This chicken thighs recipe features diced bacon, fresh cauliflower, and baby spinach, all cooked in a creamy Parmesan sauce. It’s Creamy Chicken and Cauliflower, your new favorite dinner recipe!
Juicy chicken thighs and cauliflower in a savory cream sauce make for a delicious recipe that’s perfect for when you need a quick, yet hearty meal!
An Easy Chicken Skillet Dinner
Nothing says comfort food like juicy chicken thighs and tender cauliflower florets, smothered in a creamy Parmesan sauce with bacon. Seriously, this dinner is so tasty, it’ll blow your tastebuds!
All the flavors here meld together perfectly, which is part of its comforting magic. Chicken and bacon are a match made in heaven, and when you add the creamy sauce, you’ve really hit the mark!
A nice textural contrast and mild flavor from the cauliflower adds the perfect finishing touch, while spinach gives both color contrast and a nutritional boost.
What You’ll Need
You’re going to really enjoy this amazing dinner, made with delicious ingredients, like bacon and Parmesan cheese! 🙌 OH! It’s also LOW in carbs. 🎊
- Cauliflower: Wash and dry a pound of cauliflower and cut into small florets.
- Bacon: Dice 4 slices of thick-cut bacon.
- Chicken Thighs: You’ll need two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Salt & Pepper: To taste.
- Dried Herbs: You’ll need a teaspoon of dried rosemary, or any other dried herbs you like.
- Onion Powder, Garlic Powder & Paprika: Half a teaspoon of each makes a great spice blend for the chicken.
- Butter: For frying.
- Baby Spinach: About 5 cups of fresh baby spinach.
- Garlic: Mince or press 4 cloves of garlic.
- Cream: You’ll need heavy whipping cream for the sauce.
- Chicken Broth: To deglaze the pan.
- Parmesan: Finely shredded Parmesan cheese adds rich flavor to the dish.
- Chopped Fresh Parsley: For garnish.
How to Make Chicken and Cauliflower
This is a very simple dish to make. You simply cook the cauliflower in boiling water until tender, while everything else cooks up in a skillet. Finally, it all gets mixed with fresh cream and Parmesan for a creamy, saucy finish.
- Cook Cauliflower: Place the cauliflower florets in a large pot and cover with water; set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the cauliflower is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 3 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fork tender. Drain and set aside.
- Cook Bacon: In the meantime, heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Arrange the bacon carefully in the hot skillet, avoiding spatters, and cook until crispy, stirring frequently. Remove the bacon pieces from the skillet and set them aside on a plate. Don’t drain the bacon grease!
- Cook Chicken Thighs: Place the skillet back over medium-high heat and melt the butter in it. Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, dried rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Flip over and cook for 6-8 more minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the heat and transfer it to a plate; set aside.
- Make Spinach & Sauce: Return the skillet to the heat once more and cook the baby spinach for 2 minutes, or until wilted. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant. Deglaze with chicken broth and stir in the cream. Whisk in the parmesan cheese.
- Return All Ingredients to Skillet: Add the cooked cauliflower, spinach and cooked chicken back to the skillet and cook for a minute or two, or until heated through. Remove from the heat, garnish with bacon and parsley, and serve!
Tips for Success
Here are my best tips and tricks for making this flavor-packed, ultra-delicious meal. You’re going to love this one!
- Italian-Style: If you’d like, you can substitute small pieces of pancetta for the bacon and oregano for the rosemary, giving this recipe an Italian spin!
- Broccoli Rocks! Broccoli and broccolini make great substitutions for cauliflower in this dish. I recommend just using florets if you go with broccoli!
- Frozen Is Fine: This recipe works well with frozen cauliflower (or broccoli). Just cook the frozen florets until tender, the same way you would with fresh cauliflower.
More Cauliflower Recipes to Try
What to Serve with Chicken and Cauliflower
To serve up this delicious dish, I recommend having a fresh contrast like salad, along with some bread to go with the creamy sauce. Here are some of my favorites!
- Soda Bread: Try my Skillet Soda Bread for a warm and wonderful side dish. It’s super simple to prepare!
- Gourmet Butternut Squash Salad: If you’re going all out, try this beautiful Roasted Butternut Squash Salad. It’s a showstopper!
- Tomato Salad: My Heirloom Tomato Salad is bursting with ripe, juicy flavor. It’s the perfect contrast to the richness of the chicken!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store leftovers, place them in airtight food storage containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, place the leftovers in a covered skillet over low heat. Cook without boiling until the chicken is completely heated through.
Can I Freeze Chicken and Cauliflower?
- Yes, you can! The cream sauce may separate after freezing, but it will still be safe to eat. I recommend freezing the chicken in freezer bags. Press as much air as possible out of the bags before sealing them.
- Freeze the veggies and sauce in separate containers for up to 3 months.
Creamy Chicken and Cauliflower
- 1 pound cauliflower, cut into small bite-sized florets
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or any other dried herbs that you like
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 5 to 6 cups baby spinach
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Place cauliflower florets in a cooking pot and cover with cold water; set over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork tender, and not mushy.
- Drain the cauliflower and run it under cold water to stop it from cooking further. Season the florets with salt and pepper, and set aside.
- In the meantime, set a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and heat up the skillet.
- Add diced bacon to the hot skillet and cook for about 4 minutes, or until crispy, stirring frequently.
- Remove bacon pieces from the skillet and set aside on a plate. DO NOT drain the bacon grease.
- Set skillet back over medium-high heat; add butter and let it melt.
- Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, dried rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.
- Add chicken thighs to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom.
- Flip over and cook for 6 to 8 more minutes, or until cooked through. Remove chicken and transfer to a plate; set aside.NOTE: Use an instant read meat thermometer to check for doneness; boneless chicken thighs are cooked through when internal temperature registers at 165˚F.
- Return skillet to the burner and add in baby spinach; cook for 2 minutes or until wilted. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add garlic to the pan and cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Add chicken broth and stir the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in cream and bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute.
- Whisk in parmesan cheese.
- Add cooked cauliflower, spinach, and cooked chicken back to the skillet and cook for a minute or two, or until heated through. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
- Remove from heat.
- Garnish with prepared bacon and parsley.
- NET CARBS: 5 g
- WW POINTS: LOWER POINTS DOWN TO 6 by replacing the butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the heavy cream with Half & Half, and use fat-free shredded parmesan cheese.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
More Easy Dinner Ideas
Need more easy dinner recipes in your life? The following dishes are fail-proof!