Chicken Arrabiata is a high protein take on the famous Italian pasta sauce! Chicken breasts are simmered in a delicious tomato sauce, then topped with herb and garlic breadcrumbs. Light, flavourful and a little spicy!
Serve this delicious and speedy chicken recipe with our Caprese Salad for a perfect pairing.
One of my favourite things about chicken, and chicken breasts in particular, is its ability to take on a huge variety of flavours and rock them!
What is Chicken Arrabiata?
This quick and easy recipe is inspired by the famous Arrabiata sauce, which is served exclusively with pasta in Italy. I love the name as well. Not only is it fun to say, it has a great meaning as well. Angry!
Yes, arrabbiata translates as angry from Italian but don’t be alarmed. All it means is that the sauce is on the spicy side. That being said, you are the cook. You control the spice!
As you can gather, we replaced the pasta with skinless boneless chicken and voila! Chicken Arrabiata was born.
Recipe Top Tips
Apart from its delicious taste, this recipe is also very quick. That’s right. We are making good food fast!
It is also very light on ingredients. The taste mostly rests on the quality of canned tomatoes used. Since you only need two small can, I urge you to buy the best quality tomatoes you can afford.
How to Make The Best Sauce
I make a lot of pasta recipes, and I often talk about the quality of ingredients here. I even wrote an article about how quality tomatoes make your sauce. We want them ripe, red, ready to fall apart and turn into a luscious sauce you will want to eat with a spoon!
Apart from chicken breasts, the only ingredients we use for the sauce are canned tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, dried chilli flakes and fresh basil. Not too many ingredients and no artificial flavour enhancers to hide behind.
That is why the tomatoes rule in this recipe. I recommend using chopped canned tomatoes in the UK or crushed canned tomatoes in the US and Canada.
I also love using a handful of fresh basil leaves but dried basil is an acceptable substitute. I’ve also used dried chili flakes to give this sauce the famous touch of heat.
If you love spice, go ahead and experiment with fresh chillies!
Herb and garlic breadcrumbs are another flavour maker in this chicken arrabiata. You know how you LOVE your garlic bread? Well, take the same flavours and top your chicken with them.
They say flavoured breadcrumbs are poor man’s Parmesan and this chicken recipe demonstrates the truth of that saying! They amplify the flavour by a factor of 1,000!
Spirinke the breadcrumbs over the chicken immediately before serving, so they keep their crunch!
If you do not follow a low carb diet, I suggest taking the chicken breasts out of the pan and keep them warm once the dish is done.
Then stir pasta of your choice into the sauce and serve together with chicken!
Even if you are limiting your carb intake, you can do the same with with zucchini or squash noodles. This saucy chicken is also delicious with rice, bulgur or quinoa. A simple salad on the side will round this off nicely.
More Italian Chicken Recipes to Try:
- Tuscan Chicken with Saffron Cream Sauce
- Chicken Marsala
- Italian Rosemary Chicken and White Beans
- Venetian Chicken Ragu
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts skinless and boneless
- salt to
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2X400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes/crushed tomatoes in the US and Canada with their juices
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes or add to taste
- 4-5 basil leaves or ½ tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp sugar optional
- 60g/1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise, season with salt and pepper and brown in 1 tbsp of olive oil for 5 minutes on each side. Remove to a separate plate.
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté minced or pressed garlic for 30 seconds, add chopped canned tomatoes, fresh basil leaves or dried basil, chilli flakes, salt and bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium and bring the chicken back to the sauce, let it simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce is desired consistency. Taste and add more salt if needed. I also often add a pinch of sugar if the tomato sauce taste too acidic.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan and add 1 clove of crushed garlic, sauté over low heat for 30 seconds, add breadcrumbs and chopped parsley, cook until the breadcrumbs are slightly toasted. Sprinkle over the chicken immediately before serving to keep the breadcrumbs crunchy.