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!
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 taste buds! All the flavors here meld together perfectly, which is part of its comforting magic. A nice contrast and mild flavor from the cauliflower adds texture to the chicken, while spinach gives it a nutritional boost.
Why We Love This Chicken And Cauliflower Recipe
- Cheesy Comfort Food: Juicy chicken and cauliflower are tossed with a creamy Parmesan sauce.
- Bacon: Crispy bacon adds a smoky, tasty crunch.
- Nutritious: The baby spinach and cauliflower offer a flavorful, nutritious kick.
- 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, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder & Paprika: This 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
- Cook the Cauliflower: Boil cauliflower florets until fork-tender, then drain and set them aside.
- Cook the Bacon: In a skillet set over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and set aside; don’t discard the bacon grease.
- Cook the Chicken Thighs: Melt the butter in the same skillet. Season the chicken thighs and cook until cooked through. Remove and set aside.
- Make the Spinach and Sauce: Wilt the spinach in the skillet for a couple of minutes; remove and set aside. Sauté the garlic in the skillet, then add the chicken broth, cream, and whisk in the parmesan.
- Combine and Serve: Add the cauliflower, spinach, and chicken back to the skillet and heat through. Garnish with bacon and parsley, and enjoy.
Recipe Tips And Variations
- Frozen Veggies: This recipe works well with frozen cauliflower. Just cook the frozen florets until tender, as you would with fresh cauliflower.
- Broccoli Rocks! Broccoli and broccolini make great substitutions for cauliflower in this dish. I recommend just using florets if you go with broccoli.
- 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.
What to Serve with Chicken and Cauliflower
Try my Skillet Soda Bread for a warm side dish. It’s super simple to prepare! If you’re going all out, serve this beautiful Roasted Butternut Squash 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 or freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, place the leftovers in a covered skillet over low heat. Cook, without boiling, until the chicken is completely heated through.
More Cauliflower Recipes to Try
- Garlic Butter Cauliflower Rice with Spinach
- Slow Cooker Creamy Cauliflower Soup
- Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
- Keto Mac and Cheese
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
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ 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, but 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 the 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 the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, dried rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Transfer the 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 the chicken and transfer it to a plate; set aside.
- Return the skillet to the burner and add in the baby spinach; cook for 2 minutes or until wilted. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add garlic to the pan and cook for 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add chicken broth and stir the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the cream and bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute. Then, whisk in the 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 the bacon and parsley, and serve.
- Chicken Thighs: This recipe is for boneless chicken thighs. Bone-in thighs need to cook much longer, and I don’t recommend using them for this recipe. Also, use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for doneness; chicken is cooked through when the internal temperature registers at 165˚F.
- Chicken Variation: You can also use boneless chicken breasts, but monitor their cooking time, as they can dry out faster than thighs.
- Cream Alternative: To lighten the dish, you can substitute half of the heavy cream with full-fat yogurt or softened cream 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.