This Healthy Mediterranean Chicken recipe is a quick and easy weekday or weekend dinner. Made with chicken breasts, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and artichoke hearts in a garlicky creamy feta cheese sauce.
This recipe is one dish whose flavors really hit the spot for me. It's a slightly adapted recipe from Tyler Florence's show Food 911 I saw on Food Network many, many years ago. Since that show's episode, I've made this recipe about 2 times a month.
I love the saltiness of the kalamata olives and feta cheese, the rich taste of sun dried tomatoes, and the understated presence of the artichoke hearts. By the way, I could eat artichokes hearts every day of my life, so there's that. Those briny little Mediterranean capers are a favorite of mine too, but they aren't in this recipe.
The original recipe calls for more sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, less feta cheese, and heavy cream. I only have heavy cream around when I want to make whipped cream for a dessert, but I always have half and half on hand and the substitution works every time. Just as long as you keep it at a low temperature and make sure it doesn't boil.
I've also found using less sun-dried tomatoes and more feta in this dish works better too. A little side note on feta: please buy the feta that comes in a large chunk in a brine and crumble it yourself.
I don't trust any cheese that doesn't come in a block. Cheese that has already been crumbled or shredded has stuff on it (wood pulp) to keep it from clumping, plus it's sprayed with an anti-mold agent. I know it's very tempting to buy pre-shredded cheeses because of the convenience, but it only takes a few minutes to freshly grate the cheese and it tastes so much better.
And you can buy a better quality cheese for less money. And it lasts longer. Okay, just my two cents, for what it's worth.
On the sun-dried tomatoes, I buy ones that aren't packed in oil and they are usually found in the fresh produce section of the grocery store, or I make my own using a dehydrator but an oven will work too.
This recipe is a great reference for how to make your own dried tomatoes. I also make mine plain, no herbs. If you use the sun-dried tomatoes in oil, you may want to drain them well of any excess oil before adding them to the recipe.
Put them in a little wire strainer, over a bowl, and let it drain for about 5 minutes. Save the oil and use it to saute the chicken or make a homemade salad dressing.
You can serve it over pasta, but I like using various types of veggies in place of the pasta. Like, sauteed fresh spinach, cooked spaghetti squash or zucchini noddles, roasted asparagus, roasted winter squash, etc. Or just serve it as it is, with a salad on the side.
Here's the original recipe link in case you want to make it straight up, Tyler's way.
Sauteing the browned chicken together with the sun-dried tomatoes and fresh minced garlic.
Adding all other ingredients except half and half.
Stir well and cook over low heat for few minutes, just to combine everything. Slowly add the half and half and stir over low heat until sauce thickens slightly. Remember, don't let it boil or the sauce will curdle, and nobody likes a curdled sauce.
See? We don't need no heavy cream here! Again, just cook until sauce thickens, then take off heat and serve immediately.
I served mine with roasted acorn squash. The sweetness of the squash pairs well with the saltiness of the dish. All you do is cut the acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds, place face-side up in pan, drizzle the top with a little olive oil, sprinkle with pepper, and put ¼-1/3 cup water in bottom of pan. Roast uncovered in 400 oven for 45 minutes to an hour or so, depending on size of squash. Scoop out the insides and there's your easy veg side dish!
Healthy Mediterranean Chicken Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, sliced
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 8 ½ ounces artichoke hearts, quartered
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ cups half & half or substitute heavy cream
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the chicken breast slices.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the artichokes, olives, feta cheese, and herbs. Stir well until heated through and feta melts slightly.
- Reduce heat to low. Slowly add half & half (or the cream), stir well to incorporate all. Keep stirring over low heat until sauce thickens, a few minutes. Do not allow to boil because sauce will separate and curdle.
- Serve immediately over pasta, rice, or vegetables.
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- slightly adapted from Tyler Florence's Mediterranean Pasta in Minutes