I like to challenge my own preconceived ideas about food, especially anything considered ‘healthy’. Despite years and years of small steady changes to my diet to try and eat healthier, it’s somehow still hard for me to believe that ‘healthy’ can be so good.
In fact just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been caught dead making a cream sauce without actual heavy cream. After all I’ve always cooked by the motto, ‘if you’re going to do it, well.. than do it up right!’.
So whenever I catch myself thinking things like that, I like to challenge myself. And in this case it was to try and make a cream sauce without cream. Which of course is where my Savory Vegan Cashew Cream Sauce from a while back enters the equation.
It’s so silky smooth and rich that it makes an incredible heavy cream replacement. In fact I’ve made several dishes, including this Tuscan Chicken today, and no one knew there wasn’t any dairy in it, (crazy right?).
To start out, you place the chicken stock with seasonings and the chicken breasts into the Instant Pot.
Then the veggies are pile on top, and the Instant Pot makes quick work of the cooking time.
While the chicken cooks, you can prep any side dishes along with the chopped spinach.
Once the chicken is done, you stir in the spinach and cashew cream sauce, and thicken it slightly if desired.
My first thought was to serve this Tuscan Chicken over penne pasta. But again I thought maybe I should branch out a bit. So I went with mashed potatoes on the first go around. This turned out to be a stellar choice – so good, and so decadent.
Whatever you end up serving this with, it’s a great recipe for entertaining as well as date nights because it’s so easy to make. And then there’s the creamy element which let’s face it… is always a hit!Print
Perfect comfort food made both healthy and easy in the Instant Pot
1 cup chicken stock, homemade when you can
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons Italian seasoning, see notes
1 Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and cut in half, 4 ounces
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 2
1 red onion, 12 ounces
10-14 crimini mushrooms, 12 ounces, cleaned and cut into quarters
4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped, 4 ounces
Optional: 2 Teaspoons tapioca mixed with 2 Tablespoons of water for thickening
In a 6-quart Instant Pot, mix together the chicken stock, garlic, Italian seasoning, sea salt, black pepper, and sundried tomatoes. Add in the chicken breasts.
For the red onion slice off both ends. Then cut it in half from the top to the bottom, and peel away the tough outer layer. Then lay each half flat side down, and cut into 3/4″ slices.
Place the onions and mushrooms over the top of the chicken. Then set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 7 minutes.
After the cooking time is done, use the quick release function. When the Instant Pot is safe to open, open the lid and carefully remove the chicken onto a cutting board.
Turn the sauté function on and bring the sauce to a boil. Stir in the cashew cream sauce along with the spinach. Thicken slightly if desired by drizzling in the tapioca mixture while stirring constantly. Only add as much as you’d like for the texture you desire.
I like to slice up the chicken breasts and place them back in the finished sauce. Then serve immediately with your choice of sides.
We did mashed potatoes the first time, but I also served it over cooked gluten free penne, as well as roasted spaghetti squash.
Some seasoning mixes contain salt, sugar, and additives, be sure and look for one without any of these. If yours contains salt, be sure to adjust the salt called for in the recipe by omitting it and adjusting to taste after it’s finished cooking.
Be sure to check each ingredient carefully to make sure they’re Whole30 compliant.
Keywords: Instant Pot, Whole30, Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free