These Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Breasts are a simple, one-pan meal that comes together in a total of 25 minutes. This recipe is made with tender, juicy chicken breasts simmered in a rich, creamy, and flavourful sauce.
Serve over a pile of pasta for an easy and delicious weeknight meal!
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This post is generously sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Manitoba and I was compensated for my time in creating this recipe. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Recipe Rebel possible!
This recipe is based on my Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Chicken recipe which is a reader favorite, but obviously takes quite a bit longer to cook. Sometimes we just don’t have time to wait for the slow cooker! That’s where this recipe comes in.
This creamy Tomato Basil Chicken recipe is made with tender and juicy chicken breasts simmered in a rich, deliciously seasoned tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is made creamy with 100% Canadian dairy to create an incredibly rich flavour and super creamy texture.
This recipe is just one of the ways we enjoy our local dairy! Buying dairy products made with 100% Canadian quality milk is a great way to support your local dairy farmers and thank them for all they do for us!
- Oil: I use canola oil to brown the chicken before combining it with the sauce.
- Chicken Breasts: I use boneless and skinless chicken breasts. You are welcome to use chicken thigh, if preferred, just keep in mind that the cooking time may change slightly.
- Salt and Pepper: used to season the chicken before cooking.
- Minced Garlic: I like to use freshly minced garlic for the best flavour. You’ll need 2-3 whole cloves. In a pinch, you can also use jarred garlic or a small amount of garlic powder.
- Seasonings: we’re using a simple blend of salt, dried basil, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to season the sauce. Add more or less red pepper flakes to taste depending on your spice preferences!
- Canned Tomatoes: use canned diced tomatoes with Italian herbs to add even more flavour.
- Tomato Pasta Sauce: marinara sauce or any other seasoned tomato sauce will work.
- Whipping Cream and Cornstarch: makes up a cornstarch slurry to help thicken the sauce. I like to use whipping cream for a richer flavour, but whole milk or half-and-half will work as well.
- Fresh Basil: if you can’t find fresh basil, a tablespoon of basil pesto works great too!
- Parmesan Cheese: use freshly grated parmesan cheese to garnish the chicken.
How to Make Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Breasts
This easy dinner recipe is ready in under 30 minutes!
- Brown the chicken: Halve the chicken breasts lengthwise so you end up with two thin pieces of chicken. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken for 2-4 minutes per side, then remove from the pan, cover, and set aside.
- Make the sauce: To the same skillet, add garlic, salt, basil, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minutes, then pour in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
- Make a slurry: In a small bowl, whisk together whipping cream and cornstarch. Stir that into the sauce.
- Combine: Add the browned chicken back to the pan, bring to a low simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook until the chicken is 165ºF.
FAQs for Tomato Basil Chicken Breasts
Cooking chicken breasts on the stove is less about the time and more about the temperature. The best way to tell that the chicken is done cooking is to use a meat thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should be 165ºF.
The best way to prevent the chicken from drying out is to make sure you don’t over-cook it. However, since the chicken in this recipe is quickly seared then cooked directly in the sauce, the chances of it drying out are pretty slim. Instead, it soaks in all the moisture and flavor from the sauce and becomes incredibly tender and juicy!
Leftover tomato basil chicken will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then warm on the stove until heated through.
Tips, Tricks, and Notes for Tomato Basil Chicken Breasts
- Halve the chicken. Make sure you slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise so you end up with 4 thinner slices of chicken. This helps them cook more quickly and more evenly. If you use whole chicken breasts, you will need to cook them a bit longer.
- Check the temp. Make sure that you check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer before serving it. It should be 165ºF!
- Add veggies. If you want to mix veggies into the sauce, you can cook them with a little bit of oil in the skillet before adding in the sauce ingredients. Try zucchini, onion, broccoli, mushrooms, you name it. If you want to add spinach, I recommend adding it after the sauce is cooked. It will wilt quickly.
- Make it cheesy. These creamy tomato basil chicken breasts are great topped off with shredded parmesan or mozzarella (and we get to enjoy even more Canadian dairy!). To melt the cheese on top, use an oven-safe skillet, sprinkle the cheese over the finished chicken and sauce, and broil for a couple minutes until it’s melty and gooey.
My favorite way to serve these creamy tomato basil chicken breasts is with pasta, but zucchini noodles or rice would work great too. I removed some of the sauce in the pan for the photos, but there’s plenty of extra tomato sauce to cover pasta for serving!
More Chicken Breast Recipes You’ll Love
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Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Breasts
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (roughly 1 lb or 454 grams)
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional but adds great flavor!)
- 398 ml canned diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
- ¾ cup tomato pasta sauce (marinara or other seasoned tomato sauce)
- ¾ cup whipping cream (whole milk or half and half also work*)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil (1 tablespoon basil pesto is a great substitute if you can't find basil)
- freshly grated Parmesan for garnish as desired
- Halve chicken breasts the long way, so that you have two thin pieces of chicken breast (see video for a visual) — this helps them to cook more evenly. (You can also use 4 chicken breasts flattened to the same thickness, but you will need a large skillet to cook them)
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Brown chicken breasts on each side. This will take about 2-4 minutes per side.
- Remove chicken breasts from the pan and keep covered.
- Add the garlic, salt, basil, pepper and pepper flakes if using. Cook 1 minute — do not let the garlic burn!
- Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Scrape and browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Whisk together the cream and corn starch and add to the pan. Stir to combine.
- Add the chicken breasts back to the pan. Bring to a low simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook until chicken breasts reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve.
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