.
This healthier take on tuscan chicken captures everything I love about this classic recipe, without any of the ingredients that weight me down. All of the flavor, way more nutrients!
Instead of heavy cream, the sauce is made with coconut milk, chicken broth, and just a touch of thickener. The chicken is tossed with tons of vegetables (mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and spinach) to keep it colorful and nutritious, but I snuck some bacon in there too because bacon is life! And I served it over nutty roasted spaghetti squash – it’s the perfect low carb pasta substitute, but still so flavorful and easy to make.
How to Make Healthy Tuscan Chicken
This healthy tuscan chicken is a one-skillet dinner recipe that’s loaded with classic Italian flavors. Tossed in a creamy dairy free sauce with tons of vegetables, this healthy take on the classic delivers big bold flavor with none of the guilt. Serve it over roasted spaghetti squash for a low carb, Whole30 compliant meal, or over your favorite base (like whole grain pasta, polenta, or creamy cauliflower puree).
You need just a handful of real, whole foods to pull together this healthy tuscan chicken. I kept the seasoning pretty basic, using simple Italian seasoning because I always have it on hand. However if you want a bolder flavor, swap it for authentic tuscan seasoning, which you can buy pre-made or make your own.
I diced up the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces instead of cooking them whole. This helps them cook quickly, but also helps ensure I get lots of chicken and veggies in every bite.
One last note – mis en place is important because this recipe moves quickly! Have each of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start.
Start by crisping up some diced bacon in a large skillet. Remove the cooked bacon using a slotted spoon and set aside. Add sliced baby portobello mushrooms to the pan, toss them in the bacon fat, and sautee until they’re golden brown and super crispy. Remove those guys and set them aside with the bacon.
The mushrooms will have soaked up all of the bacon fat, so add a splash of olive oil to the pan along with a couple of diced chicken breasts. Sprinkle those guys with the seasoning, and some salt and pepper. Sautee until they’re nice and browned, and cooked all the way through. Since they’re bite sized, it should only take 8 or so minutes for them to cook through (but do test one just be sure).
Once the chicken is cooked through, make a little well in the center of the pan and add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Sautee that until it smells crazy good – just a minute or two. Then add in the bacon and mushrooms, and give everything a good toss.
Whisk together a cup of coconut milk and a cup of chicken broth with a tablespoon of arrowroot powder (or cornstarch if you’re not rocking a Whole30 or grain free game). Pour the sauce into the skillet, stir, and simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens up – about 5 minutes.
Last step – turn off the heat, toss in a few handfuls of baby spinach, and toss until the spinach wilts.
Done and Yum!
How to Roast Spaghetti Squash
Classic tuscan chicken is traditionally served over pasta. But since we’re walking on the wild and healthy side today, we’re going to serve it over roasted spaghetti squash. I love spaghetti squash as a low carb substitute for pasta, and even though I’m a huge fan of pasta, in most cases I don’t miss it!
Cutting through a large spaghetti squash can be both difficult and dangerous. Luckily I found this trick over at the Teaspoon of Spice blog, and it’s forever changed my squash roasting experience – for the better!
Use the tip of a very sharp knife (I used a serrated paring knife) to poke slits into the skin, lengthwise, around the squash. Then pop it into the microwave for 5 minutes to soften the skin. Let it cool down for a few minutes, then slice in half. SO MUCH EASIER!!
Scoop out the seeds, rub it down with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and plop the halves onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Roast ’em cut side down for about 30 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and starting to cave in on itself.
Rake out the flesh using a fork, and smother it with creamy, healthy tuscan chicken.
Dietary Accommodations, Variations, and Storage
- Naturally Whole30 and paleo
- Low carb, with 12g net carbs per serving
- Gluten free, dairy free, grain free
- If you’re not a fan of spaghetti squash, serve over cauliflower mash (for Whole30), gluten free noodles, or whole wheat pasta
- Leftovers keep in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days
More Healthy Italian Recipes
- Italian Sausage and Peppers over Creamy Cauliflower Puree
- Classic Italian Potato Salad
- Italian Salsa Verde
- Gluten Free Butternut Squash Minestrone
- Crockpot Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash
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Healthy Tuscan Chicken over Spaghetti Squash
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 c coconut milk
- 1 c chicken bone broth
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 4 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2" dice
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 2" cubes
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp sea or kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ounces oil-packed sundried tomatoes, sliced into 1/2" ribbons
- Heat the oven to 425°F. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, then rub all over with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the squash cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast until tender and the top is caving in, 30-35 minutes.
- Combine the coconut milk, broth, and arrowroot powder in large measuring glass. Whisk until throughly combined, then set aside. Prep the bacon, mushrooms, chicken, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped bacon and sautee, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the pieces are crispy, 7-8 minutes. Remove the cooked bacon using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan and saute in the bacon fat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove the mushrooms using a slotted spoon and set aside with the bacon.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken to the pan and sprinkle with the italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the chicken pieces in the fat and seasoning. Saute, stirring occasionally, until cooked through (165°F), 9-10 minutes.
- Make a well in the center of the pan. Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Return the bacon and mushrooms to the pan and toss all ingredients. Pour in the coconut milk slurry. Simmer, stirring once or twice, until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, then add the baby spinach to the pan. Toss continuously until the spinach is just barely wilted.
- Serve the spaghetti squash.