Looking for a simple and healthy dinner recipe? This grilled chicken in basil sauce with wilted spinach is perfect and ticks all the boxes!
I’m always on the hunt for healthy dinner recipes that are drool-worthy and worth spending time in the kitchen, and if there’s a time you’re willing to spend just a few extra minutes in the kitchen, this is the recipe to get started on.
How Do I Make the Grilled Chicken in Basil Sauce?
This fantastic dinner recipe is basically grilled chicken in basil sauce served on a bed of wilted spinach. It has some delicious flavors and is a great way to get those greens if you’re someone who doesn’t really enjoy leafy green veggies.
What I love the most about this recipe is that even though it does take three whole steps to get ready, it can actually double up as meal prep for the next day!
You can make the basil sauce and the wilted spinach in a slightly bigger batch and store it for later- there are tons of ways you could put both of them to use!
Why Does My Grilled Chicken Get All Dry and Rubbery?
A common issue a lot of people tend to face with their grilled chicken is that it ends up getting all dry, tough, and chewy. Well, that’s because chicken is actually lean meat and tends to dry out quickly on grilling if the skin isn’t on.
To get your chicken to have that tender and juicy texture, you can marinate it or cook it in some brine or liquid (which is exactly what you’ll be doing in this recipe).
How Do I Put the Extra Wilted Spinach to Use?
Whether you made the extra wilted spinach on purpose, or just had a bit leftover that you want to use, here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Add it into your vegetable stock to make it more nutritious.
- Add it to your homemade pesto sauce. It’ll lend the sauce that nice pop of green color too!
- Toss it into some seasoned rice to turn it into a quick spinach rice meal.
- Add it to your bowl of salad and go generous with the dressing.
- Stir it into your bowl of soup to make it more healthy and to give it that little color.
How Can I Make this Healthier?
What I absolutely love about this grilled chicken in basil sauce recipe is the fact that it is super healthy already. You actually don’t need to put in any extra effort to make it healthier.
There’s fiber, vitamins, and minerals from the spinach, lycopene, and vitamin C from the tomatoes, protein from the chicken, and antioxidants from basil.
If you still want to take it up a notch, you can throw in some chopped or sliced veggies of your choice into the mix while preparing the basil sauce. Bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and broccoli are all excellent choices that can pair up wonderfully with the flavor profile of this recipe.
Still got a bit of spinach leftover that you’re looking to use? Here are a few delicious recipes worth trying out!
Grilled Chicken in Basil Sauce
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ c red wine
- ¼ c water
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ medium onion minced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ c fresh basil leaves finely chopped
- 1 tsp capers minced
- ¼ c red wine
- 1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 - 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- salt to taste
- 4 c spinach coarsely chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp celery seed
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 c water
- 1 c mozzarella cheese
- Oil a large skillet with the extra virgin olive oil and heat it over medium high heat while you apply salt and pepper to both sides of the chicken breasts.
- Sear the chicken breasts for 4 minutes per side and add ¼ cup of red wine, and ¼ cup of water to the skillet and cover tightly.
- Braise the chicken for another 8 minutes or longer until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 F.
- Remove from the heat and set aside while you make the spinach and the basil sauce.
- Once you've prepared the spinach and basil sauce, serve each grilled chicken breast on a bed of wilted spinach, and top with the sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Mince your onions and chop your fresh basil.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan, and saute your onions until they become translucent.
- Now add the wine, basil, capers, and diced tomatoes.
- Mix the cornstarch with the tomato sauce and add this mixture to the saucepan.
- Bring the sauce to a boil while stirring frequently.
- When the sauce has thickened, it is ready. Set this aside covered while you make the spinach.
- Heat 1 cup of water in a kettle with a steaming rosette over medium heat.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the spinach leaves with the olive oil to coat and then add the dry spices, tossing to ensure all is well mixed.
- Add the seasoned spinach to the kettle when it is at a full boil, cover, and let the spinach steam for 3-4 minutes until it is wilted.