You’ll be floored by all the layers of flavor in this chicken florentine recipe! A rich, cheesy sauce, with leafy, green ribbons of spinach coat tender cheese-crusted chicken breasts in this simple but impressive dish.
We’ve all experienced homesickness at one time or another, and I think food is one of the most reliable cures. Whether it’s digging through old recipe cards to make your grandmother’s Christmas cookies or stopping by the neighborhood restaurant that makes pot roast just like mom did, the right ingredient or dish can ease that separation anxiety.
When Catherine de Medici left her birthplace of Florence, Italy, to (eventually) become Queen of France, she brought her own remedy, something that would always remind her of home. Spinach.
Although I suspect many people actually left home (or at least the dinner table) over this infamous leafy green, my Chicken Florentine recipe transforms spinach into a coveted dish, guaranteed to leave family and guests with fond memories of this easy but elegant, home-cooked masterpiece.
If you love restaurant-quality Italian-inspired chicken dishes, I hope you’ll try my chicken scarpariello, copycat Olive Garden chicken alfredo, slow cooker chicken cacciatore, and my crispy chicken Milanese. Your family will love them all!
What is Chicken Florentine:
Thanks to Queen Catherine, many dishes that use spinach, especially those with a rich, cheesy (Mornay) sauce, are considered a la Florentine, which is French for “in the style of Florence.” Eggs and fish are pretty common protein additions, but chicken and spinach are a match made in heaven (or at least in Italy).
You may have ordered stuffed chicken Florentine at restaurants before, baked or pan-fried breasts stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, and cheese. This is my twist on that dish, an easy Chicken Florentine recipe that has all the same, wonderful flavors without all the fussy stuffing business. Oh, and copious amounts of a drool-worthy sauce.
How Do You Make Chicken Florentine:
- Saute garlic in butter. Stir in the mushroom, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Transfer to a plate.
- Pat the chicken breast dry. Mix together flour and Parmesan cheese on a plate. Dredge chicken breast in the flour mixture.
- Add butter to the skillet and cook the chicken. Set aside.
- Add chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer.
- Stir in heavy cream and parmesan cheese, cook until the sauce thickens. Stir in spinach. Add mushrooms and chicken back into the sauce. Serve.
**See Full Instructions Below
Chicken Florentine Ingredient Notes
- Butter: You can use either unsalted or regular butter.
- Garlic: For the best flavor, use fresh garlic, not the stuff that comes already minced in a jar.
- Mushrooms: You can use regular white button mushrooms or try cremini for even more flavor.
- Dried Italian Seasoning: I like the blend of herbs from McCormick called, “Italian Seasoning Perfect Pinch.”
- Chicken Breast: Use boneless skinless chicken breast and cut them into thirds lengthwise or use chicken tenders.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour. It will help thicken the sauce.
- Parmesan: I like to use grated. It melts easily into the sauce. Shredded parm will also work. Don’t use the stuff in the green jar. Buy it from the deli section at your local supermarket, or better yet, buy a wedge and grate it yourself.
- Chicken Broth: I like to use low-sodium broth to control the overall salt in the dish. If you want to make this even more flavorful, you can use ¼ c. of dry white wine to replace half the chicken broth when you’re deglazing.
- Heavy Cream: This gives the sauce its creamy, velvety texture. Lower-fat milk products won’t produce the same results.
- Spinach: I generally give this a rough chop. It’s not necessary. You can add it whole if you’d prefer.
Storing + Freezing + Make-Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? This will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Can You Freeze This? I prefer this served the same day it’s made.
- Make-Ahead Tips: This is so easy to make, it’s best to cook it the same day. You can also cook the chicken ahead of time.
- Food Safety: If you’d like more info on food safety check out this link. I use Alfredo sauce as my reference.
I generally serve this over buttered angel hair pasta. My simple roasted peppers, elegant Mediterranean salad, fried eggplant, crispy parmesan potatoes, or garlic sautéd asparagus are all delicious side dishes with this chicken Florentine.
More Italian-Inspired Chicken Recipes
- Balsamic Chicken
- Chicken Murphy
- Chicken Riggies
- Italian Dressing Chicken
- Chicken Vesuvio
- Chicken Lombardy
Chicken Florentine Recipe
- 6 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 4 boneless chicken breast halves
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour divided
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese divided
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream divided
- 1 cup fresh spinach Chopped
- Melt butter (6 tablespoons) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic (1 tablespoon) and cook until fragrant, for about 1 minute. Stir in the mushrooms (8 ounces), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and Italian Seasoning (2 teaspoons) continue to cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Pat chicken breast (4) dry with paper towels to remove any moisture. Mix together flour (2 tablespoons), and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl or plate. Dredge chicken breasts in flour mixture, shaking off excess.
- Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Cook the chicken over medium heat, until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken to a plate and loosely cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
- Add the chicken broth (1/2 cup) to the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring well to loosen all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, until the broth is reduced to about 1/4 of a cup.
- Stir in heavy cream (1 1/2 cups) and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and cook over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken. Stir in spinach (1 cup). Add mushrooms and chicken back into the sauce and flip it over once to coat. Serve.