Chicken With Cauliflower

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Chicken with Cauliflower is an easy to make dinner recipe that’s light and filling at the same time. It’s a quick enough meal for a busy weeknight, or one that makes you look like a gourmet chef to dinner guests.

You might have the chicken but do you have the cauliflower? No? Well, this recipe is for you. But isn’t it amazing how easy it is to make a delicious chicken dish that always turns out well?

Creamy Chicken and Cauliflower | Low Carb & Keto Friendly Chicken Dinner

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!

close up shot of cooked boneless chicken thighs topped with baby spinach, cream sauce, cauliflower, and bacon

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.

wide shot of a skillet with cooked chicken thighs, cauliflower florets, spinach, and bacon

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.
searing chicken thighs in a skillet

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
cooking chicken thighs and cauliflower in creamy sauce

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.

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!
close up shot of cooked boneless chicken thighs topped with baby spinach, cream sauce, cauliflower, and bacon

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.

ENJOY!

Creamy Chicken and Cauliflower

11 11 11

WW Freestyle: 11

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time30 mins

Total Time40 mins

This Creamy Chicken and Cauliflower recipe features diced bacon, fresh cauliflower, and baby spinach with a creamy Parmesan sauce.

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American

Servings: 6

Calories: 457

Equipment

  • Stove

Ingredients

  • ▢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

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • Serve.

Notes

  • 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.

One Pan Greek Chicken and Cauliflower

This One Pan Greek Chicken and Cauliflower is a family favorite. Packed with fresh flavors, it is incredibly delicious, all while being super simple to make. Loaded with protein packed chicken breast, wholesome cauliflower, fresh lemon, and savory seasonings, this meal is as healthy as it is delicious.

One Pan Chicken – The EASY Way!

This Greek Chicken and Cauliflower couldn’t be easier and, OH MY GOODNESS, is it delicious!

To top it off this recipe only has 5 INGREDIENTS!

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When you talk about making a quick and easy dinner, the most delicious way to do it is almost always in a skillet, especially when you want to keep your dinner light and healthy.

This simple three step process gives you delicious seared chicken and veggies packed with flavor and ready to eat so quickly that it feels almost too good to be true!

All you have to do is:

  1. Prep
  2. Marinate
  3. Cook

Seriously – a chicken recipe with just a few ingredients, little prep time, and a few minutes to cook– that your family will LOVE. It may sound too good to be true, but I promise you this recipe is it!

What to Serve with Greek Chicken & Cauliflower

Since this dish has the classic flavors of Mediterranean cuisine, it will pair well with many of your favorite Greek style side dishes. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.

SIDE DISH IDEAS

  • Rice– To make it extra delicious, add a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of dill
  • Cucumber Tomato salad– Pictured here, this light salad perfectly compliments the dish with flavor and crunch!
  • Roasted vegetables– These roasted veggies are my go to for any protein based meal. So good and so easy!
  • Pita bread– You can buy pita at most grocery stores in the deli section or on the bread aisle.
  • Feta cheese – this can be used to top the dish if you want something a little extra
  • Greek Salad– This is a classic side and one of my personal favorites. Just top chopped romaine with tomato, cucumber, kalamata olives, and feta then use a greek dressing or red wine vinaigrette.
  • Roasted potatoes– Simple and delicious, these are a perfect side when you want to make the meal extra filling.

You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner. 

Recipe Notes

This Greek Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet recipe is as simple as promised! Just one skillet is standing between you and a family friendly meal.

In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.

Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for Greek Chicken and Cauliflower skillet
  • Chicken breast– My preference in this recipe is chicken breast, however you can use any cut of chicken that is boneless/skinless. Other substitutions that work well are chicken tenderloins, and boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
  • Cauliflower– I generally use fresh cauliflower for this recipe. You can also use frozen cauliflower that has been thawed.
  • Greek seasoning– My absolute favorite seasoning is this homemade Greek Seasoning, it takes about 5 minutes to make and is so, so delicious! If you prefer to use store bought seasoning, I recommend Cavendar’s which you can find on the spice aisle of most major grocery stores.
  • Lemon juice – using fresh lemon is so important for flavor!
  • Olive oil – just a little bit for the marinade and a little for the skillet.
Process photos for how to make a healthy Greek Chicken and Cauliflower skillet

RECIPE TIPS

  1. Cut evenly– When chopping the chicken and cauliflower for this recipe, try to keep the size of the chop as consistent as possible. This will help the dish to cook evenly so that it can be as tender, juicy, and flavorful as possible.
  2. Marinate– This really infuses the flavor into the chicken and cauliflower. You can get great results for letting it sit for just 10 minutes. If you need to prep ahead you can make it in the morning and let it sit all day in the fridge marinating.
  3. Get that great sear– This recipe calls for medium-high heat. This may vary a bit as each stovetop is different. You want the pan to be nice and hot when you put the chicken and cauliflower in it. This allows it to sear and caramelize the bottom of the chicken and cauliflower giving you SO MUCH FLAVOR!

    There are three big keys to this:
    • Use med-high to high heat and make sure the pan is hot when you put the meat and cauliflower in.
    • Don’t stir right away, give the meat 1-2 minutes to develop the sear before flipping or stirring.
    • Don’t over crowd the pan– If the pan is too packed it will end up steaming the meat and veggies rather than searing them. If your pan is too small for the quantity of chicken and cauliflower, do it in 2-3 small batches. They are quick so it won’t take too much time and it will be much tastier!

Recipe Short Cuts

If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!

  • Prep ahead– The chicken and cauliflower can be prepped and chopped up to 2-3 days in advance when placed in an air tight container and refrigerated. You can also combine them with the oil and seasoning up to 24 hours in advance. I don’t like to add the lemon juice more than 2 hours in advance because it can start to “cook” the chicken when it sits too long.
  • Use Frozen– Frozen or pre chopped refrigerated cauliflower can be used in place of fresh cauliflower. Make sure that anything that is frozen is thawed to ensure safe, even cooking.
  • Do a Freezer Meal– Prepare this as a freezer meal up to 6 months in advance per the instructions below.

Recipe Variations

If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!

  • Greek Chicken Skewers– If you prefer to grill, you can make the chicken as directed and place the chicken and cauliflower on skewers or kabobs, then cook over medium heat on a grill until cooked through (165˚F internal temperature.)
  • Greek Chicken Thighs– Substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs for the chicken breast, and continue with recipe as directed.
  • Greek Chicken with Yogurt– To make this greek chicken recipe with a yogurt marinade, add 1/4 cup Greek yogurt to the marinade with oil, Greek seasoning, and lemon juice. Continue recipe as directed.

Dietary Considerations

If you have special dietary needs, this recipe meets many.

As always, check all store bought ingredients for compliance on specific dietary needs. The notes below are a general guide and not meant to be a specific plan.

  • Gluten free: This recipe is naturally gluten free.
  • Dairy free: Greek Chicken and Cauliflower is a naturally dairy free recipe.
  • Nut free: This recipe is naturally nut free
  • Egg free: This Greek Chicken and Cauliflower recipe is naturally egg free
  • Low carb/Keto: This recipe is low carb at only 6g net carbs per serving.
  • Macros: The approximate macro calculation for this recipe is- P: 33g C: 7g F: 9g.
Greek Chicken and Cauliflower served with cucumber and tomato on a plate

Freezer Meal Instructions

Greek Chicken and Cauliflower can make a great freezer meal. This will allow you to have a meal prepped and ready for another busy night in a moment’s notice.

For the best flavor, this meal should be used within 6 months of freezing.

  1. Evenly chop the chicken breast and cauliflower into about 1 inch pieces.
  2. Combine chicken breast and cauliflower with greek seasoning, and 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Mix well to combine.
  3. Place in a freezer bag or freezer friendly container and freeze.
  4. Once ready to use, thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Add the lemon juice to the chicken mixture 10 minutes, up to 2 hours before cooking.
  6. Continue with recipe as directed.

Greek Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet Leftovers

If you have leftovers after making this healthy chicken skillet, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.

To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:

  • in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
  • in the freezer up to a month

LEFTOVER RECIPES

Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!

  • Chicken and Cauliflower Pitas– Heat leftovers, then heat pita bread in a skillet or in the oven until warm. Spread a layer of tzatziki over the pita bread and pile the chicken on top. Add your choice of tomato, cucumber, olives, pepperoncini peppers, mixed greens, and feta cheese.
  • Chicken and Cauliflower Bowls– Add a base of hummus to a bowl. Reheat the leftovers and pile them on top. Add a scoop of grains such as quinoa, farro, or rice. Then top with your choice of toppings – red onion, tomato, cucumber, olives, pepperoncini peppers, mixed greens, and feta cheese. Drizzle with tzatziki.
  • Greek Chicken “Nachos”– Lay a bed of pita chips on a plate or platter. Dollop hummus over the chips and then reheat the chicken and cauliflower and spread it over the chips. Top with your choice of red onion, tomato, cucumber, olives, pepperoncini peppers, mixed greens, and feta cheese. Drizzle with tzatziki and fresh lemon juice.

Sheet Pan Chicken and Cauliflower Bake

AUTHOR NOTES

Nearly three years ago Molly Wizenberg wrote a blog post on Parmesan-roasted cauliflower, a recipe she discovered from Bon Appétit one that, as the magazine promised, would become her go-to. The process is simple: Toss a head of cauliflower florets, a few unpeeled garlic cloves, and a sliced onion with olive oil, salt and a few thyme sprigs. Roast in a hot oven, and after 30 minutes, when everything—the florets, the onions, the garlic—begins caramelizing, sprinkle it with Parmesan and cook until the cheese melts, forming what Molly describes as “lacy, frico-like webs and shards.”

Molly offers a few ideas on how to serve the cauliflower, including tossing it with pasta or spooning it into bowls and topping with a fried egg. She also notes you could just eat it, and “call it a meal,” the title of her post. For years, I called it a side dish, and rarely strayed from the recipe. But since discovering the beauty of the sheet pan supper, I used the recipe as a jumping-off point, adding spices to change the flavor, and chicken to make it a more complete meal.

The seasonings in my recent variation evoke shawarma, a Middle Eastern street food typically prepared on a vertical rotisserie with lamb or chicken, which cooks for hours. Everything comes together in about the same amount of time as the original recipe, the only additional work being making a spice mix and buying chicken. It’s simple: First, rub the cauliflower and onions with a mix of toasted cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Roast for 30 minutes, then add boneless, skinless chicken thighs (rubbed in the same spice mix) to the sheet pan, and cook for 10 minutes more. By the end, just as in the original recipe, the cauliflower and onions caramelize, becoming meltingly tender and irresistibly sweet. As the chicken thighs cook, moreover, they release their juices, which seep into the vegetables, making them even tastier.

Serve this mix of smoky, spicy chicken and vegetables with naan and a lemony yogurt sauce, and call it a meal—a new go-to sheet pan meal.

A Few Tips:

– If you have a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, toasting whole cumin and coriander seeds will impart better flavor—fresher, smokier, earthier—than pre-ground. Toast the seeds in a small skillet over medium-high heat until they turn light brown and smell fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Grind in a mortar and pestle with the smoked paprika and cayenne. This step requires just a few more minutes of time and effort, but the scent and flavor are worth it. I also like the visual appeal as well as the texture of the partially crushed seeds coating the vegetables and meat.

– Boneless, skinless chicken breasts could be substituted for the thighs. To use boneless breasts instead of thighs, check them after 8 minutes—depending on their size, they may take more or less time than the thighs.

– This could certainly be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken—the spiced onions and cauliflower are irresistible on their own. You could use a mix of cauliflower, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, or any of your favorite roasting vegetables.

– Some sort of sauce is essential. A cooling Greek yogurt sauce, whose tang so nicely complements the sweet vegetables, works particularly well here, but you could also use a tahini sauce or an herby sauce with a good amount of acidity. To make a simple yogurt sauce: Stir together 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Taste and adjust with more salt or lemon to taste. Another delicious sauce option is this: Yogurt-Tahini Sauce.

Note: This is not traditional shawarma, which is typically made with chicken or lamb and cooked on a vertical rotisserie for hours, then sliced thinly.

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