Healthy Chicken Pomodoro Skillet

Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by Kayla Berman

If you’ve been craving Italian fare, look no further than my easy recipe for Chicken Pomodoro. This classic recipe features succulent, white-meat chicken simmered to perfection in a medley of basil, garlic, herbs, and vibrant tomatoes, creating a 1-pot, healthy skillet recipe that will transport your tastebuds straight to Italy — all in just 25 minutes. Andiamo!

chicken pomodoro garnished with fresh basil chiffonade.

About This Recipe

Chicken Pomodoro (a.k.a. chicken pomodori) embodies the essence of Italian cuisine: simple, wholesome ingredients that combine into a magical flavor combo that is far more than the sum of its parts. 

The succulent chicken breast, cooked to tender perfection, serves as the canvas for the starring ingredient — vibrant, garlicky, herb-laced tomato sauce. Each bite offers a burst of rich, tangy sweetness from the tomatoes, complemented by a classically Mediterranean blend of aromatics like basil, oregano, and garlic. 

As if that weren’t enough to love, this pollo al pomodoro recipe is also:

  • Quick & Easy. Dinner will be on the table in just 25 minutes, using only one pan. It’s a true weeknight savior!
  • Wholesome & Nutritious. Packed with lean protein and bright, zesty tomatoes, this is a meal you can feel good about feeding your family.
  • A Celebration of Summer. Is there any combination that screams summer more than fresh tomatoes and basil?? Methinks not. (If you’re a fan, check out my recipes for Chicken Caprese Pasta, Pesto Orzo Salad, Fresh Burrata Caprese and Hasselback Caprese Salad next!)
hyper close-up shot of a serving of pomodoro chicken on a plate.

What is Chicken Pomodoro?

Ah, pomodoro chicken, a delightful dish that brings a taste of Italy to your plate! In Italian, “al pomodoro” means “with tomato,” and that’s exactly what this dish is all about. Tender poultry smothered in a heavenly Italian pomodoro sauce made with fresh tomatoes — it’s basically the culinary equivalent of a charming Mediterranean villa! 

The lovingly simmered sauce tastes just like something your Nonna would make, creating a harmonious blend that will have you reaching for seconds. In other words, this brightly satisfying dish will transport you straight to the sun-kissed fields of Italy, Liz Gilbert-style.

hero shot of a red staub skillet filled with healthy chicken pomodoro and garnished with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

Ingredients & Substitutions

You only need 12 simple ingredients to make this healthy skillet dinner. Here’s what to grab:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – An Italian meal without EVOO is blasphemy! 😂 That said, feel free to swap in any other cooking oil (e.g. avocado, grapeseed) that you have on hand.
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – I’m a sucker for lean, white-meat chicken. Feel free to use boneless skinless thighs if you’re more of a dark-meat fan.
  • Italian Seasoning – This little powerhouse spice blend combines aromatics like marjoram, basil, rosemary, thyme, savory, and sage all in one convenient bottle. If you don’t have any on hand, feel free to swap in a homemade version, or use another Mediterranean spice blend like za’atar or Greek seasoning. Alternatively, you can use French herbes de Provence, but note that some blends might include lavender which will impart a bit of floral essence to the final dish.
  • Garlic Powder – For imparting sweet allium goodness directly into the chicken as it sears.
  • Minced Garlic – I prefer the bite of fresh minced garlic, but I won’t tell if you use the jarred kind to save on prep time. 😉
  • Yellow Onion – Yellow onions are slightly sweet, making them a perfect addition to the pomodoro sauce. Feel free to swap in red onions, white onions, or shallots if that’s what you have on hand. PRO TIP: If you want to cut back on prep time (and tears!), keep a bag of frozen chopped onions stashed in your freezer.
  • Grape Tomatoes – These precious little snackable tomatoes add big tomatoey flavor for being enclosed in such small packages. As an added bonus, they can be greenhouse-grown all year round, so you can get a taste of Italian sunshine even in the depths of winter. Feel free to use cherry tomatoes if you prefer.
  • Chicken Broth – For thinning out the pomodori sauce. Feel free to swap in vegetable broth if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Fresh Basil – There’s no real substitute for garden fresh basil here. While you technically *can* use about ⅓ as much dried, it won’t have quite the same brightness of flavor or gorgeous appearance.
  • Granulated Sugar – I know what you’re thinking. Sugar, in tomato sauce?? Turns out, using just a little bit helps to tame the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Parmesan Cheese – For a pop of creamy, salty, umami yumminess. Use freshly grated cheese for the best flavor and texture. Other hard, aged cheese varieties like pecorino or romano can also be used.
  • Salt & Black Pepper – Because every savory dish needs some basic seasoning. Make sure to use freshly cracked black pepper for the best results. 

Equipment Needed

ingredients needed to make healthy chicken pomodoro skillet measured out into bowls on a white table.

How To Make Chicken Pomodori, Skillet-Style

One thing I love about healthy skillet meals is how quickly they come together. Here’s how to get this Italian masterpiece on your table in just 25 minutes flat:

Step 1: Season Chicken. Mix the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Use it to evenly coat the chicken breasts.

thin pounded chicken breasts sprinkled with seasoning mixture.

Step 2: Sear Chicken. Heat the olive oil over medium-high. Once the oil is shimmering, add the seasoned chicken breasts. Sear for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Italian-seasoned chicken breasts after initial sear.

Step 3: Sauté Alliums. Turn the heat to low. Sauté the garlic and onion for 1-2 minutes, being careful to not burn.

aromatic onions and garlic being sautéed in a cast iron skillet to make chicken pomodoro.

Step 4: Simmer Sauce. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and scrape up any fond on the bottom of the pan. Simmer over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Finish Sauce & Chicken. Add the fresh basil and white sugar, stirring to combine. Place the seared chicken breasts back into the skillet, covering them with the sauce a bit.  Simmer for another 5-8 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through.

Step 6: Garnish. Add extra fresh basil and parmesan cheese on top.

Step 7: Serve & Enjoy!

Optional Variations & Dietary Adaptations

As much as I love this chicken pomodoro recipe just the way it is written, there are plenty of opportunities for you to make it your own. Here are a few optional variations to consider:

  • Dairy-Free: Lactose get you down? No worries! Just omit the parmesan cheese or use a plant-based alternative like vegan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes.
  • Vegetarian: For a vegetarian-friendly adaptation, you can replace the chicken breasts with hearty vegetables like thick slabs of eggplant or portobello mushroom caps.
  • Salivating for Spicy: If you’re someone who likes it hot, consider adding a hefty sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes to the chicken seasoning blend and/or the pomodoro sauce for a fiery twist.
  • Greek Delight: To give your Chicken Pomodoro a Mediterranean twist, add some chopped Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese to the dish during the last few minutes of cooking.
  • Creamy Indulgence: If you’re looking for a creamier adaptation, you can stir in a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream to the tomato sauce at the end of cooking to create a velvety, luscious sauce. 
super closeup shot of chicken pomodori in a skillet.

Expert Tips

  • The best way to achieve a gorgeous sear on chicken breasts is to give them plenty of space and to use a searing hot pan. Wait for the oil to get shimmery — it should look wavy when you tilt the pan, and there should be an audible searing sound when you add the chicken. 
  • Pound your chicken breasts using a meat mallet to ensure even thickness for even cooking.
  • The easiest way to halve a bunch of cherry tomatoes is to use two matching tupperware lids
  • Use pre-portioned chicken breasts for easy serving. As a bonus, you probably won’t need to pound them out first. 

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve it Chicken Pasta Pomodoro-style over a bed of your favorite pasta shape. You can opt for long noodles like capellini or bucatini, or chop the chicken and serve it over short noodles like penne or ziti.
  • Or, use other starches like rice, potatoes, white beans, or your favorite grains. You can also make a stellar, lower-cal version of a meatball sub or Italian hero sandwich by sandwiching your pomodoro chicken between pieces of crusty bread.
  • Go low-carb by using zoodles or cauliflower rice as your “starch.”
  • Add extra color with a side of steamed veggies like broccoli or green beans.
  • Have a delicious Italian-inspired al fresco dinner party menu by pairing it with Bruschetta and/or Whipped Ricotta Crostini for an appetizer, and luscious Strawberry Cake or Air Fried Peaches for dessert. Your guests will be in culinary heaven!
overhead hero shot of a red staub skillet filled with stovetop chicken pomodoro.


Is there a way how to make pomodoro sauce in advance?

Absolutely! Having the pomodoro sauce prepared in advance allows you to save time and enjoy the convenience of having a flavorful base ready for your Chicken Pomodoro whenever you need it. Here’s how to do it:

Follow the recipe for the pomodoro sauce as directed, starting from step 3, sautéing the onions and garlic. Complete the sauce, then allow the pomodoro sauce to cool. Transfer it to an airtight container or a jar with a tight-fitting lid, making sure to leave some space at the top for expansion if you plan on freezing it.

It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.

When you’re ready to use the sauce, remove it from the refrigerator or thaw it in the freezer. If frozen, thaw the sauce overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, sear the chicken breasts as directed, then add the completed sauce to the pan and scrape up the browned bits. Add the chicken breasts back to the pan to complete cooking, then enjoy!

How to know when chicken is cooked through?

The most reliable method is to use a meat thermometer — all poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165F for food safety. If you don’t have one, use your eyeballs: Cooked chicken should have a white, opaque appearance throughout, with no traces of pink or rawness. Additionally, the juices that run from the chicken should be clear, not pink or bloody.

How should I store leftovers?

Allow the chicken pomodoro to cool, then divvy it up into clean, airtight containers. If you plan on freezing it, make sure your containers are freezer-safe. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4-5 days in the fridge, or freeze them for 3-4 months.

To reheat, allow the leftovers to defrost overnight in the fridge, then microwave, bake or sauté them until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165F.

closeup 45 degree angle shot of a portion of healthy chicken pomodori on an earthenware plate with a slice removed to show the tender, juicy texture of the chicken breast.

More Healthy Skillet Meals Recipes

More Healthy Recipes For Chicken

Connect With Me!

If you make this skillet chicken recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.

closeup 45 degree angle shot of Italian tomato chicken pomodori skillet.

Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.


Healthy Chicken Pomodoro Skillet

If you’ve been craving Italian fare, look no further than my easy recipe for Chicken Pomodoro. This classic recipe features succulent, white-meat chicken simmered to perfection in a medley of basil, garlic, herbs, and vibrant tomatoes, creating a 1-pot, healthy skillet recipe that will transport your tastebuds straight to Italy — all in just 25 minutes. Andiamo!

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 5 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, 4-5 small chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 24 oz grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Add the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to a small bowl.  Combine thoroughly. Coat the chicken breasts with the seasoning mix, rubbing it into both sides evenly.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet or pan on the stove over medium high heat. Once hot, add in the seasoned chicken breasts.  Sear on one side for about 2 minutes, flip, and sear on the other side for another 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat to low and add the garlic and onion to the same skillet.  Sauté for 1-2 minutes, being careful to not burn.
  4. Next add the halved tomatoes and chicken broth to the skillet.  Combine all the ingredients thoroughly, making sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the tomato mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the fresh basil and white sugar. Combine. Place the seared chicken breasts back into the skillet, covering them with the sauce a bit.  Simmer for another 5-8 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through.
  6. Add extra fresh basil and parmesan cheese on top.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Keywords: chicken pomodoro, chicken pomodori, chicken pomodoro recipe

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  1. Delicious! Like a restaurant meal. Mine didn’t need the sugar and was saucier than pictured but had wonderful flavor. Recipe will be on repeat when the cherry tomatoes ripen.

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