Mediterranean Smothered Chicken


Mediterranean Smothered Chicken is decadent, yet easy. This is no boring chicken recipe!

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

I am a firm believer that many things become infinitely better when smothered in something fabulous.

I mean, tortilla chips without a smothering of melted cheese? Pass. Vanilla ice cream without a smothering of velvety, homemade fudge sauce? Yawn! A freshly washed face without a smothering of luxurious night cream? I can feel myself breaking out already.

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

A bed of pasta and sauteed chicken without a smothering of marinated roasted tomatoes, tangy artichoke hearts, briny capers, zippy lemon, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, a touch of cream, and chicken broth? I wouldn’t hear of it!

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

Long story short, I’ve been obsessing over smothered chicken dishes lately. You know, chicken (or any other protein, for that matter) quickly sauteed then smothered with a plethora of flavorful ingredients, including a yummy sauce to sop up with pasta or crusty bread? You can make them as decadent (or not!) as you want them to be, plus they’re a cinch to make.

Last week I mixed up a devilish concoction of bacon, mushrooms, spinach, and cream to smother chicken breasts for a freelance recipe I was writing (which I will be sharing with you as soon as I get the green light!) It was so delish that I made it twice in one week, then immediately got to work on creating a similar version that I could post here on IGE right away. Mediterranean Smothered Chicken, with it’s bright and fresh coastal flavors, is what I came up with. I promise you will lick your plates clean!

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

Start by brushing 4 chicken breasts on both sides with extra virgin olive oil then seasoning with garlic salt & pepper (note: I’m showing 1/4 of the recipe in these pics!) Saute for 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through, then remove to a plate and take the skillet off the heat to cool for a few minutes.

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

After the chicken’s done cooking, drop 8oz gluten-free angel hair pasta into salted, boiling water then cook until al dente. It should be done right around the same time the smotherin’ sauce.

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

Which is where we head to next! This is a pretty quick-cooking dish, so make sure to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go on a plate or cutting board nearby.

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

Turn the heat down to medium then place the skillet back on the burner. Heat 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil then add 2 large chopped shallots and season with salt and pepper. Saute the shallots until they’re translucent, about 3 minutes, then add 3 minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 more seconds.

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

Next add all the goodies! That’s 1 can quartered artichoke hearts (drained), 1 cup marinated roasted tomatoes (more on those in a sec!) 2 Tablespoons capers, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

Here are the marinated roasted tomatoes I mentioned, which I picked up at Whole Foods’ olive bar. I was actually looking for sun dried tomatoes when I happened upon these babies, and they looked (and smelled) too good to resist.

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

The tomatoes are lightly roasted then marinated in olive oil, garlic and spices, and are so delicious that I could eat probably eat 4 billion of them. More or less. I can’t wait to pick up more to pair with cucumbers for a light salad all summer! If you can’t find these in your area, sub in 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes.

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

K! Saute the tomatoes and artichokes for a couple minutes, just enough time to warm through, then add 1/4 cup half & half (or heavy cream) and 1/2 cup chicken broth.

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

Then add 1/4 cup each chopped basil and grated parmesan cheese. (Psst: here’s how I slice basil >)

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

Finish ‘er up with the juice of 1/2 lemon, then reduce the sauce for a minute or 2. Not too long, or else you won’t have enough to smother the chicken with!

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

Divide the pasta among four plates, top with a cooked chicken breast, then SMOTHER.

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |


Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

Mediterranean Smothered Chicken

Serves 4


Mediterranean Smothered Chicken is decadent, yet easy. This is no boring chicken recipe!


  • 4 small chicken breasts
  • extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt, pepper
  • 8oz gluten-free angel hair pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup marinated roasted tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup half & half (or heavy cream)
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil


  1. Pound chicken to even thickness then brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil and season with garlic salt and pepper. Saute in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a plate then set aside.
  2. Add pasta to a large pot of salted, boiling water then cook until al dente. Drain then set aside.
  3. Let skillet cool off the heat for a few minutes, then return to burner and reduce heat to medium. Add extra virgin olive oil and shallots then season with salt and pepper and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly.
  4. Add roasted tomatoes, artichoke hearts, capers, and lemon zest then saute until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, half & half, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and basil then reduce sauce slightly, about 2 minutes.
  5. Divide pasta among plates then top with a chicken breast. Smother with tomato and artichoke mixture.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

I cannot tell you how mouthwatering this dish was! The pasta soaked up that yummy, decadent-tasting sauce (which is actually fairly light – only 1 Tablespoon half & half per person) and each bite was just HEAVEN. Make sure you make this sometime soon!

Mediterranean Smothered-Chicken |

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  1. I concur, smothered is always better! This dish makes me feel like I’m at a small cafe in Italy. Do you have a tool that shreds your basil like that? It would take me forever to do that by hand!

  2. Amy M 03.05.2013

    This looks great! I always forget about capers — probably because they’re sold in tiny jars and I’m not sure which section of the store they’re in. Will have to put them on the grocery list!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.05.2013

      I find mine over by the olives and pickles!

    • nancy 03.05.2013

      Trader Joe’s is the very best when you need things like capers, sun-dried tomatoes (which won the America’s Test Kitchen’s sun-dried tomato test), kalamata olives (pitted), sharp cheddar cheese, quinoa, dried fruit, nuts, etc., etc. Trader Joe’s rocks when it comes to inexpensive ingredients to fabulous recipes.

  3. Sarah 03.05.2013

    This looks so delicious! I love all the flavors here.

  4. I literally gasped when I saw the first picture of this post as if the love of my life just walked in the door. Only… the love of my life is drinking beer and watching Family Guy in the basement. I’m seriously going to have to make this for dinner tonight!

  5. This looks amazing and so simple too! Love!

  6. Cookbook Queen 03.05.2013

    I am all about smothered. This looks fab!!

  7. I just made pasta over the weekend and now I want this. I only allow myself pasta once a week. Oh, the torture…

    • Tammy 03.21.2013

      Make it with Spaghetti Squash!

  8. This looks innnncredible! Love all the fresh flavors…I must make something like this soon.

  9. Those tomatoes look to die for! I know what I’ll be in search of next…

  10. nancy 03.05.2013

    Yah-hoo, baby! I happened to have these ingredients on hand – being the collector of all things pickled and delicious. Love this chicken dish — love it – can’t say enough about it as I made it immediately. Snow storm – what snow storm?, I say! It’s a great day to have an amazing recipe to whip up when the snow is swirling. Thank you!!

  11. Michelle B. 03.05.2013

    Ohhhh… I am going to try adding a shot of Ouzo to this! I used to get an almost identical dish at a restaurant and it had Ouzo, and it was YUMMY.

  12. Lauren 03.05.2013

    My dad used to make a smothered chicken dish growing up that was covered in jack cheese, bacon and tomatoes. It was one of my favorite things he made but I have to say, this looks a lot better!

  13. I love Mediterranean flavors! This chicken sounds so good!

  14. Lindsey 03.06.2013

    This looks sooo good… minus the artichokes for me. I want to like them, but every time I give them a try I realize that it’s just not meant to be.

  15. Brooke 03.06.2013

    Is it possible to substitute 2% milk for the cream? Or is it better to just double the chicken broth? I’m lactose intolerant and can’t get lactose free cream.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.06.2013

      I would just double the chicken broth!

    • KAREN L 03.06.2013

      Sometimes I use sour cream to make my sauces. It does not change the flavor and is easier to find for a substitute.

  16. Noelle 03.06.2013

    I spot a black fleece… ;) haha this pasta looks so good. I want some NOW, and it’s only 10 AM. Dang.

  17. Shaunna 03.06.2013

    OMG! That looks awesome! :)

  18. KAREN L 03.06.2013

    That looks absolutely wonderful!

    I have to tell you that I own two small restaurants. One fine dining and the other is more or less casual fast food. One entree on the menu at the fine dining restaurant is very similar to yours presented here. The major difference being that I use the brine from Feta cheese and also from the Kalamata olives to season with, and a few different veggies. You don’t need much but it adds so much punch.

    Your recipe is definitely going to be added to my personal collection. Thanks so much for sharing.

    PS I feel as though we are cousins. I was born in southern Minnesota (now living in Ohio) and I have cousins born and still residing in Iowa.

  19. Brenda 03.06.2013

    The first photo in this post is OUTSTANDING! Nice job.

  20. Julia Jolliff 03.06.2013

    These flavors look wonderful! Artichokes with chicken is such a great combo.

  21. Tasha @ Homemade 03.06.2013

    Smothering is what life is all about .. smother on sister … yumm!!!

  22. Kristin, that first picture belongs in a magazine, it is just stunning!!! This recipe sounds delicious, definitely bookmarking :)

  23. Maggie 03.06.2013

    This looks and sounds insanely good. I can’t wait to make it.

    Thanks for this recipe and for introducing me to sprouted wheat tortillas and Israeli couscous (and getting me over my carb phobia in the process).

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  25. Sally 03.07.2013

    I know that you do some freelance work as well, but you should really get into food staging / photography (if you already haven’t)! That first picture is gorgeous!

  26. Alisha 03.07.2013

    GORGEOUS pictures, like usual!

  27. C 03.07.2013

    That looks amazing. Going on my “try this very soon” list!

  28. Kristin Dudek 03.07.2013

    Made this for dinner tonight…loved it! So yummy. Thank you for sharing!

  29. […] want to devour this smothered Mediterranean chicken by Iowa Girl Eats, but I’m writing this at 6pm on Friday before I leave the […]

  30. Lindsay 03.15.2013

    I made this last night and it was AMAZING! I have been searching for a dish to make for when company comes over and THIS is it! I feel like I’m eating restaurant-quality food with this dish! Leftovers were GREAT the next day too. Love that! I will make sure to always have these ingredients on hand from now on. Love love your blog. Have made several recipes, always good… can’t wait for baby updates! Congrats!!

  31. Victoria 03.20.2013

    I made this tonight. Really really flavourful! It’s definitely going in my recipe box.

  32. […] Get smothered. —Iowa Girl Eats […]

  33. Meghan 04.05.2013

    I made this for dinner and my husband loved it. I bought the tomatoes from the olive bar section at the grocery store. This is really an amazing dish

  34. Cat 04.26.2013

    8 oz of pasta for 4 people?? HAHAHA – this looks AMAZING but would only serve 2 in my house full of men ;) I can’t wait to try it! LOVE all the great pics!

  35. Donna 05.21.2013

    I made this tonight and it is fabulous! The only drawback for me is the salt in the tomatoes, artichokes, capers, olives, and cheese. My meals for today consisted of oatmeal and fruit so I coukd have this for dinner. Any suggestions for lower-sodium alternatives for people like me who really do have to limit our sodium?

    Dinner was 2 hours ago, and my mouth is still doing a happy dance! :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.27.2013

      So glad you liked it! I buy artichokes packed in water, and you can rinse the capers in water to get rid of some of the salty brine. You could also nix the cheese if it’s a little too much for you! Oh, and use low-sodium chicken broth!

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  37. Dena 07.17.2013

    Were you ever able to post the recipe mentioned in this post for the bacon/mushroom/spinach/cream dish you were working on for a freelance project? Thanks!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 07.19.2013

      It was actually just posted!

      • Dena 07.19.2013

        Thank you SOOO much! My kids will love this! I actually made the Mediterranean Smothered Chicken for my bff for “our” birthday dinner (bday’s 4 days apart), and she is STILL talking about it and says nothing has tasted better since that day back in April! LOL!!! Thanks again Kristin for all the great recipies!

  38. mjskit 08.15.2013

    Love, love LOVE this dish! Not only is it beautiful, I’m sure it tastes absolutely delicious!

  39. GiGi 08.20.2013

    Hi! How would you suggest doubling this recipe? There are four people in my house all with big appetites :) Also, would it be possible to add the chicken and pasta to the skillet at the end to really infuse the flavors? Or is it best to pour the sauce and chicken over the pasta? Sorry if these seem like silly questions, I am seventeen years old and trying to help out more around the house before the school year starts. What better way to help out a working mom than cook a delicious dinner right? :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.28.2013

      I would use a really big skillet and add a couple more chicken breasts to the recipe (maybe doubling the other ingredients.) Also you can definitely add the pasta into the skillet in the end instead of plating it on top!

      • GiGi 08.28.2013

        Thanks for the advice! This dish looks absolutely delicious! I will definitely make it in the next couple of days :)

  40. Melissa K 08.22.2013

    I have made this a few times already! My husband and I love it! DELICIOUS!!!!

  41. Jane 12.09.2013

    So good! Thumbs up all around. Didn’t have Roasted tomatoes. so I subbed half a can of diced tomatoes and added 1/2 C sun dried tomatoes.

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  44. Bonnie 07.30.2014

    So excited to make this for dinner tonight! Will be using gluten free pasta.

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  47. Megan 10.22.2014

    I made this tonight with a lot of tweaks (just based on what I had on hand): no lemon zest, lemon concentrate instead of fresh, garlic powder instead of garlic salt, canned diced tomatoes marinated in garlic and onions (instead of preparing per this recipe), a little milk instead of cream, no capers, and I only used 1 large shallot. I know, that was a LOT of changes, but I think it turned out pretty well, and my boyfriend loved it, too! :) Thanks for sharing! :)

  48. abby davis 12.02.2014

    is exactly what I was hungry for today!! Made it for dinner and the hubs and i couldnt stop raving about it!! It will be one of our new favorite dishes. I can’t to make this for guests and have them love it as much as we did. Thanks so much!! ~ A VERY happy prego lady

  49. […]  Mediterranean Smothered Chicken: Iowa Girl […]

  50. Debi 05.09.2015

    Have had something similar to this at a restaurant in Gruene, Texas. Additionally, it had olives, small shrimp and served over Mahi. No basil…I don’t believe. Maybe, thyme. Going to try this first with the chicken and then maybe adapt for fish. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes! So many have become a regular rotation in our home.

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