Chicken in Tomato Sauce

4.72 from 14 votes
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This super simple Chicken in Tomato Sauce recipe is so easy to make, and it uses only one pan, but the amazing flavors and cheesy finish taste as if they came from an authentic Italian Cucina! Fresh tomatoes, spinach, rich mozzarella, and pungent herbs make a truly special meal.

Chicken recipes with tomatoes are so juicy and delicious, like my flavorful jambalaya recipe or this romantic dinner option, marry me chicken!

overhead shot of a skillet with cooked chicken breasts in tomato sauce


Easy, Cheesy Chicken in Tomato Sauce

Versatile and delicious chicken breasts get a light and fresh Italian finish in this easy pan-seared dish of chicken in tomato sauce. The chicken breasts are cooked to a tender and juicy deliciousness, layered in a sauce of fresh onions, garlic, and tomatoes cooked gently in butter, and then topped with melted mozzarella! Bellissimo!

Whenever I make this easy chicken dinner, it is a win-win situation. I don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen, and my family devours their meal. Is there anything better? Maybe an elf magically making dinner appear on the table. Otherwise, I think not.

mixing bowl with seasonings for chicken

What You’ll Need

Get ready to transform simple ingredients into a flavorful dinner with our chicken in tomato sauce recipe! This dish uses easy-to-find ingredients available at most grocery stores.

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: You’ll need 4 breasts, about ½ an inch thick.
  • Cooking Oil Spray: For coating the chicken breasts. You can also use light olive oil or melted butter and a basting brush (for meats, not pastry).
  • Dried Basil and Oregano: You can also substitute an Italian seasoning blend.
  • Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Paprika: I use sweet paprika in this dish.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Vegetable Oil: For sauteing.
  • Butter: You can use salted butter or unsalted butter; adjust the salt accordingly.
  • Onion: One small yellow onion, diced.
  • Fresh Garlic: You’ll need 4 cloves, minced or put through a garlic press.
  • Fresh Tomatoes: Four fresh tomatoes, or about 1 pound, chopped. A 15-oz can of diced tomatoes can be substituted.
  • Chicken Broth or White Wine: I use low-sodium chicken broth, or a dry white wine.
  • Spinach: About 4 cups of fresh baby spinach. Thawed spinach, drained and squeezed dry between clean kitchen towels or paper towels, can be substituted.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: About 1 to 1 1/2-cups shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Fresh Chopped Parsley: For garnish.
skillet with tomato sauce with spinach

How to Make Chicken In Tomato Sauce

Ready to cook a quick and easy recipe for chicken breasts? Good! Follow my guide on how to make chicken with tomato sauce! In just a few simple steps, you’ll have a tasty meal on the table.

  1. Season the Chicken Breasts. Brush the chicken breasts with oil. In a small bowl, combine basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning mix.
  2. Cook the Chicken. Heat the vegetable oil (you can also use Avocado Oil) and 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in a large, 12-inch oven-safe skillet. Cook the chicken for about 5 to 8 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Cooking time depends on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts. I suggest pounding down the chicken to about 1/2-inch thickness before cooking. Remove cooked chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Make the Sauce. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant. Then add the tomatoes and cook for 4 minutes, or until tomatoes are softened and bubbly. Stir in the chicken broth or wine; cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
  4. Broil the Chicken and Mozzarella in the Sauce. Transfer chicken breasts back to the skillet. Top each chicken breast with shredded cheese. Broil in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
overhead close up shot of a skillet with cooked chicken breasts in tomato sauce

Recipe Tips

  • Pat dry the chicken breasts. To get the spices and oil to adhere to the chicken, try patting it dry with paper towels before seasoning.
  • Don’t flip too soon. When you add the chicken breasts to the pan, resist the temptation to move them around or flip them excessively. Letting the breasts cook undisturbed will help to prevent them from getting stuck to the pan or cooking unevenly.
  • Control the heat. You want the pan to be hot enough that there’s a sizzle while the chicken cooks. But if the butter-oil mixture begins to brown too much (or worse, burn!) then the heat is too high. If that happens, try taking the pan off the heat for a minute, carefully wiping out the burnt oil and butter (be extremely cautious with hot oil, always! It can cause serious burns if touched), and replacing it with a little fresh oil and butter.

Serving Suggestions

This cheesy chicken dish is perfectly saucy and goes very well with our favorite garlic butter pasta, quinoa zucchini fritters, or zucchini noodles. For a hearty, warming side dish, go with my garlic asiago cauliflower rice with mushrooms! The rich and earthy flavors go perfectly with the light and tangy tomato sauce.

You can top off this meal with a lovely sweet treat, like my Low Carb Pumpkin Mousse or Blueberry Coffee Cake.

cooked chicken breasts in a black skillet, and topped with melted cheese, tomatoes, and spinach

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

To refrigerate, cover leftovers well or place in airtight food storage containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for 2 months. To reheat, place the chicken and the sauce in a covered skillet and cook over medium heat until just heated through.

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    4.72 from 14 votes

    Chicken In Tomato Sauce

    This chicken in tomato sauce recipe features pan-seared chicken breasts cooked to a tender perfection and then quickly broiled with mozzarella cheese and a sauce of fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and butter.
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes
    Servings: 4


    • 4 (1 pound, total) boneless skinless chicken breasts,, about ½-inch thick
    • cooking oil spray
    • ½ teaspoon dried basil
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper,, to taste
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil,, or avocado oil
    • tablespoons butter,, divided
    • 1 small yellow onion,, finely diced
    • 4 cloves garlic,, minced
    • 3 to 4 fresh tomatoes,, about 1 pound, chopped (or 14.5 ounces canned fire roasted diced tomatoes)
    • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth or dry white wine
    • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
    • 1 to 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    • fresh chopped parsley,, for garnish
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    • Preheat the oven to BROIL and lightly spray chicken breasts with cooking oil.
    • In a small mixing bowl combine basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning mix.
    • Heat vegetable oil and ½ tablespoon butter in a large, 12-inch oven-safe skillet set over medium heat. Add chicken to the hot oil and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until cooked through and browned. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Chicken is cooked through when internal temperature registers at 165˚F. Use an Instant Read Thermometer for accuracy. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and set aside; keep covered.
    • Add the remaining butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, or until it starts to soften. Stir in garlic and cook for 15 seconds or until fragrant.
    • Add the tomatoes, increase heat to medium-high, and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the tomatoes break down and release their juices. If using canned tomatoes, cook until heated through and bubbling.
    • Stir in the chicken broth or wine and cook for 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for a minute, or until the spinach is wilted. Transfer the chicken back to the skillet and top each chicken breast with shredded cheese.
    • Broil in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven, garnish with parsley, and serve.


    Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 384mg | Potassium: 904mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4059IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 2mg

    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.

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    1. Bev says:

      15/12/23 made this for me and my son for tea I wasn’t sure at first but oh my goodness it was delicious. As well as putting the cheese on top of the chicken I also added some to the sauce and that gave it a creamy texture it was lovely.definitely a keeper thanks for sharing your recipe.

    2. Christin says:

      Absolutely delicious. I used kale in place of spinach and the resulting vegetable mixture that was left after the chicken was finished was an amazing side dish on its own. It’ll definitely be in our regular rotation.

    3. Beth says:

      I want you to know that this is one of my favorites! Love it. However, your site is so crowded with pop up ads that I can no longer navigate to the recipe. I know this is how you make money – and good for you – but if I can’t use the site easily, I won’t come back to it. Just wanted to share how the site is for your fans.

    4. Christine says:

      Love love this recipe! Family said it’s a keeper !
      I served the sauce over mini spaghetti.. used fresh cherry tomatoes and garlic with chicken thighs. Had to adjust the cooking time with the thighs but still seared to perfection. The sauce was delicious! Will make it again soon!!